My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. - Psalm 139 vs 15 & 16
Todays devotion speaks of the comments made by others that minimizes our loss and the ways to validate that loss to others, to yourself and to God.
We have heard so many comments over the past 8 months about all that has happened on our journey most importantly, the loss of Cole. The book speaks of those who say things like "You can always have another one", "It's better it happened this way or now then later on", and "Maybe it's for the best". These weren't really the comments we had that minimized our loss...ours were more along the lines of "well atleast you still have one healthy baby", "it's a good thing you didn't lose them both", "better to have it happen in utero then after he was born and you'd bonded with him", "perhaps this is for the best, two babies would have been so hard and very tough for you guys to afford". There are other comments some more hurtful and many are ones that even I say. To some who think losing one is better than losing both I wish I could say this "if you had a baby and a toddler and your toddler died would you want someone to say to you - well atleast you still have one child". Of course not, who would ever say that...but then why do people think it is okay to say that about Cole??? And above all....don't people think we realize this and live with this every day...that we so easily could have lost both our boys and have no idea why we didn't. Well maybe not no idea...some plan of God's that we don't understand yet I guess. The comments about not being able to afford two babies are the toughest and thankfully have only been said a few times. But they are heard in my head all the time and tie heavily to my guilt. I was always so worried about affording two babies, obsessive about it really. I've often wondered if this is why we lost Cole and then feel so horribly guilty for even thinking that. I feel guilty because I was never sure how much I wanted two babies and I question this plan of our Lord's all the time...not because I feel wronged by his plan but because I feel guilty that maybe it was for the best and then what kind of mother to my Cole does that make me.
I've gotten abit off topic here as the topic really is about minimizing our loss...but it is good that I voice where my guilt comes from and start to come to terms with that.
As for others minimizing our loss, I am supposed to ask myself how it makes me feel...besides guilty. I feel hurt that they can't see Cole for the person he was to me, I feel angry that they can value his life so little, I feel cheated out of being recognized as part of that unique twin mommy club but most of all I feel so very sad and lost...unable to really explain how I feel to anyone!
And why do I think people responded that way...because they don't know how else to respond and because they want to justify it in their heads too. It isn't everyday that you run across someone who lost one baby identical to the one they cuddle each and every day. My mom and I have had this conversation as I vent when frustrated with the things people say. She feels that people would rather say this than nothing or this is just what they say when they aren't sure what to say. And again that it is true...we are so very lucky that we didn't lose Cameron too. He truly is a miracle and for so many reasons should not be here with us. Cole is his guardian angel and looked out for him and I through this whole journey. That doesn't stop me from feeling minimized though nor does it stop me from wondering why, if I wasn't meant to have two babies here at home, then why a twin pregnancy. Part of me knows I"ll never get over that but I also know that I am grateful for all that my twin pregnancy, loss of Cole, time in hospital etc. brought me. I met amazing people, became close to some great existing friends and closer to some new ones. Cole was and is the vessel on this journey of faith for me and I know that deep in my heart I would rather have had him for the short time I did than not at all.
What can I say to others to validate my loss to them? Well the analogy I wrote about the baby and toddler comes to mind as does this: Please realize that although I am so very grateful that I have one beautiful healthy little baby boy who I love so very dearly I had enough room in my heart, enough time in my life, enough patience, love and hope in my soul to give to two babies at once. I am broken and healing, I am trying so very hard. Let me be sad, mad, frustrated, confused and guilty. Let me cry on your shoulder and be quiet in peace. Let me talk when I need to and scream when I want. Please just let me grieve for all the things we lost by losing Cole, by losing Cameron's beautiful twin brother.
Lord, I am not alway sure that my grief is what I should be feeling now. Is it okay to be so sad for Cole when he is with you in Paradise? Am I making too much out of a loss of a child that we weren't prepared for? I know others don't understand how I feel. Help me to forgive people who say things that hurt and be compassionate to those who try so hard and yet sometimes make it worse. My loss was a child, not a mistake, not a clump of cells attached a malformed placenta. My child was a part of me and always will be. He will forever be Cameron's mirror image and should not be minimized just because Cameron got to stay and he didn't. You saw Cole in my womb, helped him to look out for his twin and took him to your paradise. You new his name before we did and have a special place for him in your Kingdom. He has value in your eyes. Give me courage to grieve and validate my pain. You are my creator, the ONE who can form my loss into something good in time.