02 November 2010

Autumn, Etc.

Autumn has arrived. While we have enjoyed a surprising number of sunny days for this area at this time of year, northwest Washington has not been remiss in showing its true colors. Even as the leaves have changed into brilliant and fiery hues, there have been many days where the rain pounds relentlessly and the wind blows. The clouds hang dark, low, and heavy.

It is difficult to explain how it is possible to spiral through dealing with this loss in such a way that the passage of time increases the difficulty instead of lending ease to it. Given the intensity of our two weeks in the hospital with Ewan, I wondered if I might initially be experiencing shock -- not able to fully absorb what had transpired and who had left us. I wonder now if the same shock that I imagine protected me at first is now easing -- if now, I'm feeling more of all that happened. More of everything.

The clouds hang dark, low, and heavy. The jewel-toned leaves seem out of place in an otherwise gray world.

Yesterday was the Feast of All Saints. In the Catholic tradition my husband and I follow, this commemorates all those saints who have gone on ahead of us and now enjoy the presence of God. As a baptized person who committed no sin, we believe this is what Ewan enjoys now. And we believe that one day at the resurrection, his body will rise whole and healed. This is a good and joyful thing. These are bright and brilliant points of light in an otherwise dark place.

Even so, the celebration of this Mass was bittersweet for me yesterday. As the litany of saints played, as I choked out the words We come to know our rising from the dead during one of the hymns, my tears flowed freely, dripping off of my face and soaking my shirt.

While I embraced the joy at knowing that my son now enjoys heaven, and hope at the prospect of his soul and healed body being united once again, I hate the reality we must live in now: separation, death -- the reality that is not fair, the very one which causes us to clench our fists and scream in our souls: this is not how it's supposed to be. That has us making choices on his grave marker instead of his Christmas stocking.


Unknown said...

Beautiful post... as always. You have a way with words, and while I know you wish you could probably use less, and definitely not on the subject of the loss of your baby boy - your words mean much to us who have been praying hard for you.
You are a strong woman. And while there are probably MANY days that you don't feel that way... you are. Sending you lots of love, and many many hugs and prayers!! xo

Sarah said...

Oh friend, how I wish it was different. Your last line just about killed me, just about made me run out of my office crying. I'm so glad Christianne is coming, not that it will make it easier, but to walk with you right now. I love you.

HennHouse said...

Oh, Kirsten. I long for the right thing to say. To do. But really, I'm still shaking my fists and screaming, "this is not how it is supposed to be."

Love you, dear friend.

Praying for you.

terri said...

I'm grateful for Christianne's arrival today too. I'm glad for good company for the dark days ahead.

I'm so sad for you (and happy too) that Ewan's name is counted among the saints. Lord have mercy.

Andrea Hutchinson said...

Blessing my friend.

Once again your Heart and your words move this community to tears and compassion.
We hold our children and loves tighter. All in hopes that somehow it reaches you and James. That in it you feel the comforting grasp of strangers who are somehow more, now, and love you.


Angela said...

I have no words that can offer much comfort, I'm sorry for you loss, doesn't really seem to have the power or emotional onset of what you are going through. But in the words of Rita Schiano:
"Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow."

Unknown said...

There seems to be a protective fog that surrounds us in the early weeks after a child loss. As the fog begins to lift the grief becomes a beast like none other. Tears are the very voice of the soul. The greatest expression of the unspeakable sorrow that we feel. Words are hopelessly inadequate but tears can speak what are lips cannot.
We are entering our second holiday season without our little girl and it seems equally as painful if not worse.
Praying that you can feel the arms of our Savior.

Charley said...

You speak intimately of the fear I have of losing Aurelia.


thegoodsmeller said...

Oh, friend, I love you!


Stefenie said...

I wish that I could do anything to change things for you Kirsten. I wish that you could be looking forward to choosing a Christmas stocking, his first Christmas ornament, what presents you should get him and all of the wonderful "firsts" that come with having a new baby. I am sorry that you will now be spending the next year experiencing a different set of firsts. I watched a dear friend of mine go through that when she lost her son last year. My heart breaks for you.

{{{HUG}}} Always praying!

Nancy said...

I feel your pain now and I literally felt this overwhelming pain 30 years ago when my HLHS baby Joe died. My prayer then was for a day to come without the instant spontaneous tears...the tears that I could not control. That day did come and your day will come too. Then let your prayer be for the day you will wake up and not feel this overwhelming pain. My day came and your day will come too. You will never forget your precious Ewan but the pain will ease. I pray for the day you will not have instant tears and I pray for the day that you will wake up without overwhelming pain. God is good and that day is near.

Rachel Elizabeth said...

Sending some sunshine from San Diego for your family for you to keep with you on your darkest days.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” Psalm 147:3

melifaif said...

I am drawn to come here and pray "over" you and your family. Your courage to share your story, your Ewan, your uncensored feelings with us amazes me. You are teaching and helping lift up so many! And I thank you.

Jen said...

I'm still here, Kirsten! I read every single post. (I think I've told you before it is always during my lunch break and my school computer blocks comments). Anyway, I am home today so wanted to take the opportunity to leave you a message and tell you that I pray for you so often. My heart just hurts for what you are going through. Your posts are so inspiring and real. Thank you for sharing all of your feelings and emotions with us, even though they are so private. You are an amazing person.

Love, Jen

Emily said...

Your honesty increases my faith. Thank you for the gift of your transparency.

Leslie said...

Thinking of you tonight and saying a prayer. So much of life in this fallen world is not how it's supposed to be. May you have grace in your grief, in this valley of shadow, in the walking forward with Ewan forever in your hearts and yet not in your arms.