it's Mother's Day today, one of several "land mine" events that i've been expecting. notice i didn't say "dreading" -- one of the best bits of advice i received right after the miscarriage was my counselor telling me i must separate grief from fear. he meant that i needed to experience my grief in a pure way, recognising the loss of a baby and a dream, but not let it get clouded by fear of never getting pregnant again or fear of more miscarriages or fear that this will crush me beyond repair. i think i took that advice and extended it beyond that, thinking of the scriptural wisdom that says love has in it no element of fear; but perfect love drives away fear, because fear has to do with punishment. (I John 4:18) i have been so surrounded by love that it has indeed chased fear away many times, and i know that i'm not being "punished" for anything.
fear is a liar, a confuser, and a cheater. fear keeps you isolated in your pain because even as you slog your way through anger, confusion, and sadness, fear blinds you from seeing the love that's running beside you that cheers for you, prays for you, brings you meals, listens to you, energizes you. grief is the hardest work i may have ever done, but because of love, i've learned i can stomp straight into the pain without fear, stare it down, own it -- and survive.
so i can't "dread" mother's day. i don't dread talking about this, even if sometimes it's still hard to articulate things and not terribly comfortable. i never really knew what "peace in the storm" meant until now: when the devastation beats at you, but you find refuge in a peace that makes you defiant. i think i had the wrong idea about peace before this -- peace was a word that connoted quietness, softness, gentleness. now i know that it, along with love, is sturdy and strong; it keeps me standing up, shaking my little fist, refusing to hide. it feels good to get to today and find myself with this attitude, wanting to move on, but not wanting to sweep things under the rug and pretend it's all fine. it's been six months of learning and healing, one day at a time.
so happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers -- and especially to those of you who have lost children in whatever way. may you be able to remember them today in love, without fear, and feel a defiant peace.