I sit and listen. Not quite knowing what to say. Wanting to comfort. Wanting to let her know she can share her broken heart. The gears in my mind spin rapidly trying to find the right words to say. Words to convey my sorrow, my empathy, my prayers for restoration. There are no right words. Right words don’t exist for the hurting mama. What is there to say to a mama of loss, when you can never quite grasp that same pain she carries heavy? A pain you pray never takes up residence in your heart.
Loss is uncomfortable, whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Those that have experienced loss may feel unsure of how to share their story of loss because they don’t want to make someone else uncomfortable. Those that haven’t walked in the brokenness of another’s loss can feel uncomfortable in knowing how to address another’s loss. They can’t fix it, so maybe it’s better to just avoid it and not bring up the reminder of loss.
A mama friend who lost a little one in a car accident as an infant once reminded me that it’s OK to ask a mama of loss how they are doing, even long after the newness of the loss has faded. It’s OK to let them know you are thinking of them, praying for them, and that you remember their sweet little one long after the sympathy cards and flowers stop arriving. You telling them you remember their babe will not bring up a forgotten pain. They have not forgotten. They’ll never forget. They need to know others haven’t forgotten either.
I have not personally experienced the loss of a child, but there are too many that are close to me that have experienced this loss. Illnesses, accidents, miscarriages; how do we walk through the brokenness and loss of the world together, and still live happily in the joys?
In the late hours of the night as I sit and rock my newborn babe, the fragility of life can feel overwhelming. How do I have any right to complain about lack of sleep and the soreness that comes with nursing, when I sit in the dark of the night holding and rocking my very present babe? It’s in these dark, quiet hours of the night that thoughts of fear and doubt can hover silently and lay as a heavy fog. But then the morning dawns and the light ALWAYS breaks through. We always need the light. His light. We need the light of Jesus to lift the haze and see His truth and goodness. This world is broken and hurt happens daily, but His light points us to the good. His light stops the darkness from crushing our hearts with lies and fears.
The only way we can muddle through the brokenness is to live in it side by side. We can’t run from the brokenness. We can’t hide from the darkness, but we can help spread the light. We can walk side by side, supporting, rising, and knowing that this world is not our home. We can acknowledge the brokenness and find hope together. We can live happy and fiercely joyful in the good, while still living thankful and found in the broken.
We are on this journey of motherhood together, even though each journey takes different twists and turns. We have to choose to lean in. To be ok in the uncomfortable and join together. To spread the light of Jesus in the dark night. To walk hand in hand in motherhood, so no one has to walk it alone.