Grief is a crazy, wild thing. By definition, grief is a keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
Although not necessarily going in order, I have hit each stage of grief and am working through each as it comes. Sadness. . . check. Anger. . . yep. Depressive like state. . . yes, at times. Acceptance and hope. . . for sure. It is all rather fluid with each stage coming and going, staying for awhile and then saying goodbye, only to reappear sometime later.
I will be doing well for several days (where I am able to smile and laugh and know without a doubt that God is using this for his good and glory and where I am even a little bit thankful that he is using this story for his greater purpose) and then out of the clear blue sky the anger will set in. Or I will be overwhelmed with tears and sadness and asking God all the "why's" my mind can dream up.
So the cycle of grief continues. Yet even still, there is joy and hope and happiness intermixed thanks to the promises of my Savior. How do people live through something like this without him? I just don't even know. I cannot fathom holding my dead baby in my arms without the promise of the cross. I cannot fathom sitting in my cold hospital bed watching my son being carried away, without the hope of heaven, where death does not have the final say.
Hope is what carries me through the realities of my grief.
Hope is what gets me through the flashbacks. Pictures (of the ultrasound, time at the hospital, the birth, the service) flood my mind when I least expect it. Some of these are of the happy moments, yet others are more on the traumatic end of the spectrum.
Hope is what gets me through those moments when my mind tends to focus on death and what could happen to my loved ones still on earth. I have never been one to worry about what could happen, and I am not living in fear, yet death is frequently on my mind as I go about the day to day.
Hope is what gets me through the lonliness. The loneliness that sinks in when I start to think that the rest of the world has moved on, or that no one else truly understands my pain, even if not quite true.
Hope is what gets me through.
That's what hope is. . . An anchor for my soul in the midst of the storm. Thank you, Jesus, for your anchor, your promises, and for not giving up on any of us as we navigate the ups and downs.