Sunday, March 13, 2016

Grief Denied


I was married in 1978. A little over six months later, we were expecting. About five months after that, right after finding out we were expecting twins, the two boys were born premature and died. I was 24 and my wife was 20. I was young and immature.

In some ways, the experience seemed in slow motion yet it happened very fast. The doctors unsuccessfully tried to stop labor. I remember going into the delivery room and soon there were two tiny lifeless bodies on my wife's lap. And way too soon, they were gone.

Soon a nurse had a paper to sign. I was relieved as there wouldn't be the cost of a funeral and they would take care of the bodies. This was my first big mistake. I had no idea how valuable a funeral would have been.

The second big mistake I made was thinking that because we were Christians, we had to show strength. Tears and sadness would somehow have conveyed that we didn't trust God, so I didn't allow my wife or myself to grieve.

Being young and immature, I didn't know what I didn't know. It seems like it would have been nice for someone with some years behind them to have stepped in and provided some wisdom but it's not anyone else's fault that it didn't happen.

Because I didn't allow my wife to grieve, that pain stayed inside. It hurt her in ways I don't know about. It probably still does.

I know there is nothing I can do to reverse the hurt caused by these mistakes. And there are plenty more that followed. I think everyone of us can probably look back and see the wake of damage done by our foolishness, stupidity, stubbornness or lack of experience. The really honest person doesn't have to look far as they see what they did yesterday.

Sometimes we can fix or at least make amends for what we have done; sometimes not. And sometimes, in this broken world, it just goes from bad to worse.