Thursday, December 6, 2007

What Is Required Of You

"You go on and do what is required of you, but something inside of you quietly dies."
Eleanor Roosevelt
You continue to work in the church nursery, attend baby showers, and congratulate new moms. You sit in the waiting room at your doctor's office trying to focus on your book with pregnant women on all sides--just weeks ago you were one of them. You suddenly see pregnant women everywhere you go and you smile kindly at them and quickly look away. You put up your Christmas decorations even though you don't feel like it. You go to work, to the gym, shopping, church, home. You put away the baby things you had already collected. You try to pretend you're not hurt when someone who hasn't heard yet offers congratulations or asks you about morning sickness. You dread seeing family and friends for the first time since your loss, but you put on a happy face and see them anyway. You politely listen to soliciters from Children's Miracle Network, Make A Wish Foundation, and Concerned Women for America on your phone. You somehow find the grace to make it through another day, but as C.S. Lewis said, "her absence is like the sky--spread over everything." It is the wound that hurts when it's touched and everything touches it. But you will survive this like you have survived other trauma, and somehow God will bring beauty from ashes. He will not forget you. And you should know that there is nothing wrong with you and you are not going crazy. Your husband may not feel it as keenly or as often. The people you know may think that you should be over it by now. But a mother cannot forget her child. If you could dismiss it as easily as the world seems to expect you to--that would be unnatural and crazy. Your grief is not crazy. But you must not release your hope.

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