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Walking Through Marriage After The Loss of a Baby


God will heal your broken heart

if you will give him all the pieces.

 

Those words came beautifully scripted on a wooden plaque in thoughtful hope of comforting my broken heart.  How could I possibly give God all the million pieces that were crushed and jagged?

 

We were raising 2 precious young daughters and were looking forward to the arrival of our son just a few months away.  That day began as normal as any other, but by mid-morning the unexpected shift to out-of-control chaos.

 

I was 20 weeks pregnant.  

 

Having delivered 2 babies in the past five years, I knew labor.  Even though I tried to calm my own fears, I knew I was in labor.

 

My husband met us at the hospital as we were whisked away to the dim view of the unwavering ultrasound screen.  The announcement of “no heartbeat detected” screamed despair to my already aching heart.

 

Ten hours later we quietly met and mourned the tiny lifeless body of our baby boy.

 

So many emotions bouncing aimlessly from numb to uncontrollable crying, and back.

 

I felt feelings of…

 

Guilt. I should have known, or I should have prevented this.

Inadequacy. What is wrong with me that this happened?

Stupidity. I just kept feeling that word… maybe because of guilt, maybe because of inadequacy.

Uncertainty. How will I tell all the people?  How will I un-tell all the people?

Isolation. I immediately isolated myself… as an extreme extrovert, my isolation simply added discouragement to the heap of devastating pain.

 

And there in the midst of my grief was my husband – that precious boy’s daddy, navigating his own grief while walking on eggshells amidst mine.   

 

After the loss of our son, during one middle-of-the-night moment, hurtful words flew across our room.  

 

Grief is hard. Grief is unpredictable. Grief is lonely.

 

We realized our desperate need to cling to the God we had trusted in all things and the urgent need to cling to each other.  Our broken hearts didn’t feel instant repair, but they did begin to feel the slightest rebirth of connectedness amidst the pain.

 

Oh friends, when hurt looms, open your broken heart to the God who is close to the brokenhearted and to your husband, who will hold you close.  Pain of loss is always there, but acknowledging the pain to your Lord and to your husband brings you a peace you wouldn’t otherwise have.

 

Allow and include your husband in your grief while while asking that he would allow and include him in yours.  

 

Talk to him.  Listen to him.  Sigh with him. Cry with him.  Be still with him. Hold his hand.  Acknowledge his pain mingled with yours.

 

When loss comes, reaching out to your husband as you walk through your grief process will look different in each marriage, but your marriage will be strengthened as you run, walk, and crawl this race with arms linked and hands held together.

 

Wife Step:  Pray this prayer: Lord, I want to give you all of the broken pieces of my heart. It hurts, and I can’t do this without you. I give you my pain, and ask that you remind me to turn to you when the pain feels overwhelming. I need your presence, Lord. I need you to begin mending my heart.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted

And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

 

Saying yes to Jesus in walking by faith has charted an unexpectedly challenging, joy-filled journey for Susan Wilder. From preschool teacher to writer, speaker, blogger, her sweetest moments come through encouraging women to seek God first and realize the hope we have in following Jesus. Tender love for her husband, Frank, daughters Katie, Kellie, and Mollie, son Clay, sons-in-law Chris, Tim and Tolliver drive her hobbies of cooking and reading. The title of Mimi to four grandboys is more precious than ever imagined. Just ask, she’ll tell you all about them. Susan currently serves as the Women’s Ministry Leader at Southeast Christian Church (Crestwood Campus) in Louisville, Kentucky.  Blog: www.byfaithandcoffee.com

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