Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lynnette's book-Chapter 3

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This book reading is for In Faithfulness, He Afflicted Me by Lynnette Kraft. (To visit Lynnette's blog click here.)

Lynnette begins Chapter 3 of her book by talking about the days after Samuel passed and how difficult they were. A woman's body longs for her baby, even when there is no baby to hold.

There were many days after Carleigh left us that I wished that my arms could hold her just one more time. But I know that even if I was given one more time it still wouldn't be enough. When my milk came in I longed to be able to nurse my baby. Seeing other babies was difficult because they reminded me of Carleigh and all that I was missing. I wasn't sure how I would react holding a baby for the first time after Carleigh. It was 2 months later and I held my friend's baby girl at a wedding. I did ok. I thought of Carleigh, naturally, and I marveled at the little life I held. So precious and such a miracle.

God's peace is certainly amazing. It's carried me through many difficult times these past 2 years. I've had moments, like Lynnette, in which I chose despair. Those weren't good moments and I found that allowing God's peace in my life allows me to function better in my "new" normal. Everybody accepts things in their own time and there's no right or wrong timeline for it. I wholeheartedly agree with Lynnette that as Christians we should grieve differently. We have hope and the promise of a life with those we have lost that will never end.

Lynnette expresses that she wished she would've had an open casket for Samuel's memorial service. I had an open casket for Carleigh. However, she was never even in her casket the whole time. Instead she was in my arms. Does that still count as an open casket? I knew when we were planning months before her arrival that I wanted her casket to be open and for the same reason Lynnette wished she had-for people to have the opportunity to meet Carleigh. I wanted to share my daughter with as many people as possible. I wanted for people to see that she did exist. I still feel that way.

Lynnette comments on how those around her deal with her grief. "When somebody has never lost a child or someone they love, sometimes they just don't know what to say." How true this is! I would honestly be at a loss for words if I was on the other end. I mean, what do you say? What words could possibly make it better? No words will erase the pain but it is nice knowing someone cares enough to try and help you feel better, even if they don't express it very well. I am always glad to hear people acknowledge my loss. Even if they don't get it quite right, I am grateful that they are not ignoring it. Have you ever been at a loss for words when trying to comfort another? If you've endured a loss, in what ways have people shown you they cared? How have you shown others you care?

I reflected a little it on the part where Lynnette talks about her pregnant friend. Her friend said, "I don't care whether it's a girl or a boy, as long as it's healthy." I have said these exact words and just recently, too. I do feel Carleigh was such a blessing, but I would really rather not have to walk this road again. I'm pretty sure a lot of people who have experienced loss would agree with me on that. It would be very hard but God has carried me through losing Carleigh and I know He would be there to carry me again.

Fear. Wow. Yeah.... There's been some of that since Carleigh left. Kyndra is out of my sight only when necessary. I feel the need to keep her close. I like having her in my arms when we leave the house, and it usually works out just fine. Church is a problem. Kyndra stays with us until after the music is done and then she goes to the nursery. Otherwise she gets a little rambunctious. When Anthony takes her to the nursery, I don't feel right. I feel empty. I feel exposed. My arms ache to hold something so I usually cling to Kyndra's blanket during the rest of the service. As soon as the service is done, I go get Kyndra. I don't like to waste time on chit chat. I need to get to my daughter. Logically, this should get better over time but sometimes I'm not so sure.

Then there is the fear for our future children. I know God is in control but that doesn't stop me from worrying. I'm so scared to lose another child. Please, God, don't let me endure more heartache. But then I find myself adding at the end..... but not my will but Yours. Ultimately though, beyond my fear and worry, I trust God. What fears do you have that you feel you should give to God?

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croleyc69 said...

That was a great post Holly. I'm so glad you were able to hold a baby again. I know it has to be hard. I pray that one day soon you will have another child. Praying for you always.

April said...

I can only imagine not only processing the own pain from within, but needing to live again and being able to handle other babies, whether that's hearing about pregnancies or actually holding another baby. It would be so hard and this specifically is a step in recovery that happens at different times for everyone.

I have read your feelings before about being left in church empty handed while your husband takes Kyndra to the nursery. It is certainly a natural thing to holding a child once you have had one and being left with empty arms is symbolic metaphor on so many levels.

Being filled with fear is a nasty thing and I personally feel - is one of the hardest things to conquer. Your words are inspiring to read and I know you give many people comfort and a positive way of looking at things.

Andi said...

Sorry I'm so late getting to this! I love the book, by the way. It's really incredible.
The fear that I have that I need to give to God sometimes on a moment by moment basis is a general fear of the future. After all we have been through and all God has carried us through, I feel I shouldn't have this worry!
I have definitely been at a loss for words when trying to comfort someone. You want so badly to help, but words just don't seem to be adequate. I am a big card sender, so that's a way that I can really think about what I want to say before I write it. That keeps me from blurting out something and then feeling stupid later.
Some things that people did for us that were so helpful was bringing meals. We had 3 weeks of people bringing us meals Monday through Friday. It helped so much with having Amelia and Owen being only almost 4 and almost 2. We got lots of cards and I love cards, so that was special. One friend brought me a magazine at the hospital and I thought that was so thoughtful because it filled my time without my baby, ya know? Having a c-section, I had to be there so long, anyway. Another friend brought me some neat books. One serious and one funny. We were so blessed throughout!

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