Friday, March 6, 2009

Tender Emotions

A funeral was held in our church today for a stillborn baby girl and I was in charge of organizing much of it. We didn't know much about the family - just that they were related to a newly activated family in our ward. But as I got to know them, and talked with them about their experiences, I remembered, once again, how grateful I am to have the knowledge the gospel brings to my life.

I suppose it was inevitable that my emotions would be stirred up as I remembered my own stillborn son. Jess Samuel. Though I think about him often, I rarely mention his name out loud. Though I still cry myself to sleep some nights, I try to keep my tears to myself. Though my experiences make up a great portion of who I am today, I don't share them much. Only my journal and a (very) few close friends and family members know the details of my grief, and only my own heart knows the depth of it.

I feel like Jess, and the experiences I went through with him, are enclosed in a small bubble in my heart. I protect that bubble because if it's popped, I would not only dissolve into a weepy mess, but I fear that I would forget some of the most important lessons that were learned as the contents of the bubble freely spilled into unexplored crevices and dark areas of my heart. But it's hard, sometimes, to feel like a portion of my life needs to be guarded. The walls protecting that tender bubble need to be maintained and strengthened as chinks get taken out of it by unfeeling comments, and unbelieving attitudes. By people who don't seem to care, and by those who demean my grief.

I guess nothing could have prepared me for the funeral today which left those walls as rubble - leaving my delicate bubble exposed.

I tried to run from the chapel - to regain myself, and repair the walls a bit. But I was stopped on the way by a small circle of women from the church who, with tears streaming down their faces, asked how I was doing. Their concerned eyes told me that they remembered what happened almost four years ago, and the sincerity of their question left me no option but to fall into one of their shoulders and cry. Most of these women were seasoned with the experience that age brings...and they handled my delicate situation with grace and love, understanding and, most of all, support. As I cried with them, I found myself wishing my mom was there. Wishing I could cry with her...but I felt so, so blessed to have these other women there to provide the same sort of support my mom would have - even if it wasn't quite the same. I was so touched by those women who rallied around to love me on a day that was not even about me.

I felt the bubble in my heart expanding as - instead of air being blown through the wand - love, and support, and gratitude slowly blew in. They'll probably never know how much I needed them today. They'll probably never know that they took something as fragile as a bubble and lovingly expanded it into something that's even more worth guarding - because now I know not only of the Savior's love for me, but of the love that can come from my sisters in the gospel. It won't be long before the walls are rebuilt - but I've learned that taking them down, sometimes, can be just what I need.

I have a lot of gratitude in my heart tonight for all the caring people in my life. I have great parents, fun siblings, a wonderful husband, sweet children, good friends, and strong Relief Society sisters that help make trials like this bearable.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  1. Oh, Lindsay--as soon as I saw that you were writing about the funeral, I started worrying about how difficult it would be for you. I'm so glad that the women who were there for the funeral were also there for you...

  2. Linds- you are so wonderful.

  3. Although I only see snippets of your life now through your blog, you seem so strong and as if you handle things with such grace, not to mention write about them in a beautiful way that reaches your readers. I agree that sometimes there is nothing like the other "mothers" we find when when our own are not close.

  4. I can't imagine what a difficult day that must have been for you. Maybe sometimes we need days like that to remind us that Heavenly Father can show his love for us through those around us. Thank you for your fine example.

  5. Oh Linds, what an emotional day! I too am so grateful for your example and glad you had sweet shoulders to cry on. Good luck as you rebuild :)

  6. Hey Lindsay, I just wanted you to know that I was moved by what you wrote, and by who you are. Thank you.

  7. I was touched by your thoughts Lindsay. I have a close friend that lost her baby son to SIDS almost two years ago. I've seen and felt this kind of unequalled grief and I know exactly what you mean by a protective bubble of emotion. It's as though if that bubble is penetrated, we'll lose control and drown in pain. I'm so glad you have supportive people around you. Here's another hug, from me.

  8. You are such a wonderful inspiration. I love you~

  9. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I'm always so significantly impressed by the strength you find and the hope you have in the Gospel. You have an infinite mind in a finite world. You are a beautiful woman and a wonderful mother. I take a page out of your book as I deal with my own grief... Hold on to that grief. It's your bubble. The pain is real... and if we forget about it we lose the healing that came with it. I love you...


  10. Lindsay,
    I just ran accross your blog through a mutual friend and wanted to say hello. You really have a beautiful family and your blog really touched me. I don't even know if you remember us or not but we lived in APT 12 (on Center St) in Provo next to you and Brian (I believe you were 14). (We were the managers) We had two daughters at that time. We are in NC as well. I'd really like to add you to our blog list and keep in touch with your family. I always thought that you and Brian were such a cute couple. You really stuck out to me in your example, there was always something special about the two of you.
    Email me and I'll send you an invite to our Private blog as well. ( I'm so glad I was able to see how your family has grown and changed. Take Care! Holly