Avery was born nearly three months ago, it is a pain I didn’t know existed and I’m thrown into this reality that other parents have been facing that I didn’t have the slightest clue about.
“I couldn’t even imagine.”
That’s what I said to people with stories like mine. How does that help anyone exactly? Why did I think that would help them?
Now I know I can imagine if I let myself go there. If I let myself go where the pain is and stay there, I can imagine. I don’t think of it as moving there but as a vacation in pain. Let myself feel someone else’s pain, vacation with them in their reality for a while.
The truth is they couldn’t imagine either until they had to. The truth is we can imagine anything we want to. What “I couldn’t even imagine” really means is “I’m scared to let myself get close to the pain you are feeling for fear that it could take up residence in my life”.
I now know how it feels to stand on the other side of losing a baby. I will never again say “I can’t imagine” to someone who has lost a loved one of any kind. Because even if I don’t want to imagine their pain, they have to live with it daily. There is no vacation for them, their pain is their home. The least I can do is vacation in their pain with them, to allow myself to try and feel it without taking it away for them.
To everyone I said “I can’t imagine” to, I’m truly sorry. The truth is I didn’t want to try to imagine and now I have no choice but to live this life of devastating imaginations too.
This pain is really just love and I’d never want my love for Avery to be taken away. Therefore I don’t want my pain taken away either.
Many people have asked me what they can do since Avery’s death and I never really have an answer. What do you tell someone you need other than your baby back which they can’t give you?
All I can ask of you is this: take a vacation into my pain and the pain others carry with them. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, you will be tempted to say “I can’t even imagine”.
But not only is it imaginable, it’s survivable. I know because I live here now just as everyone in the world lives with their unique pain. Show compassion and take a vacation into someone else’s pain.
Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.Galatians 6.2