Sometimes it's easy to gloss over the ugly details of what it's like to pick up the pieces after loss. It's a little like Facebook, when you only allow pictures that show your body at the most flattering angles. When you only post pictures of the happy, fun times you've had with your family and friends. Soon you have everyone believing, including yourself, that you lead a perfect life.
I'll be the first to admit: my real life looks different than my Facebook life.
I don't post pictures of the fights I had with Caleb after we lost Amelie and Adaline. Our marriage took a beating. I've never been a great communicator, so there were moments when all the emotions I'd kept bottled up came out in ugly, rage filled words. Caleb grew quieter, angrier, and less patient with me and Hayden.
I don't post pictures of how nervous I was when we found out I was pregnant again in March of 2013. Caleb and I didn't talk about it much, for fear that we would get too attached to a baby that we might never meet. Even when we told our families in July of that year, we were cautiously optimistic. When Lincoln was born, healthy and with no apparent problems, we breathed a sigh of relief.
I don't post phrases like, "Wow, I'm pretty low again today <insert sad face emoticon.>" My depression comes and goes. Then shows up again, most recently this spring. The house got messier. We ordered more take out because I didn't want to cook, and I put on twenty pounds. I yelled at the kids more often and buried myself in work.
I don't post anything that would hint that my faith in God often feels crippled and messy. One moment, I can be sitting in church, cynically critiquing the pastor's sermon on Jesus' parables, wishing I'd just stayed in bed; the next, I'll be crying over the phrase, "God has a Never-Stopping, Never Giving Up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love for you" in the children's Bible I read to Hayden. Sometimes I tell God that all of these things I've read in the Bible better be true, because if I don't get to see Amelie and Adaline again, someone's going to have to pay. Then I realize threatening God is a stupid idea.
I do post a lot of pictures of my kids. Lincoln and Hayden are the biggest factors in our healing process. They were the glue in our marriage when it felt like it was falling apart.
I post pictures of Caleb doing what he loves. He writes comic books and produces some amazing art. He travels all over the US promoting his work, and is just now getting the recognition he deserves.
I post pictures of my laptop and a pumpkin spice latte. Every Wednesday I try to get away for a few hours and write or catch up on bills or read a book. I'm rediscovering "me time," and it's healthy.
I plan to post pictures of the trips we have planned next year. We need the time away, and we're getting better at taking it. Caleb and I are headed to New Orleans in January, and then we're taking Hayden to Disneyland in March.
I'm glad I believe in a God who has a never-stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love for me and my family. A God who doesn't care about my Facebook posts and how often I clean my house. A God who didn't leave when I felt like leaving Him. A God who continues to help me pick up the pieces and puts me back together every day.
Happy birthday, Amelie and Adaline. We miss you, but we're doing okay.
I wrote a song called for Amelie and Adaline called "Never Let You Go," which you can download for free here.
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