Monday, January 14, 2013

Walking With You: Clinging In The Pit

This week in WWY, we are talking about life in the pit of new grief. 

In the first weeks after Jonathan's birth I was very physically sick, I had many DR appointments and one trip to the ER. I kind of zoned in and out of reality wanting it to all be a bad dream. I had some seriously scary panic attacks and horrific nightmares, that I still can not talk about. The pain was so deep at moments that I can not find words to describe it.

 A few weeks after his birth I got passionate about sharing Jonathan's life. I did things like start this blog, join online support groups, sent out birth announcements and I talked about Jonathan to EVERYONE! I was always writing about him in journals and on my blog. Everywhere I went I would speak of him.

 I can not believe all the love and support I received in the pit. On the flip side I can not believe the awful heartbreaking things some people said, unfortunately even dear friends. 

About three months after Jonathan's death I had what I will call my breaking point. I was not sleeping at all, like two hours a night. I felt everyone was over hearing me talk about him and ready for me to move on. It began to sink in that people were really uncomfortable hearing about a dead baby that was born at twenty weeks.

I got lots of rude comments because my openness in my grief. In fact family members were ashamed of my blog. People that I asked repeatedly to call Jonathan by name would not. When I mentioned him I could see people shifting in their seats and turning their eyes away, they often would changed the subject. I was heartbroken and felt very abandon by many. One lady actually had the nerve to tell me that many people did not think of Jonathan as a baby but a blob. I swear I almost threw up right then and there. A lot of people totally ignored him and my grief. Many people said nothing at all, still even to this day. 

What really hurt the most was how many people dismissed Jonathan because I have so many healthy Children. I CONSTANTLY heard, "You can have another baby and your so blessed". My heart broke each time I heard this, feeling that Jonathan's life was easily replaced. If I had ten kids none of them could take his place in my heart. He was our precious, wanted, loved and valuable little boy. I have not gotten pregnant this year so easy answers do not always pan out. 

 All this kind of hit home and the realization that I should have a new baby sunk in. I acted and reacted way out of character during this time. I felt like everyone abandon me, this was not true but it was how I felt at the time. looking back I can see that the lack of sleep and extreme grief had an effect on my emotions and reasoning. I think most everyone had my best interest at heart but I could not see it because of the pain. There were some legitimate offenses that came during this time and I am so glad that Jesus has helped me to completely forgive.

 I would end most nights crying alone after I put my other kids to bed. I stayed up ALL night reading, praying, and writing. I went up and down from crying out, desperately clinging to Jesus, to being so numb it was hard to do anything. I am so blessed that many were praying for me during this time. It was their....(your) prayers, that help me make it through. 

I would never want to relive those early days so much hurt and pain surround them. There were days I wanted to scream Where are the people that care, why aren't helping me? Where is my Jesus, why won't he rescue me from the pain?

The truth is... there are some dark nights of the soul that we will walk alone, this was mine. It is in these times of life that God becomes our all in all and we are drastically changed. Jesus took me on a path of offenses to bring me to a place of mercy and grace. Looking back I see Gods hand and sovereignty in all that happened and I love him so much for his goodness.

I am now especially draw to mommies that are new to grief because I felt SO alone. I am determined to someday find a tangible way to reach out to mommies in fresh grief to let them know they are not alone. (hopefully I will become a NILMDTS volunteer ) I have to say that I am extremely thankful for the people that did support me and even more than support, gave me lots of grace during the most trying time of my life.

The capacity to give one's attention to a sufferer is a very rare and difficult thing; it is almost a miracle; it is a miracle. 
 ~Simone Weil

I am worn out from my groaning.
All night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
~Psalms 6:6

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
~ Isaiah 43:2-5

Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me
~Psalm 139:7-12

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows
~Isaiah 53:4


Kyla said...

Thank you so much for sharing!

I believe that our dark times appear more dark when we think or feel that we are alone. I am just no realizing that after reading a few of these Pits stories.

You are such an encouragement!

Much Love, Hugs and Prayers <3

Kallie said...

Wow, such raw emotions you shared today. I have never known your pain, but I have seen through your blog at all these stages of grief you have passed through! Although I enjoyed your 3am comments on my blog, I'm so happy that you are rather sleeping now! Jonathan was a little life that touched us all!

Leanne said...


I was there.

You will always be able to talk about Jonathan with me.

I can say that I truly do understand.

Songs sung to a grieving heart make that grieving heart sick, and hope deferred makes the heart sick. I understand how deep your pit was and still is some days.

