Hidden Gold.

Have you ever felt annoyed when someone said that everything occurs for a reason, or that every cloud has a silver lining? Maybe you have been told it just wasn't meant to be or that everything will be okay? If you haven't, then I certainly have. Why? Because even though these remarks come from a place of innocence and sincerity they can really hurt.

I started to think about whether losing Zachary did have a silver lining, I decided that it didn't. Although I did find that there was clearly some gold hidden within the folds of trauma and guilt. I am a firm believer that God works everything together for good, even when that good doesn't look like we wanted it to. My 'good' was to bring my son home in five weeks time but rather I have found buried moments of gold along the way.

Firstly, in order to do this, I had to face up to my grief. I had to look at exactly where I was and decide that there was nowhere for me to run or hide and if there was then it would only make things better momentarily and then considerably more critical in the long-run.

I once heard someone say that grief is a choice, my gut reaction to this was to be offended. How could someone say that I was choosing to feel this way? Then, after much contemplation I realised that to face grief is a choice. I am not okay. I really am not okay but I have made so much progress and deep in my heart, I am proud of myself. Once the shock from the birth had worn off, I had to face up to the raw reality that this was in fact, my new reality, my new normal. I decided that I wanted to process every single feeling of guilt, anguish, sadness, hopefulness and love as and when I felt it. For me, this was such a freeing method. I allowed myself to feel what I needed to, spoke to someone, prayed about it and then released it into the hands of Jesus. Did it mean that once I'd handed this over I'd never revisit it? No. It just meant that at that moment, I had recognised my pain and I wasn't sitting in it.

To be perfectly honest, I think I'm more of a pessimist than an optimist but I always want stories to end with a happily ever after. Sometimes, I feel as though this is true to everyone except myself. I believed that others could have a child after experiencing loss, but I just wasn't sure that this was true for me.

I started to look at how I could bring some good out of this position, surely amongst all the dirt and grime, there could be some gemstones, some gold. I connected with others who had endured loss through the means of social media, I sat and cried hearing their stories, I prayed, we exchanged phone calls and we spoke in the middle of the night when neither of us could get any rest.

I began to write my blog, for women to understand that their feelings were valid and that it was okay to take their time through this overwhelming process. I reached out to hospitals to let them know that I was available to help in whatever way they needed. I wrote for charities and sent donations. I don't tell you any of this to brag about how well I am doing or how I am planning to save the world! I write this to tell you that among the pain, there can be hope and you can be the one to bring it.

I'd never really written anything before, I am not a natural writer and I am not confident with my words. The idea of public speaking genuinely makes me panic! Though I knew that I had a voice and that within the storm I could find it, embrace it and speak to those who were feeling hopeless and to those that will lose a child and will need support through it. I am only one person, but together we can achieve so much.

Zachary is still lifeless. There is nothing that I can do to change that, but I do know that myself and my Son have set out on a journey to help others who are mourning or grappling with their mental health. For me, I have no memories of Zachary living outside of my womb, but I do know that without him by my side every day that I would not have the strength to lay down my own burdens to help others carry theirs.

Where can you find the gold today? What purpose can you bring to your pain? 


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