The grief is still daily, overwhelmingly present. Each night I go to bed and think, “maybe tomorrow is the day it will lift, and I’ll wake up to a little relief.” But while I have more “normal” moments each day, the grief that comes in waves seems only to deepen. The longer it’s been since I lost you, the more acutely I feel the lack of you.
It’s not quite like the lack of you that I felt suddenly, deeply, when I saw that empty ultrasound and woke up from surgery knowing every trace of you was gone from me forever. It’s a daily sorrow, missing you. It’s a daily realization that I will never see your face on this earth. It’s a deeply felt awareness that God has afflicted me, and that I will never be the same.
This loss will follow me for the rest of my life. It will ease, and I will be able to go days at a time without weeping over you. But it will always be part of who I am, and I am realizing that God always had this in store for me. Even though I feel blindsided, out of a happy time in my life, surrounded by people I love and doing what I love for work and for hobbies and for ministry, God always knew this was coming. I wish he could have warned me. I wish he would come and ease this pain now. But I know suffering produces fruit, and he will be faithful to carry to completion the work he has begun in me through this.
I know he will refine me like gold, and make me better. A sharper tool for his use. A better wife, a better friend, and one day a better mother, out of my loss. But “one day” is so nebulous. I desperately desire relief from the heavy weight of sorrow now. I desperately wish I could be pregnant again. If not to have you back, then to move forward with your brother or sister. Because I have wanted a child for years. I tried to have a child for nearly a year now, and time marches onward into uncertainty as to when my dream and desire will finally be fulfilled. Before, when I had you, Rowan, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I was growing life inside me. I was the happy recipient of God’s handiwork being knit together. Every aspect of my spirit and my body knew a miracle was taking place. The light at the end of my 9-month wait was your beautiful little face, and fingers and toes, and finally becoming the mother I was meant to be. And I am meant to be one. And the Bible is full of women who desperately wanted a child, asked the Lord, and he answered. He knows how this feels, and he gave me this longing.
Someone reminded me that God has not told me “no”, he has told me, “not yet. Not Rowan.” I don’t understand why that is. If he didn’t want me to be a mom yet, he could simply have kept me from conceiving you. Whatever he wants to teach me before I become a mom–I couldn’t have learned that some other way? I couldn’t have learned it from your early months, when I was exhausted and resenting you and what you did to my body and my sleep schedule and my sanity and my time?
You were my beautiful dream. You were my little love. Some part of me is willing to believe that if I had to choose between never having conceived you at all instead of loving you and losing you, I would have chosen the latter. The loss of you is pure hell, but the few months I loved you were pure heaven. If I choose to see your short life as a gift, and the pain as God’s love seeking to refine me, perhaps the joy will begin to return. I don’t think the grief will vanish. But maybe I will find some small comfort. In the meantime, I am filled with sorrow, grief, anger, bitterness, and fear for the future. But if a little joy can filter in, and if I can allow God to use those things to refine me, your short life, my love, will be honored and not grieved only.