Sometimes I wonder if there are really people that exist or have existed and never faced any type of traumatic loss.
It’s not an angry or jealous thought, it’s simply there. I thought I might be one of those people, but in the back of my mind I was always waiting for the tragedy in my life. Isn’t that strange? I knew that I’d made it 28 years with no real loss because something major was going to happen.
Then I think about if this had never happened to me. If I’d never woken up that day and had my water break at 18 weeks – who would I be right now? I’d have 2 little boys who were a few weeks old, be tired, probably cranky, and whiny. I’d still avoid baby loss blogs. I’d still wonder when reading who on earth would want to keep talking about it. I’d still say a silent prayer that it would never happen to me.
And of course, it never would. Right?
I play the “what if” game in my head all.the.time lately. It’s almost like living in an alternate life at times, I can picture what should have been and it’s hard to shake that. It follows me throughout my days.
I try so hard to be thankful for what I have, to see the world I’m in with new eyes and an appreciation of the fragility of life. It’s hard to balance that with the other life – how can you be thankful you got to sleep in because you don’t have babies to wake you up? How can I rejoice in the ability to pursue my dream of writing and working from home knowing that at this point I should be swamped in diapers and screaming and tiny fingers and toes? How?
And yet, I try. Because it didn’t happen. I have to remind myself of that often. It didn’t happen. I didn’t get them. So I have to focus on what I did get, make the very best of what was placed in my path instead. One of the reasons I’ve been so adamant about writing and working from home was to have that part of my life still with me. To not lose another part of what I loved. To turn what could have been an empty life into a full one – a differently full one.
I would never choose to go back and be the old Diana. I wouldn’t choose to have Preston and Julian die, but I can’t decide that part. I have learned so much, felt so much these past 4 months. It’s been the most amazing thing – as I get further from the intense pain I can see myself respond differently in situations. It’s not because I’m such a wonderful person now, it’s just because pain and grief that intense has to alter you. Has to slow you down. You can’t get out of this kind of thing without changing in some way.
Maybe some people find this without a great loss. I never would have. I’m one of those people who only learns from my own actions – how frustrating that must have been for my parents. Going through this was probably the only way for me to accept a change, a deeper faith in God, an understanding of loving what I do, a knowledge of how blessed I am to have Sam and Bella.
Isn’t it odd – I never wanted this. I’ve said that so many times on here. And yet, here I am. Embracing what life has given me and stubbornly refusing to let it destroy the parts of it I love so much. Bowing my head to God and asking him to change my heart, my soul, my life. Stumbling every day and yet seeing it now. Knowing intensely what being a Christian means – even though I can’t seem to reach it. I know it although I fall way short. Loving Jesus is so different than what I thought it was supposed to be.
So while I used to envy people who had never faced a life altering loss – while I used to envy myself 4 months ago – I don’t anymore. I know this is part of my story, I’m seeing the fruits of some of our pain as I walk with other women through their journey. I see my son’s short lives changing others.
Thank you Lord for it all. The pain, the suffering, the loss, the grief, the joy, and my eyes being opened to what life can be. Thank you for taking my deepest fears and turning it into a beautiful part of my life story.