I pray that most of you reading this do not comprehend the pain of losing a child.
Whether you held that child for one day, one year, or even one decade, the pain is unimaginable.
None of us will truly understand the pain of another..... even if we have been through a similar situation.
I get asked a lot..... Are you ok? My answer is NO! I am not ok.....At least not yet. And I will never be OK like I was before my son died.
I must admit though, I thought the same thing when I lost a pregnancy in the 2nd trimester. I did learn to live again and handle the pain. Then when we lost of a commitment of a child we had planned to adopt because he was moved to an orphanage that did not do international adoption. The pain was even worse that time. After receiving new videos multiple times a week because we had a missionary friend there, it felt like he was already here in so many ways. Then when I lost Adam. After loving him, holding him, caring for him...... It was not like my other losses. This one cut much deeper. It was much harder.
The best comparison I can come up with is knee surgery.
Many of you probably do not know this, but I have had a couple knee surgeries.
When you first start experiencing the pain, and you are having trouble holding up your own weight, you know that this is going to be a long road. When the pain hits it's peak (the loss occurs... even though you knew it was coming), you feel like you will never walk again. You will never be the same again. Then after a while (for everyone is different), you take the doctor's (or God's in the case of a loss) advice. You try to walk again. You aren't good at it at first. People can still see your pain. They can see your limp. You have their sympathy, their help, their compassion. Then over time, without even realizing it, your limp fades, you start to run again, and sometimes you forget all about the pain that at one time felt like it was consuming you.
Then suddenly, you are walking down a path, doing what you think is right, minding your own business, when out of nowhere something knocks you down and you are instantly at the peak of your pain. No notice. No time to prepare. Emergency surgery is a must! You are instantly knocked down and you doubt you will ever walk again without pain. It may take longer this time, but , like before, you gradually decide to walk. To put some weight on your leg. Over time, your limp may fade, or it may stay. Either way, you are walking again. You being to walk faster and faster until you can keep up with the pace of life without many people noticing the "knee" that once held you back.
Well, this last one is the surgery of all surgeries.
Your legs were literally swept out from under you. You fell and you fell hard. No amount of preparation could have prepared you for the intensity of this pain. All the other pains seem tiny now. Your knee will never work the same again. Doctors go in and do a complete knee replacement. They do their best to put all the pieces back together and use artificial (new things) to fill in the gaps where the hole was left. With the help of others, you may take a couple steps. Those steps still hurt. Even with the help of others, with the therapy, and with the crutches they give you, you don't want to walk. Why bother? I will never be able to walk the same again. My life will never be the same again. What's the point? Your body (kids, family etc) needs you. It is not healthy to not keep on walking. Some people may even try to force you to walk before you are ready. Eventually you may take a few steps on your own. One of two thing will likely happen. 1) You will be proud of the steps you made, and want to take more. OR 2) You will fall and wonder why you even bothered trying, and you may have no desire to try again. Either way, at some point, whether by choice or out of necessity, you will start walking. The pain will still be there for a long time. Your limp will be worse and more noticeable than before. After all, part of you is missing. They may have tried their best to fill them in, but those parts will never work quite the same ever again. Eventually you will start walking better. Some days you may even forget about the pain that is always with you. Then something may happen. You trip. You stumble. You fall. Suddenly the pain is almost as real as the day it happened. You may not want to walk again. You may need more help. You may need your crutches again. You never know what days will be good and what days will be bad until you get up and take your first steps. At the end of the day though, you are thankful you are walking again. Even if the pain still consumes you.
I haven't gotten to this point yet, but I think that maybe, just maybe, I may forget for more than a few moments the pain the consumes me and be thankful for the time I had without pain. The joy I had running and laughing. Maybe one day, I will even run and laugh again. For right now, I will continue to limp through life just waiting for the day I can run for a while and not be consumed by pain. For today, I embrace the pain because before the pain, I had joy!