It was 10 years ago, I had to say goodbye. Losing a baby changes you.
This past week my body has had more memories than I have. Back to back anxiety attacks, sadness, restlessness, and random mood swings that seem connected to nothing, I have been reliving it. The uncertainty, the fear, all came back like a tidal wave of history. The week of waiting to know if she was going to grow.
It was my first trimester, elated, I was already attached. Our toddler boys and I came up with a song to celebrate her existence only to have to change the lyrics once she died. They saw her, like a diamond on a ring when heart was beating, she was real to them. Having a sister in Heaven changed them too.
I’d walked with beloved friends through this loss. I’d seen the grieving, the heartbreak, the leaning in to Jesus when temptation is to push Him away. I begged Him to show me who I’d lost. In the haze of sleep and waking, the day after loss-discovery, He showed her to me. Tucked in His arms, girl-pink blanket swaddling and white knit cap revealing dark eyebrows, feathery lashes on eyes closed asleep, sweet teeny nose, rosebud lips relaxed, peaceful. For a few moments, only moments, the agony was replaced with beauty.
My middle name is Joy. I’ve loved and hated having an emotion as a part of my title. I wanted a girl and thought having a little girl named Joy would be delightful. My logical linear thinking Love said naming a child after an emotion wasn’t something he would consider. Until now.
We were overJoyed when we discovered I was pregnant for the third time. She only knew our Joy for her arrival. She would never know the pain of earth-living, Joy was the perfect choice for her.
Ten years later, I type in the early hours, Sophie-dog in my lap, releasing again the darling little lady waiting for us in Heaven. Grateful for the gift of her. The knowing of grief while embracing Joy is the declaration to dive deep and rise.
2017 the Year of Joy.