We don’t feel brave, but we do feel loved. (A family update – part 1)

April 7, 2013

With the phenomenon that is facebook and social media, it’s hard to imagine anyone in our lives being unaware of how our world has been rocked in the last week.

But in case you haven’t heard yet, we lost our baby on Thursday, April 4th.

It came as a huge shock (as all pregnancy and infant death does) and if there was a way to turn back time and make it all go away, we’d most definitely take that option.

We grieve not only the loss of our baby here and now, but also the loss of our family’s future as we’d imagined it. We’re changed forever.

But in the midst of our heartache and—at times—overwhelming sadness, we find ourselves in this incredible “thin place” where heaven seems so close and so real, and God feels so near. (Well, most of the time at least. Sometimes, it’s just plain hard.)

The Psalmist said that God is near to the brokenhearted, and—though I’ve believed that truth—I’m now living it and experiencing it and internalizing it. And, oh, it’s powerful beyond measure.

We thank God that we had 13 weeks of celebrating and sharing our little child with the world and we will never regret announcing her precious life with giddy excitement and heartfelt anticipation for the days ahead. If we had to do it all over again we’d still shout gleefully about our pregnancy from the rooftops.

We will always cherish these fun photos from the happiest of surprise announcements!

We will always cherish these fun surprise photos from the happiest of announcements!

And now that we’ve lost her, we’re relieved that we don’t have to suffer alone and in silence. We’re glad that you know our brokenness and that you’re willing to help us shoulder the tremendous weight of our loss.

It’s so hard to mourn for one we never even got to hold.

And please hear me here – God has been near, we feel the grace, but in the midst of that we are still in a lot of pain. More than either Ryan or I have experienced before. As much as I want the Lord to be given credit where it is due (yes, he is good and gracious and near), we also need you to know that we ache with brokenness and grief and this is the hardest, most excruciating thing we’ve ever faced yet.

We don’t feel brave or strong or sure of much of anything.

The only thing we really feel sure of is that we love each other, and that we are very, very loved – by Him and so many others. Because of that we know that things will be okay.

And we know it’s hard for people to understand the devastation that comes when an unborn baby is lost. We know that people sometimes feel awkward and clumsy and don’t know what to say (or not say). And we empathize with those feelings because we’ve been there too. But that doesn’t make it any easier for us to accept the fact that the world keeps right on spinning when we feel like it should all stand still, wait, pause for us to catch our breath. It’s just… hard.

In the week we’ve had moments of overwhelming sadness, outrageous anger, the flat flog of depression, disbelief, and more sadness. We’ve also had unexpected joy and hope and even moments of happiness. Undergirding all of it has been an incredible peace that truly defies all logic and worldly reasoning. It can only be Jesus himself walking among us (carrying us).

Many of you have asked – how can I help?

For the first several days I wouldn’t have known how to answer that question. We genuinely needed others to make decisions and give directives on our behalf. But a few days ago as I was in bed with a fever most of the day (I already had the flu before all of this happened, and it’s only just now tapering off) I thought about this question a lot, knowing that life is not marching on as “normal” right now and trying to accept the challenge (invitation?) to be gentle to myself – just what does that look like? I wondered.

In light of that, here are a few ways you can help our family right now if you are one of those who is wondering.

At the end of the day, please also know that we are okay. Still hurting and struggling, but we are okay.

Thank you so much for your support during this fragile time.

Love and the deepest gratitude,
Adriel for the Bookers

p.s. I wrote our story of losing the baby here. But a warning, it’s pretty raw, so just be prepared for that if you decide to read it.

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