July 26, 2013

Heavy Heart

**I'm posting this here instead of my business blog because it's so personal to me. I felt the need to get it out. It's not my story to share, but it's my perspective.** 

It's with a very heavy heart that I'm writing this post. My heart hurts. I have the MOST WONDERFUL clients EVER. Once I photograph you, I consider you in my inner circle and I become vested in you. I love to watch my seniors go through their final year of high school; homecoming, football, snowball, prom, graduation and wish them all the happiness and best in the world. My heart is happy for them to move on beyond high school and I'm excited to watch which direction life takes them.

 When I have a client who experiences profound loss, it makes my heart sad. My heart has been very heavy with sadness for a couple of my clients. I was preparing for a newborn shoot that ultimately wouldn't happen. I was one of the first to know they were pregnant, keeping it a secret until they sent out announcement cards. Then again, one of the first ones to know what they were having, until they sliced a cake with a very pink center. I watched as her mom clapped and cheered for her coming-soon granddaughter. It's one of my favorite "reaction" pictures, ever.

 I saw her a week before she went into the hospital. She was happy, anxious to meet her daughter. To see her and name her. Hold her and meet this tiny human she'd been growing for nearly 9 months. I was almost equally as excited and anxious. How could something that was so anticipated, prayed-upon and blessed go so wrong? I got the text late on the Friday night after Fourth of July. "They are rushing her to the hospital. It doesn't sound good."

 I pray, I do. Quietly and silent, God knows the wishes and prayers in my heart. I felt like the wind had been sucked out of me and my husband carried me in prayer. My husband prayed and spoke blessings over my friends for the both of us. Saturday morning I got the confirmation. She had lost the baby. Sadness doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.

  "When I was a boy and saw scary things on TV, my mother always told me to look for the helpers. They are always there." Mister Rogers

 I had called my mom and, without hesitation, opened her home to my friends and their families. Strangers to her, people she knows only through my photography. To extend the offer and put them at ease, she went to the hospital to find my friends sister and brother-in-law (who are also amazing clients and friends). She walked in, cursed herself for being there. "What am I doing here? These people don't know me?" She was just about to walk out through the doors she just came in through when she saw his white cowboy hat. "At that moment, I knew. I was supposed to be there."

 My mom did what I couldn't. Hug and offer help and a shoulder to my friends. I have never been so full of gratitude to my Mom at that moment. She knew how much it meant for me, and in a follow up phone-call, how much it meant to my friends family.

 Accidents happen. This was no one's fault. There's no blame or fingers to be pointed and my friend isn't like that anyway. I have much to learn about God's grace and love from my friend. And through my friend, I'm beginning to find it.

 I've been sad, and then I became angry. My friend and her husband were meant to be amazing parents. This child was so anticipated, loved by so many already. I was angry that it was not meant to be at this time. I was angry that my friend faced such heartbreak. For a couple of weeks, I carried my grief and anger. I've held my kids tighter, thanked God for the littlest of moments with them.

Then I had a dream. My friend, her sister and I were laughing together. My beautiful friend was laughing again. At that moment, I felt my grief being lifted and a feeling of peace was overwhelming while I was sleeping. I woke up finally refreshed. I still carry hurt in my heart for my friend, but now I know that everything is going to be okay. It's His timeliine, not ours. What is a minute or 9 months to our God? Nothing. My friend is going to be okay because she is in the palm of His hand. ​