Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Her Name is Emmanuelle

I feel as though I aged several years in less than one.

About this time last year we had our 2nd positive pregnancy test.  Magnus would be a big brother! We were ecstatic!

After Thanksgiving I started to feel very uneasy and worried that everything was okay with our little one - and in a few more weeks time we discovered everything was not ok.

She would have been born this past summer, instead we buried her on Christmas Day.

I've tried to write this post before, but it never gets finished.  I don't know what to say, but I know I don't want to say nothing.  As though she never lived. Because she did.  And she is now our family's own little saint in heaven, watching over us and interceding for us I have no doubt.

In a moment of peace and clarity, the day before we laid her to rest I wrote to my prayer group:

I would like to put Emma's birthday on the miracle calendar. 12/23/15.  
It is not a miracle that she died, of course, but it is a miracle that she lived,
and God's merciful love and transformation of my heart is miraculously wonderful. 

At first I was so bitter and cold.  I was unable to really enter into Advent (she had passed even though we didn't know it yet)  I tried to think of what an incredibly special thing it is to be carrying life at Advent and Christmas but I could not.  In my heart I did not feel that.  I felt very fearfully that I was not pregnant anymore.  As I waited for the news in the ER with Robyn last week, I told her,  "I just have to know if baby is alive and well or if I am just a tomb."  
Mary bore eternal life in her womb and mine was dead.  I was a tomb. My mind and heart were bitter and dark up to that moment.

But very soon God's mercy covered me and touched me deeply. 
I was still carrying a baby.  Not a live baby but I would see her through birth and bury her. What a gift to be able to be able to do that work of mercy of burying the dead.  My own dear one. 

How bitter that she was lost, but the suffering and death in our world because of sin IS bitter. This is not heaven, and it was good to feel the contrast, and that we do not live for this life. 

But God is with us. He meets us in the midst of the brokenness and offers us life. 
We named our baby Emmanuelle, "God with us"  
He truly has been with us in a deep and unique way.  He has taken my mourning and turned it to rejoicing that I am able to share in the mystery of this death and resurrection.
that our little one is celebrating Christmas in the arms of Jesus and Mary.  
That she is able to intercede for us so powerfully.  

If you didn't see it, Our pregnancy announcement had Magnus in a batman cape, with the caption "Every hero needs a sidekick"  -  it was so bitter knowing she had died and saying to myself "no sidekick for Magnus".

But God has transformed that for me as well.  She IS his sidekick, and can kick ass for him in Heaven in a way she couldn't have on earth.  I worry for him so much, as all moms do, that he will grow up to accept the faith and grow in holiness.  Now in addition to his guardian angel, he has Emma. 

God has expanded my heart through this in a way that nothing else could do.

That peace and surrender hasn't always remained so strong or tangible, but God does see me through.
How do you "bounce back" from losing a child, no matter how small that child may have been?

I guess you never really do.  You grieve. You mourn.  You continue to be and hope and trust, but you can never be the same.  Nor should you.  You have loved and lost in tremendous way.
Your mom heart has enlarged to a new size of empathy and compassion you never knew possible before...

Dear sweet little St. Emmanuelle,  continue to pray for us that we may one day get to hold you and rejoice alongside you before the face of our Lord.

1 comment:

  1. Loving you and Emmanuelle, Kath. We will always remember her.