Monday, September 08, 2008
The words, "let me know what we can do to help!", or a friendly pat on the shoulder...as they walk by. As I gulp down the verge of exploding in tears and wailing. Noticing my wife sitting amongst women, in a circle, no one really saying anything, rather, they are just sitting embracing my wife, as tears ebb down her face.
I stand off to the side, alone, taking in the sight of her, shedding the tears for our babies, the ones we won't hold in our arms, the ones we won't watch take their first step, say their first word, graduate, marry, birth their own children.
I stand alone, an occasional glance, a pat on the back, a nod in my direction. I stand, a pillar, a shadow. Maybe I am overly sensitive, maybe I care too much. Maybe my heart is too big. What I do know is that my sense of loss is huge. I have always dreamed of having a large family, many children. My own and those whom I would take in.
Through my own decisions I walked away for 10 years, my 30's. I walked away from a time when many people are planning children. I was absorbed in my own life, getting my own needs met. Now...I long to see my wife, birth. I long to see her beam as she holds our children in her arms. I long to hold them in my arms, against my chest, so they know they are safe, secure. I long to wipe their tears, teach them to pray.
Grief. A fathers grief...often forgotten. Comfort the mother, the wife, as the man stands off, a shadow of what he used to be.
I have learnt from watching, and learnt from my grief, what not to do. Maybe that is what God is doing. Maybe God is showing me what not to say, what not to do. I know that I can shelter my pain, hide it away from people, because, if I let it go...it would look messy, unattractive...unappealing. Maybe it is my own pride that stands in the way of my own grief.
I have made it to the place where anger and sadness are friends. I have made it to the place where I realize my own vulnerabilities, and need to move it to the next rung of the ladder. I need to lay it down. I can't carry it any more, I can't burden it any longer.
No matter where you are in the journey, grief stinks, grief is debilitating, yet grief is a way of saying, you have a heart, you feel, you are alive, you are human. I have said and continue to say to people, that it is important to grieve and to walk that through in a variety of differnt ways. Now, I stand in a differnt area of grief, the loss of children and the loss of dreams and the loss of what could have been.
I am challenged to find the words that I have spoken to others, and put that into practice. I have found that I need to go to the cross, I need to go to my Heavenly Papa, and give it to him, to go to him, for comfort and support and for my refuge.
I can say, it will be okay, and I can see it being okay, yet right now, it's not okay. It's not okay. I am not okay. I am a mess. I am not together...and I don't care that I am not. My mind wanders. I forget. I can forget what I did the night before. I don't care to phone someone, and tell them how I am doing. I don't care to continually make excuses for my lack of enthusiasm, or lack of energy. I could sleep all day. That is grief. I am tired of apologizing for my lack of leadership and tired of explaining that I am feeling like I am going to crack up at any given time. I am tired of not crying, and feeling angry.
Some days, that is how I feel. Some days, I feel joy, happiness, and believe it will be all okay. I sometimes have hope that we will carry to term, and I will one day hold babies in my arms, babies who are a part of me and part of my wife. I still dream of that. I still long for that. I can be present, I can be focused, I can minister to others, yet I also know my vulnerability in the change of direction that I can go. It could be a reminder of fatherhood, it could be a picture, a thought, an image. It could be just the emptiness in my arms and heart.
I guess this is just me, and where I am at. I guess, I could say that I am okay, but I'm not...and that's okay. I am okay with it. I just wish sometimes that others would be okay with it too.