"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
This post is a lot of random thoughts, because there is a lot going on in my head right now.
I went back to work today. I may not have gotten there until 10 am, but I am convinced God helped me pull myself out of bed and take every step needed in getting dressed, in the car and to work.
I woke up this morning, and as usual, everything flooded into my mind at once, as it has every morning since Georgiana died. Mornings are the hardest. Evenings are the best right now because I know I can sleep. The sun seemed harsh flooding in the window, my stomach felt like it had a boulder sitting in it. My back hurt. I could actually feel the grief lines on my face.
Then I looked around my room, and it was covered in rainbows. Rainbows on the ceiling, on the walls, on the floor. I stared at a particularly bright one on the ceiling, sighed heavily, and got out of bed.
Fast forward. I'm dressed, albeit uncomfortably in a uniform top that does not quite fit my new mother's body. The U.S. military is not exactly forgiving when it comes to women's uniforms.
I'm driving on my way to work, struggling to focus on the act of driving. I drive past a row of houses I always drive by in the morning, and movement catches my eye. I turn my head and there, right on the side of the road, are about 30 beautiful whitetail deer.
I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders today. But God gives me little pricks of light. I have to sit up and take notice of them, even if I don't feel like it.
Back to self-pity for a moment. Here are some things that happened today at work that I'm angry about:
1. A coworker came in and said, "I'm glad you're recovering from your situation."
In a very real sense, there is no "recovering" from the "situation" of losing a child. I know the pain will sit in my soul forever until I meet Jesus in the light of heaven. It does feel very like when Simeon told Mary that "a sword would pierce her heart." A sword has pierced my heart, and it often feels like being pierced again and again. Unfortunately, that wound stays, and will stay until I am reunited with my Heavenly Father, with my Georgiana. But God also tells me in my heart that there is a reason I am still on this earth. Trust me, I have tried to bargain with God to take me, but apparently that is not the plan right now. I know I will get better. I know there will be joy. I know this. It's just not right now.
But again, there is no "recovery" from this kind of "situation."
2. Most of my other coworkers either (1) did not say a word, or (2) did not come to my office at all.
To put it mildly, this annoys me. I can understand in my mind that many people do not know what to say. If I were on the other side of this nightmare and this had never happened to me, I don't know if I would know what to say either.
The problem is, when people don't say anything to me, it makes me feel as if they don't believe it ever happened at all, that they don't recognize Georgiana as real. The truth of this is that I had a daughter, my unbelievably beautiful daughter. The truth is that my daughter died, my little person that my husband and I created in our love together with God. It is the greatest thing I have ever done, create my daughter. And she was taken from me. My heart is ripped and torn.
And people say nothing. It's not the right thing to do.
A couple of options for what to say to a grieving parent: (1) "I'm so sorry."; (2) "I'm praying for you."; (3) A hug; (4) Asking me about her, what her name was, anything.
I guess one good thing about this whole situation is that I will always know what to say, what to do. That is a grace I've been given from this. It is grace at too high of a price, but it is still a grace and I will do good in His name with this grace when I am stronger. I do not fear death and I do not fear sadness anymore. I think someday that will give me a great capacity, with God's help, to give comfort to another woman experiencing this tragedy.
Oh and I heard a crying baby in our office today. Remember when I said this is as if a sword pierces my heart? A sword pierces my heart when this happens. I even wonder if the cries of my other children will pierce my heart like this, a joy mixed with sorrow. I think probably so.
Here are some things that are not so bad:
1. Some of you may not know, but another attorney in my office had a son born the same day Georgiana died. I dreaded seeing him, talking to him, anything. I was convinced if I never saw him again, it would be ok with me. He came around the corner of my office, crying. He told me how sorry he was. I told him if I had no faith in Christ, I would have killed myself by now. He said he totally understood, and I believe as a parent, he understands and can imagine how it would feel. I asked to see a picture of his new son, Abram. I looked at the little picture and didn't feel as much pain as I thought I would. God is with me. I know this. Then of course, I thought, well, he's cute, but not as cute as Georgiana. I felt bad about this for a split second, but then, thought, every mother feels this way, that her kid is the cutest. And that made me smile a little to myself.
