This week has been a very different week for me. Lately, my current pregnancy absorbs my attention and has brought less obsession to my previous loss. Yes, my loss is still important to me, and in many ways, it affects the way I view this pregnancy. However, instead of being over-focused on what is missing, my attention is now directed towards the life inside of me. Yet, this week has been strange emotionally. This week is a week of great sorrow and heartache for me, because Tuesday was my son, Lincoln’s, due date. I should have been welcoming him into our lives, sharing his cuteness with his siblings, and enjoying endless cuddles filled with “oohs and aahs” at the beauty of new life—yet it is not so.
He is in Heaven, and I am left here with a heart that is still broken.
To make life more interesting, not only was Tuesday his due date, but also the day we found out the gender of this baby. Talk about emotions! So, not only was I naturally struggling with my loss and grief, but I also had this feeling—almost like betrayal—when it came to rejoicing over his sibling in my womb. It was weird. How could I be happy on such as sad day? Was I not honoring him by having joy at the thought of the new life inside of me? Did my excitement for this current child mean I valued him less?
I’ve never faced these feelings with my other pregnancies. I’ve never had to carry two such overwhelmingly strong emotions at the same time.
I took some time this week to ponder and process those two feelings. I sought help where I needed it, and ultimately tried to find the proper place in my heart for both. I realize that both are very real, and therefore neither is wrong or less important.
I also had a dream this week—which is very rare for me—that was very encouraging. It started with an image of a vase; I knew immediately that this was a very special and valued vase. Then I watched as it was shattered to pieces, beyond mending. I began to see drops of water fall like rain over the broken pieces, and I knew that these were tears of deep sorrow. Suddenly, I saw the word, “Redemption,” wrap around the broken pieces, pick them up, and begin to form them into a vase again. It closely resembled the first vase, but it had changed in color and beauty. I knew that it was the same vase, but something was strangely different—it was more beautiful and complete than before.
The vase was not just restored, it was redeemed.
As I have thought about the meaning of the dream, I believe that the vase represented my joy; my joy was shattered last year when we lost our son, and there was no way that it could be “fixed” — it was hopeless. Deep sorrow had washed over my joy, but then something changed; a rainbow appeared, and my joy returned. It is similar to what it was, and yet it is very different; I now realize that my joy can be redeemed. It is not the same—it never will be—but it is almost more beautiful and perfect than it was before.
I have found that I can still grieve, and yet fully embrace the joy in this gift of redemption. In a strange way, my joy is more complete than it was before. Loss has made me very aware of what I have been given, and I truly embrace and cherish every second—even the things I don’t like about pregnancy—with a joy that overflows and seeps into every sorrowful place in my heart. So all in all, it’s okay to be happy and sad at the same time. I’m not forgetting what was, but I’m embracing this journey with a new and perfected joy.