Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chocolate Milk Makes Me Sad (And Other Eastertide Musings)

(my first finished cross stitch in's the pattern)

The days leading up to Easter were very difficult for me this year.  It's easy to mourn the loss of a child during Lent--it's a season of sacrifice and penance and reflection; but Easter, that's supposed to be a joyful celebration of new life and how can I be joyful when the new life within me has so suddenly ended?  I felt as if I was being forcibly dragged through Holy Week at an ever quickening pace until I was face to face with the Easter Vigil.  As Chris and I arrived I realized I had forgotten the tissues I meant to bring.  He commented that the Easter Vigil mass isn't exactly a somber occasion.  He doesn't understand that I tear up whenever I'm alone with my thoughts and that a mass without the children in a candlelit church was a recipe for a public, tearful disaster.  Somehow transitioning into the Easter season feels like leaving Katharine behind.  To me, the Lenten calendar we had on the fridge marking down the days toward Easter, was really marking the days since she left us and now the calendar is gone and Easter is here, and I should be rejoicing but I just can't seem to bring myself to do it.

To help distract me from all of this sadness I've taken to reading the Anne of Green Gables books.  I just recently realized that although I'd seen the movies and the television shows as a girl, I had never actually read the books.  It's a shame too because I've gained a lot of wisdom from reading these little children's books as an adult. However I apparently just can't escape my solemn meditations.....

***spoiler alert*** 

As I began Anne's House of Dreams, I got to the point where Anne was about to have her first child and realized with much trepidation that the title of the chapter was Dawn and Dusk.  That certainly didn't bode well...

"At sunset the little soul that had come with the dawning went away, leaving heartbreak behind it.  Miss Cornelia took the wee, white lady from the kindly but stranger hands of the nurse, and dressed the tiny waxen form in the beautiful dress Leslie had made for it.  Leslie had asked her to do that.  Then she took it back and laid it beside the poor, broken, tear-blinded little mother.

'The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, dearie,' she said through her own tears.  'Blessed be the name of the Lord.'...

Anne's convalescence was long, and made bitter for her by many things.  The bloom and sunshine of the Four Winds world grated harshly on her; and yet, when the rain fell heavily, she pictured it beating so mercilessly down on that little grave across the harbour...

'It doesn't seem fair,' said Anne rebelliously.  'Babies are born and live where they are not wanted--where they will be neglected--where they will have no chance.  I would have loved my baby so--and cared for it so tenderly--and tried to give her every chance for good.  And yet I wasn't allowed to keep her.'

'It was God's will, Anne,' said Marilla, helpless before the riddle of the universe--the why of undeserved pain.  'And little Joy is better off.'

'I can't believe that,' cried Anne bitterly.  Then, seeing that Marilla looked shocked, she added passionately, 'Why should she be born at all--why should anyone be born at all--if she's better off dead?  I don't believe it is better for a child to die at birth than to live its life out--and love and be loved--and enjoy and suffer--and do its work--and develop a character that would give it a personality in eternity.  And how do you know if it was God's will?  Perhaps it was just a thwarting of His purpose by the Power of Evil.  We can't be expected to be resigned to that.' 

'Oh, Anne, don't talk so,' said Marilla, genuinely alarmed lest Anne were drifting into deep and dangerous waters.  'We can't understand--but we must have faith--we must believe that all is for the best.  I know you find it hard to think so, just now...It won't hurt so much always, Anne.'

'The thought that it may stop hurting sometimes hurts me worse than all else..."

I wasn't prepared to read yet another account of a mother's grief but I think it speaks to the universal pain we all feel at the loss of a child.  I know she's just a fictional character but she did help me to feel not quite so alone in my pain.

So many kind women have reached out to me throughout these past weeks to share their own stories of loss and healing and the one thing that seems to bind them all together is the fact that our little ones are never far from our thoughts no matter how much time has passed.


On another note, I need to throw out our chocolate milk.  I haven't been able to drink it since Katharine left us.  I used to have it first thing every morning to keep the nausea at bay--I suppose I really should have known she was a girl by the fact that she needed so much chocolate milk....Now chocolate milk just makes me sad and so the carton sits alone in the bottom of the refrigerator.  David however still insists that he needs chocolate milk to make him feel better....probably because I always told him it was just for the baby to make him (turns out her) feel better.  Oh well, maybe one day it will make me feel better again the mean time I've go these three fellows to brighten my spirit.....

On another other note, does this helmet look too small?  I can't tell if the way it seems to be sitting ridiculously high on his head is part of the universal look of goofiness of helmet wearing in general or the product of an ill fitting helmet.  This one is 5+ surely he can't need an 8+ already?


  1. Interesting excerpts from the book...I don't think I'v ever read any of those books either.
    I drink chocolate milk every morning! I hope you'll need it again soon;)
    I think that helmet does look a bit small, definitely seems like it should be protecting more of his head.

  2. Tears for your sorrow. Each new season will bring it up. Its hard learning to live in the sorrow but it can be a path to Heaven.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...