It was not till I was about to walk out the door, that I realized I was wearing the same dress I was wearing 5 Sundays ago. And the same shoes were on my feet. The only difference was the undergarments, and that was only because the ones I wore 5 weeks prior were too big for me now.
Then my friend came by with a shawl she knitted for me, made out of the same yarn as the tiny miniature blanket and hat she made while we sat vigil over a month ago. It is a beautiful blue, with beading, and lace, and a lot of love in it. She said it was so that I would have a warm hug when I needed it. I knew she was making it, but had not seen the pattern. She wouldn't have posted the project in her Ravelry project page because she knew I might run the chance of seeing it before she gave it to me. I tucked it into my bag because I wanted to show it to anybody who would listen, and I might need a hug.
I arrived at church early enough to catch any instructions from the sacristan, and glance over the Prayers of the Faithful. If you are not Catholic, this is the part where the congregation responds to prayer intentions with "Lord, hear our prayer". I was stopped cold at the 3rd line. That one was for people in grief. I asked the eucharistic ministers for extra prayers during that portion of Mass. I was afraid I would lose my composure at the ambo in front of the congregation. I sought out Father J to ask him to send up extra prayers and shared my concern. I got through it with a cracked voice and I could feel the prayers bolstering me, cheering me on with a quiet "You can do this. Keep going." I went to my seat but did not stay there but a few seconds. I escaped to the conference room to cry because I could not hold it in any longer. It took me several minutes to regain my composure and return to the sanctuary. I could see Father J was relieved that I was back.
After Mass, my daughter said that she heard my voice crack and she immediately looked at Fr J, and he was about ready to continue for me if I wasn't able. I was also greeted by a couple friends asking what was going on with me. I told them. I had a miscarriage at the end of July. It has been a tough month. One of these friends has always told me I need to stop saying "upright and breathing" as a response to someone asking me how I am doing. My answer to that is if I'm having a craptastical day, I am not lying by saying "fine" when I am in fact not fine. She argued that it was speaking something other than gratitude or joy into the world. Today I told her that it was perfectly acceptable to say "upright and breathing" because I am just *not* fine, well, dandy, or good. Some days I'm barely surviving.
I came home, changed clothes and just crawled into bed. I didn't even greet my husband. I was just on the verge of tears. He found me a few minutes later, asking if I was mad at him. I related the gist of things and bed surfed most of the afternoon. I could not muster the energy to do anything. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted and it was taking a physical toll on me. I fell asleep a while later, and when I woke up, my husband was making soup and grilled cheese for dinner. Once again he is picking up my slack and taking care of me. I don't know where he is with his grief or mourning, but I do know that he wants me to just be ok, and when I am not, he does what he can to at least bolster me. I am in awe of how much he pours his love in to me and just wants me well. He will tell you he is not good with words. Sometimes he has said things that did not help me in my grief, although well-intended. But his actions speak volumes to me. And I don't know how long it will take till I don't need to rely on those little actions so much to get through the moment. I only know exactly how much they mean to me when I am at a weak spot.