20200701 – Now I Understand

Caution: If you and your spouse have ever suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of a child, this may trigger an overwhelming emotional response and you may not want to read it.

I thought I understood. I’ve lost parents, close relatives, close friends, distant relatives and friends, and I thought I understood. I’ve learned that you suffer grief at many points in your life, that you let it happen, you accept it as a part of life, and then you put one foot in front of the other and go on. I thought I understood. I’ve prayed with people and shared their grief and encouraged them to fully experience it and let it become a part of their lives and go on. I thought I understood.

And then, a month ago, our son and daughter-in-law suffered the stillbirth of their first child, our granddaughter, at 24 weeks. And we suffered the pain and heartbreak of watching them try to live through that. As a parent I always believed the loss of a child was one of the worst experiences a person could ever have in their life, I learned that’s true. But it may even be worse to see your child lose his child, his first chance to be a Dad, her first chance to be a Mom; to watch your own child suffer through the worst grief you can possibly imagine, and to wish it could be you instead of him.

Now I understand the true depths of grief and despair. Now I understand just how awful a loss can be. Now I understand how hard it is to put one foot in front of the other when all of life seems frozen at this agonizing moment in time. Now I understand that it’s not good days and bad, it’s a matter of good or bad hours, and good or bad minutes; and you never know from one minute to the next whether more grief will come flooding out.

And now I understand something about love that our daughter-in-law put into words at Elsie Rose’s memorial, “Imagine a love so strong it made saying hello and goodbye in the same day worth all of the pain.” I can imagine that. And I can let love win over it all, always. Because if I couldn’t, I would not be able to live my life, to raise a family, to go on. Love wins, always.

Now I understand … Pops

Comments

20200701 – Now I Understand — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Terry, I am so very sorry for your families tremendous loss. No, I can’t understand that kind of pain, nor do I ever want to. I’ve heard it said that we grieve to the same degree that we loved. Our beautiful families are the most precious of life’s gifts. Only God knows why, but know that she will be waiting excitedly at Heaven’s door to finally be able to hug you and return her love to you all. Rest well and smile knowing she is waiting there! Much love to you and your family! Teri

    • Thank you for your compassion and kind words Teri. They provide a lot of comfort right now, when we really need it.
      Terry