I remember my first raw year after James Collins, Jr.'s stillbirth. The pain of just hurting all of the time with no relief was unbearable! The hurt was like no other.
One particular night when once again sleep was evading me due to the pain of loss, I grabbed my Bible and clutched it to my heart. I fell asleep with it still clutched tight just as a child would its teddy bear or blankie. My Bible became my "blankie." I clung to it day and night. Although most of the time I wasn't reading it, I drew strength from what I knew was in it. Psalms and verses I had read in previous times would come to my mind and I would cling to them. I knew Jesus loved me. I knew He was carrying me since I had no strength to carry myself. I knew that through Christ my son was safe in heaven even though I was here on earth hurting with pain beyond belief. I also knew that God did not cause my son to die. He was my son's refuge in death and my refuge in grief. I also knew that as bad as I wanted my baby with me right then it wasn't going to happen, but I could live for the day when God would come get me and reunite me with my son. Seven years later, I would learn to cling and hope for the same when I held my stillborn daughter, Reita Gale in my arms.
I was 24 years old when my firstborn son died and 32 when my daughter died. I will be 64 years old come this July 9th. I have missed my babies for a long long time. The grief still drifts in and out, just like the tide. I can tell you one thing for sure. Only my faith has gotten me through these years. It has given me hope and the knowledge that I will see and know my children again one day. I thank God for that. I thank Jesus Christ for dying on the cross for not only me and my children, but for all who believe in Him so that we can have victory over death.
I have had two other Bibles since the one I clung to many years ago. I still have that now yellowed and tattered paged one as a reminder of when my grief was so fresh. That Bible, God's Holy Word, saved my life at a time when nothing else could.