Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Unimaginable

Sometimes I write with the intention to never share. Often I think about Kate and don't form a circle of my closest friends to cry. Life moves on. I don't want the world to look at me and say, "Wow. Girlfriend really can't process her grief, can she?" Lesser still, do I want the world to question how I could still be so deeply sad.

And I don't know, is the thing.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus's blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest thing, but wholly trust in Jesus name.

Why then, the grief?

Why do I wonder if I might wake to find that it was all but a dream? Perhaps, one day, I will see that losing her was just a passing nightmare. And I'll have both Kate and her brother.

My eight year old wept the other night. Through angry tears he exploded, "She should be asleep in her bedroom right now." And she should. How can you argue with that? Grief, as my mom said to me today, is a weird thing.

I wrote this last month and posted it to a writer's page that I'm a part of on Facebook. I never intended to post it here. But I'm not sure why. Because transparency is painful? Because I don't want the rest of the world to have access to my grief? Because she'll never be here the way I want her to be?

But he is. And he deserves every piece of my broken heart.


There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name
You hold your child as tight as you can
And push away the unimaginable
-Lin Manuel Miranda
I held him, curly hair sticking out from his head in loose spiraling staircases. He looks like a man cub. His legs squeezed my hip, foot resting on the womb that held neither of them. A chubby hand clutched my shirt just above the heart that holds them both. “This is your sister,” I said.
His eyes locked on the giraffe caged in the shadow box. The soft, stuffed toy sits, staring, for always. Plump arms never snuggled the animal, sticky fingers never dragged it by the neck, soft baby breath never exhaled over it. The antithesis of a Velveteen Rabbit, the giraffe will never be real. She was never here to love it enough. I stare at the tiny footprints pressed into plaster. My eyes shift to his tiny toes. They wiggle slightly. I look back at her frozen ones and try to imagine them pushing against the walls of their mother. One minute they pressed and stretched. The next moment they fell limp—forever. My gaze lands on her picture. Black and white lines that form the image of my daughter, his sister.
“She was inside your other mommy before you were.” I was stoic. “She went straight to Jesus when she was born. And then we got you.”
I can’t tell him that his stillborn sister wrecked me. I can’t explain that while I walk without a limp, my heart beats erratic and broken. Our great God used the man cub to heal so much of that bloody wound left by her absence, but he can’t fix it all. An 8 month old cannot bear that burden.
He will not know the way I startle whenever I hear her name belonging to someone else or the way I choke back dreams when I see a little girl holding tight to her mama. He can’t know that when I stand in front of that shadow box, I imagine what she would have been. So much more than the cold corpse I held tightly in my arms before we buried her.
He is amazing life, incredible and indescribable joy. I will tell him about the sister who came before. I will share all the miracles. He will know her.
But I will not tie my albatross of grief around his neck. He will walk freely and hear only the ways my life is made infinitely better by his presence. I will shield him from the moments when, weeping, I succumb to the excruciating thump of my still cracked heart.

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