Feeling Understood

Kayla’s birthday was a great day for me. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from everyone. It meant so so much to me. I felt like people got my pain. My loss. And it feels good when you feel understood.

Our loss was different then the loss others go through. And that was hard for me at first. I used to have people tell me, “at least she didn’t die.” Or they seemed relieved when they realized she hadn’t. That statement felt like someone was disregarding my pain. Dismissing it as if it wasn’t tragic enough. Many people didn’t know now to respond at all because it wasn’t a loss like most. I will never compare my loss to that of a mom who’s baby died. Grief. Loss. They can’t be compared. Everyone’s heart is affected differently. What made my loss hard for me was that I had to hand my daughter over & I could no longer protect her. I didn’t know how she would be raised. How she would be loved. I knew she would grow and yet I don’t get to be there to watch it. I have to live my days knowing I’m missing out on her life.

What meant a lot to me about her 5th birthday was that people responded in a way that made me feel like they got me. Like they understood. And I have spent many years wondering if anyone did. Wondering if people thought I should just get over it already. And some of that was because I didn’t know how to handle my loss.

This year brought a huge amount of healing. You see, for the first time in 5 years, I celebrated her birthday instead of grieving. I was still sad and miss her like crazy. But this year it was different. A lot different. And then the tattoo. That was huge for me because every time I see my arm I’m reminded of how faithful God is. Where He has brought me. What a blessing it is to be able to say “it is well” and to believe it with my whole heart. It has changed the way I look at life. The fact that I permanently put that on my arm – well that was a big step for me.

Have you ever gone through something where you felt alone? Not understood? I want to hear from you for real. I’m very interested in peoples stories. Their journeys. So often we don’t open up about our struggles and our pain because of the fear that no one will understand. That they will dismiss it or think it is silly. But I can honestly say opening up and being real with what I have gone through has been a huge part of my healing and the growing of my faith.

Thank you all so much for the responses I got last Wednesday. For the way that you all loved on me. For accepting and appreciating my story. It helped my heart 🙂

~Kristen

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