On loss and tiny blessings

By Ryann Kuykendall

This April my husband I found out that I was pregnant.  Twenty one days later our doctor told us that our baby’s heart stopped.  Our baby was due December 15, 2008.  For days I debated with myself if it was right to share my story of joy and loss.  Because many others mourn loved ones and maybe someone reading this will find comfort I decided that it was right.

The second I knew I was pregnant, I fell in love and became a different person.  The wonder and awe filled my every thought and move.  Even house spiders became almost sacred to me. Because she might be pregnant, I couldn’t throw the spider outside.  All life took on a new perspective.  Now I see the grace in death.

Each person grieves differently.  In graduate school, Jessica, my best friend worked at Solace House on State Line Road as a grief counselor.  Jessica felt called to because her brother died when she was 18 years old.  The first time I visited her, I sat on a couch waiting for her and silently watched heartbroken people come to her for answers or comfort.  I asked her what she told people and she told me that she would wait to see how they dealt with their loss.   Sometimes she would cry with them and sometimes not.  The one thing she did know was that each person handled loss differently.  The wonderful example of Jessica finding strength and beauty in the death of her brother is a testimony to her faith.    She gave others a place to rest their spirits.  Her example of grieving while giving thanks is one of my greatest inspirations.

The spider I couldn’t bring myself to throw outside rests in the corner of the stairway to our basement.  The washing machine and dryer are in the basement so I pass that little brown spider many times a week.  I was right not to throw the spider out because she is pregnant.  Childish as it may seem, I smile when I pass her and her swollen belly.

That is what has gotten me through these last few weeks, finding beauty.  Friends and family say prayers for us and send cards to let us know they are there for us.  My purple irises and pink peonies are almost in bloom. The oak trees in front of my house make a lush green canopy.  I can feel love of God in all of these things.  My life blossomed right along with my flowers and trees this April.

No one thing or prayer can heal the pain my family and I feel.   God never promised us happiness through a child.  Before the loss of the baby, I never understood how others found peace that some day in Heaven loved ones will be rejoined.  However, knowing that one day will I be able to hold my child, there is a tremendous comfort. Despite my loss, the blessing of my short time with my child was my greatest gift.

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