Yesterday, it hit me. Another package arrived in the mail. Another incredibly generous gesture from another incredibly thoughtful friend.
I had felt thankful for every bouquet, every meal, every message that had come over the past week but yesterday, as the sun shone on another perfect spring day, it was as if I felt all the love and the concern and the prayers rain down on me at once.
Loss can be so lonely. Grief can be so isolating. Losing a baby, especially when so much of your worth is tied to your identity as a mother, can be debilitating.
And yet I don’t feel depilitated. I feel sad, but also hopeful. I feel sore, but also strong. I feel pain, but I feel so so much love.
For that love, I have to say thank you.
For two weeks, friends have brought us dinner. Every night they arrive with warm food and hugs and sometimes tears. One dear friend, who has since moved away, even arranged to “bring dinner” from hundreds of miles away. Others just dropped by with food. Friends from far away even sent frozen meals. I will never forget what the meal train organizer told me when she asked to set it up, “Your family is LOVED and people want you to know that.”
Thank you for the food. Every night Nicholas, the boys, and I have set down to a delicious meal. No prep. Little cleanup. That has allowed us more time (and much more mental energy) to be together. We go for walks. We drove the dogwood trail. We snuggled and danced and watched movies. Those meals were the gift that kept on giving (and will keep on giving as evidenced by my freezer).
Thank you for the food.
Last week, every day another bouquet would arrive. My mantle is filled with daisies and tulips and lilies. Every time I would arrive home to another beautiful delivery a smile would fill my face. Every time I would look down in sadness I would force myself to look up at those flowers.
Thank you for the flowers.
Thank you for the cards and the treats and the favors big and small that has made these past few weeks so bittersweet.
And, to every single one of you who has sent me a heartfelt message, I want to say so much more than thank you. Many of you have shared your own impossible pain. You have been my lifeline. The voices in my head are loud at times. They tell me the baby’s death was my fault. They tell me that something will go wrong again. They tell me to be afraid.
The miracle of this moment is that all of you have been so much louder than those voices.
You tell me you love me. You tell me you hate to see me in pain. You tell me that this did not happen to me, it just happened, and life will go one. You have offered to sit with me in my grief. You have offered walks and hugs and prayers and encouragement. You have reminded me I am strong, I am brave, and I will get through this.
Even when you felt like you had nothing to say, you reached out. Over and over again, I’ve heard that you know you can’t make it better and you know your words won’t help.
This part is important so listen to me very clearly.
You have helped.
You did make it better.