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Friday, December 3, 2010

What we lose and what we gain

This has been a difficult year. It has been a year of great losses and yet, tremendous gains. This week, I had a conversation with two different people at different times, both of whom said "This year has been hard. Next year will be better."

Those conversations made me think about what we lose and then, what we gain. A dear friend of mine lost a baby this year at nearly 20 weeks along. The baby had genetic defects that caused his death in utero. My friend got pregnant again two months later and miscarried that child as well. She is now pregnant again for the third time this year. She has two healthy boys already so she knows she can have healthy, beautiful children. And yet - there is always a cautious outlook whenever you have lost a child (or two). There is always a tightness in the chest, a feeling of "what if," but at the same time a feeling of incredible joy that a new life is on the way. We lose something and we gain something - a feeling of joy born of previous grief and hope.

Death has been a central theme this year for me and for many others I know. On November 30, my mother's best friend of more than 50 years, Becky (known to us as Beck), passed away. She had battled health problems for many years and passed peacefully in her sleep at the hospital. She was like a mother to me and her son is like a brother to me. Her son and I went to law school together and survived some tough times both in school and outside of it. I ache for him and for her daughter as well. They are both such amazing people. Her son is married and his wife is pregnant with what would have been Beck's first grandchild. We have lost her, but there is a child being formed by God right now whose grandmother is watching the formation, and will forever watch over this very special child. What we gain...

The death of our loved ones is always a tremendous loss. There are no words of comfort, nothing that can make it better, nothing that will bring us the peace we so desperately crave in those first few days. We do not get over it, we simply get used to it. There is always a tiny hole in our heart where that person has resided for the time they were in our lives. But we gain the strength of having survived their passing and of knowing there are others who are grieving with us. We gain the knowledge that they are watching us, guiding us in those subtle ways that we don't always connect with them, but that upon reflection we know can only be their work in our lives. What we gain...

4 comments:

S.I.F. said...

To be able to look at what you've gained in this right now is what makes you such an amazing person...

Lawfrog said...

Thank you S.I.F.! I so appreciate your kind words. They help more than you know. :)

Jill said...

you've made me think of this..and it's a saying that my mom taught me and now I've put it into practics..."you can't get anything new in your life without getting rid of something old" think of clothes, for instance, you buy new shirts, but have no room for them -- so you have to clean out your closet (hmmm, that sounds like an eminem rap song). it's true to life too. so, i try to live simply and with purpose :)

Jill said...

oh, and your frog is cute!! I'm an elephant lover! :D hahaha!!