Sunday, January 5, 2014
The League of Bereaved Mothers
One week ago today, I joined a special sisterhood. A certain sorority in which I never sought membership – The League of Bereaved Mothers. Membership is exclusive and the dues are very costly. We hold our induction ceremonies in a variety of locations: hospital rooms, on busy roadways, poolside, in farm fields, really anywhere a mother might find her child. Or anywhere a mother might NOT want to find her child. I know there are those of you that have been members much longer than I have. Please feel free to share any pearls of wisdom you have found along the way. Those of you that are not members, I pray you never find yourself inducted.
We don't have lapel pins or t-shirts with Greek letters. Instead, you might identify us by the lines of grief around our eyes or that tear you see in the corner of our eye as we watch you with your child that reminds us of the one we lost.
We might like to share information about our club with you, but we fear that look in your eye. The look people get when the crazy lady who lost a child starts to talk about that child. About that journey. About that loss.
We're really not trying to recruit you.
And if one of our members starts to tell you about her membership, probably the best thing you can respond to them with is “I'm so sorry”.
You see, we hate this club. We'd all like to revoke our membership. We'd all like to mail our member's card back and demand a refund. But that's just not possible. Membership is for a lifetime, irrevocable, and non-refundable.
For those that are willing, membership can have benefits. You can learn to love others better, especially any other children you have. You can enjoy the life you currently have better than you did before. For our members, other possible traumas in life seem to pale by comparison and that can be very freeing.
My own induction a week ago seems more like it was a month ago- or two. I have not felt as I imagined I would. I thought I would be groaning and wailing. I thought I would cry until I had no tears left. I have cried, but not an unending, hopeless wailing. I grieved so much from the time of Lenah's initial diagnosis and with each subsequent negative diagnosis that I think I may have used up a lot of my grief (if that's possible) even before she was actually gone. It is more probable that the Lord has just been very gracious to me and has supernaturally comforted me in a way that has made this time much more bearable.
The most difficult thing for me this past week has been to have to answer Sarah's questioning every day.
"Do you remember ? Lenah's body was very sick and it stopped working. Do you remember? She stopped breathing and she died and her body turned cold. Do you remember? We put her body in that box and put it in the ground."
"Oh yeah, Weenah's dead. "
Sometimes she cries and sometimes she doesn't. Sometimes she forgets again in the same day and asks if we are going to see Lenah at the "hoffital". Sometimes I wish I could forget as she does.