Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Missing Baby Blueberry

This past Christmas my sister (in-law) Emily gave me the most meaningful gift--a necklace that she had made with a "B" charm, angel's wing, and a blue bead about the size of a blueberry.  It was to remember Baby Blueberry.  It was even more meaningful because it came from her...another mom who experienced what I experienced.  She knew how it felt physically.  She knew how it felt emotionally.  And not that I was glad that it happened to both of us--no way--but I was glad I had (and still have) someone who understood it--who understands it.  Because although time heals, it is becoming more apparent to me that a mother's heart doesn't forget.  I haven't really blogged about Baby Blueberry, but it's not because I've forgotten. I think about Baby Blueberry every single day. I don't ever want to forget Baby Blueberry--I won't.  But I have wanted to forget the pain of losing Baby Blueberry.  I have the kind of personality where I like to take care of business before I have fun.  I was the kid in the class who wanted to present my final project first so I could sit back and relax for the rest of the week, or who would do all my homework by the end of the night on Friday so that I had a carefree weekend.  I feel like I tried this method in dealing with the loss of Baby Blueberry.  Grieve, I said to myself immediately.  Deal with it now so it doesn't grow into an unmanageable beast.  And then it will be easier later.  You can focus on the things to come.  You can put it behind you and figure out what's next.  Right.

A few days ago I looked at my Timehop App and my Facebook status from last year was, "You hear the cry of the broken."  It is a lyric from the song Cry of the Broken written by none other than my most favorite lady, Darlene Zschech.  Personally, the song points me to Psalm 34:18--The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit...to me one of the most beautiful and comforting scriptures.  I remember the day I posted that status and what was happening in our lives.  Someone had hurt us so badly and I felt like my heart was physically breaking.  It was some of the deepest pain that I had felt in a very long time.  I immediately decided to deal with it because I wanted it behind me.  Gone.  It hurt and I wanted it to hurt no more. So I dove straight in.  Truthfully, it took some time...more than I really wanted to give it...and a LOT of prayer.  But I can look back and say that Johnny and I grew from that painful experience.  We dealt with it head on and then, in due time, put it behind us. Then 5 months later we lost Baby Blueberry.  And that.  That was not only heartbreaking, it was spirit crushing.

When I first blogged about losing Baby Blueberry the response was overwhelming.  I cannot tell you how many messages, texts, emails, etc. I received not only from ladies I didn't know, but from ladies I know and have known for years who have experienced the loss of a baby, and I never knew it.  My mind was blown.  I promise you there are friends, family members, acquaintances, and co-workers who have experienced this or who are experiencing this situation now.  They are suffering broken hearts and crushed spirits--all by themselves.  And I've learned this year that this isn't the kind of heartache that you confront and "get it over with".  It's the kind of grief that actually confronts you and does so when you least expect it.  Like last month when Baby Blueberry was supposed to be born.  Like this weekend as I was driving to Alabama to attend our advanced training session for church planting and felt that little blue bead around my neck and rolled it between my fingers and traced it along my lips. Blueberry.  My baby.  Gone.  Ouch.  I miss Baby Blueberry.  It's been 7 months exactly and I'm not done facing it.  I'm not drowning in it, but you know, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

So I'm going to talk some more about this.  About this grief with a mind of its own.  About how we who experience this kind of grief all need a sister like Emily who understands this experience.  About how a girl's spirit can and will survive.  And about the grace and peace that is so beautifully and unexpectedly present in the midst of it all.  More to come....

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