Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Some more thoughts

At mass this past weekend, I was really struck by the gospel reading. It was the story of Jesus and the man born blind. This is how it started:

As Jesus passed by he saw a man blind from birth.
His disciples asked him,
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he was born blind?”
Jesus answered,
“Neither he nor his parents sinned;
it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him."
(John 9:1-4)

And then, of course, Jesus heals the man.

The reading made me think of the way a lot of us who are infertile blame ourselves or feel like God is punishing us or that He doesn't think we'll be good parents. It seems natural to wonder why this is happening--is it something I did? Am I not a good enough person?

Lifehopes recently addressed this same issue on her blog after hearing a friend speak in those terms, and when I read her post, this reading is the one that came to mind for me. Hearing the gospel on Sunday just underlined for me that, not only is God not punishing me, but if I let Him, He can use this experience to reveal His works in ways that I can't imagine. Suffering can be redemptive.

I wrote a post that I probably won't ever publish on this blog about guilt. It listed all of the things I felt guilty about in losing the baby. My husband has been really good about telling me not to be so hard on myself (I showed him the post I wrote, and he was horrified at how harsh it was). My doctor told me, too, that I did everything right. The thing I feel most guilty about is that I didn't keep the little bit of tissue there was. I was really uncertain, I was told that I wouldn't find any tissue because it was so early, and so I didn't keep it to bring to the doctor. That's the one thing I really beat myself up about, even though I know I wouldn't criticize another person who did the same thing. So, I think I need to go to a good priest for confession--that should help me to deal with the guilt in a constructive way.

It's been an odd Lent for me. I've been a slacker, that's for sure. I haven't really given anything up or done anything special. I even completely spaced out and ate meat for lunch on two Fridays! But it's felt appropriate to be dealing with the grief over the miscarriage during Lent. I know that a new cycle will be starting soon, and we'll be back under treatment again. I'd like to do a couple of things for closure: go to confession, and then go with my husband to pray and light a candle for the baby. Not that I won't still think about it, but this is the way I'd like to move forward.


Jen said...

It sounds like a very good way to move forward.

I think the hardest part about my miscarriage was to learn to not blame myself. I manage to not blame myself most of the time, but it still occasionally creeps back in.

allyouwhohope said...

When I heard that reading this past weekend, I tried to look for some words of wisdom in it for my situation, but didn't come up with as good of an interpretation as you did! For some reason, I've never felt like I'm being punished. I'm not sure why I'm immune to those thoughts, since they sound like they'd be right up my alley!

Good friends of ours had a memorial service for their baby that was miscarried. They invited their relatives and used it as an opportunity to memorialize all the babies that had been miscarried in their extended family. I thought it was really beautiful. I know most people don't go so far as to have a service, but lighting a candle is another good idea. I'm going to light a candle for your baby too.

LifeHopes said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. I think it is exactly what I needed today.

I heard this same gospel reading and missed the connection entirely.

I think you are right to allow yourself to heal during Lent. It is a special time for you. You and your baby are in my prayers.


Made by Lena