Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Grief Observed~

Yesterday was September 27th, 6 months since Caroline was last in my arms. 
Tomorrow will be September 29th, Caroline's 9 month birthday.

I have remained silent up to now.  In word's and appearances.  Not because I have been too busy with life but because, as I have experienced, grief is a very ugly, yet amazingly beautiful thing.  For me, it has been a matter best held in private; between me and the Lord and a very small handful of safe people. 

It is a very vulnerable place to be.
It is a very lonely place to be.
It is a very humbling place to be.
It is a very blessed place to be.
So intimately close to the heart of God, yet far from the hearts of man.

 I have cried more tears in the last 9 months than I have in my whole life combined. Every form of emotional protection I spent my life building, was instantly torn down by waves of uncontrollable tears and pain.  The Lord is humbling me.  This is just beginning to get a little better.  Learning how to relate to people again is hard after experiencing the death of a loved one.  The expectations of how you should be acting, or feeling, or the things you should say or not say are far too much weight to bare, on top of grief itself.

I have chosen to be still and listen for the Lord.  I do not want to lose the intimacy I have gained with Him.   I have to guard my heart and emotions tightly, for far too much is at stake.  Don't take it personally if I don't act the way you think I should act.  I love and am grateful for all who care about me.  But I can not allow my insecurities to dictate my relationships right now.  I have to get through another day.  I have to survive. This rat race we live in seems all too insignificant in the scope of life and death.

Some people ask the question, "How are you doing?"  I know they mean well and some may be genuine in their asking, but the truth of the matter is that most people can not handle to truth of what real grief looks like.  They want to hear that you are fine.  Moving forward with life.  Doing well.  Then they can check that off their list.

But the reality of the day-in and day-out of grief is very complex and messy.  There are some moments or even days that are fine, maybe even pleasant.  Then there are moments or days that are excruciatingly painful and debilitating.  If you have not experienced this sort of thing, you truly can not understand or comprehend what it is really like, nor should you try.  And thankfully, you don't have to because it is not the burden you were given to bare. 

As for me, I waver through the dance of emotions.
Deep sadness to overwhelming gratefulness. 
Heartache to sheer joy in her memory.
Flooding tears of pain to humble tears of God's goodness and mercy.
It is the sacred dance of grief.
One that some have endured before me, but most do not understand because they have not filled these shoes...yet.
It has changed me.
I will never be the same person.
Just as every new child fills a space in a mama's heart, when a child is gone from our arms, they take that piece of our heart with them.  Yes, the Lord fills that hole and sustains you, but part of your heart has gone ahead and will not be whole again until you are reunited in Heaven, if you are saved. 
I am changed, but not for the bad. 
It is for the glory of God.
I am thankful for what the Lord has done and is still doing through loving and losing Caroline.  As hard as it has all been, I would never take any of it back and I would humbly do it over again if the Lord asked.
I am in the process of finding out who I am without Caroline.  Who I am as a wife, mother, and a soul.  I will never be "normal" again or how I was before her.  I have to figure out my new normal. That takes time and patience.

At this time of remembrance of our sweet baby Caroline, more than the pain and heartache i feel, is the overwhelming thankfulness I feel for all of you who have shared in Caroline's story.  God has been so amazing and wonderful to carry out every little detail through each one of you.  He has sustained, provided, and blessed us beyond earthly comprehension by using ordinary, Godly people as His hands and feet.  My heart is overflowing with gratitude to you all.

I want to leave you with something the Lord has given me.
A new view.
A new perspective.
A new direction.
Now that Caroline is in Heaven, i find myself looking up, a lot.  Literally.  And taking lots of pictures.  In our busy lives we tend to only look horizontally, in front of us.  But we are not made to live permanently on this earth.  As Christians, our real home is in Heaven.  We should be excited and longing to go there.  We should be reading and studying God's Word, the Bible, to see what it will be like.  I believe that the image of a boring, harp playing, sit around doing nothing Heaven is inaccurate.  We have an amazing and beautiful adventure ahead of us.  The book, Heaven, by Randy Alcorn will blow your previous thoughts of Heaven away.  Buy it, check it out at the library, or borrow it.  You will be blessed by it.

To my Sweet Caroline~
May you bask in the light of Gods love.  A light that I can't even begin to comprehend here on earth, but long to share with you one day in Heaven.  I love you and miss you terribly ~ Mama

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