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February 3, 2012

Why I Seem Okay

It’s been just over two weeks since we got the news about Ethan, yet he’s been gone for almost a month. I wrote earlier this week about how grieving, for me, isn’t just about crying. I’m not crying very much these days, nor am I actively doing much of the other things on that list. Things feel a strange kind of normal, and too quickly. I’ve spent a lot of this week battling the question of whether I’m grieving enough. I know that’s not the right way to think, and thankfully every time the thought has crossed my mind, I’ve been able to push it away for the baloney that it is.


Miscarriage is a strange thing. My head, my heart, and my body have been in all different places. I’m reluctant to accept this peace, because it feels too easy. Isn’t this a cross I have to bear? Shouldn’t it be harder, or do I not realize how it’s affecting me? I can tell you I want another child more now than ever, maybe because I wonder if it’s out of reach. Maybe the future is the hard part.


As I mentioned the other day, this poem has really helped me know that what I’m feeling now is okay:


No one scorns the haiku for being shorter than War and Peace
Nor scolds the daffodil for being briefer than a redwood
But this little life cut off so young
We mourn and cry “too soon too soon”.

Surely the Author knows when to end each tale

And yet
Jesus wept

So should we all
For in the beginning death was not

And though there is a plan perhaps for even this little sparrow’s fall
Still we cry
For we know that a sparrow was meant to fly.

by Melanie Bettinelli, originally posted here

There’s a lot more, too, and it’s largely my family and friends. Everyone deals with grief in his or her own way. More importantly, everyone deals with other people’s grief in his or her own way.


I seem like I’m okay, but only because you guys have been there for me every step of the way, listening to what I need, figuring out what I need, and doing what needs to be done.


I seem like I’m okay because every person I’ve spoken with (with the exception of a neighbor, a doctor, and a nurse) has avoided the typical things not to say to someone who just had a miscarriage, and instead recognized Ethan as a person, as our second child, and called him by name. The stories I’ve read from other women are astounding. One said her own mother made a comment about her baby not being old enough to be considered her child. I can’t imagine the extra pain that causes. You have been perfect witnesses to the dignity of Ethan’s life.


I read this quote the other day, and find it to be perfectly true:


“If you know someone who has lost a child, and you’re afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died—you’re not reminding them. They didn’t forget they died. What you’re reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift.” —Elizabeth Edwards


I seem okay because my mom or dad calls or visits me every day, Jacob giggles all day, and John hugs me every night.


I seem okay because my brothers- and sisters-in-law have sent me hand-written notes in the mail telling me they love me, they love Ethan, they are so glad we are part of their family. Never underestimate the power of a hand-written letter.


I seem okay because your prayers are holding me up when I don’t know how to be anything but quiet in God’s presence these days.


I seem okay because other women have shared their stories and they are encouraging me to share mine. I am grateful for the instant communication and global interaction current technology affords us. . . . as long as we stay away from holograms. Creepy.


I am okay because the people I love, love Ethan. I am okay because I know I love Ethan. I am okay because I know God loves Ethan and is holding him in His hand.


Thank you for your support, and please don’t let it stop now, even if I seem okay.

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