This entry is part 11 of 31 in the series The Hope Toolbox

Sometimes Grief Comes from Unexpected Places

Sometimes Grief Comes From Unexpected Places

Our fourth son came to us as our foster son when he was five months old, and we adopted him when he was two and a half.

Before he came to us, our son was born 15 weeks premature (at 25 weeks), so he lived in the NICU for the first three months of his life. He lived with his birth family for a short period of time before coming to our home.

I grieve the loss of those first three months of my son’s life. I missed it. I missed all of it — the surgeries, the death of his twin brother, the pain, the nearness of death, the victories, the growth, the firsts.

I missed all of it, every moment.

My son doesn’t remember this time, but these were terribly traumatic days. How I desperately wish I could have been there to hold him. I would have cherished him. I would have cried and worried and prayed over his fragile body.

He’s such a fighter, my strong boy. I wish he hadn’t had to fight quite so hard. He has trouble trusting now, believing we will really be there for him.

Of course he does. Of course.

God had other plans for me for those days and times. I hadn’t yet met my son. It still amazes me to think he was already in the world, moving and breathing and crying.

Although I didn’t know him yet for months, my son was already mine to be. God knew.

When my little man was a toddler, we went to a preemie reunion party at the hospital where he was born. The NICU unit puts this party together every year. It’s a sweet gathering for the families. How can I explain what it felt like to attend such an event? We didn’t know anyone there. We had not had their experience or their bond.

We deserved to be there, yet we were outsiders. We had not been in the trenches with them.

I asked one of the nurses if she would take me up to the NICU to see it. I just wanted to see where my son had been. She looked at me a bit strangely but said okay. We went to the unit and came to the door. She allowed us to peer in the door but then stopped us. “This is only for the parents,” she said, and wouldn’t let us go any farther.

I know she meant only parents with babies currently in the unit were allowed to go in. I know they have security issues and protocol. I know, but I wanted to scream at her, ” I — AM — A — PARENT! I DESERVED TO BE HERE, TOO!”

Instead, I said thank you and choked down tears as I stumbled down the steps.

I wanted this grief, you see.

Sometimes, grief comes from unexpected places.

For it is You Who Light My Lamp

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For it is You Who Light My Lamp

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The Hope Toolbox

The Hope Toolbox

Throughout this series, each of us is creating My Hope Toolbox, your own personal list of resources you can use for the bad days. Whether it’s go for a run, listen to music, or sit in the sunshine, we all need activities we know will help move us toward healing, even when we don’t FEEL like doing them.

What will you add to your Hope Toolbox today?

Today’s Bible Memory Verse:

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.

Psalm 18:28

Today’s Journaling Prompt:

Are there aspects of grief, depression, or anxiety that have been surprising to you? How so?

Helpful Resources:

Heather Faria — 27 Weeks, 4 Days (blogging about her preemie son)

The Architect and the Artist — 31 Days of Hope and Healing

Kick Hell Out — Why Can’t I Pray Away Depression?

Blessed Are the Pure in Heart — Your Dying Spouse

Good Grief: 8 Session Art Journaling Grief Course

Sometimes Grief Comes from Unexpected Places

 

 

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