Wednesday, August 29, 2007

struggling

I have learned a lot about myself in the last year. I think I am strong and do a pretty good job convincing myself that I am, but today I realized I am not doing as good as I want to believe. It has been almost three months since Madeline died and it has gotten easier in many ways. Each day is so busy with school, the boys, and just life that I am often too preoccupied to allow myself the time to just think. To think of how badly I miss her, to look at her pictures, to try to remember all the little details. Maybe it is just easier on the heart not to remember.


There is not an hour that goes by that I do not think of Madeline and the impact she has had on my life. But I realized last night that I have not really allowed myself to grieve for my child. As long as I do not dwell on Madeline and push her to the back of my mind, I am okay. Life goes on and I can pretend the hurt is not there. I guess it is easier sometimes to just forget all of this ever happened. Not to disregard Madeline's precious little life in any way, but to protect my heart. As I walked past her box in my room with all of her belongings last night, I stopped and thought about her little gown that I used to smell that had her sweet scent. I wondered if it still smelled of her, but would not allow myself to continue to think about it because the pain is too great. I just pushed the thought away and went to bed. Maybe this is a normal part of grief, to just act as if all is well and not get caught up in remembering. If I don't think about it, maybe I can make my heart believe this never happened and is all just a bad dream.

Lately, as I read what other mothers who are expecting babies like Madeline write, I am reminded that it was so much easier to be faithful and positive before Madeline was born. During the pregnancy I had no choice but to BELIEVE and stay strong in my faith, but now I find that I question God. Why? What is the reason behind all of this? I recently finished a book about heaven, hoping for some comfort, maybe even some answers to my many questions. I do believe but I just have to remind myself sometimes that this is not all there is to life. That I will see Madeline again one day and when I do, all this will be forgotten and not matter.

There is an abundance of evidence in my life that God is good and is indeed real. I really don't have to look hard to see it. I just have to remind myself that He is in control and it is okay for me not be.


9 comments:

Lindsay said...

Mandy,

I got to your blog from the Farley's blog. I don't know them, but live in the same city and know of them. I have not in anyway experienced the grief that you are experiencing right now, but when I read your post I knew that I needed to comment. I write this because I can relate a little bit to what you were saying about allowing yourself to push the pain to the back of your mind. I had 2 miscarraiges this year, and often found myself doing the same thing. My counselor at church encouraged me to feel that pain, to allow myself to FEEL and live in that moment and that feeling as it comes. She also reminded me that I would never stop feeling sad about losing my babies, and that that sadness was my way of remembering them and honoring those little lives. That helped me, especially when I was struggling with going on with my normal life, but honoring them in some way. I was a mess for awhile because I just wanted answers, and I knew that they would not come in the form I wanted them to come. I wanted a nice letter from the Lord with His explanation as to why He chose this chapter in my life to be written this way. I just had to resolve myself to the fact that I would not get those answers. I had to get okay with that. My heart breaks for you and for the little way that I can relate to how you are feeling. I pray that the Lord will gently guide you through this storm in your heart and your mind and that He will show you how to grieve right now, in those moments where you are so tempted to push the pain away. It is in those times that we cry out to Him in the midst of our pain that He loves to come running to us and comfort us in His way. I think sometimes He is just waiting for us to call to Him, so I pray that you will do that. Madeline was a precious gift that He blessed you with for a short time and you will always be better because of her.

Lindsay

Cindy said...

Mandy,
I can definitely relate to your thoughts. When you have other kids, it can be an advantage when grieving, to keep you going, yet a disadvantage when you have to keep going and don't openly grieve as you need to. I agree with Lindsay above, in those times, just cry out to the Lord to be your comforter and strength. I'm there many times, and it humbles me that I can be there at all. We can't do this on our own, we desperately need Him, and that is how He designed us. You may have already heard about this book, but has anyone suggested "Holding on to Hope," by Nancy Guthrie. It was such a huge encouragement to me, and I think you would really be encouraged as well. I will continue to pray for you I will try to encourage you with a thought from miller grace's mom. Each tick of the clock may seem so long since you have held your precious madeline, yet it's one tick closer to when you will hold her again. I can't wait to hold my precious Logan again.
God Bless Friend,
Cindy
www.logansrace.com

Emily said...

