While working to declutter my bedroom today, I came across a stack of old journals and skimmed through one of them. It was the one that was given to me at the hospital after baby Micah died, and for months, I had filled its empty pages with my heartache and gloom.
Surprisingly, the page I opened up to was from this date, three years ago. When I hated getting out of bed and was certain that the tears would never end.
I had apparently read the story of a woman who, at the time, was three years into her own loss journey. She had discussed how the light had started to shine in her life again. And I could not fathom a day that wouldn’t be defined by the darkness of grief.
I wrote: “She has felt so much better three years after losing her baby. Three years? I’m going to be in this dark hole of tears, crying, and pain for three years? I know the pain will be there forever, but I’m so tired of crying.”
I was 93 days into my grief journey when I wrote those words.
Ninety-three days without my baby. Ninety-three days of bone-crushing sorrow and hopelessness. And ninety-three days of ceaseless crying. I was desperate for life to return to normal, to make it through even one day that didn’t involve tears. And the thought of enduring another 1,002 days of paralyzing grief and tear stained cheeks was absolutely defeating.
The days continued to pass. Life kept moving, yet I remained in the same place, unable to function in the darkness. But what I didn’t realize was that with each passing day, the darkness was fading ever so slightly. Eventually the light would begin to peek through, but it would take time for it to become bright enough to be noticed.
Back then I thought that death had ruined me. That it had extinguished every good thing in my life for all of time. The life that would never move beyond the threshold of my womb, an ending. A door that had been closed, with no expectation that another would be opened.
But I didn’t know that while death closed one door, another would in fact be opened, and it would allow more love to enter into my heart and my home.
I didn’t know that death would give me the courage to speak up about pain and hurt, something that I hadn’t known I was capable of.
I didn’t know that death would result in a fuller life than I had before, despite the emptiness that would certainly remain.
I didn’t know that out of death, sadness would turn into celebration.
And I didn’t know that life’s darkest moments could not stop hope from prevailing.
I am grateful that light was brought back into my life prior to reaching this three year mark on my loss journey. I am grateful that the tears stopped earlier that I thought possible, even though they still resurface from time to time. And I am grateful that after three years, hope has transcended heartache.