missing the innocence

The other day I was scrolling through my instagram pictures and came across this one from my birthday last year. "Last birthday in my 20's and without a child!" It feels like a harsh reminder of what should have been. Next week, I will be 30, but my child won't be in my arms.
In this picture I was seven months pregnant, excited, and happy. There was an innocence about me that I didn't even know I had until it was gone. When I lost Owen, I lost a part of me. A part I don't know I will ever get back. I long for that innocence and happiness again. I long for the life I thought I would have. The life I spent nine months dreaming of. The life I didn't even know I wanted so badly until it happened. And for some reason, it was taken away all too soon. This year as I approach my birthday, it doesn't feel very happy. I want to take this same picture again this year with my 10 month old in my arms reaching for the cake. I still can't believe Owen isn't here. I long for him with all that I am.  

This holiday/birthday season is just hard. I wasn't sure if I wanted to get a tree this year or decorate for Christmas, but we did anyways. I love to decorate and be creative. I rarely have the energy for it these days, but when I do, I take advantage of it. Part of me is able to escape from reality when I'm focused on being creative and making things beautiful. I didn't have a stocking for Owen before he was born, but I bought one for him two weeks ago. It felt right. I picked out the cutest one for him and stitched his name on ever so carefully. After I hung them on the mantle, I sobbed. I sobbed happy tears for the moments we shared with him during  his life, and I sobbed tears of sorrow for the sadness we feel without him here in our home. I love seeing his name hanging on our mantle, and I love seeing our names together.

I feel an overwhelming feeling of disappointment from God. I'm disappointed in so many things, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that my plans are not his, and that's hard. This holiday season seems to intensify my sadness. I feel like I am constantly surrounded by happy people with happy lives. Just finding a Christmas card that didn't say "Merry & Bright!" or "Happy Holidays!" was quite challenging. When I go to church, all I see are happy people. I would love to get through a Sunday without tears. Where are the other suffering people? Not that I want others to suffer, but this state I'm in can feel so isolating. 

Jealousy is another emotion I've been struggling with. Just last night, I found a blog post from a mother of four who is battling cancer. She is in the midst of severe physical pain and suffering and talked about the jealousy she feels of "normal families." I relate to that completely. I'm jealous others with healthy children, and I'm also jealous of my old self. The person who was energetic and happy, and innocent. I now feel weak, scarred, broken, and unable to be fixed. Last week, a friend sent me this excerpt from her devotion. "Our weakness should be prized as making room for divine strength. We might never have known the power of grace if we had not felt the weakness of nature. Blessed be the Lord for the thorn in the flesh and the messenger of Satan, when they drive us to the strength of God... Let us then, fall back upon our God and his grace. If he does not remove our grief, he will enable us to bear it." I am thankful for this reminder that through my weakness, He is strong. My prayer is that during this season, I will be reminded of God's promises and blessings and that his grace will be enough for me each day.


  1. Oh, how I see His strength in you and His grace. Praying for God to minister to your broken heart through His son, "a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief." Praying that His promises will continue to strengthen and comfort you.

    We sang O Come, O Come, Emmanuel on Sunday- such powerful words and such a somber melody. I thought of you and Brian as I sang.

    O come, O come, Emmanuel,
    and ransom captive Israel,
    that mourns in lonely exile here
    until the Son of God appear.
    Rejoice! Rejoice!
    Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

    O come, thou Wisdom from on high,
    who orderest all things mightily;
    to us the path of knowledge show,
    and teach us in her ways to go.

    O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
    thine own from Satan's tyranny;
    from depths of hell thy people save,
    and give them victory over the grave.

    O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
    our spirits by thine advent here;
    disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
    and death's dark shadows put to flight.

    O come, thou Key of David, come,
    and open wide our heavenly home;
    make safe the way that leads on high,
    and close the path to misery.

    O come, O come, great Lord of might,
    who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
    in ancient times once gave the law
    in cloud and majesty and awe.

    O come, thou Root of Jesse's tree,
    an ensign of thy people be;
    before thee rulers silent fall;
    all peoples on thy mercy call.

    O come, Desire of nations, bind
    in one the hearts of all mankind;
    bid thou our sad divisions cease,
    and be thyself our King of Peace.

    Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

  2. Allison, I realize I don't know you and cannot even begin to imagine the pain you feel. You mentioned wondering where all the suffering people are. Have you considered joining a support group for parents who've lost a child? Instead of people looking at you with utter sadness and not having any idea of what you're going through feels like, you could go to a place where people look at you with recognition and empathy. There is a place in Charlotte called KinderMourn (http://www.kindermourn.org). As I said, I don’t know you, so if you have any negative feelings about me posting this I sincerely apologize. I think about Owen all the time and have shared his story with many. I wish nothing but the best for you and Brian.

  3. Even though we are also strangers, I want to save space for you so that you can do what you've gotta do to get through this. And then when you're ready give you a humungous hug. Hoping and praying that your days are even a little bit better.