“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love… it’s not easy.
It’s hard when everything is great and fun and new.
It’s damn near impossible when everything is falling apart.
As most of you know, Courtland and I are getting married on September 16 (yeah, in like three weeks). I am excited and nervous and tired and broke and happy and everything in between. The weekend after we lost the baby we decided to move the wedding up from next year to this September. My mom found a venue (with the help of my dear friend, Caycee Taylor), I found a wedding dress and my dad booked a honeymoon all in the week following the loss of our little boy. My friends and family were trying to help me focus on something positive after the nightmare I had just been through. I will forever be thankful for that.
So, why am I telling you all of this? I didn’t really take in that my relationship with Courtland would be completely different than before. I didn’t consider the fact that the loss of a child tears a lot of couples apart. I didn’t know that we would learn to love each other in ways we had never experienced.
I started getting worried… “will he still love me after losing his child?”, “is this marriage what we are suppose to be doing?”, “how is he going to handle my grieving?”, “is he okay?”, “is he hurting as badly as I am?”, “how do I care for him emotionally when I can barely care for myself?” and oh so many more questions.
Our wedding was booked with two months left to prepare, and I wasn’t even sure if Courtland and I could make it out alive. Would this make us stronger or break us forever? I’m sure every couple has moments in life when this question is asked. This was one of those moments. What in the world is love after loss?
Love after loss is anxiety, tears, laughter and guilt. It is asking what each other needs in order to make it through the day. It is kisses, hugs, screaming and fighting. It is trying to understand each other through this mess. It is learning and trusting and caring more than you ever knew possible. It is grieving for each other and with each other.
Love after loss has taught me:
- Courtland loves me more because I loved and protected our child. He does not love me less for losing our little boy.
- Planning a wedding is tiring, but all that matters is the bond behind it. The beautiful, fragile and precious bond.
- Courtland handles my grieving better than anyone else (thank the Lord!). I know I seem really put together, but he would beg to differ.
- Courtland is a lot stronger than I am, and I am so thankful to have him supporting me each day.
- Loss is hard but manageable when you have someone to love you through it.
I am living love after loss and learning to love each and every moment. It is messy. It is beautiful. It is fulfilling. Thank you, Courtland, for guiding me through this dark and incredibly hard time. Thank you for holding me and protecting me and loving me. I cannot wait to call you my husband, and I cannot wait to hear our future baby call you daddy.
“Marriage is about becoming a team. You’re going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other, and every now and then, things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is that if you picked the right person and you both love each other, you’ll always figure out a way to get through it.” – Nicholas Sparks