Sunday, October 24, 2010

Embrace the Shadows of the Past

There are so many times that grief comes into our lives. So many ways. I am often amazed at how a particular grief can revisit repeatedly. I have recently been very much missing my grandmas.  I have been thinking of the many very practical lessons I learned from my paternal grandma about being resourceful, and not wasting anything. I have a coat of hers, and I have been wearing it a lot with the fall weather arriving, and it helps me feel her near me.  I think almost every day of my maternal grandma, and the many wise and thoughtful things she taught me about life, and living with the decisions we have made.  The way she still makes me laugh with her sayings!  I have some baking dishes that were hers, and love using them to remember her, and feel in some way that those dishes make her part of the meal I'm creating.

Memories can be very powerful, they can overwhelm us, and flood our hearts with emotions we might have thought long tucked away.  Recently I learned that my daughter, who lives in another state, was expecting! I cried with joy! I'm going to be a grandma! A short time later, we learned that she miscarried. The grief came to visit again, and brought with it the memories of my own experience.  My daughter, much like her mother during her own loss, does not want to talk about it, ever again.  I understand and respect that.  It has been 20 years, and I am only now beginning to open up and share my loss with other people.  I do not feel the judgment that I once thought I might, if I shared my secret.  I have been learning over the last couple of years to release my skeletons from their closet, better that than having them escape!

I could not say that I was devastated with my miscarriage, but very deeply saddened.  In many ways, I felt that God had taken this baby from me for good reason, and I could not blame Him in any way for His decision.  Whether it ought to or not, it felt a just and right payment for the life that I had taken several years before, when I chose to terminate a pregnancy.  In a strange way, the miscarriage helped me to get past the horrific guilt I carried in my heart, due to the termination.

Until my daughter's experience, I just never talked about it, and it became so normal for me not to say anything that I continued to not say anything.  Now, I am more comfortable with sharing.  The shame is gone.  I no longer feel judged, or pitied.  In my heart, I see those two precious souls, a brother and a sister, Tim and Victoria.  They are hanging out in Heaven with family members that have gone before me, waiting for the rest of the family to get there. I envision them at the play ground, on the swings, playing in the green grass, laughing, and running.  And when I get there, to hold them for the first time, they will laugh, and kiss my cheek and say "What took you so long?"

Embrace your past. The good. The bad. The ugly. These are the fires that refine us. These are the cutting tools that chip away the parts of us that are rough, and expose the faucets that make each of us a sparkling jewel in the Master's Crown!  By coming to grips with the experiences that have made us who we are, we are better able to help those around us to also deal with the shadows and skeletons in their lives. This in turn allows us to live fully, as we were intended to do!

Live Fully. Live Well!
Love Suzi~Q