Breaking the Silence

Melanie —  February 16, 2014

We apologise for the silence on our blog over the past few weeks.  It’s time to break the silence with an honest post.   After a month of battling a nasty virus, I am grateful to be back on my feet.  I continue to struggle with sleep but have had some better nights recently.  On the joyful side, we are in the midst of birthday season for our girls – two over and two still to come.  We praise God for the girls, soon to be 13, 11, 9 and 2.  Church and Cor Deo continue to be encouraging and we thank God for the work He has been doing.  We will share more soon in an email update.

The last month has been one of great heartache for our family.  A few weeks ago, we lost a baby through miscarriage.  I was quite early on in my pregnancy but this little baby was very much loved and wanted by our whole family and we are grieving the loss of this little person.  Peter will never forget the scan image he saw on the screen of our tiny baby with no heartbeat.  I have had friends and family members who have had miscarriages.  Watching them suffer, I knew this kind of loss must hurt very much.  But we never knew just how much until we lost a baby of our own.  In describing her own miscarriage, a friend recently shared with me, “There seemed no end for the tears.”  This captures it really well for me.  While the tears have slowed down a bit now for me, they still come easily and unpredictably at times.

Although I am grateful to be physically much stronger now, I am struggling to do “normal” life again when so much is not normal for me inside my heart.  Miscarriage is a strange grief – a silent one in a way.  You’ve lost someone you never got to know, someone you were longing to know and hold and embrace into your family.  Someone other people never saw and therefore may not acknowledge.  But very much a real person who really did exist inside you.  Someone who was knitted together so carefully by the Creator.  Someone who will always be missing from your family.  I realise we are incredibly blessed to have five healthy children.  They are truly precious gifts from our Father.  But as one doctor told us, “Because you have have five children, some may think this miscarriage is not a big deal.  But every child is precious.”

God has been so gracious to us in many ways.  Peter and I have been able to grieve together.  I am so grateful for a husband who is willing to talk, listen and share his feelings.  And give me permission to find this tough.  Our hearts have been even more bonded together during the past few weeks and I am so thankful for that.  Our church family has been so supportive and kind.  And I’ve been blessed with several friends I can really bare my heart with.  This really does help to ease the pain.  The questions have swirled and yes, doubts and fears too.  But I am clinging on to our Father who I know watches over us so tenderly.  He knows when every tiny sparrow falls and surely He sees our pain from losing our own tiny child.  His Word has been a comfort to me every day, even when it’s just hanging on for dear life to one verse.  Recently, I have found much solace in pouring out my feelings to God in my journal.  And worship music of various types has also been a huge comfort. I find that music sometimes puts into words what I am finding hard to articulate.  And it brings me back to the cross, to our loving Lord and His love for me which seems hard to grasp sometimes. I need the reminders.  However, I am learning that grief is a journey.  God is the great Healer of hearts but this healing takes time.  I am trying to trust His timing and allow myself the grace to take the time I need.

In God’s providence, I read a book about grief at the end of last year (Let Me Grieve But Not Forever by Verdell Davis).  The author writes about her journey through grief after the sudden death of her husband but I think it could be helpful for anyone going through any kind of, what she describes as, a “life storm.”  I have been dipping back into it, along with a few other books specifically about miscarriage (Silent Grief by Clara Hinton and Losing Sammy by Valerie Theng).  These books have helped me so much in my ponderings and processing of all the emotions.  Both of these books would be helpful reads for anyone wanting to understand the pain of miscarriage or become equipped to help a friend going through it.  Silent Grief covers miscarriage as well as infant and child loss.  I have found it very comforting as it describes so accurately the feelings I have experienced.  Losing Sammy is a shorter, but very poignant book in the form of letters written to a mum experiencing miscarriage.  Both books were given to me by dear friends who have suffered through miscarriages themselves.  I pray that having lost our baby, God may use me in the future to be more sensitive and caring to those who are suffering this type or other types of loss.

Some things will remain mysteries this side of heaven.  We know that in this life we walk by faith and not by sight.  Someday God’s grand plan will be plain and clear and we’ll all fall down and worship Him.  I’ve been thinking a lot about that mountain in Italy we went up in October when we were there.  At the top, in the midst of all the clouds, we couldn’t see a thing.  Then, later on, the clouds cleared and the majestic mountains were all around us.  We knew they were there all the time, we just couldn’t see them. “Lord, teach us to trust you when the mists of pain and sadness cloud our vision.  We know you are there and you love us so much.”

Thank you for reading this and for your prayers for our family.  They mean so much to us and we know they have been carrying us through this difficult time.