It’s been unseasonably warm in the Rocky Mountains lately. We have an early and warm spring and I am not complaining one bit! I live for the sun’s warmth on my pale skin and the joy I feel when flowers begin popping out of the ground. I feel reborn, which of course is what spring is all about.
In the last two weeks, two mothers have lost their babies at 16 weeks of pregnancy. I have been there as their counselor to help them birth their baby (after a certain stage of pregnancy mothers must birth the baby), and to ensure that that soul is honored. It has been a really hard two weeks. Knowing the gut wrenching pain they are feeling each day when they wake up and realize their belly is no longer filled with the life they looked forward to knowing. I know as a counselor I should separate myself a little better, but it’s just not who I am.
It is only because I have seen such darkness that I can recognize and invite in, the light. In being a witness and hopefully a solid place for grieving parents to rest after their loss I can also feel great amounts of joy with them as time passes. I don’t know if I would appreciate life so much, if I hadn’t seen and born witness to so much death. That may sound morbid, but to me it is a gift.
Every day I look into the eyes of Kathy, Shea and Tanner, my husband’s family who died. I love their pictures. First of all, they are so beautiful and they radiate such love into me. Second of all, they remind me each day that while they passed into death, I am alive and that I need or want to honor them in the life I live. I want to reach out to others, to be a better person, to love my own family deeply and more fully in honor and because of them.
Would I be the same person if I hadn’t lost a brother to suicide? If I hadn’t met Art and watched him suffer awful grief? If I hadn’t learned to become a grief counselor for mother whose babies have died? The answer is no. I have grown and learned so much from the dark times in life…from the desolate places grief and loss creates.
What I do know is that for some reason I am good at helping others in their grief. I can walk up to death, face it head on, and not let it beat me up permanently. Then I can take the hand of whomever is in the midst of that loss, and walk them through the darkness and into a place that is a little lighter. When they are ready we can walk into a place a little lighter. Until finally, maybe, we find pure light again. That light will never be the same as the light was before they lost their loved one, but somehow it is still a bright light.
Recently a mother whom I had helped when she lost twin boys in her pregnancy, gave birth to a new baby. For me, it was springtime in my heart. While I held the new baby, a boy, I said a silent prayer to the two twins, Cameron and Logan, and thanked them for bringing us this new life. I told them they’d be proud of this new boy and of their parents, who had honored them well. Then I asked them to keep watching over their family.
Every day is a new day. Every day we are blessed to be alive. Every day is a chance to find joy in something new. May we all feel springtime and thankfulness today in some way.