October. It's infant loss awareness month. And today, October 15th specifically, is infant loss awareness day. It's a good day, because for so many, the loss of a baby is a silent pain, one that isn't talked about. In having a day like this, however sad it is, we can maybe allow others into our circle of grief, and at the same time, comfort them in theirs.
For us, October is a month that we should have a birthday, but we don't.
You see, we should be celebrating a first birthday this October.
But we're not.
And furthermore, if we were celebrating that first birthday, we wouldn't have our Mercy girl. Mercy Grace, we joke, since her middle name, Anna, means Grace.
It's strange, this loss. We can't imagine life without her, but in order to have the lives we grieve, we couldn't have her. It's one or the other.
If we had Baby J, who would be one this month, we couldn't have Mercy. And likewise, if we had had Baby A, who would've been one in August, we could've never had the (however short) joy of Baby J's life, much less Mercy's.
Of course, none of these choices were ours to have, and because we serve an all powerful and all knowing God, we can rest in that. These are choices that we could never have made, and hardships that we would never have chosen.
But God. He allowed these losses for our refining, our growth. For His glory. We can't understand it all, or wrap our minds around the whys. But at the same time, maybe it's not for us to understand, but simply to trust.
In this loss though, we have learned. We've learned to grieve with others who grieve. Not everyone grieves the same of course, but we've (hopefully) learned to empathize with them in spite of that. We've also learned to rejoice. To appreciate new life more fully. To embrace the gifts and hardships, and blessings that we're given. To realize that God has a plan, even when we can't see it.