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Missing Memorial Sunday

Missing Memorial Sunday

Yesterday was Memorial Sunday at our church.

That’s the time when they show a video with pictures to remember all of the members who have passed away in the previous year. Every other year, it was kind of no big deal. Many of the members were elderly, and a lot of them I didn’t know, anyway. Watch the video, feel sad that we’ve lost them, be glad they were in heaven, and move on.

Yeah, well, that wasn’t so much the case this year.

This year, I had to send a photo into the office to be in that memorial service. I had to send in a photo of my baby. This year, Memorial Sunday was an emotional event.

I’ve been kind of dreading this memorial service, but, at the same time, looking forward to having Dominic’s photo displayed – so everyone would have to think about him again. It’s always a push-pull of having to feel the loss of your loved one again, while at the same time wanting everyone else to feel the loss of your loved one. Somehow, when others feel the loss, it makes your loved one mean something. It means he really existed, that he was significant, and that he mattered. Memorial Sunday this year, being both good and bad, was going to prove to be an emotional experience, either way.

But then, Saturday night at midnight, I heard DD1 start crying. I went in to check on her, and before I could get there, she ran into the bathroom and threw up. She continued on through the rest of the night. DD2 woke up Sunday morning…doing the same thing.

Seeing the memorial service was not to be.

I’m not sure what happened, exactly, because whatever the “bug” was, it was gone by Sunday evening. I kind of suspect that it was God’s blessing, timed just right.

What I do know is that not being able to go to see the memorial service ended up being a good thing. Why?

Because it helped me realize that I’m moving forward.

Because not being able to go to the memorial service wasn’t, really, a huge deal. In fact, I had a perfectly fine time staying at home, making hot tea, and snuggling my sick girls, and I didn’t really even think about Dominic at all.

That, my friends, is progress.

I find my emotions and my focus are much more on the present and the future than the past, now. I miss him very much, but the longing doesn’t, for the most part, overtake my world. There are some moments and some days when the longing returns full force, but those moments are fewer and lesser with every passing week. I can enjoy my girls without being sad every moment, I can see babies without falling apart, I can miss an important memorial service and not feel devastated.

It will be 6 months since his birth, on January 31st. It’s a milestone. And my reaction to missing Memorial Sunday shows me just how far the Lord has brought me. My circumstances didn’t change. There was no miracle of healing. I had to bury the baby I’d prayed for and desperately desired. Yet, the Lord has been with me, the whole time. And that is what has gotten me to a place where I am, surprisingly, miraculously, OK. Maybe even better than ok…maybe even…(dare I say it?) doing well.

It shouldn’t happen. I don’t really know what the half-life of grief from losing your baby is, but I know that I’m actually surprised, myself, that I’m doing as well as I am, 6 months later. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a freak-out, emotionally intense kind of gal. Zoloft and I have been regular friends throughout my adult life, and I tend to be stressed most of the time when there really isn’t anything to stress about. So being this…OK…after the death of my child is…odd. Miraculous, actually. The truth is, it is totally a God-thing. No amount of Rebecca, in any shape or form, could account for me being remarkably more stable, after losing my baby, than I’ve been over much, much less disastrous things in my life.

Missing Memorial Sunday is a way the Lord helped me see it – just what He has done. What having nothing more than His presence has accomplished.

The whole thing reminds me of Psalm 21:6 “Surely You have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of Your presence.” Jesus has done that. He has, in the most gut-wrenching, horrific time of my life, made me glad with the joy of His presence. Each day (well, actually each moment, on many days) as I’ve had to seek Him to just survive, He has given me just what I needed to make it through. Only enough for that moment, and that day. So then, the next moment, I had to find Him again, to make it through that one, and He was there, too. All of a sudden, somehow it’s been 6 months. And as I now look back, I can see what having just His presence has done. He has shown me something I would have never known if I had gotten the miracle of healing.

He has shown me that, to have peace and hope and joy – truly, utterly, completely, all I need is Him.

Whatever it is in your life that is painful and awful – just trust me on this. To be ok, you don’t have to have the situation change. All you have to do is find the Lord in each individual moment. After a while, you’ll be able to look back, and you’ll suddenly realize that through all of those moments He performed a miracle after all.

One Response to “Missing Memorial Sunday”

  1. Cindy Herald says:

    How beautiful! This was so encouraging to read. Thank you so much! I tend to be stressed too much over little things. I am trying to focus more on being present with the Lord more often during each day. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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