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.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Posted at 9:02 AM