Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Pit...

There are a million things I have planned to do this year to keep me busy while John's deployed!

Too bad that regular life already keeps me busy enough!  I need not add any more. It's already been almost two weeks and it has flown!  I'm not surprised...if nothing else, the last 3 years have taught me that time truly slips through my fingers with no regard to how I want it to move.

Time is pretty rude, actually.

One of the things I committed to was Kelly's Walking With You series, and though I did the first one, I'm about to be two weeks behind (surprise, surprise!) so I'm going to try and catch up.  Try.

Though I really didn't have time for week two's topic, I'll be honest...

I didn't want to write about it.  It's about clinging in the pit...

 "Whether or not you are new to loss, talk a bit about early grief. What was it like, clinging for hope in the pits of despair? What did you cling to for hope? How did you survive the early days? What helped? What do you wish you could share with someone new to this walk, clinging in the pit? If you’re in the pit, currently, share your struggles. What can others do to encourage you?"

There are a lot of days I still feel like I am in the pit.  My stomach gets that same knot in my gut and I get the teary lump in my throat. Just tonight, after Luke went to bed, I stood in my stairwell for nearly 20 minutes just soaking in every detail of Matthew's pictures.  His long, long body.  How much he and Luke looked alike.  How heartbreaking it is to me that my sweet boy didn't have any of his clothes to wear at Georgetown...


My sister has been really sick, and John has been gone and I've been busy with a lot of things and the mail keeps bringing me reminders of the third little boy I should be mothering and honestly, I just.don't any more than I already do on a day-to-day basis.

Clinging to hope was not even on my radar at first.

I was just clinging to life.  Begging God for air to breathe.  Begging Him to take me instead.  Begging Him to show Himself.

Begging Him to stop John from crying.

Just clinging to breathe.

I was overwhelmed with support.  From the second my doctor said that Matthew forced her hand and we'd need emergency surgery, seriously, I felt like the whole world instantly became my team.  Every nurse and doctor at that hospital made my son and me a priority—of that, I have no doubt.

Do you know that I posted on Facebook that he died?

That's how the world found out my son died.


Who the heck does that?

A woman who doesn't believe it, that's who.

I was in shock.  Healthy, perfect babies DON'T JUST DIE AFTER THEY ARE BORN.

They don't.

But mine did, and while I couldn't believe it, people rallied around me and John in ways for which I will forever be grateful.

The first days after losing Matthew are oddly a blur and forever vividly imprinted in my mind and on my heart at the same time.   The thing I remember most is holding Matthew's blanket on my shoulder for days.

I sat in my leather chair, in the corner, and held that baby in my arms, if only in my imagination with that blanket.

I patted it.  I rocked it.  I stared into oblivion wishing I was not there, but with him, as it should have been.

I know people thought I was losing it.

I was.

Just typing it brings more tears than I really feel like crying right now.

Exactly as I thought it would—which is why I didn't want to write about this.

I don't have any wise words of advice.  Grief, whether fresh or over three years later, is ugly.

When new, it pierces one's soul in a way that feels unrecoverable.

After some time has passed, grief is still soul-piercing, but in an exhausting way...a way that says even though you've tasted restoration and joy again, there are still moments you feel like you are right back in the pit.

But I can say that God does not ever waste pain.


Amazing things have been done in Matthew's honor and though I think I have always been a compassionate person and infertility would have made me a devoted mother anyway...losing babies has taught me what is really important in raising Luke.

My house being clean and his clothes being spotless or him reading at 2 or being the most brilliant, funny little boy on the planet...doesn't matter.

There's so much that doesn't matter.

Loving him.  Him knowing he is loved.  Raising him to know how grateful we are for his life and how grateful we are to God for never leaving us...showing him that life is not perfect and still is beautiful...

Those are the things that matter.

Those are the things I cling to whenever I find myself in the pit again.

And when I cling to them...gratefully, I don't stay in the pit very long.


  1. It def isn't easy thinking about that pit! I hate when I got there but yet I'm almost glad for the moments that I do because in grief I feel just a little bit closer to her. I'm extremely grateful for my living children as they keep me from going in the pit more than I would without them. And I totally agree with you about what matters. My parenting and other priorities in life changed after Carleigh died.

  2. Beautifully written. Mirrors my own heart and emotions. Thank you for writing this because I would never have had the words to do so. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I think if people ask me how I feel about losing Evie, Jack, and Will, I'm going to point them to this post because it is right where I am, too. I struggle with still being in the pit and feeling guilty about it because I have Zoe and Isaac now. But that doesn't undo the horror or grief of losing my other babies. I have no idea how you can do all you do and deal with a deployment on top of it. Hugs. -- Kate from

  3. I remember carrying around Caleb's blanket the same way. I acted like it was him, couldn't go anywhere around the house without carrying it by my side. Seems so pathetic now, but it was all I had. I also remember showing friends and family that showed up right after he died pictures of him. I really dont think I had grasped that he was dead, more like "here is a picture of my baby that is at the hospital that I have to go pick up." Its a weird feeling even now thinking of how many people I showed his picture to because that is all i had of him. Thanks for sharing this honest post!

  4. Lori, you have such a gift for writing! You say what I have locked in my heart perfectly... each and every time... and for that, I thank you.

  5. Sweet Lori...I am with you. I hate to revisit the stinkin' pit, myself. And, to tell you the truth, sometimes I feel funny that even sixteen years later, writing about it...or allowing my mind to wander there...sends me right back as well. I can feel the fresh waves, as if we are back there...sixteen and fourteen years the pit.

    I don't live in the pit, of course. Joy and healing abound...and I'm very much in the land of the living. But, when something brushes my heart...a memory...I am taken back. I think we will always feel that freshness when we revisit those tender places.

    It is exhausting. Thank you for doing it. I know it's not easy...but I'm grateful to read your heart. I know your words will comfort another mom who wonders if this terrible pain is normal...if it will get better...and what on earth to cling to for hope in the midst of it.

    Much love to you, dear friend. Thank you for walking with us.

  6. Oh my goodness Lori, I was so not ready to read this. I was with you in the stairwell looking upon all of the pictures of Matthew. I was rocking with you, patting the empty blanket.

    I really hate the pit... I too, was not looking forward to writing this post. It was really difficult, filled with so much pain, but the guilt post just about emotionally killed me.

    It is very hard to dig deep in the pain that we have buried within our hearts and souls, and bring life, into words.

    P.S. I have been praying for your sister. I pray that she is doing well.

  7. Wow! How true your words are! Grief is exhausting. I am only a little over 2 months into this new grief with the death of my baby, but I have been dealing with it since I was 9 (when my brother died). Some days I wish I was farther along in this new grief, then I think that I don't want to be. I want to cherish everyday, even if it is a grief-filled day! Thank you so much for sharing!