Last week I received an upsetting phone call from a friend of mine. He called to share the dreadful news that his wife had suffered a miscarriage. This lovely couple has a precious three year old daughter and with their first pregnancy being mostly uneventful there was no indication that Baby #2 would be anything but a miraculous repeat. Now they grieve the loss of the life they had yet to meet.
We’ve had two miscarriages. Both bringing different physical pains and long term side effects yet the same emotions of loss and self blame. Even when you know you did nothing “wrong”, it is very hard not to feel responsibility for a loss such as miscarriage. The doctors may assure you, your mind may know the facts, yet the heart is not always as receptive to facts as it is to emotion. Not to mention trying to make sense that something you wished for and prayed for and nurtured in your body is now gone. Where is the hope and promise of new life in a loss like that?
My heart aches for my friend and his wife. Just as it does for my mommy-friend who’s had five losses one of which required she deliver her baby at 16 weeks. And another mommy-friend who carried full-term; then only shared eight days with her baby boy before CHD took him to be with his Grandma. I cry for my friend who was pregnant with twins, birthed them at 24 weeks, and now snuggles only one of those sweet miracles. I know others who’ve experienced infant loss as well as those who’ve experienced miscarriages including a dear friend who miscarried after having her tubes tied. It most definitely felt like that baby was meant to be, though it wasn’t. How does one begin to make sense of these things? The overwhelming excitement of receiving news of a blessing to the extreme opposite – the miracle gone, the loss, the grief, and the void.
Life is a blessing. Being able to grow another human inside the female body, birth a baby, then nurture them with milk created by the body – that is a miracle. Yet amidst the planning and preparing for the miracle after receiving word of the blessing there are times of heartbreak and loss. A time when some hear those dreadful words and experience the extreme pain of loss.
No one ever wants to hear “it wasn’t meant to be” or “it happened for a reason”. Even if, like me, you believe in a greater plan. Even if you believe that things do happen for a reason. I truly believe that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”. Those words DO comfort me. Knowing that there is still the promise of new life. Knowing that there is light to destroy darkness. Knowing that there is a God who ”gave his only son” so that I may have eternal life. He gave his son so that my sons will have eternal life. He gave his son for my family and my friends and for their children. Be it a child they never held, held for an hour, or held breathlessly. All of God’s children will have eternal life. That is the promise.
Jesus was crucified and hung on a cross to die. Such loss. Such grief. Such a void. Yet, on the third day he was resurrected. “He has risen.” And that is what gives me hope on this Good Friday and every day.
May God bless the broken hearts of my friends mentioned above and all others who have lost.
Note: April 19th is the International Day of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness.