I just learned of a friend's loss. A baby was born, and a short time later passed. There was hope and anticipation...now there is loss. Friends and family are coming together to support, to help, to strengthen, to love. My guess is loving and kind words are being sent far and wide from any who know or hear.
But oh how a heart breaks.
Oh how the heart breaks for those who must bear the heaviest burden, for those who must lay a child, and all the dreams and hopes and expectations, to rest.
Hearing of this loss brought an immediate wave of compassion and love (and with it a sincere prayer). It also brought to mind my own moments of loss -- moments where I too needed to lay to rest dreams and expectations -- moments of loss that to this day bring to mind a deep gratitude for the outpouring of love and beauty and support Mara and I received and experienced.
I remember all the anticipation that surrounded our first IVF. In some ways, despite knowing that life doesn't work this way, it felt like it was just bound to succeed. I almost couldn't help but think "how could it not?" Would not heaven and earth see the love between me and Mara and come together in our favor? Would not the love and support of family and friends and so many dear readers just HAVE to culminate in the joy of a successful pregnancy? After previous losses and challenges, is it not time for everything that is "good" to be fully restored? But like I said, that's not really how life works.
So often we are tempted to define "good" in life in the vocabulary of circumstance. This was one of those times where it was reinforced that truly "good things" transcend circumstance and situation and outcome.
I still look back on the evening Mara and I learned our first IVF failed as one of the most beautiful moments of our marriage and of my life. I wrote a little bit about it here. (I'd chosen to post this two days before we got the news to remind myself of how I wanted to approach life in the event of an unfortunate outcome). It was one of those times when despite the loss, or perhaps because of it, you move deeply into the territory of LOVE, rejuvenating and invigorating Love. It was so tangible, so powerful and healing that night, that I couldn't help but document it by snapping a little picture of my smiling wife and writing it all out, in part because I knew it would be hard to believe later that so much peace and acceptance had been felt on such a difficult day.
We felt so incredibly supported by those whose hopes and dreams were caught up in our own -- family, friends, co-workers, and so many dear readers. For some reason, I still remember that night as a celebration. Receiving Love and giving Love during moments like that can change the way you experience even the most difficult moments of life.
I hope all who suffer loss will be the recipients of Love. May each of us remember to give love to those going through something difficult.
Can you recall a time when the love around you helped you get through something difficult? Is there anything specific someone did that really reached through to you? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.
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