I showed up prepared to pray for others and ended up praying for myself, too. Even got to pray twice because the Rabbi wasn’t there. Not sure what happened to him but God used his absence to feed my soul, work away at my heart, remind me of His presence…that it is even with me.
I showed up ready to bring God to the people. Not arrogantly but in a sort of “faithful duty” manner. I was absolutely willing. I’m a chaplain, a pastor. I like God. I believe in Him. But I hadn’t been allowing Him to be present tense to me.
I showed up wiling to be used but not ready to be broken, the sort of breaking that is healing. I’ve walked with this weight, afraid of what will happen if I put it down, uncover it, make it known. As I looked out over those who’d come, as I heard their slight sniffles and watched their sadness, I had to put the weight down. Miscarriage #2 weighs a ton more than #1. (I knew it could happen but didn’t think it would…not to me.)
Instead of leaving quickly after my final amen, I waited. I received a couple of thank yous for my prayers. One was from a poet. Definitely felt complimented. Fully received it. Yeah, I can put words together pretty well. But words can’t fix this.
So I walked over to some flowers and kind of talked to him or her then just stood around to weirdly honor him or her. Because that’s what you’re doing when you stand by flowers and there’s a plaque in someone else’s memory…it feels like a gravesite. And though we didn’t literally bury him or her because s/he was “only” tissue, we had to say goodbye. Today’s goodbye was silently public and, in that way, almost more real.
The day I found out, I apologized to our “incomplete” child, our not-yet-enough-to-hold child. I cried, felt guilty for not being able to carry him or her any longer. I moved past the blame but have still battled the shame. I’m supposed to be able to have a baby. Ain’t I A Woman?!
I’ve medicated by trying to do more, be more. It hasn’t worked. I’m stopping.
This honest word trail is for you, kid. Even if you’d stayed in for 40 weeks, you probably wouldn’t have lived outside me for very long. I trust you knew no pain. For that, I’m strangely grateful. I still would have loved to be your mother, and Justin your father, and Ella your talkative, zany big sister.