May 02, 2013

Observations on Grief

This depth of grief is a foreign land to me. Sometimes I feel like a Third Person observing myself from the outside in in this strange new world I'm living in.

These are some observations I've made in this land of grief.

By nature I've always had a very sanguine, outgoing personality. I've always enjoyed getting to know people and being around people but now, even being around more than just a few people completely overwhelms me. I often find myself escaping to our bedroom.

I've sat in the car more these five days than any other time. The thought of going into a store or to a meeting has been simply too much. Matt has been so amazing. He's so lovingly and un-complainingly shielded me in every possible way. My husband who hates to shop has been the most faithful shopper anyone has ever seen these past few days.

Loud noises and voices are REALLY LOUD. And overwhelming.

In fact, all of my senses are on high alert. We haven't had cable or even a TV in years or I probably would've thrown it away. I downloaded an audio Bible app to my phone and that's about the most I can tolerate right now, besides (very select) music and sermons here and there.

This next one I'm not sure how to describe. I'll tell a story about it instead. Tuesday we were on our way to Baby Grace's funeral (I hate even typing that) and we were sitting at a red light. The tears were pouring down my face as I could hardly comprehend this unfathomable thing we were doing. There was a man standing on the concrete in between lanes with a sign asking for work or something. And suddenly I was so sorry for him. I was so sorry that he had to do that and live that life. He looked over and we locked eyes for several long moments and I just wished he could know how sorry I was for him, that my heart ached for him.

I don't know what it is. My heart just aches in the deepest parts that people have to suffer so much. I've recently been introduced to this blog and this post shattered me in pieces. I lie awake and night and pray for Allistaire and her mom. I go about my day and think of Allistaire and the impossible, ridiculous grief her parents are experiencing and I can hardly stand it. 

The smallest things suddenly seem so significant. We took the car through the car wash yesterday and I spent most of the time turned around in my seat turning my head from one beautiful son to another taking in their delight. I could hardly take in the fullness of their wonder at such a small thing. A car wash! How did I never know it sparked such wonder? 

We've lived in this city nearly six years but the last couple of days as we've driven from place to place, nothing seems quite right. It's familiar but in a deja vu sort of way. 

I find that I can't recall simple things. I can't remember a verse that I've known for years. There's one in particular that's driving me crazy. I even "test" myself with it to see if now I can finally remember it or even part of it. (I know I can look it up but that would defeat the purpose.) This isn't to say I've completely lost my memory but simple things I recalled with ease before aren't so simple anymore.

So we take it one day at a time. Day after day I ask the Lord to please carry us close, to wrap us tightly in him. To give us grace upon grace for today. To love each other well. To love others well. For wisdom and discernment to know what our boys needs are to meet them. For comfort only he can give. That he would not waste one tiny part of Grace's story. And for so much more.

And we remember our girl. We talk about her all through the day. And I cry for her. And just when I think I've hit a smooth stretch it hits me afresh and I cry again. And I whisper through my tears to Matt, I feel like something's missing. And he tells me so gently, It's because there is, my love. And there always will be. We'll always miss her. And then I cry again because grief is maddening.

Knowing Christ does not remove the pain. As someone else said, It keeps us from despair. There is One who has infinite knowledge through whom all things exist and have their being. And I trust Him. I lean into Him. I let Him do in me what I cannot do alone.

Our dear friend read this at Grace's service and I read it again this morning.

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

My help comes from the Lord.


  1. Sara, I have no words to say that can take away your pain. I cannot say I understand your pain because I do not. I do however grieve for your loss. I nearly lost a child, but nearly does not count. I can't say I know why it happened because I do not. I can only say that I will pray for you because we have a God who know all. There's an old gospel song that I love "Til The Storm Passes By" that has the words that say "Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand, keep me safe 'til the storm passes by". I pray that God will hold you and Matt in His and and wrap His arms around you and comfort you as only he can. I can imagine this will be a process that takes time, but I will continue to pray. And you know that Baby Grace is in the presence of God and Jesus. I believe that Jesus is taking care of Grace and the other babies as we learn in when we are children - Jesus loves the little children, all the chldren of the world.... so we know that he must especially take care of them in that beautiful place where Grace will be until you join her some day. Blessing to you.

  2. Oh Sara, once again so beautifully written. There are no words. But I want you to know that I think about you and your family constantly, I pray for you, and I cry. And when I cry, I pray that somehow, from one mother to another, I can take even a little tiny bit of your grief and tears for you, and help carry that burden. I appreciate you sharing your heart and the strength that God is giving you. I wish I could say, "I know how you feel". Please just know how prayed over and loved your family is.

    1. Thank you, Serena. It means so much to me that others are helping carry our burdens. And it really does feel like that sometimes.

  3. Beautiful. My heart aches. You are an amazing lady.

  4. Sara,
    I have been praying for you and your family. My heart aches for the loss you have experienced. Grace touched my life and I know she touched so many others. Thanks for sharing your heart and story. Would you mind if I shared it with others?

    1. Lindsay, anything I post here, you're welcome to share. Thank you for praying.

  5. My heart aches for what you are going through. Keeping you and Matt in our prayers. Love you.

  6. Sara,
    Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. Grace's story has touched my life, as well as many others. I love the verse that your friend read at the service. Casting Crowns has a song with that verse in it. The song is called Praise You In This Storm. It's one of my favorite songs and it is so true. When we are going through some of the hardest things in our life, who better to turn to and praise. I know I will think of Grace each time I hear this song. I will continue to life your family in prayer.

  7. Sara, my tears are stinging my eyes again as I read your post. I'm so sorry for your loss and my heart aches for you. I'm praying often for all of you. My words are inadequate but I trust that He hears my continual prayers for your family.

  8. Sara,
    I love your earnestness and willingness to share. Reading your blog I find myself nodding through the tears, "yes, yes that's exactly what it feels like." I also know that your faith in an all-knowing, all-loving merciful God is the only thing that will bring you through this. That said, I still pray that He would somehow allow me to shoulder even the tiniest part of this pain, of this grief for you - just take it away for an hour or two... but He gently reminds me that it's His job... We love you guys so much and will continue to lift you up in prayer until this storm passes by...

    1. Jen, in some supernatural way, I think the prayers and compassion of you and so many others is helping us bear our burden. I love you and am so thankful for you.

  9. Have shared your story with our church family and they are praying. I ask for joy in the depths of the pain you are feeling.

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