Monday, February 24, 2014
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7
February 13, 2009: the day I checked into the hospital to deliver my baby who would be born still. It was one of the worst days of my life, but it was also one of the dearest. I got to hold her in my arms. What a sweet and lovely and pretty girl she was and surely would have grown to be. We rocked her and sang to her…gestures for a longing mommy and daddy rather than for the life that was already complete. We longed to return to the joy, the hope, the expectation of her life with us. And saying goodbye left me feeling torn between heaven and earth.
It also left me with an enormous feeling of isolation and shame. Though others didn’t abandon me, I felt alone. Though I had loved her with my all, I felt ashamed. Mothers are to bring forth life, not death. I took some time off work, avoided stepping foot into church, and darted in and out of daily errands as quickly as possible. When walking through the doors of a public place, I felt as if a neon sign clicked on over my head announcing to the world: “Her baby died.” I desperately wanted to hide for a really long time.
However, when you have two small boys and your yard is covered with several inches of newly fallen snow, hiding isn’t an option. Several weeks after Kelsey’s death, a whiteness covered the darkness with a blanket of snow. The boys begged to go out. The task of pulling and tugging on hats, coats, mittens, and boots drained every bit of my energy. But we made it outside. They played. I walked. And I listened to the quiet, the hush that envelops creation after a snowfall. And I heard over and over in my head, “Cleanse me and I will be whiter than snow.” The whisper directly contrasted the irrational guilt and shame screaming in my head. Standing in the open and cold, my heart quieted for a moment and the cleansing and healing slowly began.
*This post is part of the series, "Kelsey's Story." The series begins with the post titled, "Marge." Thanks for reading.