No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn. ~Hal Borland
Freshly fallen, a white powdery snow blankets the outside world that I gaze upon through neglected windows covered in a cold winter’s film. This pure white snow is almost angelic in its appearance, a delicate blanket to the green life that teases our hopes and speaks to our senses with the beauty that is sure to come, almost speaking in whispers, “See? Winter isn’t always gray. Winter can be beautiful, too. Don’t rush these days. Enjoy the peacefulness that winter can bring. See the beauty in a precipitation of white. The flowers will come, but spend time now admiring the quiet stillness of winter. Soon you will have your spring.”
It has been a long, difficult winter for me as I battled with my heart feeling locked into the melancholy characteristic of Earth’s coldest season. So, I’ve been ready for spring almost as soon as the first snowfall. Presented for months with colorless days, cloudy skies and harsher temperatures, it feels as if I’ve been living one gray day after another, sloshing through the wet cold, desperate for the sun, grief compounded by feeling stuck—a prisoner to my own internal mourning and the despondent weather outside—feeling a pain deeper than the mounds of snow piled high against the house, my heart struggling to feel much joy.
The season didn’t begin with such intensely low emotions—quite the opposite, actually. Happiness and warmth filled our homes from Thanksgiving through the middle of December when Husband and I celebrated 10 years of married life. Remembering the beauty of the winter day on which we were wed, this year’s celebration was even greater as we learned another child would be joining our family. We spent a night away, relishing in our delight, enjoying truly compatible conversation and dreaming of the future ahead as we solidified the love we shared for each other. Christmas was magical and a new year was chimed in with elation, albeit we had an early night. We woke with so much to be thankful for and our hearts swelled with gladness. Although, before January closed in on us, our plans for a new child were compromised as my body told a different story.
Losing a child at any stage of life is a unique and searing kind of pain. Miscarriage and infant loss is a pain that is often misunderstood and ignored by our loved ones because it’s difficult to understand if you haven’t experienced this type of loss for yourself. My loss in January was my fifth miscarriage and it wasn’t any easier because I’ve suffered this type of loss before. Actually, it was worse—physically and emotionally. In a way, my grief was compounded. The loss of a child at any stage of that child’s life will be the greatest grief a parent will bear—whether you get to hold him in your arms before he departs to the Heavens, whether you raised your son or daughter and shared a lifetime of memories, and even if you only loved her in your womb and she dies before she ever is kissed—the grief over the death of a child can break your heart in half.
As the skies clear and the weather warms, for me, the promises of spring can’t come soon enough. Each day now brings the world closer to the hopefulness of new life. Our days will be painted with glory in tiny buds on trees, young green leaves sprouting from the branches, daffodils and tulips filling up flowerbeds, and birds chirping their songs of glee. Life is a miracle, a joy, and a gift. This, I haven’t forgotten, but spring will be a welcome reminder to my heart.