It's so difficult to know what to say to a person who is grieving. There have only been a small handful of times where I have been on the receiving end of one of these difficult conversations. I'm usually the person who can't figure out what to say to someone who has just lost a loved one...and the reason I was probably never very good at it is because until about 5 years ago, I had not suffered much loss in my life. A dear friend of mine sent me a very sweet message yesterday. I was so touched by her words and I just sat there and sobbed. I am thankful for friends and family who really try to understand and really grieve with us. Those who seem to really grasp the heartache we are dealing with even if they have never lost a child. My friend's message is below and I have taken out all mention of her family's names for privacy sake. This, my friends, is an example of the RIGHT things to say to a person who is grieving:
Lisa, I have not expressed just how much I have mourned over Noah. I am sorry for that. I have been reading your blog and can't figure out how to post on it, so I am going to send this note instead. I want you to know I will never forget Noah, I promise. I wanted to tell you about the gifts his life has brought me.
The first one is that I am so painfully aware of what God did for us when he sent his precious son to die for us because of Noah. I never quite grasped the heartache, and I am sure now I only know some part of it. It hurts in ways that I have tried to tell you several times only to find myself lost for words. I am not sure what to say. I want to connect with you about it and do not know how to do it. I know you are so tender right now and I would never want to make you upset or somehow seem that my mourning compares to yours. I pray for Noah and you and David and Ethan all the time. But, mostly for you. There is no greater heartache than that of a lost child for a mother.
The second one is that I am so acutely aware that I need to live each day knowing that tomorrow may not be the same. I do not know why this has happened and it is scary to think of how life can change so fast. I appreciate my family in a new way because of Noah.
Noah is also teaching me to let go. I have no control in this life and the unthinkable can happen at any minute. There is rarely an understandable reason for such tragedies. I am learning that I simply need to let go and live in my savior. Day by day. I need to surrender all to him. Everything I have.
When I found out about Noah it felt like the world fell away. I shook and felt frightened. I had to sit and then all of a sudden I burst into tears and couldn't help but say your name. I just didn't want you to have to feel this. I had to see you. I called David and asked when the soonest possible time was that I could come and we came. I wanted it all to be a nightmare and to wake up and find the world as I had known it. I prayed that he would be miraculously born alive. I just didn't want this to be true.
Noah cannot be forgotten because he has changed people; his life has become a part of mine and so many other people's. We will never be the same because Noah lived.
So many of you have sent messages like these. Messages that express how you are grieving along side us. Some of you barely know me, some of you know me well, and some of you don't know me at all, but the greatest thing that any of you could say is that Noah mattered. His life mattered. His existence made a difference! There's nothing else you can say that would bring me greater comfort!
Just a side note....I remembered something after reading what this friend wrote about praying that Noah would miraculously be born alive. It's something that I had forgotten to write about in my post about the day that we found out Noah was gone. After we had the ultrasound where we saw that Noah's heart had stopped beating, they put me in a different room for the night. While I was sitting in the bed I felt like Noah was moving around in my belly. I knew this couldn't be true, but I could suddenly feel his head up above my belly button and it had been on my left side during the ultrasound. Even though I had seen with my own eyes that his heart had stopped, I still held onto hope. Hope for a miracle. I knew God could do it. It is never too late for God no matter what!!! After all...He's GOD!!! The nurse very gently told me that sometimes you can feel the baby sort of floating around. David and I still just had to be certain...we weren't fully accepting it at the time and I think part of us also just wanted to see him one more time on ultrasound. They don't normally do this, but they called for the ultrasound tech at around 11:00pm and he came in and did another ultrasound. He must have thought we were crazy, but he was so nice and took his time, showing us all of Noah's body parts. The tech zoomed in on Noah's heart...his perfect heart...not beating..............my heart just breaks when I think of it. Even the next day when they were wheeling me down to the OR, I begged God for a miracle. I prayed that there was some kind of mistake or that his heart had only paused momentarily during the ultrasound. I don't know if it was great faith in God's awesome power or if I was just in denial, but I asked God to bring him back to life if he was truly gone. I know God has done it before and I knew he could save Noah.......and really, He DID save Noah. Just not in the way we would have liked. It amazes me that we had friends praying for a miracle even though they had already been told that Noah had died. What a great act of faith and love. Thank you.