Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nine Months Isn't Just For Pregnancy...

It also can denote how much time has passed since your pregnancy ended, you gave birth to your son and he died.

At least for me, today, it does. Nine months ago...on a different Sunday, my precious boy left this earth.

How is it that he's been gone almost as long as he was with me? How is it that so much time has passed and I'm still breathing?

I went to Women of Faith this weekend with Nanci (will write more on that at another time...need some time to decompress, process, assess and reflect) and though I don't remember the context of this conversation, we were talking about how people say things like, "I don't know how you are doing it...if it happened to me, I'd ________________."

And the fact is that no one can really say how they'd react to something if it happened to them because honestly, one just does not know.

I'll tell you how I know this.

Before Matthew died, if I had contemplated what happened to us actually happening to us, I can guarantee that I would have said, "I would kill myself."

I've never been suicidal, never felt the need even in my darkest, darkest days to hurt myself and don't feel it is any answer.

But before Matthew died, I loved him so much that the thought of something happening to him truly would have made me consider it. I would have told you that I wouldn't want to live. And I would have meant and believed every word.

Some days, if I am really honest, I still feel that way...that without him, I just don't have that will to press on. Still don't have the desire to hurt myself, just don't have the will to press on.

Which is where the supernatural grace and mercy of God come in to play.

Because though I thought I would have wanted to die without him, I don't.

For nine excruciating months, I've pressed on. I've been given strength and ability that just defies logic and understanding. I've been given joy and hope and feel firmly planted on a path of restoration.

So when you look at me and see strength or bravery or courage or just about whatever it is that you see, please know it is not me.

It is solely the grace of God. Left to my own will and ability, I'd be nothing, have nothing and show nothing.

My heart aches at how quickly nine months have passed and yet how long the rest of my life without Matthew seems. While our time on this earth may be just a blink of an eye, when viewing it in light of not having your child with you for the rest of it, it seems like eternity.

Nine months.

Nine months of a new life I never wanted.

Nine months of learning how to navigate that life.

How so ironically it juxtaposes the 'nine months' of pregnancy.

Missing my sweet boy...


  1. Love you and love you and love you.

  2. "The 9 months of a new life you didn't want" really hit home with me too. You are so right. And your beautiful words of "God's grace and love" and where you true. We all are nothing without Him. In the good times and in the times of sorrow. Thank you for continuing to be so honest. Heather

  3. I absolutely hate it when people say things like that..."If my child died, I'd just die."
    Because even though you might want to, you don't. You don't die. And sometimes the most you can do is just keep breathing, keep taking one more step, one more breath.
    You are right. God is holding you up.

    Thinking of you.

  4. This post rings so true with me as well. Happy nine months sweet Matthew!!! The thought of heaven has always been so sweet, but since losing Eli, there is a longing to be there like never before. Yes, it is the supernatural strength of God that keeps us grounded on this earth. A thought that has been going through my head the last few days is: Each day takes me one day farther from the memory of Eli, but one day closer to the reality of seeing him again. xoxo

  5. Beautiful post! I thought of you as I just passed my six month mark Saturday.

    We lost our niece at 3 years old in a car accident but I could never imagine what my dear brother was going through until the day that Lilly passed away. It definitely is beyond the realm of anything imaginable, and can not be fully understood to any extent really unless experienced. I know that sometimes aggravates people that they think they understand when they have not endured a loss such as ours, but it is the truth and I can say that from experience from being on the other end of a parent who has lost a child to now being a parent who lost my child.

    *hugs* *hugs* *hugs* what an amazing post.

  6. None of us should have ever had to give up our child. But, sadly, a lot of us that read your blog have. And it's not the way it is supposed to be. I am missing Matthew with you today like I am every day, sweetheart. Until we all get to see him with Him. Love you.

  7. I remember thinking similar thoughts at the 9 month mark - how I had been without her an entire pregnancy, by then longer than I had her.

    Thinking of you and sending you lots of love.

  8. This is so exactly how I feel. It is only through God's grace that I feel any peace, joy, happiness, and that I make it through each day.

  9. Sending you love and thanking you so much for your friendship, your honesty, your faith, and your openness! You are such a blessing! Loving Matthew and sending up prayers for him as well as Luke!!!

  10. I want you to know that I know exactly what you mean. After losing Wyatt, I realized that I could see why people commit suicide, I could understand why someone would start drinking, or take pills. I realized that if I had been a different person, I could have most definitely taken one of those paths. But I'm not, I'm me, and I'm amazed everyday that I made it through that, and that I continue to move forward. It is an unimaginable place to be.

    I'm thinking of you, and your beautiful Matthew. You are an amazingly strong person. Lots of love....

  11. Amen, amen, and AMEN!!! And hugs, hugs, hugs!!!

    I remember distinctly, driving home from the doctors office after we found out Caleb had died, turning to DH and with incredulity saying to him, "I'm absolutely crushed but I don't feel like I want to die... that is really odd." I think I find it even more shocking now that the shock and initial raw grief is over.

    I've been watching my baby loss ticker and noticing how it's getting awfully close to the end of that first year, and wondering how that could possibly be.

    And can I just say, I'm sooo jealous that you got to go to WOF! I went a few years ago and absolutely LOVED it and would LOVE to go back!

