These words from Psalm 130, Out of the Depths I Cry to You, O Lord, resonated through my soul when our world was shattered by the death of our baby son. His death shook me more than my other three earlier miscarriages because I labored for him and delivered his still body. To hold your lifeless child, no matter how small, shatters your worldview; it changes everything. I know I am not alone in this suffering; many women have experienced the grief of pregnancy loss (maybe even you, reading this now). No matter how small or how far along your pregnancy was, your child is worthy of your love and your grief.
Grief. It is such a deep ocean of darkness. It comes upon you when you least expect it, knocking you down in the middle of a play-date for your other child, or while at church, or in the grocery store. And just as the ocean is ever-changing, so too, is grief different in each woman. You slowly, slowly begin to have some better days, only to be overwhelmed in a tidal wave again. You wonder whether the sun will ever shine in your soul, and you are tempted to feel guilty for not “getting over it” sooner for the sake of your other children.
You soon realize the only way to heal is to go through the pain, walk through the grief, share your heartache, and in time, healing slowly begins. The psychological experts say it takes three years to heal from trauma. Every miscarriage is a trauma. Some are more traumatizing than others in the circumstances and the pain, but each one shatters. There was a time I thought that I would never be able to feel fully joyful again. You know, that real joy? That joy you feel from the tips of your toes to the top of your head and you can throw your hair back and laugh from deep within. It is an unfettered, almost wild joy that exhilarates. Gone. That joy had left me. I just didn’t know if I would ever be able to experience true joy again now that another baby had been ripped away from my heart.
It’s been four years now since our little PierGiorgio Matteo’s passing into eternity, and I have some good news for you. Although the sting of missing him remains, I can see him in heaven. I can remember him with love and rejoice that I will see him again. In God’s infinite mercy, he has crafted my broken heart whole again; he has given me life where only darkness resided, and he fills my heart with a joyful song! And then my tears fall again—yet this time it is not in sorrow but in gratitude of God’s mercy to restore and heal my soul.
I don’t know where you are in your journey of grief. Perhaps you are still struggling in darkness—crying out to God from what surely feels like hell on earth. Perhaps you are wondering, as I did, if the light will ever shine again on your soul. I would like to share my journey with you. In the next installment to be posted next month, you will see two reflections. The first I wrote when the pain was still very palpable in my being. Then I began to experience the light of hope. Now, you may not be there yet, and that’s okay. You just keep taking one day at a time. Yet I want to share it with you to let you know hope still lives even in your darkness, your joy will eventually return, and even now, God holds you ever so lovingly in his arms.