Thursday, December 23, 2010

Prayer From the Abyss

I had an interesting dream last night.  In my dream I was a doctor and with a group of other doctors, we were advising a couple regarding their troubled pregnancy. They were close to their due date, it seems, and for some reason, they were trying to decide if they should already give birth, though they haven't reached full term yet, or if they should wait it out until they reach full term.  It appeared as if the fetus had some problems or they were anticipating certain abnormalities once the baby was born.  Amidst all the confusion, I remember standing in the middle of the room and with such strong emotions and tears in my eyes I spoke...

'You need to think of it this way...If you decide to give birth now, and find that there was something wrong with your baby, would you not wonder if you could've avoided it by opting to go full term?  That way, even if there was something wrong with your child at birth, you will know in your hearts that you did all that you can, all that was possible and that there was nothing else you could have done to make the situation better.'

I typed that last part in bold letters because in the dream, I said those words in an extremely impassioned way and I woke up feeling as if my chest was about to erupt.  I opened my eyes knowing that the situation in my dream and my personal situation with my recent pregnancy are very different, although somehow there was something about what I said that reverberated with such truth, such insight.  

Forgiveness.  This is the one word that keeps popping in my head.  Have I been quietly and unknowingly simmering in guilt all this time?  Have I been unconsciously blaming myself even though I know, intellectually, that it was not my fault that my child died, or that I'm reproductively challenged?...that there was nothing else I could have done differently?  


Perhaps.


And perhaps it is no accident that I had this dream, this jolt, two days before Christmas day.  There is no denying that this year's Christmas will perhaps be the worst for me so far, the most difficult to plow through.  Amidst all the smiles, laughter, the fellowship, the rejoicing, deep down I know I will feel a significant degree of emptiness and yes, even more guilt.  Not just for losing my baby, but guilt over those moments when I feel 'okay', those fleeting moments when I forget my grief and allow myself to go back to the old 'normal'.  


Perhaps the dream is reminding me that in the sea of gifts I find myself in during this time of year, the best gift I can give myself is the gift of forgiveness.  I need to genuinely accept that to forgive is not to forget and erase the memory of what has happened, but to move forward and release myself from the bonds of self-blame and bitterness.  I also need to forgive God and though that sounds blasphemous, it is true for me.  I've been VERY distant from Him and full of resentment and to feel like this is exhausting.  I still don't have a clue as to how to completely move past all this emotional and mental burden but I will tell you this...


I will be attending Christmas Eve mass with one single prayer...that I find hope.  Not because I want to be able to once again expect that my wishes be granted, but to simply have the capacity to believe in better days.  I want to find hope because I need to believe that God has not abandoned me, that life knows what it's doing, where it's taking me, that things make sense, and that I can still be capable of seeing an illuminated world instead of one full of darkness and skepticism.  I need to hope and truly believe that the sense of unending void that has engulfed me is not as powerful as it seems and that it WILL end, eventually.


To the God I am still angry with, to the God I still feel so distant from, I ask that you make known to me your compassion.  I ask that you be there tomorrow and speak to me in a voice I will not be able to deny.  Let me find what I seek.  Let hope find me.




*Image courtesy of http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&expIds=17259,27585&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=picture+of+black+hole&cp=20&qe=cGljdHVyZSBvZiBibGFjayBob2w&qesig=qFYp2vQl-v69qMaNOZPrSg&pkc=AFgZ2tlBj4-yeOiVVMOjdQw4bovAkiJniKZK-vPbm6FGEYJbGrZJWYaa6rEqKeBuJ7y9qiHQEeiOZabaT-C185dQzela-nCvuA&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=univ&ei=7isUTYvWIcbbngfWp-nqDQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCQQsAQwAA&biw=1280&bih=711

9 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas, Ma'am Joy.

    I may not fully understand what you are going through right now but I know that you already have a fine, fine boy with you:))

    Take it easy, God has better plans for you :))

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  2. Joy, you and your family will always be in our thoughts and prayers always and im happy that you visited my blog ... a big hug from across the globe for you ... a tight cuddle for a special friend named joy... love you friend :)

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  3. Thank you for your kind words, Jigi and Cara. And Merry Christmas!

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  4. I've been through a formation program for contemplative Catholic intercession. In it we are asked to "talk" to God And journal our conversation. We are told to be honest with God regardless of what we feel. If we start with our truths, no matter how unpleasant,( e.g. "God,I really don't want to do this right now" or "I feel stupid doing this" or "God I'm so upset at you.") then we are able to hear/feel His truths too. With your honesty with God, I hope that you too may experience that. (((hugs)))

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  5. I've been through a formation program for contemplative Catholic intercession. In it we are asked to "talk" to God And journal our conversation. We are told to be honest with God regardless of what we feel. If we start with our truths, no matter how unpleasant,( e.g. "God,I really don't want to do this right now" or "I feel stupid doing this" or "God I'm so upset at you.") then we are able to hear/feel His truths too. With your honesty with God, I hope that you too may experience that. (((hugs)))

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  6. Thanks for this, Knoi. I think that in your heart of hearts, you know that God is in you and with you in your loneliest place.

    Love,
    Ats

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  7. Joy,

    May your healing come very soon and may it be complete.

    Hugs to your family from across the seas!

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  8. Joy,

    This prayer and note are so powerful….I am brought to tears….may hope find you…soon … and in each moment. You/we are powerless over everything that really matters….and a “false self” relentlessly charges us with our failure to be powerful….so yes, forgiveness of your self is coming into a deeper union with your true self. It will release you to “be” ….to be in the world …. To be fully yourself in relationship with your loved ones, with society at large and deeply with God. It is a process and you are certainly following this call.....now.

    You have written so profoundly…thank you for sharing your deep and moving thoughts.


    All love and hope for 2011!

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  9. Joy,

    This prayer and note are so powerful….I am brought to tears….may hope find you…soon … and in each moment. You/we are powerless over everything that really matters….and a “false self” relentlessly charges us with our failure to be powerful….so yes, forgiveness of your self is coming into a deeper union with your true self. It will release you to “be” ….to be in the world …. To be fully yourself in relationship with your loved ones, with society at large and deeply with God. It is a process and you are certainly following this call.....now.

    You have written so profoundly…thank you for sharing your deep and moving thoughts.


    All love and hope for 2011!

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Let me know your thoughts!