good grief

Today was my due date. It has been a rough day. Very hard to hold back the tears. I told Brian this morning that a few months ago I wasn’t sure I’d make it to this day. I’m glad I have. I read somewhere that grieving the loss of a child is especially hard because you are grieving for your future, not your past as you would if you lost a parent. You are grieving the loss of part of yourself and what your family might have been like. I never realized how exhausting and all-encompassing the grieving process really is.

We went by the cemetery on Sunday afternoon. I hadn’t been since Mother’s Day. It is so hard to look at his grave but I need to. I need to go there to “be with him.” I have the feeling sometimes that I have forgotten someone or something and then I realize that it’s Felix I’m thinking of. It’s an awful, panicky feeling. Like I lost him in a store or left him at home or something. Maybe if I go to the cemetery more often it will help my mind realize that I know where he is and I’ve done all I can for him.

I started reading Job yesterday. (How cliche, right? This is the first time I have cracked my Bible since we were looking for scripture to read at Felix’s funeral.) I haven’t gotten too far (mainly because I can’t decide which version I want to read) but I can identify with a lot of what he’s had to say so far. Much of what chapter 7 has to say describes the first 3 weeks or so after Felix’s death:

11 “Therefore I will not keep silent;
I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit,
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep,
that you put me under guard?
13 When I think my bed will comfort me
and my couch will ease my complaint,
14 even then you frighten me with dreams
and terrify me with visions,

19 Will you never look away from me,
or let me alone even for an instant?
20 If I have sinned, what have I done to you,
O watcher of men?
Why have you made me your target?
Have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
and forgive my sins?

I had a LOT of sleepless and restless nights the first few weeks. I thought I felt him moving inside of me. I had horrible dreams and even thought I heard him crying. It was literally like being tormented. I thought I could escape what was happening by sleeping but I could not have been more wrong. I sobbed and sobbed a lot of nights and just asked “Why?!” over and over again. I really felt (and still feel) targeted. That’s the hardest part. I don’t understand why. What did I do? Did I do anything? Why me? Why us? Why him? These questions don’t keep me up at night like they used to, but they still get their moments. (Job makes the statement in chapter 10, v 19: “If only I had never come into being, or had been carried straight from the womb to the grave!” He was not thinking about how hard that would have been on his mother.)

My wish is that as I make my way through this book I will somehow figure out how to have faith… hope without answers. That I can let go of the need for answers. That this can somehow be a “good” grief. I don’t know how that is going to happen. I just pray that my relationship with God is safe enough for me to be angry with Him, yell a little, ask him all of my questions and try to work this thing through with His help. Just like I would do with my husband.

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