I love the snow. I love the way it makes the world feel cozy, like it's just been wrapped in a fluffy white blanket. I love to curl up in a blanket and watch the snow fall as I sip hot chocolate and read a good book. Back in the days before the poverty of college and the cautiousness of pregnancy took place, I used to love snowboarding. Now I love to make snowmen and snow angels with my kids in the fresh snow. There are just so many possibilities with the snow, but who knew that the snow could be an answer to my prayers...
I know the stages of grief. In the first few weeks after your death I rotated through each stage several times a day it seemed. But somewhere along the way I seemed to get stuck in the "anger" stage. Only it was a little deeper than anger. Pure rage, nasty hatred. That's really what it was. (Does that say something sinister about my personality?) At times I have felt the whole universe has turned against me. It's easy to feel that way when there were 10 people in your church pregnant, well, as of September there was one less. The large majority having boys, like me. Due around the holidays, like me. All now snuggling there babies, but not me. It doesn't help that two of my three closest friends fit in this category of women all having boys around the holidays (the other isn't due until March). One had her baby on our "hopeful date" of November 23. That right there caused me to go into deep depression. I felt like she got everything I had worked for, sacrificed for - the perfect pregnancy yielding the perfect little boy.
I didn't mean for it to happen, but I began to develop very bitter feelings toward her. I ran into her at a preschool open house. I couldn't look at her, let alone be in the same room as her. I hated that people kept asking her about her labor and delivery experience. No one asked about mine - mostly because most of them didn't even know I had been pregnant, but also because no one wants to hear about your labor and delivery of a baby that was already gone.
I began to avoid this friend like the plague. I'd turn and walk the other direction if I saw her at church. I changed the subject when others would talk about her. My anger and bitterness was beginning to affect my sleep. I'd wake up in the middle of the night having just had a dream where I'd be yelling at my friend who had tried to show me pictures of her baby. I'd tell her how insensitive she was and then begin swearing at her (which is NOT something I usually do) and tearing up the pictures of her baby which I would then stomp on. It was a disturbing dream. I promise that I'm not usually a violent, angry person and it was clear that I was turning into someone I wasn't happy being. So I decided to look for a way in which I could serve this friend.
That's when it began to snow.
I knew she would be taking her daughter to preschool soon. I didn't think she needed to be out shoveling her driveway after just having a baby. And it didn't seem safe to be carrying a baby out to the car on the slippery snow. So I grabbed my shovel and headed to her house. As I shoveled her driveway I cried. I'm not quite sure why, but I did. After a few minutes I heard the door opening. "Ann! What are you doing?" My friend stood in her doorway with tears in her eyes.
Slowly I walked to the door and to my friend. "Please don't give up on me," I muttered. "This is just really hard for me right now, but don't give up on our friendship." At this point she pulled me into a tight hug and held me for a long time as we both cried. And then I said the words that were the hardest to say, "I am happy for you." And it was true. I am happy for my friends. I just hurt for me. Sometimes it's hard to see that I can still be happy for others while in the depths of my own pain.
It took a snowstorm to show me that I'm going to be okay. I hurt everyday. I cry everyday. But I don't have to let my pain destroy my friendships. I don't have to let my grief turn me into a bitter, hateful person. I can mourn the loss of you, my son, I can miss you every day, but I can also love and serve others around me. I can still be happy.
Yup, there are just so many possibilities with the snow.