On Our Year of Grief
November 27th, 2017 is a day that will forever remain etched on my mind and my heart and physically on my body. That was the day that we had to say goodbye to our third child Roman. In the 365 days since I have grieved, some days more than others. My grief remains even as I write these words. What an interesting emotion to experience. We all have experienced it at some point in our lives and at varying degrees. One of my favorite authors Joan Didion explains her grief after the sudden loss of her husband of four decades. She writes:
In the days after Romans death, I had to plan a funeral, I had to call and make the decision of where my son’s final resting place would be. The grief that follows, as Didion puts it was obliterative, days that felt as if my whole world had ended, days when I felt the tears wold never stop. Losing a child before I was 30 was one of the most upending moments of my life. Seeing my wife in so much emotional and physical pain as she delivered our beautiful, perfect, but lifeless son into this world is an image that I will never forget. The silence of the delivery room, broken only by our inconsolable grief as I held my son for the first time.
The days turned to weeks, the weeks turned to months, and slowly the world would move on with its life but I could not, I felt as if my world had stopped when Roman died. Today would have been Roman’s 1st birthday. Instead of celebrating his life, our family is commemorating his death. 1 year, 12 long months, 52 what at times felt like endless weeks. In those early days it took everything in me not to instantly fall apart at the thought of Roman. Not to weep uncontrollably every time I thought of him. Today is what would have been his first birthday and if I’m honest, it isn’t any easier to write these words. I lost my son before he ever took a breath in this world. I still cry when I think of all the things I will never get to do. Grief is not something you just get over. You don’t just wake up one day with it gone. You don’t roll out of bed and say, “Well I’ve conquered that, now on to the next thing!” No, instead grief is a part of you, you walk with it day in and day out. Some days are harder than others and in my grief, I try my best to honor my son.
Months after we lost Roman, we found out we were expecting another child. We were obviously overjoyed, but at the same time so fearful. The birth of Jackson didn’t diminish my love for Roman or the memory of him, my heart simply made room for loving Jackson the way I love Aly, Fynn, and Roman. And now on what would have been his first birthday, I am filled with so many emotions. I long for the day when Christ will wipe away every tear, until then I wait and weep knowing that God has his wise and loving reasons that I wait to learn with tears and trust.