Monday, February 2, 2009

Ripple Effect




Lately I have been thinking about the ripple effect that the loss of Isaac has been having on us and on so many aspects of our lives. I was having coffee with a dear friend a few weeks ago, and she even commented on how you wouldn't even stop to think about the ripple effect and the extent to which in travels. No one could have told me or prepared me for the extent to which the death of your child changes literally everything.

It obviously changes you as a person... it challenges things you thought were some of life's certainties, what you deem important and how you prioritize. It changes your relationships.

It even affects so many small things in the day-to-day... what you thought were benign, harmless things now seem to affect you. For instance, I now know how to get to wherever I need to go in Target without having to go near the baby section (which is conveniently located in the center of the Target). I just can't look at little blue onseies, or little socks, or bibs (the list goes on) without fighting back tears (and often losing that battle).

Last week it was cold and snowy, and so of course the grocery store was packed with people picking up bread and milk. All the nearby parking spots were full except one reserved with this sign:



And it just made me sad... sad that I didn't have Isaac with me, sad that he wasn't here for his first snowfall. Maybe it was the word with that really stuck out to me... that Isaac is no longer with us. I don't know.

This week we're going to visit our dear friends who delivered their sweet baby boy on January 18th. In all honesty, I have a lot of anxiety about meeting their dear son... and holding him, watching him wiggle and move and hearing him cry... wishing so much that we would have had those moments with Isaac. It's so hard that losing Isaac even ripples into our friendships with others. I am so thankful, though, that these friendships run deeper than any sort of awkwardness... that these are friends with whom we can be completely honest and vulnerable and trust that our friendship would never be threatened. What a gift that God has given us in these people, and I am confident that He will use them and their little boy to ultimately be an instrument of healing in our own lives.

The ripple effects are everywhere. I am learning that the loss of a child isn't only the loss of that child; it's the loss of so many other things, too. And while to some people, almost four months may seem like plenty of time to have let it all register, compartmentalized it all, and to be in a place where you can just put your grief aside from time to time, the reality is, that it's still here and still fresh. It creeps in when you don't expect it, like seeing the only nearby available parking space being one reserved for a customer with an infant. It is in those, seemingly benign moments that it hits you square in the face.: that you are the one without yours.

Thankfully, God's grace is sufficient for each step... each fumbled, faltered, limping step. He has granted us so much grace through the people who love and support us, and I know He will continue to. Thank you for continuing to pray and walk this road with us.

28 comments:

Alison said...

I continue to pray for rest and peace for you, Stacy. I don't dare to try to understand what you're feeling, but know that our God can understand. I hope He gives you comfort during these difficult times.

Brittany said...

I am so sorry dear. I had a miscarriage a little over a year ago and I remember feeling the same thing. My friend got pregnant the same time I did and it was hard to act as though things were normal whe I would see her belly grow, have baby showers, etc. All you can think about is that you were supposed to be there with your baby.
God's love IS sufficent.

Anonymous said...

The ripple effect extends beyond you and your family. Your son's life has impacted so many people in positive ways. My husband and I have followed your story through your postings on the Nest and through your blog. We are blessed with a daughter who is five weeks old after dealing with two losses. Our daughter has a medical condition, which we are still learning the extent of. While we were initially upset and asking why our daughter I immediately thought of you and your story. Thinking of you reminded me that God has a plan, and that all will be revealed in God's time, not ours. Your love and devotion to your son and to God truly inspire me to be a better mother to my daughter. Issac's legacy lives on in the lives of those who are here on earth waiting to meet him in heaven.

Liz and Will Timmerman said...

Stacy,

Four months isn't nearly enough time to get over the loss of Isaac. I don't think a lifetime would be enough time. Not until we are in heaven holding our sons will it be totally okay again. My close friend was pregnant the same time I was with my son, and after I lost Luke it was very difficult for me to go to the hospital and meet her son for the first time. But my friend was very understanding, and she cried with me. Just be open with your friend, and don't feel like you need to put on any kind of front. Now, I view my friend's son as a blessing because he reminds me of the son I lost, and I still get to buy the same age presents that I would have bought my son. Don't get me wrong though, it was tough in the beginning and I am sending you prayers your way to get through it this week. My son's one year anniversary is coming up Feb. 19th, and I am extremely anxious about it. Any words of advice from one mom to another? I want to do something to acknowledge and celebrate that he lived, but on the other hand I am just too sad to plan or think.

