I didn’t grow up thinking I wanted children. When my husband and I met, we were both open about being ok with never having children of our own. We were married for 7 years before I ended up tossing it all out the window when I started to get a maternal instinct. It also maybe had something to do with the fact that I hit my 30’s, but that’s neither here nor there. A mere 6 weeks before our 8th anniversary, we welcomed our daughter into the world and became a family.
Obviously since then, many things have changed. No more spontaneous trips to the movies, I start to get tired around 7pm and there’s definitely no more sleeping in on Saturday mornings (or ANY morning for that manner). Most of these things didn’t shock me and to be honest, they don’t really bother me all that much. Because the joy of motherhood is something I never imagined, even on the hardest days. When people say your heart grows when you have children, they weren’t kidding. Some days I don’t even know how my body can contain the love I feel for my child.
And I don’t just love my daughter more, I just LOVE MORE. PERIOD.
I can’t bear to watch the news on a regular basis, because I can’t stand the atrocities I see and don’t want to think about the world my daughter will grow up in. I see roadkill on the side of the street and get misty because I think of the suffering that animal bore. I see a fellow mom weeping and can never seem to manage to hold back my own tears in solidarity. People talk about your heart growing about the love you feel for your child, but they don’t proclaim the love that automatically starts to flow for other mothers.
I don’t see PEOPLE anymore. I see sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. I see beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles and lifelong friends. I see someone’s loved ones.
I’ve followed one of my favorite food blogs, Pinch Of Yum for several years now. I wish I could say that I love it because I embrace her healthy recipes but really, it’s because Lindsay (the site owner) is pretty rad. She’s a hilarious writer, awesome food photographer, fun foodie, wife and just an all around normal gal. I celebrated with her when she and her husband found out they were expecting a baby and this last week, I wept when their baby made an early arrival into the world, followed by a swift trip to Heaven to be with Jesus.
Lindsay and I have never met, and I have never experienced the horrific tragedy of losing my child. But when I see pictures of her weeping over her baby, my heart is broken. It is shattered because Lindsay and I are both moms, and when I see her grief, I feel it too. Because I know the love that you feel for your baby, no matter how long they have been on this earth. I see myself in that photo, and I can more than imagine the depth of her despair, the bone-weary weight of loss that she now has to carry.
I think and pray for Lindsay countless times a day, because I can think of no greater trauma in life than for a mother to lose her child. I choke back tears when I see new photos pop up on her Instagram, because I know she is processing her grief in the only way she knows how- in showing the pride for her perfect baby gone too soon. If there is one thing of many that I hope to be true, it’s that I can help shoulder her burden by sharing in her grief and offering pleas to God for peace and understanding.
Lindsay, my heart breaks for you. Even though we have never met. My prayer is that you feel lifted up by moms and believers around you. That you find an unexplainable comfort in your time of loss. I pray you and your husband bind together, not push apart. And my biggest prayer is that you are blessed with the child you so clearly deserve and desire.
There are tons of sources that tout the benefits of becoming a parent. Healthier heart, mind and body are just a few things that a child improves in your life. But even more, I find myself a better human and more like Jesus when it comes to loving. Can you imagine the depth of his love for us, if what we feel is even half of what He is capable of feeling?
Do you have to be a mom to understand grief? No. Do you have to have children to know a love so deep to weep for someone you don’t even know? Of course not. But I can only speak for myself when I say that I would never know the depth of love a mother has for her child, had I not become one myself. I’m so grateful I get to experience something that makes me a better listener, patient woman and a lover of mankind.