Fides, veritas et virtus

A Meditation on Grief, Loss, and Regret

This time of year is hard.
Today is the one-year anniversary of my uncle’s suicide.
Friday is the one-year anniversary of my grandfather’s death.
And somewhere mixed in with the deaths of two of the most important men in my life would have been the birth of my baby – had I not be a coward and “chosen” an abortion eight months earlier.

We are headed into springtime, that time of new beginnings and expectant joy, yet all I can think about is missed chances, bad choices, regret, and death.

This time last year I remember feeling sucker punched, in fact I still do. My uncle who passed is my father’s brother. My grandfather is my mother’s stepfather. My parents are divorced and have been for twenty years, so I was the only person to feel both losses at the same time. It was isolating. I felt personally attacked, as if some unseen enemy was going to take everyone I loved. I felt unsafe, that my family was in eminent danger. It has taken a whole year to slowly start to unravel the knots of anger and pain and injustice.

Grief is a funny thing. It sneaks up on you in crafty secretive ways. I had expected to feel sadness, to cry a lot, to feel spiritually empty. I did feel all of those things. But what I didn’t expect was how easy it would be to continue my day to day life. How I was still sleeping through the night (albeit frequently crying myself to sleep). How I could still churn out my final papers and get good grades, and how even at a young man’s wake I could find things to laugh at, I could still make small talk. I was so angry at myself for being able to do those things. What I wanted to do was to keen and tear out my hair and rip my clothing and be incapacitated with sadness, but keeping myself pulled together was what I did instead, letting my sadness come out in bit by bit like a slow leaking faucet, one teardrop at a time.

Strange moments of sadness – passing a gas station where I once stopped with Scotty caused me to cry so hard alone in my car that I had to pull to the side of the road; waiting to go on stage before my senior recital in December, I choked back tears when I realized that this was the first performance in my life that Curt had ever missed.

There are also strange and spontaneous moments of Grace. Oddly, the moment I realized that had I carried my daughter to term (I’m strangely certain I was carrying a girl – watch me get to the Hereafter and be horribly mistaken) she would have been born either just before the funerals or just after. A new life in the midst of all that sadness. It broke my heart to think of my baby, but it made me so happy for God’s Providence, even though I had rejected it. The Lord knew what was coming down the pike and gave me a baby. It made me so certain of this greater, bigger plan, that in the middle of horrible trials, trust is the most important thing because God will bring it all together for good in His own time.

I rejected Life. I murdered my own child. There is no way that I can ever forgive myself for that act. I did not trust that God had a plan. Now I see, and I am filled with regret – but also tinged with joy that such a plan existed, and still exists. Having that realization has pulled me through my grief. It lead me to the Church, it converted me from being pro-choice to pro-life, it helped me to let go of my own agenda and be open to His.

Today I regret so much. I regret never telling my grandfather how important to me he was, how he was the only man I could look to in my life and know with the slightest doubt that I was loved. I regret never reaching out to Scotty and helping him to bear his burdens. I regret not showering both of these men with love and appreciation. For taking for them granted and somehow fooling myself into believing that they would always be there. I regret believing and perpetuating all the lies that we tell women about their bodies, the value of motherhood, the life of child. I regret being bullied into a decision that I was not okay with. I regret robbing my child of her life because I felt so certain that I would give her a life of pain and suffering. I regret living so much of my life from a place of pride and fear of rejection, instead of a place of humility and love.

Humility is necessary whenever we act in love.
Now, looking back I wish that I could lived and acted from a place of love in all things. With all people.

The only thing for me now is the hope that one day I will see my Lord, I will see my child, I will see my uncle, I will see my grandfather and all the others whom I love. Then I can beg their forgiveness. And maybe then I can be healed.


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  1. * Lerin says:

    First you made me laugh… then cry!

    I am so sorry for the three losses you experienced. I hope writing this out was cathartic in a way.

    | Reply Posted 9 years ago

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