September 8, 2011

Closing Chapters

Last night we had our final Empty Arms group. I wrote a post about this group here. Going into it, we had no idea what to expect. The only thing I knew for certain was that I no longer wanted to feel like I was the only person on the planet experiencing this heartache. I wanted to be intentional in my grieving and didn't want to push it away, {as if it were possible}.

I mentioned that the first night was super difficult, a little uncomfortable, and there were lots of tears. Hubby and I were anxious and uneasy about unpeeling the layers of pain and sadness from ourselves like an onion. Then, the next meeting came. I realized that I didn't feel nervous, I felt a little glad to be going. Every Wednesday for six weeks we went to this group. It became a ritual in our lives and definitely was something that I looked forward to each week. Besides an instant connection with every one of the six others in the room, I grew to care about them and realized they were an integral part of my healing, just as I hoped I could be in theirs.

Each week we cried, and each week we somehow managed to laugh. We told stories only couples in our position could relate to, and we shared fears, anxieties and hopes for the future. We didn't realize what an impact this group would have on both of us. Hubby is even glad we took part in this group. This makes me happy because I know at first he was going to support me, but in the end the group carried us. I'm thankful we took the time to grieve and connect this way.

I didn't realize it at first, but there was something we hoped to achieve while in this group. We wanted to name our twins and hadn't yet been at a place where we were ready to do that. Now we are ready and we've picked the most perfect names for them. That, of course, deserves a post of its own, so I will save it for another one soon.

So, there you are. You might be thinking to yourself, okay, great, they grieved. Now they can move on. Right? No. Doesn't work that way. If you were thinking that, it's okay. Before going through this I might not have understood the complexity and depth of time required in healing. Truth is, the more layers we peel back, the more raw the pain feels.

I feel like, in being intentional in this journey, we are only getting started. I also feel like I'm going through two parallel journeys right now. Yes, we are a couple longing to be parents. Yes, we are trying. Yes, it is hard. No, we're not there yet. At the same time, we are parents and we are grieving the loss of our two children. We are coping with the reality that we should be expecting our babies in a few weeks but we're not. Losing your two children, that is real pain.

The word 'bittersweet' came up last night as we spoke of ways we have changed as people since losing our children. I shared that my perspective on life has changed completely, and that I have become more empathetic towards others. Whether it is a natural disaster or a tragic,sudden loss of a loved one, I put myself there and imagine the pain felt. On the other hand, I realize now more than ever what really matters in life. I would trade every possession I own and sleep on hot coals for the rest of my life if it meant I could keep them here. One person mentioned that their child is teaching them how to be a better person and I love that. Our boys are the ones teaching us. They are so wise. Of course, I would trade all of this new found wisdom in an instant to have my babies here with me.

I would not have imagined we would find this group as valuable as we have. We are closing the chapter on Empty Arms, but not on our grief. We will still keep in touch with one another and walk together on our journey through this pain. One day at a time.

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 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;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time for war, and a time for peace.


Anonymous said...

YOu are such an amazing woman, Margot. You and TJ are such blessings to others with this blog.

I have been enlighten and touched by your blog and feel lucky to know you.

God bless you, my sweet friend. Love, Jen

Sarah | Coffee and Cabernet said...

One step at a time. Even though your babies are not here on Earth, they are your babies, forever, and I plan to celebrate them right along with you. I am SO excited to learn their names. xoxo

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