I am struggling these days, with my faith, and often I am comforted from reading my fellow baby loss moms' blogs. I have been relieved many times to run across a blog of a mother who struggles with finding answers on this journey we are on. Not because I want her to struggle or I want her to even be on this journey, but because I know I am not the only one feeling and thinking the way that I do. There are some who are very strong in their faith and are using it to survive their grief. There are some who have modified their beliefs to fit how they view their loved one(s) in the afterlife. And there are some who simply have too many questions to understand or trust in something that would justify the tragedy of losing a child.
My comfort comes from knowing that there are others who feel the same as I do. Even though I feel guilty for my faltering faith, I feel as though I am not alone. I have been told that I will need Him to get through this and that those who have God in their lives survive this sort of thing while those who do not, sink into a hole they can never quite get out of. I do try to go to church. I respect my church community and am grateful for them and their support. But every Sunday when I walk in there and sit in those pews, with my empty arms and a hole in my heart, I struggle. I struggle to see past the tiny casket that was so beautifully displayed right there in front of me with our baby peacefully resting inside it. So many people walk on ice not knowing what to say to me, some not saying anything, some speaking, but in words I can not comprehend some times. I tear up at things that relate to me in ways no one else would or could possibly understand.
Sometimes a person's frankness on topics hurts. Such is the case with a lady I have been talking to about a headstone for Chase's grave. I had asked for something specific and she said she can do it but suggested something quite different instead that she not only thinks I will like and will look very pretty but it will also work better in the cemetery we have buried him in. She does not have a website so I cannot see a sample of what she is talking about. She tells me, though, that a black stone (which I prefer) will "show the dirt out there much the same way that a black car does when it gets dirty." Wow. I never thought of it that way. I never thought of a black head stone and a black car and compared the two. I guess because I have never really thought about a black head stone before. She was a really nice, well-intentioned lady but I cried and cried as soon as I got her off the stupid phone.
People do not mean to be hurtful. But you can only try so hard to be sensitive to someone's tragedy and when it comes right down to it, unless you've felt what they feel, or know what they know, you just will never understand. I was told in church this morning, "if there is ever anyone who needs prayers, it's a preacher who is starting a new church!!" Again, wow. That blows me away. And I'm pretty sure that clearly illustrates my lack of faith right now. But in my mind losing a child is the hardest thing that someone could go through. I suppose that is my opinion and there are others who would disagree.
In my prayers this morning, I tried to pray for God to hold Chase and give him a hug for me. But I couldn't finish my request. Because I want to be holding Chase. I don't want anyone else holding him. I have never left my kids, as babies, in the care of someone other than their grandmothers. So for the most part, I have always been the first one my child sees when waking up from their naps, the one to kiss their boo-boos, the one they run to when they are scared. They have never gone to a day care or babysitter where someone else does these things for them and this has always been something that I have been very, very thankful for. I would get jealous if I saw someone else comforting my child this way. And that is how I feel about God. I am jealous of him or Jesus, or the angels, or whomever is getting to hold my Chase in Heaven right now. I am finding it very hard to trust in them and want them to love him. Because to me, they are strangers. I know that is completely wrong to think that way and it will surely send me spiralling down into that deep hole, but that's how I feel. I don't "know" God, not the way that I should, not in a way that I can trust him to take care of my son for me. This might be the way that I will get to know him, who knows. But I have to think of Chase and what is best for him. And what is best for me. I know Chase doesn't want me to be so lost. And I know my little man wants me to know that he is okay. But to come to peace with what all of that means is what I am searching for on this journey. So reading the stories of those who have lost babies will continue to give me comfort. I will continue to look to them and their faith and maybe someone will see my struggle as one they are having as well and feel comforted, too.