Webster’s dictionary defines grief as a deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement or a cause of such suffering.
This past week Paul and I started attending a group at church entitled “Griefshare.” It’s basically a biblically based support group for those who have lost a loved one. At the beginning of the session, the grief director noticed she had some new faces and came up to introduce herself. She asked us what our names were and to share a little about our loss. Paul introduced us and informed her of our sweet angel in heaven. She expressed her condolences and proceeded to share a little about the group. She let us know that most of the people in the group had a different kind of loss, a spouse, a parent, a living child, etc. and that although she welcomed us, she wanted us to make sure that this was the right place for us. I know she meant well, but it still left an uneasy feeling in my stomach. Was our loss not significant enough? So our daughter had to be here on Earth for her life to count? Those were my initial thoughts.
The group would meet for thirteen weeks and follow a program which entails watching a video and having group discussions. So we began with session one. We watched and listened to people’s testimonies about how they lost their loved ones and ways to help deal with their grief. Something was said in the video that really stood out. “Grief is the price you pay for loving someone. Without love, there would be no grief.” It was then that I was reassured I was in the right place. No matter what loss we suffered, whether it was my stillborn daughter or the husband of the woman sitting beside me, we all had one thing in common, grief. We all loved the person we lost. I never thought about grief that way. I thought about grief as heartache, pain, suffering, etc. but not as a payment. It explained so well, the true meaning of grief.
So that brought me to my next thought. I thought back to when we first lost Bella. The weeks and months that followed her untimely passing. I thought about some comments people made, comments that have left a scar on my heart. One couple said, “Now they can move on,” as we still lay in the hospital. Another person said, “I’ve had plenty of friends that lost a baby and they didn’t act the way they are.” I’m sorry but we didn’t have a “miscarriage.” Our baby was completely and fully developed and ready to enter this world. But even if you ask those that had a “miscarriage,” I’m sure they feel the same way. A loss is a loss. We’ve been deleted off Facebook by more than one person because they didn’t agree or like the way we were grieving. The sad part about this, is that most of these people are parents. How can you dismiss so quickly and belittle the life we lost, when you know first hand the love a parent has for their child? For most parents, especially mothers, your love begins the instant you find out you are expecting. That love grows deeper and deeper with each passing day. I had almost nine months for my love to grow.
So if I didn’t love my daughter, I would never have grieved her passing. My grief is because I loved her so much. I will grieve the rest of my life, because I will never stop loving her.