of grief and grace

Photo by Michael Metts

My daughter Margaret lost her baby today, early in her second trimester.

She and her husband John went to the doctor this morning, expecting to find out if they were having a boy or a girl. Instead they found out the baby no longer had a heart beat. They went home together and he held her while she cried.

I wish I could have held her too.

When I talked to her this afternoon, Andrew, 1, was putting French fries in his hair. Timothy, 3, had concluded everything was ok because they would see the baby in heaven some day.

But for John and Meg life is more complicated than that.

And so is death.

She says she spent part of the day in denial. But without a doubt realities have shifted. The baby had carved out a place in their lives and in their plans. It was not merely a miscarriage. Or just a fetus. It was a baby they had begun to love.

I had too.

I know they will try again. I know they will succeed. But in the meantime there is grief. A trip to the hospital later this week. Awkward conversations. Unplanned silences. Unanswered questions.

When it happened to our friend Terri she wrote about that secret society of others who had experienced the same loss: “We didn’t drink or smoke or experiment with heroin– we were good and took our vitamins and walks and carefully chose our produce and monitored our every move and bite and thought.”

And even though we know there is a reason, she said, none of those on which we speculate is very satisfying, although they are all important.

I’ve lived long enough to know that John and Meg don’t need my advice or speculation. Yours either.

They need our prayers and our love, though.

We can give them that.

And then? Simple gifts, Terri said after her own loss. Measured in laughter and hugs.

Because such grace is necessary.

And sufficient.

7 thoughts on “of grief and grace”

  1. I am deeply sorry for Margaret’s loss. And, as Terri so eloquently put it, may the coming days be overflowing with Simple Gifts for her and her husband.

  2. So sorry…will be praying for Meg and John. Trusting there is comfort for you and Katie as well…knowing that God doesn’t “waste” anything…love, Jen

  3. My thoughts and prayers are with your whole family tonight. I wish I were nearer so I could offer a simple gift to you and Katie whom I know are suffering as well. Hug each other for me.

  4. Grief and loss have become a part of our life story. Besides our son Daniel who went to heaven on May 16, 2010 at the age of 23, we also have 2 other children there as well. We had miscarriages after John and after Luke, one at 2 months and the other at the beginning of the 2nd trimester just like Meg.

    I was so surprised that the loss of someone I had never met could be so deep. This was my child, who I longed to hold in my arms and loved, even though I hadn’t met him/her. After losing each baby, people would come up and tell me they had gone through it too. People just don’t talk about it….but they will to help others going through it.

    My love and compassion goes out to Meg and John, Wally and Katie. Cling to the Lord and let this draw you closer to Him.

    I wonder if, after Daniel had a chance to meet his other 2 siblings in heaven, he got to greet John and Meg’s little one as well! I long for heaven more with each passing day! Make sure you will be there!

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