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to see a video of Gretta
and pictures from her funeral

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Inventory of Loss

When you lose a child, you begin a journey of intense physical, emotional, spiritual and mental upheaval and transition. You have experienced a deep loss, nothing you have experienced before can come close to comparison. So it becomes uncharted waters, deep and blue, stormy and tempest.

As we travel through these waters, there is mass confusion, a total loss of your senses, direction and self-awareness. There is no up and down, no left or right. It is catastrophic and unprecedented. Over time, the initial shock wears away and we are left with unfathomable newness that must be worked through.

Part of this is an 'Inventory of Loss'. We don't realize all that we have lost at first. We have lost our daughter. Our sweet, innocent, 2 year old, whom we loved with abandon, freely and unconditionally. This next part that I write, is my own 'Inventory'.

I have lost my baby, the last of my children, the one I would pamper and defer to with all the little comforts the "baby" would recieve. Having her home with me all to ourselves for that last year or two while the others are in school.

I have lost the privelege of watching her grow into a young child and then a teenager and someday a young woman.

I have lost the daily routines and characteristic motherly chores of raising this daughter: teaching her about Jesus, potty training, diapering, teaching her to count to ten, her abc's, her colors, her shapes, her body parts, the names of her foods, picking out her clothes, dressing her, bathing her, fixing her hair, teaching her the art of matching her shoes to her outfits ;), painting her little toenails, etc. This list could go on and on.

I have lost the time I would have spent with her and all her little "firsts" as she grew. Getting her ready and taking her to her first day of Kindergarten, taking her to get her ears pierced, school shopping, snow sliding, ice skating, singing, playing an instrument, again this list could go on and on.

I have lost the beauty of watching her with her loving father, playing, wrestling, tickling, laughing, playing basketball, hiking,football, soccer, tennis, nightime stories and being tucked in with prayers and kisses, graduation from high school and maybe college and finally being walked down the aisle by her daddy.

I have lost watching her with her siblings, playing alongside her brother Russell as the best friends they had already become in her short time here, sneaking into her older sisters room, following her around and eventually developing a sister relationship that lasts forever, (like the ones I have with mine).

There is so much to inventory and that will change and grow as the days turn into months turn into years. I must grieve it all as I think of it, so that it does not ambush me when it comes. I know, this may happen sometime when I least expect it anyway, but I will do my best to try to look at it now and mourne over it.

These are the "secondary losses", they come alongside the death and become part of the grief that lasts a lifetime. They are the reasons you 'never get over it' because with each new day there is another loss realized, another emptiness felt, a new void, a missing piece. These just are part of an unwanted journey, but a journey never-the-less that we are forced to partake in.

God's loving and merciful character walks beside us, we trust Him, we learn to know Him on a more intimate level and love Him deeper, not just in spite of, but because of the trial.

Yesterday, as I was praying, I asked God to call to Gretta and to hold her for me and tell her that her mommy misses her so much and can't wait to see her again! I know He was listening and I could feel that He had her in her arms, whispering to her my request.


theultrarev said...

Wow. There's a lot to process there about grief and loss in general. Thanks.

Jennifer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

What an amazing thing to experience..... to just feel inside that Jesus was holding Gretta at that moment. I felt relief even in myself just hearing you speak of it.

What comfort to know that she is in the arms of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Tears are falling down my face .. no words.. just tears

Love Angel