how to grieve?

 I am struggling. I am struggling with how to grieve and how to comprehend that I should grieve at all.

Baby is more active now than it has ever been. In fact, it seems that every since we were told that baby would not survive, baby has been moving like crazy. Baby has grown (whether it is normal growth or growth of the kidneys) and I suddenly feel very pregnant.

It’s weird how God works… I’ve been so worried this pregnancy about weight gain and that I would gain much more than I usually do. I have been trying to make it as far along as I usually do before needing to wear maternity pants. And now… now I am thankful for this belly. Thankful that I am starting to look pregnant. Thankful that I have this time. Of course, I don’t want to gain tons, but that is not important anymore.

I am struggling with feeling a little alone in my grief. Joey has been grieving with me, but it is not the same for him. His grief comes and goes… he can easily push it aside. He doesn’t feel baby move and be reminded of the life and potential death of our baby. We have talked… I know he grieves, I know he has the same fears as me, the same questions… but then he goes to work, he talks about other things, he worries about our finances, etc.

I am left with my own, constant heartache. He knows how constantly I am thinking of baby… it seems every time I open my mouth I say something pertaining to baby, this pregnancy, etc. Joey does his best to understand, but how can he truly understand what I feel when he isn’t carrying baby? Has never carried a baby?

We are scared about the future… about the labor, delivery, birth, life, death of this baby. We have spoken to the funeral home we plan to use… we discussed the costs, the casket to use, the place of burial. We plan to name baby once we know the gender. We will choose a headstone.

I am confused. We have spent the last 4 years thinking about Abigail’s death and funeral arrangements. I have thought of what we would have engraved on her headstone, the songs we will sing at her funeral, the colors of the flowers, the casket, the dress she will wear… and now we are planning another funeral and it is not Abigail’s. So, while I

We have spent the last 4 years thinking about Abigail’s death and funeral arrangements. I have thought of what we would have engraved on her headstone, the songs we will sing at her funeral, the colors of the flowers, the casket, the dress she will wear… and now we are planning another funeral and it is not Abigail’s. So, while I rejoice that Abigail is still with us, I am confused and saddened by this turn of events.

It is hard to put into words the mix of emotions I feel throughout the day. I think about how much harder it will be to bury Abigail someday and tell myself I shouldn’t be grieving so deeply over this baby… I still have Abigail’s death to face after all. I must be strong. Then I think, at

Then I think, at least I have been able to hold Abigail in my arms, feel her breath on my skin, smell her, felt her heart beating next to mine. I have seen her smile and heard her giggle. I have been given all of this with Abigail… and will not get to have it with this baby. I may not even see or feel it take one breath.

I know I can not compare the two. They are two separate children, two separate experiences, two separate deaths, two separate heartaches. I must not smother the grief I have for one, just to (somehow) be stronger to endure the grief I will have for the other. I know I must grieve each of them separately.

And I struggle with that… separating the two. I’m sure that God has used Abigail’s life to strengthen us for this baby’s death… and in some way, God will use baby to strengthen us for the death of Abigail. This is a hard place to be in… and we’ve been in it for over 4 years now. Having been told that Abigail will die sooner rather than later, yet not knowing when that horrible day will come. Living in an almost constant fear of that day, but being blessed with a peace about it as well. I know Abigail will be in heaven when she dies, but I fear my own heartache, I fear Joey’s heartache, Josiah’s, Hadassah’s, and Marcus’… I fear what our family will be like without Abigail.

This is a hard place to be in… and we’ve been in it for over 4 years now. Having been told that Abigail will die sooner rather than later, yet not knowing when that horrible day will come. Living in an almost constant fear of that day, but being blessed with a peace about it as well. I know Abigail will be in heaven when she dies, but I fear my own heartache, I fear Joey’s heartache, Josiah’s, Hadassah’s, and Marcus’… I fear what our family will be like without Abigail.

We are living with terminal diagnosis, yet are still alive and must live.

