One day in August or maybe September, I finally got around to tending to all of the paper work that had piled up in our office. Amongst unpaid bills, there was paperwork about grieving from the hospital (which I glanced at and also threw into the trash), explanation of benefits (or lack thereof) from my insurance company, an application for ordering a death certificate, and beautiful sympathy cards given to us by an assortment of friends, acquaintances, family members, and even strangers. Many of these things seem like they would be difficult to sort through and deal with, but I looked at each item and dealt with it almost as if it were any normal paperwork or mail. As I continued sorting I found a couple unsent thank you cards.
The discovery of these cards sent me into an unforseen fit of tears. I grabbed the cards and shoved them deep into the garbage. I wept more for feeling ungrateful for the kindness and generosity that had previously been bestowed upon me. But how was I to send those cards now? Should I just rewrite them? Should I just write a PS that explained that I had written them before I knew that I wouldn't be bringing my baby home from the hospital? I couldn't do either, so in the garbage they remained as I knelt on the floor and wept.
Wept for guilt of ingratitude, wept for my son, wept for my aching arms that longed to have him with me. It hurt. The pain was strong, but I needed this moment. Looking back I think I hadn't cried enough yet and I think it's what I needed at the time. So I let the hot tears flow as I mourned.
I eventually managed to calm myself and continue sorting through the array of papers I'd accumulated only to discover Luke's ultrasound pictures from the day that we found out we would be having a boy. The tears came again and I didn't try to stop them from flowing.
Oh, the excitement and hope that these pictures used to hold. And now they're some of the only pictures and memories I have of my son. It didn't feel fair. It didn't feel real. How I wished I could exchange those pictures for what they used to be--anticipation and excitement of a future day, but now that dream is gone and there's no going back to that hope that they once held.
But there is still hope. Hope for a different dream. Hope for a different day. Hope that I will live my life in a way that will allow me to be worthy to live again in the presence of God, with my son and with all of my family members.
“Hope is the anchor of our souls. . . .
“Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future. . .
“The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death”