Sunday, January 25, 2015

My Letter to Grief

I got the idea for writing a letter to grief from Kate Motaung, who encouraged readers to write their own letters. I began this letter several weeks ago, but it got to be too raw, and I had to back away for a bit, but I came back today feeling ready to tackle it. So here goes.

Dear Grief,

Over the past nine months I have tried holding you at arms length. I have tried bringing you in for a snuggle session. I have tried ignoring you and trying to pretend you were never there. I have gotten angry at you. I have coddled you like a newborn kitten and fed you until you became a tiger who nearly turned to devour me. I have researched you. I have tried to plumb your depths. I have ridden out your waves, even when I nearly drowned. You could not take me under.

Grief, you came into my life that early morning in the Emergency Room of the local hospital when I stared at the screen of the ultrasound machine, eyes searching for my wiggly baby and only finding a still stone instead. Strange that there should be a stone there. Where was my baby? Was she hiding? There must be some mistake. And then when I should have been hearing the delightful wild-stallion cantering clip-clop of her precious heartbeat, there was only silence. And I knew. I knew she was gone, and you crept in and made yourself known. An unwelcome guest in a place that should have been filled with hope and reassurance. You showed your ugly head that morning.

 You weren't through with me yet. In fact, you were only getting started. You embraced me as I was caught in the throes of contractions which should usher forth life, but instead were only bringing forth death. You held me as my precious daughter slipped into this world silent and still, when the only cries were that of a mother whose heart was ripped in two.

You were gracious to me those first few weeks. You let me ignore you for a bit; hold you away from me. But slowly, slowly, bit by bit you wormed your way in. You twisted into my heart and left it open and raw and bleeding. Scabs have formed now, but every so often you like to come and rip the scabs off as well, bringing up all the pain all over again.

You've been a constant shadow to me these nine months, sometimes almost disappearing for brief times when the joyful sun shines so brightly straight ahead that I can ignore you for a while. At other times you stretch large and spooky and make me want to hide under the covers like a frightened child. Especially now, that new life is growing in my womb. Now I am scared of you more than ever. I know your full power, and I don't want you coming close again. And yet I am powerless to stop you.

But I don't have to. I can live with you. I can let you come and go, ebb and flow, because I know that there is one in me who is greater than you or anything else in the world. He beat death. And because He beat death, He will one day banish you, grief, forevermore.

So I can close my eyes tonight, snuggle with my pillow, and sleep in peace knowing that though you can be so all-encompassing some days, you are merely a constant companion until the day I see Jesus and He strips you off of me and clothes me instead in pure joy.

Until then,

A Grieving Mama choosing to live by FAITH, not fear


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