The fruit of your journey into that pit is that you have a heart for mamas who are only just beginning their grief journey. And you know how much it helped to have understanding and hugs just because. Many mamas will benefit from that heart.

Hopefully this fall we can talk face to face about our journeys and I can hug your neck in person!


Kayla said...

Oh, how true your story is. I have and still do feel alone through this process. I think it hurts the most because many people do not recognize Bo as a person, since I was only 9 weeks when I had my miscarriage. He is a person, and he means so much to me. I love him with all of my heart, but many do not understand that. Thank you so much for sharing and for going so deep into your emotions. They are truly a blessing and a Godsend to me!

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for sharing...and I think you will make a WONDERFUL NILMDTS volunteer one day, for many reasons. Sleep deprivation and unwise/unkind comments can make us crazy! Hugs!!

Tina said...

i can so relate to you about other's wanting you to move on. when my son ben was first born my mom was in the delivery room but refused to hold him or look at his pictures or even say his name or talk about him. she kept talking about us "trying again" but wouldn't acknowledge that ben was a real person that was a real part of our lives. it has only been this past christmas that i actually heard her say his name for the first time. thank you for sharing!

Kim said...

Oh some of those comments are terrible. You are so strong in working through them. Thank you for sharing.

The Writer Chic said...

I'm a little fertile miss, too, and have received my fair share of "well, you'll just have another" comments. How horrifying, to think there are those that may actually feel that a life of a child is so easily substituted....

Anyways, soapbox.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I've been there, and I know how vulnerable one becomes when putting these emotions out there.

Denise said...

Bless you for sharing.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

Thank you for sharing your heart, Tesha. Such raw beauty...your words took me there. And, my heart gets it. So grateful to know you and have you on this walk.

I know well the averting of the eyes and the shifting in their seats.

Love to you.

Jennifer Ross said...

This was very beautiful Tesha. After reading, I feel as though I know you a little more... at a deeper level. I didn't know that you were having so many rude comments thrown your way. I remember the shifting in seats, and the eyes that would look away... when you dare say the name of your child that is not here. I struggled with that issue for a very long time, and then I chose to give it up. It wasn't that these people were being rude, they were truly ignorant of what loss carries. My family doesn't say his name... only my best friend Jen.... I am so thankful for her. She will even cry over his loss. She cares deeply about this community of women. <3

It's been an honor to walk with you throughout the months last year, and I'm looking forward to walking this journey with you, for many years to come.

Elena's Echoes said...

The things that people say to bereaved families can be so harmful. One would think they could be more compassionate, more understanding, as we lose a huge piece of our hearts. And the people we think should be there for us who just cannot or do not. So many people I think should have supported me more simply turned away. We are so blessed that our Father never turns away. I am glad you came to a place where you were able to forgive them.

Karin said...

"I felt everyone was over hearing me talk about him and ready for me to move on."

I understand. I miscarried at 17 and 14 weeks. I even had a therapist tell me I shouldn't call them babies but rather fetuses! (I no longer see her.)

We're a fierce group of ladies. Maybe the talking and encouraging we do amongst ourselves will continue to spill out of the BLM community boundaries and in some small way, make it okay for others to talk about their babies. I know the ache of feeling alone, and I do wish I had more people in real life with whom I felt comfortable sharing.

Love to you.

Hannah Rose said...

Dear, sweet Tesha,

I am glad I have been walking with you since close to the beginning of your journey without precious Jonathan. The Lord has brought you so far in the past year. I am so sorry you had such a hard time, with nightmares, no sleep, and how awful that loved ones were rude and uncomfortable about Jonathan. I am sure it hurts when people say you have so many healthy children and are blessed. It's sort of on the same lines as when people tell me I am young and can have another...yes, these things may be true, but no other child could ever replace those that we have lost! The Lord is so good to use our sorrow and sin for our good and His glory! You are a beautiful testimony of this, Tesha. You would be an amazing NILMDTS photographer! I will pray the Lord opens the doors for that to happen. I will also pray for your continued healing.

I am thinking of you so much with Jonathan's 1st Heavenly Birthday coming up soon and asking the Lord to comfort your heart and give you much peace and joy as you celebrate that he was and will be forever...

Much love and hugs,
Hannah Rose

Holly said...

(((hugs))) I'm so sorry so many have dismissed your son. His life is certainly worthy to be acknowledged and I am sad to read that people don't feel the same. Never be afraid to talk about him even if people are uncomfortable. IMO it is their problem and not yours. BTW I think you'd be a great photographer

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