I’m at a retreat for pastors this week, and as we all gathered together, we were supposed to answer the question of how we got to be attending this specific retreat for Presbyterian ministers in Oregon. Basically, we were to tell our call stories and share about our lives. I was the second one to go, and the person who went first didn’t do on for all that long, so I kept mine relatively short.
Well, as the night went on, people started sharing more and more details, sharing about tragedies and losses in their lives that had impacted them…and then it dawned on me: I hadn’t mentioned Micah and Judah.
Now, I don’t think that it’s something I need to share with every single group of people I meet, and like I said, it wasn’t really clear to me when I started sharing just how much we were supposed to be sharing, but I went to bed last night feeling guilty that I had “forgotten” the boys. I had forgotten Micah and Judah. When asked to share about my life and my call…I had left out the impact that my first two sons had on me and my life.
Perhaps I’m being too rough on myself – it’s not like I’ve actually forgotten about them, but…it still felt kind of crappy.
October 25, 2012 will mark two years since we lost the boys. Last year, on the one year anniversary, Sarah and I spent some time that night going through our memory box that we have for the boys. This year, she’ll be flying east with Caleb to be with her family for a week…and we’ll have to find another way or another time to remember them, because I do think it’s important to set aside a specific time to remember the boys, to remember those moments of loss, to keep their memories with us, and eventually with Caleb as well.
I felt like I needed a space to almost…I don’t know, confess, that I had left them out of my story last night. I felt like I owed it to them to tell someone…and that is what this space is here, I guess.
Mike Stavlund says
I feel you, brother. I sometimes feel like I’m damned either way. I am either brutally honest– which seems a little unkind to the people in the room, or I say less and wonder if I’m being true to my son. Six years later, i still stutter when people ask me how many kids I have… It seems like but one element of an impossible situation. You are not alone.
Making space with you,
After a disastrous local clergy group meeting overshare too soon after we lost our twins, I’ve been too quick to be careful…”careful” meaning not saying anything. I’m in a different congregation now, and we gave the Sunday flowers in memory of Samuel and Nathaniel near the second anniversary of their death…and it felt SO GOOD to name it before the new congregation with Liz there in tears….just so like “Yeah, so this is us, folks.” It showed me thag I need to talk about the boys so mudh more than I do….still.
I cannot begin to fathom such a loss, but I trust God can and does. Despite all, “yet God is holy.”
Renea B. says
Big ((Hugs)). Us, your readers are glad you use this space. We are here for you.
You didn’t forget them. You shouldn’t feel bad. I have been thinking about you guys the last few days. I knew the anniversary was coming up. I remembered it was right around susan’s birthday, which was yesterday… So that brought me back to the blog after a couple years, knowing you had probably written something. And I guess wanting to feel/show some distant solidarity with you and Sarah.
I am so glad that you have Caleb now. He doesn’t replace the Micah and Judah, but he is another beautiful son, into which you can pour out your daddy heart…
Be blessed, brother
When I go to work, sometimes I get so busy that an hour passes by without my son (who is with us) crossing my mind. But you would not say I had forgotten him. And it is the same with my daughter who is not with us. A child is such a fundamental part of our hearts and minds that we do not need to consciously think of them to remember them.
Also, I think, for me, I am coming to define my daughter not by her “deadness” but rather by who she was and will always be to me: my beloved baby. If your mind is travelling the same path then it would make sense you might not raise your boys at a discussion on grief and loss – because that is no longer how you define them?