2. Work itself.
I admit, I'm completely exhausted from a 6 hour workday. I feel as if I'm about 90 years old. I feel like a kindergartner trying to play a lawyer, and could not remember the most basic things today. But it was a small step in the right direction. I don't deceive myself and tell myself it's only getting better from here. I'll stumble, but small steps are good things. I have to be at peace with that and know my limitations. I have to remember that in my weakness I am strong.
Enough emoting. Onto brighter topics.
What I am grateful for:
1. My wonderful friends and family, especially my incredible mom. I think I must have been given the best mom on the planet, and have felt that way for a long time. As I mourn the loss of my child, she mourns the loss of her first grandchild and she mourns her own daughter mourning, and she courageously walks through this pain with me. I am so beyond blessed to have her. I pray to God that when I reach heaven in a great many years from now, she will be standing at the gates with my daughter in her arms. I love this thought.
2. Dave and I are so blessed to have so many otherwise wonderful families. Our wonderful, supportive siblings, who have all cried with us. My beautiful sister, and her penchant for baking in a time of crisis, who is as much a part of me as I am of her. My two incredible brothers, who have knelt with me and cried many tears of sorrow. I am so thankful for them. My father, a warrior of a man who prays for me, loves me and tells me to put on the armor of light. He is right. Dave's two wonderful parents, his strong, faithful father and his lovely mother who truly feels like a second mother to me. I love her for the beautiful pink owl I wear around my neck that is a constant reminder of my daughter. I love her for her beautiful soul, her kindness, that she cries with me. Dave's two brothers, who were there for both of us and continue to be with us still. Dave's brother Tom has offered to let me throw a tube TV of his out the window. I may take him up on that. It is very tempting. My beautiful aunts, grandmothers, cousins, it goes on and on. I know how much you all cry for us and with us. I feel this, and there is a true healing unity to the sorrow.
3. Beyond that, Dave and I are so blessed with a wonderful group of faithful and supportive friends. To all of you who have called and emailed, know that I feel your love. It does make a difference to read your words, to hear your voices. I am making small steps to call you back, and haven't been able to call anyone yet. I will soon. Know that I love all of you, how much I appreciate the love and support you have given us. We will talk soon, I promise. And rest assured, when you go through life's troubles like this, I will be right there!
4. I am so thankful that God made me--fearfully and wonderfully--with a soul made to love Him, made to know Him, a soul made for hope. My mom said this to me the other night--that if there was no heaven, our souls would know it and would just stop, just die from this kind of pain. I believe that. God made my soul for Him, made my soul to hope beyond this world. This world has so much divinity in that it is God's creation, but we are not made for it. Our souls bear that imprint. I have hope even in the midst of such brokenness.
5. I am most thankful for my beautiful daughter Georgiana, that I have a child who is a beautiful shining saint now in heaven. If I could take this back so that I never had her, never had this pain, I never would. I would go through this again and again just to have had the brief time I had with her. We know how much Jesus loved children the most, that He told His disciples to let the little children come to Him. I know He loves my daughter more than I could, which is hard for me to fathom. I know at the same time that He holds her and keeps her until we meet again, that He sorrows with me, that He never leaves. I know she knows a joy right now that I will never know in this life, and that gives me a deep joy in my soul. I know she has escaped the pain of this world, but also that we will see her again and that we will be reunited for eternity. This is the reality that helps me continue to try and walk this journey on earth.
As my beautiful friend Annie wrote to me in an email: "Be strong, mama! He will not abandon you."
She is absolutely right. I am a mama! I weep with Mary. And He will not abandon me. He never has. I feel Him with me.
May we all try to be like Christ in this way--constant, loving, loyal beyond all pain and sorrow. May we all be warriors for the truth. May we have the courage to walk through that pain with others when we need us. May we stare death, pain and evil in the face and tell it that it has no power over us, that our God is greater than all these things.
Love is stronger than death. Let us spread the message. May we walk this narrow path, steep and rocky as it may be. May we all be united in Christ in His heavenly love for all of eternity. May we have the courage to believe, to have faith. This is my prayer.
I will remain faithful to you, my God.
I send my love to you, our perfect baby girl Georgiana. How we all yearn to know you, how we all ache for you, my beautiful child. My heart has opened so wide and holds you in a love I never thought possible. I ache for you, my baby, I can't wait to meet you in heaven.