October has always been one of my favorite months. In fact, if I had been a more patient woman, I would have waited an extra five months to get married just so I could have an October anniversary! But as it happened, seven days post college graduation was all I was willing to wait. (No regrets, by the way!) I had often prayed for an October baby (and an April baby, incidentally), and what’s interesting is that in all of my pregnancies, I never had a due date or a loss date in October. I did have some bad-news days in Octobers, particularly when carrying my sons Peace and Hosanna, both who died in early Novembers. And then the icing of the cake was the delicious joy that God (somewhat unexpectedly) gifted me with Simeon in October.
And now, just a few days into this beautiful month, with its cold nights and crisp days… days for wearing boots & scarves & sweaters… mornings that beg me to bring in an armload of wood & stoke a fire… bellies longing for soup and fresh bread…
Now, on October 4th, I can’t stop crying. No anniversary of anything specific. Not even the 15th, which is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s simply a random day.
A day of blinding grief.
I can not explain why. It simply is.
Most days now, I am so busy with focusing on what is right in front of me each day that my grief is faded into a dim shadow behind the hills. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of it. Sometimes it is like a cloud that filters how I see things on a given day, but it doesn’t fill the entire lens.
But there are occasional days where the grief is simply blinding. I wish I could put sunglasses on so I wouldn’t be walking around squinting, with tears running down my cheeks.
Today is one of these days.
The bright, sharp pain of grief is everywhere I look today.
It is in my bedroom. My bathroom. My kitchen. The bread rising in the oven.
It is in the knowledge that the house where I miscarried seven sweeties is being sold.
It is in these precious freckled faces all around me.
It is in the sound of Simeon’s cries.
It is in the ache of a womb that wishes it could be filled again.
It is in the frustration of not having a moment’s peace & quiet.
It is in the silence I feel when I hold Heritage’s box in my hands.
It is in the meal I am making for a friend who just had her sixth child.
It is in the load of diapers I have rinsing in the washer.
It is in the necklace around my neck with nine little crystals.
It is in the necklace that sits in my jewelry case, because honestly the thirteen tags on it have simply become weighty & awkward.
It is in the canvas I ordered today of my family of six. Only six.
It is in the nervousness I feel as I anticipate meeting new people at a homeschool co-op, and realizing I once again get to introduce my family & our life story.
It is in the ache of my muscles and the chap of my lips.
It is in the wrinkles on my hands and the grey in my hair.
It is in the songs I sing and the prayers I say over the four little red heads around my table.
It is not as predictable as the path of the sun.
It’s about as unpredictable as the weather.
I have come to understand it and live peaceably with it, as a dim and distant part of my landscape.
But these days of blinding grief that appear sharp and harsh… it stuns me.
I shade my eyes with my hand, I squint, I cry, I turn my face… I run back inside.
I don’t want to face it.
I would rather hide.
There are SO. MANY. good things in my life.
I feel ashamed that there are still days where grief eclipses the rest.
But I am not ashamed of missing my children.
I am not ashamed of how deeply I still love each of my wee babes.
I am not ashamed of being their mommy.
So I cry.
And I miss them.
My heart longs for heaven.