Liz

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

I'll pray that you find peace when you meet your friend's baby for the first time. It's such an emotional experience.

Laura said...

I don't think anyone ever "gets over" a loss such as this. One just learns to live with the loss day by day. I know how the birth of a child changes EVERYTHING in a parents world. The loss of such a precious one could do no less. The courage that you and Spencer exhibit is so admirable. Your strength inspiring. Your vulnerability in opening yourselves up to life after such a tragedy is what will make you even stronger in the end. Your Isaac must be so proud of you both.

Traci said...

Stacy,

4 months is nothing. Don't beat yourself up over it. What you've experienced is not a 'natural' event. Your body and soul recognize that and that's why it hasn't completly set in yet. I pray for you everyday.

It's been 8 years since Zachary died. I still tear up at seeing pooh stuff and anything with dinosaurs on it. Again your body and soul don't comprehend what happend. They ache for the one you lost.

I pray for your comfort and that you find understanding somewhere in the midst of this storm.

You are very loved.

Bluebird said...

I'm so sorry. I think those unexpected moments, like in the parking lot, can sometimes be the hardest because you're not prepared.

I so respect you for going to meet your friends' baby. I have a dear friend who is due this summer; her baby should have been two months older than ours. I can't bring myself to want to know much about her pregnancy, and I'm nervous how I'll handle things once her little one arives. I hope it goes well for you.

Something else I'll point out about the ripple effect is how Isaac's life has allowed you to minister to and touch others. Its truely amazing and a testament to you that you have allowed yourself to be used in this way.

((Hugs)) sweetie.

Jaime said...

A lifetime isn't long enough to get over the loss of your son. I understand how hard it is to see a friend's new baby. My best friend found out she was pregnant with what turned out to be a baby girl, the same week we lost our baby girl. It was a very difficult time for me and while I was happy for her, it was very hard to talk and visit with her. Our friendship went through a difficult season, but she gave me grace and five years later we are still friends. You have been on my heart lately and I have been prying for you!

Cynthia said...

A lifetime is not long enough to get over anyone's death sometimes (my bro-in-law died suddenly 5 years ago this March and it still hurts) let alone a child that was hoped and prayed for. Like others have said, please don't feel like you should be over it and don't let anyone tell you that you should be done grieving.


Thank you for continuing to share your feelings and journey with us.

Still praying for you.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

You share your heart so beautifully. The ripples are far-reaching, and some of their affects will always be there. There will always be tender spots that are touched by certain triggers. And, you will always miss your Isaac...because He is precious to you and he is your son. But...God's grace is and will be sufficient for you each day. I'm so glad you know that...so glad you're clinging to the One who is faithful to carry you. The grace I see in you is such an encouragement to me. It is amazing to see God work in the lives of others...to see how He makes beauty even from pain and brokenness. Thank you again and again for allowing me (and so many of us) the extreme privilege of walking with you on this journey. And we are...still here...still walking...still praying.

jablott said...

That was a beautiful post.....in that your words were honest and real and brought me to tears. I am praying for you and Spencer and for God to heal the hurt in your heart and give you lasting Hope....thanks for sharing your heart.

Corie said...

Wow...so well said. Im not sure if I have commented before. I have followed your blog for awhile. My sweet friend Laura told me about you and what a great family you are. She certeinly is right!

I will be praying for you as you meet this little one. Since our son passed away...29 babies have been born. It has been difficult, but we have had one friend, that seems like yours, that had a baby exactly 2 months after our son died. They were so incredibly. It was hard to hold her, but I cried and I cried when I saw her after that...but our friendship became such a safe place for me to grieve, because they let me. They had no expectations and they were not uncomfortable with our tears. I am praying this for you also. It is so hard how grief ripples into EVERYTHING. You said this all so well. So much I continue to fell today. Praying for you.

The Knight Family said...

