This past Tuesday I went to my last MEND (Mommies Enduring Neonatel Death) meeting here in Oklahoma. I tried not to even think about the fact that this could potentially be my last MEND meeting ever.... I didn't do a very good job of not thinking about that.
We had 2 new gals this month, one losing a baby to stillbirth and the other lost her baby girl at 4 days old. It was so sad... It NEVER gets any less sad. To see those girls in the depths of a fresh loss... breaks my heart. It NEVER gets any easier... especially after you have been there and you know full well, that most likely it is going to get much harder before it gets any easier.
At the end of the meeting our director gave us each a rose for Mother's Day. (They won't meet again until after Mother's Day) For some of those girls it may be the only recognition they receive for being a mom since the child they lost is their only child to date.
I held it together pretty well, until the very end. They were thanking me for helping these last 3 1/2 years... but honesty, I was already breaking down, but knew there was no reason they should have been thanking me, but rather, me thanking them. And then I LOST IT! Totally!
Obviously, the Lord walked this journey right along side of us but with out MEND I am not sure how I would have survived that first year after Samuel died.
Living in a new city when we lost him didn't help matters.
I have NEVER been more lonely in my life.
My heart was shattered (at times I thought unrepairable) but at MEND I never felt alone and my new normal actually felt normal.
I was encouraged by seeing gals further in their grief journey actually surviving the loss of their child...
It gave me hope for the future.
These women NEVER made me feel judged in my grief,
never pushed me to be somewhere else in the process than where I was,
made sure I knew I wasn't alone,
fully supported me,
said the hard things to me when I needed to hear that,
literally walked through the valley of the shadow of death with me (instead of turning the other way and running) And they did it willingly... and with such tenderness and compassion. Even with saying all of that... those words don't even come close to describing what they have meant to me. It was hard saying goodbye...OUCH!!
What an amazing organization! I have been so blessed by their ministry. We will see if the Lord ever opens the doors to start a group where we will be moving to. God knows and we will rest in that:) But I know that I often still cry out for the Lord to never allow me to waste the pain I felt after Samuel died. I want him to conitnue to use that pain for His glory and something beautiful.