We must keep breathing, must keep living… chores, schooling, and other tasks must be routinely done. We have lived the last 4 years to the best of our ability… but how do you live “normally” when you know your child is dying? And… we are now going through the same thought process with another child. How do I get up each morning, care for my children, my house, my husband… as though this day is the same as any other??

How do I get up each morning, care for my children, my house, my husband… as though this day is the same as any other?? How do I go to the grocery store and buy groceries as though life is normal?

I want to sit in my grief and sadness all day and do nothing but feel sorry for myself. And I know it is only by the grace of God and His strength that I can do anything else. My kids, husband, and house still need me. The sun still rises every morning and sets every night… God gives us another day of grace and I pray that somehow my life would bring glory to God… though unworthy I am.

6 thoughts on “how to grieve?

  1. Clarissa~ I have no words that will ease your pain…My heart is breaking for you…I pray for you and trust our Lord to be with you! May His peace abide in your heart each moment!!I love you!! ~Elisa

    Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;and lean not unto thine own understanding.In all thy ways acknowledge him,and he shall direct thy paths.Proverbs 3:5,6

    This verse has been one that brought comfort to me:)

  2. Clarissa we love you! The sorrows of life are exactly that…. SORROW!! There is no pleasure in sorrow, and yet as you say…. heaven awaits your dear children! In that we rejoice! As believers in God's wonderful Grace, we can partake in this joy that overcomes our sorrows! In this joy we find strength to take another step. We never know when our next step will be one where we face that part of life called, 'death'. And yet in death there is 'victory'. God has formed us and put these things into our lives…. and yes, the sorrow and pain that we know is because of the sin of mankind. God cursed us to 'death', but loved us so much, He GAVE us life eternal! I can not say that I understand how the grieving process is supposed to work, but I would venture to say it is different for each individual and maybe even different in each circumstance as you have stated. When my mother died, I felt a big loss, but because I was caring for your mother and knowing that her days could be short also, I didn't really grieve at the time. Now almost 3 years later, when I looked at some pictures the other day of my mother's last moments, I pretty much lost it and wept my heart out. So it is probably best to not try to understand it all, but let yourself grieve however it may come at the moment. Do not try to hide your feelings and emotions, as I believe that will only make things worse in the long run. It is what it is and God is in control and He knows each of our hearts and where we really are with these matters. Lean on Him and He will carry your sorrow for you! Love you and pray God continues to fill your heart with His Spirit! Love, Dad

  3. Grieving takes a life time. At any one time we will grieve different from another time. I'm sure you will grieve each child different at different times. As Dad said, don't try to judge yourself or your feelings just let God be Lord of that too.

    Ecclesiastes 3:1-5

    1. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

    God will be with you and bring you through each season as He sees fit.
    Cry, laugh, sing, dance, and mourn. They are all good when they are needed. I love you! Keep up the good fight! Keep on, keeping on! May the Lord bless you & yours and keep you in His perfect peace! Love, Mindy

  4. Riss, I can understand what you are saying about how Joey grieves, but not the same.. In the beginning of Brandt's pregnancy when I lived in fear, I lived, breathed, and slept "baby".. I would say something and Tim would be like don't think about it.. ummm how can you not? When that baby is a part of you? Anyways obviously I can't completely understand all you are going through because it turned out dif than your story will, but I know the fear and grief you constantly live with! love ya! ~Amanda

  5. I am so sorry for the terribly difficult things you are having to endure. I don't know if it would help you to read someones story of a similar pregnancy but I heard that there is one written by a Christian mother whose husband is the lead singer of the group "Selah". I believe their last name is Smith. Their baby lived for a few hours, I pray that somehow in someway God will be glorified through your trials.

  6. (((Clarissa))) my heart is breaking for you and Joey, there are no words. Faith…so glad HE brings you comfort during this difficult time. Saying many prayers for you both and your beautiful babies.
    Heidi & Jack.

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