I recall sitting at my home, listening to the silence as it roared in my ears. I was supposed to have a baby to care for at this time. I was supposed to be sleep deprived from midnight feedings and 2 am diaper changes. Instead, I was sleep-deprived from crying out in grief through late-night hours. My arms felt weightless, they ached to be filled by my missing child. Wherever he was, I wanted to be. I wasn’t suicidal so to speak, but I wanted to be where Weston was.
In the days following, I felt my chest heavy as milk began to fill, another blow to my spirit. My body was ready to feed him, to nurture him, but he wasn’t there. I was taught growing up never to question God. But, in those first days of raw grieve, I did.
I wasn’t angry with Him. I didn’t believe losing my child was a punishment for something I had done wrong. But, I couldn’t bring myself to understand why tragedy like this had to occur. I’ve said it so many times, babies shouldn’t die. Babies at any gestation or age, they just shouldn’t die. What good comes from losing a child?
I found myself searching through scripture, reading various studies, looking for wisdom to understand His reasoning. After an in-depth study, I was left with a simple statement that spoke to my soul, bad things happen to good people. And with that, good things happen to bad people just the same. It’s a fact of this life. There is no balance. This life we are living isn’t fair or just. Why do we feel we are owed prosperity? That perfect place where good always prevails and tragedy never strikes, we aren’t there yet.
Letting go of human understanding…
I’ve come to accept there are things that happen in this life that we will never understand. And frankly, I don’t think we are meant to. A true test of faith comes when your world falls apart unexpectedly on a beautiful fall morning. When you are smiling and laughing in the midst of life’s simplicity, then, within seconds you are on your knees crying out in despair. How easy it is for some to preach on keeping faith when everything is going as planned.
Throughout this journey, my heart has been touched by many inspiring people. Some of the most resonating moments involved interactions with other women who have buried their babies. There is something about the connection between mothers who have experienced loss. Receiving a hug from someone you know has cried your tears. A true testament of surviving the unthinkable and still pressing forward. When everything inside of you wanted to quit, to curl up in a ball and sob in the darkness. Yet here we are, walking, breathing, living without them.
Walking By Faith
My faith has undoubtedly strengthened following this heartache. I’ve gained a true appreciation and understanding of perseverance. I don’t throw around phrases like, “You have a lot to be thankful for” and “Stop dwelling on the negative” lightly. Until you have walked in someone else’s shoes, don’t delegate how to wear them.
Just like our pastor said the day we buried Weston, “I don’t believe God said, ‘Danielle, today I am going to kill your baby.'” Some may believe that’s how things go, but I don’t. I believe I serve a God who loves me and hurts when I hurt. And just how the bible shows many examples of Jesus and His tender heart, I believe He wept with us that day. I think we live in a world full of darkness and sadness, but this place is just a stepping stone to our intended home, where there is light and love and peace and joy forever. So until then, I will live to the fullest of my potential. I will act in love to honor Weston’s name. What better way to preserve his memory than to spread love in the darkness?
And so, we continue.
So we keep the faith, and we press on day by day. We declare love and healing with respect to life’s fragility. I know come what may, I will persevere. Because even in the darkest of nights, I was never truly alone. God held me then and he has been carrying me ever since. One fine day I will meet Him face to face, and afterward, oh what a beautiful reunion to follow.