Sunday, August 02, 2009

Shoulda been

I have scheduled and rescheduled this post so many times that I've lost count. I wrote this not too long after Olivia died, but at the time felt that it sounded very much like I was wallowing in my sea of grief and almost seemed just too sad to publish, if you can gather that. I decided to save it and have actually read it time and time again for my own benefit. So, I am posting it today, August 2, 2009, in honor of Olivia's due date. Even if I am not consumed with the Shoulda beens as much as I was in the early days, I still think it gives excellent insight into the type of grief I've experienced. Here is the post, in it's entirety, which has been waiting for this day:

Once upon several weeks ago, Hubs was having a really bad morning. He was truck driving, but not driving the 'usual' truck & just couldn't figure this 'new' one out. The thing just wouldn't cooperate. So he calls me for some prayer. At 5:58. AM! {You mean people are actually awake & functioning at that hour? But I digress.} Anyways, I pray for him for awhile, then fall back asleep. He calls again at 6:21 AM for more prayer. Yes. It was that shocking to my system that I remember the *exact* time. I told him if this continued all day, I'd have to hire a nanny just so that I could effectively be his prayer warrior. This time, he had gotten the gears figured out {praise God!}, but was upset about how much time had been wasted. He should've been so much farther along than he was. He shoulda been way down the road, but he was only not-as-far along. And what did I have the
nerve wisdom to say?

Don't worry about where you should've been. All you can do is focus on where you are now.

I've thought about that morning from time to time, what I told him {those words stayed with him for the rest of the day}, and boy does that medicine taste pretty yucky now! Sometimes my thoughts are filled with Shouldas, especially on Sundays when the 'new' pregnancy week would have started. So this last Sunday it was 'Shoulda been 33 weeks pregnant'. Shoulda been bringing up the bassinet & cleaning up the car seat. Shoulda been planning a co-ed nursery, picking out paint, sewing new curtains. Shoulda still been working on Olivia's middle name {we never did end up giving her one}. Shoulda been getting back massages from Hubs due to pregnancy back pain. Shoulda been cherishing little kicks and bumps and tumbles from Olivia. Shoulda been feeling excited, nervous, happy, anxious.

And then I remember my own advice. There is nothing I can do about where I Shoulda been. Nothing. All I can do is focus on where I am now.

I guess the hard part about doing that is that so much of what I am grieving is what Shoulda been. Since we didn't know Olivia outside of the womb, it is not even so much that I am grieving her, just grieving over.....what Shoulda been, but never will be. I think ahead to her first Christmas. Shoulda been. I think ahead to May 14, 2010. Shoulda been. To all the games of "attack the dad" where there Shoulda been four little bodies piled on top, instead of only three. To girly times together where one of my girls will always be missing. A million Shoulda beens.

Focusing on now means coming face-to-face with the idea that I will forever have an Olivia shaped hole in my heart. Until the day that I die. And that thought is just so, so painful. But it also means, trying to enjoy this moment. Hugging my babies here on earth. Crying when I need to. Laughing when I can. Praying that joy, for me, is right around the corner.

Longing for what Shoulda been~


Stephanie said...

I have thought of you often this morning and have whispered several prayers on your behalf.

Thank you for sharing.

Mom2anAngel~and~a miracle said...

I found your blog not to long ago and followed because I am an Angel mom too. I din't know exactly why it was I felt a connection, our losses were different, but still very much real. 2 things stick out - I noticed the 5/14 date. That is my birthday. I almost named my surviving daughter Olivia. Some how I think I was suppose to find you. ((HUGS))


Anna said...

I was in the neighborhood last night and I almost stopped by, just to give you a hug. I wasn't sure it that would make it better or worse though.

Thinking of you...

stephanie said...

Beautiful post... beautiful, beautiful post.It is advice for many situations,but how strange that something you said to your husband has turned out to be more for you.

Cristin said...

What a wonderful testimony to so many people who are grieving. Praying for you always!

Saralyn said...

The shouldas remind us why we need Jesus: everything is broken, and everybody has a hole in their life of some sort. Still praying, right now in Lamentations (interesting book, if you need a wailing type read).

Monica said...

Still thinking of you and praying for you.

2 Little Irish Boys said...

I stumbled upon your blog via Simple Mom.
Shoulda been--although I can't relate on your level of have blessed me by the post. I am so worried about the shoulda been's that I am losing focus.
Thank you so much for enlighting me. I lost my sister 20 years ago--devasting for my mother and I can't even begin to say I understand, but I can tell you what has helped me----Amy Grant's song says it all "In a little while".

My Very Own Angel said...

I loved this post. It's so honest and so true, I being a grieving mother can relate, and so many can use this. I'm glad to you shared this with all of us.

Ebe said...

I love this post. What a God glorifying one it was.
Thank you for pointing me to Jesus today.


chris mitch travis cana said...

i love that God gave you the courage to post this. You started out saying you felt maybe it was too poor me, but girl..this was ALL God! I'm proud of you.

I've found that i need to hear that often. Not that others are proud but that my God is. My father is proud of his daughter. We need to hear it. So consider this a big high five. He's so proud of you.

Kara said...

I am so sorry Olivia isn't here with you and meeting her siblings. I am sorry you have to wait so long to hold her again. Praying for your mommy heart as it longs for the future that should have been.