Becoming Holy

October Pain

on October 14, 2013


The calendar turned and my heart dropped…October…I love this month and yet, I don’t. It’s full of memories and pain and every year since 1995, I find myself reliving the days that led to Jennifer’s transition to eternal life. I really don’t care for the emotional toll this takes on me.  I’m fairly certain my personality twists a bit this time of year.  I have a knot in the back of my neck the size of an egg~I know it’s from tension. It’s that anticipation kind of tension. Like when you are watching a movie and you know something bad is going to happen and you tense up and wait…

Two years ago, we experienced loss again in October.  September had brought news of a baby coming~we were astounded and ever so joyful!  Feeling like Abraham and Sarah, we kept it quiet but anticipated a baby the following May.  We had already decided on the name “Will” for a boy because this child was certainly God’s Will.  Maria for a girl after the Blessed Mother.  How exciting!  Max would have a brother or sister to enjoy.  In early October my blood work suggested all was not necessarily well.  I went in for an ultrasound and we were delightfully surprised to see little baby and a strong heartbeat!  Hooray!  The two week follow up ultrasound however showed no heart beat.  Absolute devastation!  We were at the three month mark and our joy was stripped in moments. It hurt my heart and it continues to hurt. I was so angry at God! To bring this surprising news of a new baby and then take it away…in October, no less. A black month made even bleaker.

If you’ve not experienced loss, you might share the thoughts of those who think it is time to “get over it.” If you have experienced loss, you understand that death and loss is not something one “gets over.”  Loss becomes a part of us and anniversaries are going to have impact.  To truly love someone is to become part of each other.  Those who have lost a spouse have truly lost a part of themselves~for God says that the “two become one flesh.”  A child without a parent has lost his parent, his friend, his home.  I think especially to lose one’s mother is to lose one’s first home.  Mind-boggling that at one time, each of us was nestled safely inside the womb of our mother.  The physical loss of our first “home” is going to be painful. The loss of our fathers means loss of security and protection. The loss of a child leaves a sense of failure.  Failure to protect and provide.  Failure to nurture and comfort. These are deep aches. 

The pain of loss cannot be left on the surface continuously.  It would be too exhausting. Too painful.  And so the body puts the pain “away.” Survival requires this. The anniversaries, birthdays, etc. sort of force one to find the “event box,” take it out and examine the contents.  It’s painful and yet good. It hurts~like ripping off a bandaid~revealing the wound beneath.  God comes in and breathes His Spirit over the wounded memories and allows healing in if we let Him. In the words of the poet, Rumi, “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” The Light is Christ.  The ache is good.  The tears are good.  The hurt is good.  The questioning is good.  Why?  Why did this happen?  What did I do wrong?  Why me?  Why our family?  And then the quiet. The answers in our heart that this is not punishment.  The slow realization of the good that has come from this.  The knowledge that God does not hurt us.  He hurts WITH us and FOR us.  The realization that we are walking a walk no different than He did, than Mary did.  These answers won’t completely satisfy this side of Heaven, but time passes and gradual healing occurs. The Light enters.  The Light brings healing.

So, it’s time.  It’s October.  Time to rip off the bandage.  Expose the heart wounds. Own the pain. Seek healing. Cry. Cry Out.  Hurt. Pray. Receive His grace. Receive His Light. Recall His love. Feel His Presence.  Bless His Name. 

“The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.”


11 responses to “October Pain

  1. Heather Uhlenkott says:

    Love you Charlene.

  2. Miscarriages are never easy, and I’m not sure why-perhaps because, as you say, the expectation and planning…It’s amazing how many things have to go well for a healthy pregnancy, delivery and raising of children. I’ve found the Mary Undoer of Knots prayer helpful recently. God bless you and your family.

  3. Dori Schlader says:

    It is a continuous effort to surrender my pain over Hannah(and my three other children) to the Lord. I was given a prayer card to “Our Lady of Sorrows” after Hannah died. This devotion has great meaning to me now. When we moved to Coeur d’ Alene our parish prays this devotion after every Sunday Mass in front of her image. Only through my understanding of the cross and it’s power to detach us form the world does such a pain make sense. I think of our beautiful heavenly mother crying at the foot of cross when the pain is too much. She had no sin……I do. I will pray for you daily Charlene this month. Please remember me in December.

    Love, Dori

    • charstar87 says:

      Dori~Thank you for your prayers and words of wisdom. Our Lady of Sorrows is an awesome image and devotion! I will pray for you in December and the days leading up…what day in December do you honor Hannah’s birth? I would like to put it on my calendar for you. God bless you~


  4. Lynn says:

    Charlene, you amaze me how you can verbalize what is felt. You hit the nail on the head, again. No wonder I feel such a closeness to you. . . .love you dearly, and you know I am thinking and praying for you, and Jennifer and baby.

  5. I always start thinking of my mom this time of year. She died Nov. 2, 1994 of breast cancer. Her death was so beautiful. The expression she made just before she died has always made me think that some one special came and took her to heaven. My dad’s death was much different and very hard for me at the end. When I look back, I see the beauty there as well. With death and illness, I don’t ask “why?”, but ” Now what am I supposed to do?” Then look at the positive and begin again. My heart is with you.

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