  12. 9 months is so long ... growing a baby or mourning a baby. And 9 months compared to a lifetime almost seems unfair - knowing that you'll have to keep putting the tally marks up, month after month, of the time without him ... but I'm amazed that, when I decided to look at the tally marks as days and months closer to seeing Jori again, My heart settled more on God's grace for me in this time without her. It's like walking around without all of your limbs. Your helpless in so much, and incomplete, but you still have to manage with what you have left. It makes me think about what a whisper our lives are in the conversation of eternity. It goes on and on without slowing, and somehow we have to muster strength, joy, sorrow, love and restoration in that short breath of our lives. But we DO get to love! We DO get to glimpse, even for that tiny little moment, true agape love. The kind He always wants us to persue. We get to discover how to love not just ourselves, our spouse and our children with that fullness, but EVERYONE we possibly can ... and we are taught that through them. Our precious babies. Luke is a gift of restoration for a broken mother & father. And Matthew, resting always in Heaven, is a dream come to fruition and a God Breathed spirit of promise and hope. Always. Not just in his hours of life here, but Always. He was promised to you. He is yours forever and I pray, with all my heart, that you will come to see in these passing months and years, how much we all want to lift you up and remember him. I want you to know that you aren't just on my "prayer list" that I check off once a day. You are firmly planted in my spirit and heart. So ... I don't know what I would do. But I do know, that I pray God will give me the eyes to see and the ears to hear the things He needs me to. If something happened ... I pray I could feel what you feel. Him surrounding you, urging you forward. I pray I could be as stubbornly firm in my conviction that He will heal and restore and do all things with a newness and love that I cannot fathom. You teach me so much, because you wait on Him so well. He does give you all you have, but He does give you the choice too ... and you made such a bold choice to still be His, even when you were in the middle of the darkest place. That's amazing. I love you so much for all of that and all you are.

  13. Beautiful honest post!! Happy 9 months in heaven <3 Mathew <3

  14. "How is it that so much time has passed and I'm still breathing?" i think this captures what losing a child is really like, this is the core of what those that haven't lost can't understand. lori, i want you to take some of the credit for where you are at honey, you are stronger than you think you are and while you have your god to guide and support you through this, you have been the driver. you are not 'nothing' without him, he created you as an amazing, complete, human being, with weaknesses and strength beyond our comprehension. even i have it too and it is amazing. sending loads of love and thinking of your sweet matthew xxx

  15. Much Love...the parallels are difficult, as I am quickly finding out.

    Thank you for your sweet words, but most of all thank you for your prayers. Keep sending them up, as I will take as many as I can get :)

    Rub Luke for me

  16. My thoughts and prayers are with you Lori. I can't imagine how hard this mile marker must be.

    Love and comfort from SC...

  17. Happy 9 Months in Heaven Mattew <3<3<3

    Lori, you know how I label every 3 months as a 'tri-mester of loss" and this is yours....I used to say, "Maybe if I am grieving the amount I held her in me that I will feel better after"....I wonder how true that is, as I still have 3 months to get through...I also do not like when people say what "They would do" because the truth is no one I responded 6 months ago to now is completely different (as you know since you read my blog)....I also can not hear "you are strong"....we have not been given a choice, our babies are gone and we have to figure out how to survive it...and im with you...I dont have the will to push on to do something doesnt mean the thoughts were not there, sometimes this damn roller coaster seems so hard the easy way out seems like the best, but that is far from the truth, The only way to do this, is the way that works for you. I like to think that maybe there is no 'rules book' because there isnt one way this works....THinking of you Matthew and Luke today...Oh yes John too <3

  18. Sending you love and hugs!!! I just hit 8 months. Tis is so hard and we miss them so much!

  19. Praying for ya and sending love & hugs your way.

  20. Loving you dear friend! Loving Matthew along side you.
    I completely get where you are coming from when others say "if it were me...", or my favorite "I can only imagine". Because one can.

    You are right. It is God's grace. Even when I don't feel it, even when I wonder if He's even here with me...He has to be, because I'm still carrying on. And I couldn't without Him.
    It is His strength, His guidance, His love...

    It has been almost 18 months since Zac left my arms...and the pain is as intense as it was the day we held him as he left us from this earth.
    And you are so is a blink of an eye, but an eternity when you are living it without your child in your arms.

    Sending you big hugs, and a tummy pat to sweet Luke!!!

    Kisses to our boys in heaven.

    Heather (heathershope - HP)

  21. Oh Lori... It is just so hard to deal with those milestones. We are approaching Ethan and Jacob's first birthday, and I constantly think about how things should be. Even with Blake here, I think about how he should have two brothers loving on him. One foot in front of the other dear.

    As for the "If my child died, I would____" I completely agree with you. No one knows what they will do until they walk in our shoes.

    Big hugs dear. Hang in there.

  22. Thought of you and Matthew this weekend and how the nine month mark might hold extra heartache. Hoping (1) that the fortuitously-timed conference (and time with your friend) made a difference as you got through it, and (2) your Monday appointment gave you plenty of reasons to smile. Maybe Luke was extra cooperative because he knew his mom needed it!

  23. Everyone else has left such great comments, but I just really need to say that I really, honeslty think you are hands down one of THE MOST amazing people I have ever met-even if I've never met you face to face. You are just such a beautiful person. I'm just so sad we met this way. I'm thinking of your gorgeous sons-one in Heaven, and one on his way to your arms.

  24. Lovely post. It's amazing how completely a baby can change your life - even if his life lasts only a few short months and even if that life is lived entirely or almost entirely in the womb.

  25. So thankful for Christ within you, your Source of strength and hope to keep living another day for Him. {{{hug}}}

  26. Beautifully said and so true... Lots of hugs coming your way!