The loss of a child is uniquely hard. I have heard one reason is because the natural order of things is for children to outlive their parents, not the other way around. I have been reading a book, After The Darkest Hour, the Sun will Shine Again by Elizabeth Mehren that is full of stories of parents and the loss of their dear children. It is a coping manual, but it doesn't offer much hope. Even earlier than the 20th century, when infant and child deaths were much more common than they are now, parents grieved with heavy hearts over their lost children. I say lost, because it is too difficult for me to say dead.
In a time when it was all too common for families to lose multiple children to disease or other causes, the mourning of parents was still especially painful. I believe this is because God knits parents, especially mothers, to their children in a special way. Jonah was the heart I wore on my sleeve. He was my heart beating outside of my body. This is necessary from a biological standpoint. Children wouldn't survive at all if it weren't for a loving caregiver. Even after the baby dies, the connection remains and the mother is left disoriented.
In the Bible, in Luke 15, Jesus tells the famous parable of the lost sheep. I know this parable is meant to illustrate God's joy in conversion, however it seems especially poignant to me right now. Even though I am so grateful for my three living children, my husband, my family and my friends, I pine for the lamb who is lost. It's hard for me to believe, but I am trying my hardest to believe my little lamb is in heaven with the Lamb of God.
I feel that soon I will be expected to move on. Please be patient with me. I tire of my pity party as well, but I am waiting patiently for strength, healing, and peace. I know I will always miss my baby, but I hope that a time comes when I can remember him fondly instead of achingly, and when I can enjoy other things without feeling that I have abandoned him.
If you pray, please pray for me this week. Night time is the hardest because that is when I would have been snuggled in bed nursing Jonah. If you think of it, whisper a short prayer for me as you lay your head down to sleep. Pray for my peace, for my guilt to be alleviated. Pray for me to find joy in my husband, delight in my other children. Pray for me to remember Jonah but with a lighter heart each day. Pray for my faith, that I don't lose it, that I act lovingly toward others, and that one day I will hold my sweet Jonah again. Please also pray for two undisclosed intentions I am hiding in my heart.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Books I am reading:
After the Darkest Hour the Sun will Shine Again
Safe in the Arms of God