Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Present

It's been a rough few weeks. Usually Stranger and I don't have bad days on the same day, but lately we both seem to be having them on the same day. It is hard to cheer your partner up when you feel the same way! A lot of our friends and people that we know are pregnant. Every time I find this out, I feel a little panicky inside. As if God has decided that only X number of people will conceive a child this year, and everytime that someone else does, it lowers our odds. Wednesday was our monthly grief support meeting. Before it started, our counselor was telling me about several members of our group that are currently expecting. Clearly she didn't know what a rough time we've been having. As we were leaving that night, I said to Stranger "Why would she tell me those things?" And Stranger's supportive reply "Well, you seem like a nice person. I know you so I know better, but she must think that you are nice." Awesome! Thanks Love!

Back to Christmas Present. Our December meeting is always a memorial for the babies that we've lost. There are always a few readings and then we light candles and say a prayer for our babies. This year, the readings were about Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. Stranger's reading - Christmas Present - was very appropriate.

Christmas Present

We are all on the journey through pain. We progress, we fall back, but we choose to continue. Each journey is unique. We share experiences and pain, but no one can predict the length of another's journey.

Yet the themes of our journeys are similar: We have loved, we continue to love, and through the depth of our love we grow and are transformed. We can see growth: Our feelings are intensified, our goals more meaningful, our relationships more valuable, our time more precious.

An integral path on our journey is the sharing of our sadness. Our loss enables us to enter into another's sadness as we never could previously. Matthew Fox has said, "We begin to realize the truth of compassion: to relieve another person's pain or to celebrate another's joy is to relieve one's own pain and to celebrate one's own joy."

We have truly journeyed well if we can enter into another's pain and support him or her. And if we can also enter into another's joy.

Some of us are too newly bereaved to believe we'll ever feel joy again. But humankind survives through hope and faith: we must believe that we will celebrate joy again. Indeed it is the belief that joy will be ours that sustains us on our journey of growth and peace.