I'm one of those people who still has their wedding video on VHS tape. :) I no longer own a VHS player, but my parents do. My husband and I took the kids down to my parents house over Thanksgiving and one afternoon I located my wedding video and popped it into their VHS player. My poor son- I made him turn off his 3DS and watch the entire thing!
As we watched, I noticed that several people who attended our wedding are no longer alive. These include my Sunday School teacher from when I was 6, some great aunts and uncles, my grandfather, and my friend Karen who passed away from breast cancer. She played the piano in the wedding. As I pointed out all the different people that my son is never going to get to know, I couldn't help but push the rewind button several times so he could hear his great grandfather's voice. I did the same thing for Karen just so I could hear her laugh again.
While I can say that these losses have had a profound impact on my life, they do not hold a candle to the pain that I have felt (and STILL feel) over the loss of my babies. As a Christian, I can keep going because of the hope I have that I will see them all again, but that does not mean that I am some kind of superhero who doesn't feel the pain of grief. I have seen time and time again where people's expectations are so high of those who have suffered loss. Whether they realize it or not, they contribute to the pain that person is feeling and can actually cause that person to heal more slowly than they otherwise would.
The loss of a child cuts deeper than any other wound. It changes your whole life. There are some good changes, but there are some negative changes too. Sometimes, things that a person normally loved to do before their loss is now something that they cannot do. For me, that thing was music. I sang to my husband on our wedding day. Not live- I recorded myself because I knew that I would be too emotional to sing it during the ceremony. As I listened to this song on the wedding video I almost lost it. I hardly recognized my own voice. BEFORE it all happened, and by "it" I mean infertility and the loss of my babies- I sang all the time. Growing up, I sang in church at least once a month. I wrote and sang some of my own songs. I sang in the campus AND college choir in college. I sang solos, duets- you name it, I did it.
But AFTER it all happened, I stopped singing. For awhile, I even stopped talking. Every time I opened my mouth, the lump in there was so large I couldn't swallow it to get any words out. I stopped playing the piano. I stopped everything- everything except living; and if I could have, I would've stopped doing that too.
Fast forward to the present- after years of support from my family and friends, I am back at the piano. I can get through the songs without crying. And now I want to sing again. I don't have the best voice, but it's decent, and it's something I love to do. Maybe at some point, the opportunity will arise for me to sing again. As for now, I sing in the car. LOUDLY. :) I've unpacked the CDs and I sing with them at the top of my lungs. I sing for the Lord, I sing for my babies, I sing for Karen, and I sing for my grandfather because I know that they wouldn't want me to quit my music forever. After all, even the birds come out to sing after the rain!
3 weeks ago