Thursday, December 15, 2016

An open letter about grief: Permission to give ourselves grace

Since I posted about my miscarriage last week, it's come to my attention that I didn't share it with those closest to me (with the exception of my husband) until now and that it was hurtful.  I certainly didn't mean to be hurtful by doing that, in fact, I think a big part of me was just trying to forget and move on.  But the thing with grief is that you can only stay in denial for a time, and then you must face reality and only then can you truly move on.  I think we are all quite familiar with the stages of grief and loss (whether we realize it or not):  Denial/Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.  Although people will not necessarily go them in the same order or experience all of them.

I think for me, I really only made it through the first one, and that's where I stayed for months, upon months.  And then, I wrote a couple posts about it.  I think that writing has really become the way that I process a lot in this life.  There's something about a pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard that helps me organize and make sense of all the thoughts stirring around in my head.  Anyone else feel like that? 

When we were on our adoption journey, especially the fundraising part of that journey I found so much joy (am I even using the right word?) in updating about funds or baby things, etc.  It was so clear that God had placed adoption on each of our hearts separately for a reason, and that we had chosen the time to pursue it and it was working out.  Writing became fun again and I journaled both offline and online.  

Then we became parents and priorities shifted (so not complaining!) and I didn't have much time for either kind of writing.  But, then I got back into the groove at, likely, a pivotal point.  If you look, I made a few posts in the first year or so after we became parents, but then just about six months ago I started really writing/blogging again.  I started out kind of slow with just a post or so a week, and then I've built it up.  Some posts are about style, or other not so serious things, and others have been quite meaningful, at least to me.  

I have never really found it easy to open up to people (in person) about the hard things in my life.  I had an easier time when I was in high school and still living at home, or even in college and I was living close to my mom and had close friends.  But now, at this season in my life, I'm kind of isolated.  Partially because I want to be, and partially because I don't know how not to be.  That in itself is another topic for another post though.

But for now, I love the community through blogging and social media, and the outlet this provides for both my creative, silly side and the serious, grieving, thoughtful side.  And, I'm sorry for those who I hurt in the process.  I am a work in progress, and I am working through all this the only way I know how:  one day at a time.

In addition to offering those we come into contact with grace, I think we also need to extend grace to ourselves, always but especially during the whole grieving and growing process.  I know I could use it more, but why don't I allow myself time to grieve?  And grace in order to actually do it?  I suppose that comes back to the whole work in progress thing. :)

If you happen to be reading this Thursday Dec. 17, may I ask you to join me in praying for a sweet little heart baby having surgery today?  Update:  Surgery is over and he is recovering in the ICU.

Dear Lord,
Thank you for baby D.  He is so precious and has already defied odds.  We pray you protect him as he heads into another surgery and if at all possible, we pray he makes it home for Christmas.  Thank you for the joy he has already brought his family and we ask You to be with them as he heads into surgery again.

In Jesus' name, Amen

These are some verses that I have been clinging to for the last thirteen months, and maybe be helpful if you, too, are grieving.

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons[a] of God."  Matthew 5:2-9

Praise the Lord!  For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.  The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.  Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.  The Lord lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.  Psalm 147:1-6

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.  Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


  1. So sorry for your loss. I appreciated reading this post and your last. I could relate to your feelings. And you shouldn't have to apologize for not telling people. While I know others want to mourn with and support in times of trial, sometimes the pain is too fresh to continually have to bring up with others. We miscarried between Grant and Elise and it took me until the last couple years to really talk about it to more than just the handful of people who knew about it when it happened.

    1. Thanks Jen. I really appreciate you sharing this with me. So true! And, I'm so sorry for your loss too. <3