I think of you all the time ... even though we've never met.....
I PRAY for you at those weird, random times too.
Maybe it is during those times - you need a prayer...

~Cindy from Tennessee

Kelli said...

What a beautiful post. I will conitnue to lift you up in my prayers!

Laura said...

So beautiful...I love the ripple that I see Isaac leaving in my life and so many others. I can imagine how bad the ripples hurt.

I am so sorry Isaac is not in your arms. The pain will always be there...it won't always feel so sharp. I love your honesty and am so proud of you.

Sending much love,
Laura

Erika said...

Stacy, I echo so many of those same thoughts and feelings. I am praying for you, and holding you close in my heart.

Love,
Erika

Daddy's Dream ~Mommy's Miracle said...

It has almost been a year since we said hello and goodbye to Braxton, and the pain is still fresh. I too had to visit my best friend three short months after our loss. Watching her daughter grow grieves me, but I visualize Jesus handing over to me a beautiful baby boy when I arrive in Heaven...and THAT sustains me!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Stacy,
Almost four months.. it is such al tiny period of time in such a great loss. It's nothing. In your grieve time has not yet really got a chance to be healing yet.

Thinking of you, bless you so much,
Willemien

Tammy On the Go said...

Sticking with you friend.
love ya.

Elisha said...

I had a miscarriage just a few weeks ago and it's been hard. Some days are better than others, but mostly I'm having the same problem - I'm without my child. I know he is in heaven and I'm not without hope. I will see him again one day. But until then, when someone has a snow day and takes their child out to play in the snow for the first time... when someone is lamenting about how their child isn't going down for a nap... when someone is talking about how much they love their kids, it just reminds me about how I don't have my child to hold and love right now.

I read a news story the other day about a little boy who was killed by his daycare teacher and I seriously struggled with wanting to hate that teacher. I know the Lord tells us to forgive and so because of that, I choose to forgive her (even though she didn't do anything to me), but it's really hard. The reason why I am having so much trouble is because now another mother is experiencing the same heartbreak... only I'm sure hers is worse than mine because she actually got to hold her son before he passed away. It's not easy to love someone who would purposefully cause that kind of pain to a mother.

I can tell this is a journey that isn't going to end in a few months... I think my miscarriage has changed my life forever. I love my life that God has given me, but I have new motivation to want to be in heaven now. I just want my little boy.

I'm sorry for venting in your comments... I know you don't know me and I don't know you but I have read your blog occasionally and it helps. So thanks.

Lindsey said...

I understand exactly how you feel. We lost our twins boys, Ethan and Owen, almost two years ago. It's still effecting us. And its so strange how its the most bizarre things that will bring tears to my eyes. I made it through two Christmas's so far and was fine but it made me cry when Santa Claus drove by on the firetruck on Christmas eve.

Julie said...

I continue to pray for you each day...for peace, for understanding, for rest. Praying for you as you meet your friends little boy. I know the pain....

Hugs and prayers

Anonymous said...

Stacy, You are constantly in my prayers. The Lord is guiding you and He will heal your heart. There is no recipe for recovery from loss. So while it seems others have packed up and recovered, there are moments that you do not see. It's ok to be sad, to cry, and to still feel the loss. God has a plan for you and He's leading you to greater things. The ripple effect of your loss has traveled across this country. Many of us have shed tears for you, prayed that you would find happiness, and that Isaac would be healed before going home. The ripple effect has also brought people closer to God, made Isaac's life more valuable than ever imagined, and taught you so many things. The pain is fresh now and it will always be pain. But, your heart will mend with Isaac's piece taking over.

So many people are praying for you and your family. God will heal you, He will bring your life happiness, and He is going to bring peace to your heart.

KK said...

Continuing to pray for you and your husband without ceasing.
Praying for continued healing, comfort and peace of mind.
Blessings always,
Kaye

Rebecca Louise. said...

I continue you travel with yoy Stacy...I must say though that you sound much more positive in your posts of late. You seem to enrich your faith so much in your life which I know makes you stronger =]

Praying.

Stacy said...

Continueing to remember you in prayer...

Delayna said...

Still praying for you and your family.