I experienced it in a series of quiet moments. Walking in the front door in the morning and realizing this would not be “my place” much longer, watching the team execute with competence and compassion but realizing that it wouldn’t continue, and doing routine tasks with an unusual enjoyment but also a sense of finality. Michelle and I had made the decision together. The work was good and valuable and productive, but we both knew that the time had come for something new. It was what I had done for the last six or seven years, my professional identity. And it was ending.
Living with a psychologist I knew the symptoms: grief, loss, a temptation to negotiate an alternate ending. This was the end of a major and fulfilling part of life. A small death.
He looked tenderly in my eyes, glanced back at the monitor willing it to sound the usual comforting rhythmic beat before looking back at me and gently alerting me to the new reality of my condition. “I hate to tell you this, but the baby no longer has a heartbeat.”
“What?! No!!” I looked at the doctor and then at my husband who was standing next to the table I was on. We both looked at the monitor and then the doctor in disbelief. “There must be a mistake. Look again,” I begged as tears began to roll down my cheeks.
“Is it grief or something more?” That’s a question I’m often asked as a board certified clinical neuropsychologist. Everyone grieves differently. Do you know the signs and symptoms to watch for when grief progresses into depression? Learn more here.
Our children belong to God. He loves them more than we do. It’s our job to train our children in the way they should go. As they leave the nest, we trust God with them and trust him to be true to His word.
Excited cannot begin to express how we felt as we entered the doctor’s office that day. It’s always special for a momma to feel her baby move inside her pregnant belly, but it’s a different kind of special for the expecting couple to see their little growing “peanut” on the sonogram screen. We followed the nurse into the exam room, traded my street clothes for the disposable paper gown she offered, and waited for my doctor to enter. When he did, he was all smiles as usual. I liked him. His positive attitude always put me at ease, and made it feel less like a doctor’s visit and more like catching up with a friend.