Me? I'm not sure where I'm at. I was warned that approaching the due date, the sharpness of my grief would reemerge and it has. Choking, aching grief. Deep sorrow at never being able to hold my baby, hear him laugh. A brother for Gus that he doesn't even know to miss. Another son for a proud papa. Another piece of our hearts walking around in a scary, dangerous world. Instead, he sleeps in a tiny heart shaped box. Forever safe, forever pure. Leo, we will miss you forever.
Through everything though, God has had his hand on our lives. He led us and comforted us through the initial shock and disbelief. To the doctor's surprise we were able to tell he was a boy so we could name him. He healed the raw edge of my grief. He took away my crippling fear over this new pregnancy so that I could rejoice in the new life growing in me. I may not be innocent anymore, but I am joyful over this new life.
What I am the most thankful for though, as September 13 approaches, is that there I am already, at nine weeks, visibly pregnant. I'm not sure how how difficult that day would have been without tangible hope for the future. I know that faith is the evidence of things not seen, but sometimes I think God knows that a visual goes a long, long way towards settling our fears. I know it isn't past yet but God is preparing me for that.
And then today, when I was laying there being thankful that I could see evidence of the baby, I felt the baby move. Unmistakably. I know it's really early for that, but I did not imagine it and it was exactly what I needed this week to help me through the renewed grief over a child that died while I carried him.
Even though Leo's death was God's plan for us, he did not lead us to it alone. He has been with us, comforting us every time grief threatens to overwhelm.