Sometimes parenting feels like a tight-rope act. Wobbling all around, trying to put one foot in front of the other. Deciphering what the best words are for a particular moment.
The past few days have been like that. You see, Anna misses our sweet #3 and #4. She ventures off into the front yard to sit at their tree and talk to them, sing them songs..... I've tried explaining to her that they're not there. She knows this. Yet she continues to do it. And I do realize that it's a bit different when you lose a baby via miscarriage, because there's no body, no ceremony, no cemetery.... no headstone. So I get how the tree has become to her what a grave would to others.
Today she wrote them a song. She asked me how she should go about writing it and I told her to just think of what she'd have liked to do if they were here. I began giving her ideas by saying things like: "If you were here, I'd read you bedtime stories and sing you lullabies. I'd braid your hair and paint your little toenails. I'd play tractors and trucks and Legos. I'd push you on the swing. I'd find your lost blankie...."
I found myself chin quivering, eyes filling up with tears, and I had to walk away.
You see, it's easy to focus on what I've lost. It's easy to go back to those initial days of pain and loss and re-live it. To see what's not instead of what is.
So when she came out of her room and sang me her sweet song, I must admit, it got me. The part where she sang so innocently "Why did you go? Why did you leave me?"
Whew. It gets me even now.
The reality is that I've often viewed losing #3 and #4 as my loss. I lost them. But I know good and well that Mark did too. That Anna and Eli did. That our parents lost grandbabies. That our siblings lost nieces and/or nephews. I know this. But maybe I didn't allow her to grieve her loss like I should have, because all these years later, and she still cries for them.
She kept on all afternoon talking about them until I found myself saying: "Anna, you have to let them go."
Even as I type that, the lump is once again forming in my throat.
"Sweetie, even their best day here wouldn't have ever compared to what they're enjoying in Heaven. I mean, they've met Jesus. Can you imagine that!? They've met Jesus!! They're up there talking with Jonah about what it was like to be in the belly of that fish. They're talking with Daniel about the lions. And you know, I'm certain they've met Jackson and they're all up there playing together."
She just nodded her head.
"It's hard. But we have to let them go. Listen to me. I want you to know this and remember it the rest of your life. Despite how hard losing them was, God was faithful through it all. He's been good to us. Don't ever question that."
Again, the nod.
One foot in front of the other, leaning to the left, then the right, trying to walk this fine line.
Should I have told her to let them go?
I believe it was the right answer. Because I find myself having to do the same thing. Having to let go of the hurt and the pain. The disappointment. The feelings of loss for all the hopes and dreams we had for our babies.
Yet holding on to all the love. Always holding on to all the love we had for them.
We may not have held them, but oh how they were loved.
And maybe that's the point. Our love is why we can let go. Because they were loved and because of Christ's love for us we know they're far better off.
So piece by piece, I'm teaching her to let go, relinquishing all the what ifs and hurt, because as she lets go, it's just the reminder I need that God can be faithful to redeem what we turn over to Him.
Sweet friends, I don't know what you might need to let go of tonight, but know that He can be trusted.
Holding on the the love and piece by piece giving Him the rest,