Yesterday I met a friend for lunch who I had not seen since I lost Luke. She is a close coworker and friend. She had a baby 4 months before I did. We were pregnant together and shared details about that. Then when she had her little girl, she shared new baby stories with me and I listened, dreaming about all these things coming for me soon with the arrival of Luke. So, although I was excited about seeing her, I was also apprehensive. She has a new baby and I don’t. The scenario I had pictured of both of us toting carriers with precious bundles to the restaurant can’t happen. But she was there with hers.
I was pleased to find that I could enjoy her baby. I smiled at her and she held tight to my finger. I admired her little ruffled bloomers and her hair bow. I was thankful she was a girl because girls are less painful for me to see than baby boys. Her mom got her to laugh and her laugh was happy and very cute. I was worried my familiar feelings of sadness at the sight of a baby would flood in and wipe me out, but they didn’t. I felt sadness, but also the real joy I always used to feel around a cute baby. It was bittersweet, instead of just bitter. This seems like progress. I was able to look forward to having that in my own life as if it will happen.
My friend cried with me several times, which is so helpful. She also laughed with me and was very frank about her life. She said she has been thinking about me a lot and that it has been a hard summer. She shared a couple of things that are going on with others she cares about. A family she knows just lost their mom. The mom killed herself, leaving her husband and two little boys behind. As soon as she said this, I knew it was the family we had prayed for at the end of church last Sunday. When I said the women’s name as a question, she confirmed that it was. This woman had been on my mind. For one thing, she had my name, Sara. She also had a son named Hudson, which is my Luke’s middle name. When the pastor prayed for her family on Sunday, I felt like the prayer was for me and my family. The words were exactly what I needed. They were words that have been prayed over us too. This is so sad. I don’t understand how someone could leave her sons behind when all I want is to be with my son so badly. In my jumbled grieving brain, I thought, well, this family has no mom, I have no son, I should just step in and be that Hudson’s mom. They have what I need and I could fill their void also. So silly. If only it was that simple.
My friend also told me that her 4-year-old niece has brain cancer. She was in remission, but now can’t walk, lost hearing in one ear and her speech is being affected. The doctors said she probably has a month. This made me thankful that my Luke did not have to suffer before he died. He was not in pain. We did not have to see him deteriorate. This is what my doctor meant when she said there are fates worse than death. I add this to my growing mental list of “things that would be worse”. There are so many awful things in this world. Thank goodness this life is just a blink of an eye compared to our eternity in heaven. But we will get joy in this life too. Hopefully starting with baby that I can hold close and keep while on this earth.
Last night when I was thinking about the day, I remembered that baby girl’s cute laugh and felt a stabbing pang. My Luke never got to laugh, I thought. I never got to see him laugh! The loss began to rush in. But then I felt like God told me, “He is laughing! In heaven, he is laughing.” And that lifted the weight.