Monday, December 22, 2008

Empty Spot

Felicity died 11 weeks ago, for those of you not counting, which is probably everyone but me. I've already written on our 2009 calender, on Jan. 6 "missing Felicity for three months." In the grieving mom circle, I know I'm not weird.

The days are getting easier I admit, I cry less often and don't feel so much like there's a dark cloud over me. By writing on my calendar it makes me feel like I'm doing something FOR Felicity. Since I won't ever change her diaper, get her dressed, nurse her, or anything else, at least I can write on my calendar that we'll be missing her.

Lately I've been reflecting on what the holidays were like last year. I wasn't pregnant yet, though I most likely conceived Felicity near the first of the year. I had no idea then that 2008 would bring a both a new life and death to our home. I NEVER imagined how drastically different our lives would become.

A lot of good has happened since Felicity died. Paul and I have a better relationship. While I feel our marriage has always been pretty good, we struggled like any married couple. Since Felicity died, we've been more loving and caring towards each other. I feel like I nag less (hopefully Paul would agree) and he treats me more tenderly, which I definitely need. It's just sad that these improvements in our relationship happened only because our baby died.
I also feel like I've been able to improve on how I spend my time. I'm trying to spend more time just doing stuff with the boys, whether it be playing, reading books, or doing a special project. In addition, I'm even more aware now how I can't control things so much. I can only control myself and that other people, circumstances, and situations are usually out of my control. I'm learning to just let go in these instances. I've also been reading my Bible more. Again, this is something I should have been doing before.

A friend asked me recently if I was starting to heal emotionally. I didn't quite know how to answer it at the time, but I've been pondering it for awhile now. After 11 weeks, I've really only just begun this journey of grief. I'm not quite sure what the next week, month, or year hold. I AM healing emotionally, but I'm beginning to realize I'll never be HEALED. The pain of missing Felicity will never go away. It may lessen and change in intensity over time, but she will ALWAYS be missed. I watched "Because of Winn-Dixie" last week and was struck by what Opal, the main character, said about missing her mom:

"Thinking about her was the same as the hole you keep on feeling with your tongue after you lose a tooth. Time after time, my mind kept on goin’ to that empty spot, the spot where I felt like she should be."
So many things make me think of Felicity and miss her: seeing other babies and pregnant women, seeing little girls especially those in the toddler age range, the color pink, cemeteries, driving by the hospital, the baby bath seat still hanging in the bathtub, and so much more. But while I miss her, I'm drawing on God's promise in Lamentations 3:22 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness."


Sara said...

Praying for you today Rachel. I appreciate being able to go to others blogs who are in the same shoes. It helps me to realize I am not alone in my grief and that I am normal to feel the way I feel at times. I would agree with you on the marriage relationship after a loss. My husband has been my rock.. I keep telling him, this is the worse of for better or for worse. This could tear a couple apart, but I am determined to allow it to bring us closer. I am so happy to hear it is doing the same for you two. I will keep you in prayers as we approach the day of our Saviors birth. Blessings!

Kim said...


These words in particular "I AM healing emotionally, but I'm beginning to realize I'll never be HEALED." spoke to me today, as I struggle with explaining why even 6 years after my Mom's death the holidays are not the same. People often think I should be "back to normal" without realizing that I will never be the Kim I was before she died. Thank you for having words I couldn't find.

Our grief is different, but we're sisters in Christ, and He is using you to bless me.