Ruthie was such an easy baby. She was so predictable. She would nurse every 3 hours, then sleep for at least an hour. She was always happy, loved to sit on my lap, cuddle and be read to. Our life just consisted of nursing, reading and napping. Seriously, I had a dream first child.
Ruthie was so much fun for me! She would let me dress her in whatever I wanted. She wore shoes that never touched the floor. She wore tights and hats. She was the perfect little accessory to our family!
Dustin enjoyed Ruthie too, but he was not with her day in and day out. Plus Ruthie and I are girls so we just go together – mother and daughter.
I was so excited for Dustin when we were expecting Daniel because now he could have his own little person. Daniel for Dustin and Ruthie for me. His and her children!
But instead of getting his and her offspring, Dustin and I found ourselves with his and her ways of grieving our loss of Daniel.
Here is where I am going to confess that if Dustin thought I was emotional during “that time of the month” before Daniel died, he had seen nothing yet. My emotions were so unpredictable after Daniel died. I sometimes cringe to think of how I might have behaved.
When I think back to the times of heavy grieving, I remember these things about myself:
- I was quiet except for when I wanted to talk.
- When I wanted to talk, I needed someone with which to talk. Someone who would listen and not answer my questions. I just needed to talk.
- Maybe I just needed to vent.
- I would cry at everything. (Imagine pregnancy hormones times one million)
- I wanted to stay home with my little girl. I would welcome visitors into my home, but my druthers were to stay where I was comfortable. And safe.
Dustin grieved differently than me:
- He wanted to get out of the house. At times he had to urge me to get out of the house.
- He wanted to be around people.
- He talked more about our loss than I did. He would talk when I was in “quiet-Daphne” mode.
- He needed to be outdoors and be alone with God.
- Sometimes, when Ruthie was tucked into bed, he would see a little reminder from Daniel’s short life, he would break down and cry. Then he would sleep it off and be ready the next morning.
Grief affects different people in different ways. But when grief strikes, it is so real. Your world is upside down and you know that you will never be the same as you were before. You cannot be the same.
However, the Bible speaks of grief and mourning in several places. There is a season for grieving and mourning.
Grief is real – real hard, real tiring, & real painful.
Husbands and wives seem to grieve differently and that is OKAY! This is a truth that I had to learn and understand. It’s important to give your spouse the permission and freedom to grieve however he or she grieves and for however long they need to grieve.
You will never get over your grief, but you will get through it and it will get easier over time. Grief is hard, but God is good.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:1-4
“Hear , O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper! You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!” Psalm 30:10-12
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4