over the last few weeks i've heard that sentiment many times from very loving people. and though it brings a certain comfort - because they have put value to the depth of our loss - it also is a stark reminder that my husband and i are experiencing what most people "can't even imagine."
last sunday i walked into church feeling very fragile and vulnerable. immediately i saw a tiny newborn being held by his parents. oh, my sweet noah. then about 10 steps away from them i saw another newborn sleeping in a stroller. it was like getting sucker punched. bam. bam. so after only being in the building for maybe 20 minutes, i turned around, walked back to my car and drove home. the entire drive i felt the heaviest weight in my soul. the burden was almost too much to bear - literally an unbearable pain that i don't feel like a human being has the capacity to survive.
how is it possible that i'll ever get through this? it's too much.
it seems impossible that the type of pain that most people "can't even imagine" is what i endure day after day. if it can't be imagined, how am i supposed to live through it?
there was a specific moment when i remember feeling a similar weight - but it was of love, not pain.
noah had been in the hospital for about a week and my husband and i were at one of our lowest points. we felt helpless, scared and exhausted. then my amazing husband gave us some much needed perspective... would we trade this entire nightmare of hospitals, bad news, and a critically ill son for no baby at all? and we both emphatically answered, with not a second of hesitation, NO (to the hell to the) WAY.
here's what i can't imagine - noah never being born. even though we have experienced absolute hell in the last month and a half, i would go through it a million times over for a little boy named noah hudson butler to be on this earth. he's worth it. he taught me that my capacity for love, as a human being, is far beyond what i ever could imagine.
i'm grateful for the unbearable pain, because it means i loved - and i continue to love very deeply.
"When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." (Khalil Gibran)
***please, please, please hear me on this... if you have ever said, "i can't imagine" to someone who is hurting, do not feel like you said the wrong thing. you did not. the wrong thing would have been to not say anything at all. you said something and you said it with love. there is no fault in that at all.
okay. glad we're clear on that :)