A week ago, I was pregnant.
I was so looking forward to March. If you were to look at my journals at the beginning of the year, you’d see how much I wanted another child. I knew it wasn’t practical or good timing or any of that stuff. I also knew that the love we both had for Isaac so was so big, so amazing, so unbelievable, thzat I wanted to experience it again. Our familiy was beautiful and the only way to make it even more beautiful was to have another little one that we could share our love with.
This week, I’m not pregnant.
It’s been a week. A week since that terrible bleeding started and I knew – just knew – that bubba had left us.
It’s so hard to explain. Because the thing is, no-one ever met our baby. No-one got to hold him or cuddle her, or tell us how much she looked like Sam or how much he had my eyes. And so, for nearly everyone, it’s a grief that’s impossible to understand.
I never got to hold our child either. But I knew her. I didn’t hold him in my arms, bt I held him in my heart.
And so it’s a strange grief. It’s grieving the what-would-have-been, the dreams and hopes I cherished. It’s a grieving of a soul that never breathed on this earth, but breathed into my heart.
One of the reasons I’ve tried to be so public about it all, though it’s made me cry like a – well, something with a lot of water – is because it’s helped me to carve out a space to grieve. A space to say it’s not ok, and it can’t be ok. And in that, I’ve discovered the value of grief. Because in this space where I’ve been feeling so unnutterably broken, my resources have gone. I don’t have anything.
But I do have a God who comforts the mourners. A God who brings peace to the broken. And where I’ve been at my most desperate, it’s allowed Him room to step in. Through the love of friends, the sacred space of communion, the prayers and the messages and the – well, everything – He’s been there.
This week, I also heard of the loss of a child who really did impact the world. Her name was Sara, and she was one. A chubby little bundle of energy who kept her parents on the go – well, always – and who, for some unknown reason, thought Peppa Pig in English – a language she has never spoken – the height of hilarity.
She died with my friend Meena, her mum. They were sheltering in the UN school in Gaza when it was hit. Several people died. They were found under the rubble, buried in each others arms.
We can hear stories like that, and realise how sad it is, but keep a certain level of distance. With the world falling apart as it is, it’s hard to be deeply and personally affected by each personal tragedy.
Except that I can’t. Because Meena was my friend. And so when the world see a terrible statistic, I see my friend. Who loved Basketball, played a mean Oud, and had a ridiculous ability for eating chocolate and never putting on weight. Who worked tirelessly for her country, and believed passionately in change – and yet who managed to know and love Israel too, whilst all around her blamed them.
So at the end of this week, I have an empty womb and an overflowing heart. I don’t have an easy faith anymore – maybe I never really did. But despite it all, I have some great gifts. I have the knowledge of knowing that a fmily of love across the globe is keeping me in their hearts and minds. I have the gift of being shown, day by day and hour by hour, the gift of beauty in the broken. I have the joy and the honour of having been part of a life that truly changed the world.
And I have the gift of knowing that Jesus isn’t my boyfriend, or my best friend, or my comfort blanket.
He’s my all.