Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the stress of loss



I don't write about my marriage very often because, well, I'm not sure I should. We do okay, J and I, but if I start sharing too much we may not, know what I mean?


Marriage is hard work, it requires communication, teamwork, sacrifice, selflessness, kindness, love.  When trauma happens inside or outside the marriage it can make the hard work feel impossible.  Losing Charlotte is the most challenging thing we've had to go through.  Ever.  By far.


A few days ago I wrote about how I am praying for a heart of service.  I want to serve my family with love and joy, and working towards that has made me think about our marriage and how it's functioning.


After Charlotte died J and I went to our corners, so to speak.  We spent a lot of time apart, working through our grief individually.  What he was feeling was so different from what I was feeling spending time together wasn't always easy, or fun.  I wanted to go over and over and over what happened while J wanted to continue on, provide for our family, be strong so I could fall apart.


We didn't have time to work on us, we were too busy trying to make it through each day.  And then we conceived B, and life became about pregnancy stress as well as missing Charlotte and grief.  Now that B is here safely we've had to adjust once more.  Becoming parents has created a sea change unlike any other.  Learning how to be completely selfless, and what is means to be someone's everything puts every person who experiences it - not just parents who have lost - through the wringer.


As we spend more time together, as we work as a team to become a family of four with one always missing I've realized how much we've changed.  I think holding a marriage together after loss is difficult because neither person is who they were before.  J and I have had to start over in some ways, relearn each other, how we act, react, think, and believe.  I'm not the person he married.  He's not the person I married.  We have sad hearts, tired eyes, grief worn faces.  Back then, six years in June, we said our vows with hope and a belief that while life may not be easy we could get through anything with each other.


And then our daughter died, which shattered every idea we had of how our lives were going to be.  We had no idea our anything would test our love, faith, and core beliefs.


We can't find our way back to the selves we shed on May 14, 2010, so we are going forward as best we can.  We fight some, yes we do, there's some back and forth, plenty of struggles, but we are doing our best to love each other and create a peaceful, kind, loving home for B.


For those of you who feel like it's not working, I understand where you are at.  I encourage you to hold fast, to work hard, to forgive, to love and uplift one another through this time of transition.  I don't know how long it lasts.  Maybe it never ends, maybe we are always in flux now.  Come what may remember life was once good and sweet and beautiful, and it can be again.

6 comments:

  1. minus the mentions of pregnancy after loss, or a rainbow in the house, i could have written this post myself. <3

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  2. These were precious words and ones I am sure your husband would be honored by. Looks like your prayers for a heart to serve are already showing through...as it's obvious that your heart clearly wants to honor and serve your marriage and your family. Loved this post!

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  3. I agree with Lori that I am sure your husband would be honored by your words. Lovely post and very true...marriage is certainly tested upon such loss. There are SO many marriages that can't handle it and I thank the Lord every day for a strong marriage that lasted through the loss of three babies. Especially given that we had been married less than 2 years when we lost our first angel. (((hugs))) to you <3

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  4. As a wife of 22 years and a mother for 18, I think a marriage is always tested with a child, living or passed. But like you said, you grow, you change, you evolve. And I know that a lot of what holds you strong is your faith. Marriage, just like raising a child, is, or should be a selfish act, as you said. I heard this once, "In order to be served, you must first become a servant."

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  5. When I first read this quickly, I read the line about plenty of struggles and thought you'd said "snuggles". But that's the thing isn't it? Amidst the struggles, we can still have our snuggles. I think we're in a very similar place to you guys. This is such hard work, but I know it is worth it. We've been through worse than this (that is the crazy baby/toddler stuff) and survived. He's the only one I want with me when we grow old and crazy(ier).
    xo

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  6. Great post......so very true. I thing my husband and I did the exact same thing as we worked through our grief.

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thank you!

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