It's your turn to write my thoughts today! I'm there. I'm starting to learn the beauty of staying busy, or not caving under the temptation to open Miller Grace's box either. (How sick does it make you that everything they had fit in a single box?!?) Not that I have a clue what normal is anymore, but, to me, you're right on target and doing what you have to do to survive. I found great comfort in Matt's words when he told me one day that he thought I was afraid I'd forget... then reminded me that I could never forget, ever. There is no need to dwell on details because they're as imprinted on my heart as the faces of Hope and Mattie... no reminder needed. So let yourself believe that and rest in that. It was easier to have faith when our girls were alive and kicking, but it's imperative now to hold on to what hope for and what we cannot see (Heb. 11:1)... it's all we have, it's what connects us to these girls until we can hold them again. Speaking of which, I read a book called "I'll Hold You in Heaven" that I ordered from family.org that was pretty good. It is not sugarcoated in the least, so some words are hard to read, but the author, Jack Hayford, addresses the questions of parents that have lost babies through miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, or early infant death. I HATE having all those categories clumped together like that, but I was able to weed through those things and find the Bible-based truths I so desperately needed concerning Miller Grace. Just food for thought. I'm praying for you and I feel like our hearts are just sewn together right now. We'll make it. Until we do, we'll be praying for each other. ;)

Thanks for being you!

Marie Lanathoua said...

Dear Mandy,

I found your blog from another blog and your words and thoughts have touched my heart. You are in my prayers, I pray for you and your family, they are beautiful and your story is very touching. In my community here in So. California and family lost their only three children in a horrible car accident in May of this year. Through a service call "Life to Motion" we were able to send our thoughts and prayers to them, in this forum another mother who lost her husband and children in a fire wrote to them, I have copied it below, I hope it helps you.....I do not know how you feel, I have not lost a child, but my prayers go out to you....I believe you daughter's spirit lives in you.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Dear Chris and Lori,
Although our paths have never crossed our stories have. You see I am the mother of Brandon (7), Connor (4) and Jacob (2) and wife to Don whom I lost in a terrible house fire in 2002. I just wanted to take a moment to let you know......I know. It is not natural to become your children's legacy but there is something to be said about the choices you have made as you grieve for your children. You pass on their spirit with every hand you shake, every smile you make, every person you touch. You stand in their light. And in doing this you are still being their parents. Even though there were a lifetime of unfulfilled plans remember the times YOU MADE A MOMENT MATTER. With much love to you both!

Laurie said...

Hi Mandy, I have been thinking about you this week and wanted to let you know my prayers for you and Brian continue daily. The thought of truly letting go and letting yourself grieve for Madeline must be so painful, wondering what will remain on the other side. I truly believe that the Lord will guide you through when your heart is able to bear it. There is no proper way to grieve, only the way you are going through it right now. I so agree with emilys statement that your hearts are sewn together in this right now. God bless both of you on this painful journey to healing. I pray you and your family have a wonderful holiday weekend and find joy in whatever you do. I will be praying for you. Laurie

Sally said...

Mandy,
This blog was beautiful. I have always thought you were amazing person. You never cease to amaze me as a mother, wife and as a wonderful friend. I know too how busy life can be and sometimes it is easier to push life's issues on the "back burner"... and like you said it is easier on the heart. But it is important to some how, some way face them. Good or bad. I know that your grieving hurts and I truly can't imagine the true emptiness that you feel. Just remember that we're all here for you. You continue to inspire so many people. I hope you realize this. You've given other people strength and reasons to believe. You're always in my thoughts and prayers. I love you!

Angie Luce said...

Mandy,

Thank you so much for your sweet encouragement over the past weeks. I will definitely remember that you are still in the storm and in need of much prayer! Know that Nathan and I will be lifting you up.

Angie

Aunt_Nette said...

I lost my brother this past May. I miss him terribly. I pray that God will give me the power and strength to be there whenever someone else goes through this. Not that I want anyone else to experience this. I hope that from my grief and the Lords guidance I will be a blessing to someone else. I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayers. Have you and your husband gotten away for the weekend to reconnect mentally, physically, spiritually and etc. I would encourage the two of you to spend some time together without the kids.

DeeDee said...

Dear Mandy, no matter what stage, when we loose a child there is pain and grief. I also found your blog while praying and reading Copeland's. (I live in Nashville)

you may check out my blog: wwwtennesseebuckeyes.blogspot.com
I wrote a letter to the Farley family, maybe it iwll help you thur this time in your grief.

I remember that I could not listen to my dad's funeral service for 4 yrs after his death...so your grief is normal sweetie!
Keep your focus on God who is able!
Joy,Debi