Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Her Weight in My Arms

My friend Lisa has a ministry called Birthweight Buddies, where she takes stuffed animals and fills them to the exact weight as your baby and then decorates it especially for your little one. 

I talked to her back before she officially started it about getting one for Rachel... and I knew it would eventually show up.... But I had no idea it would be today.  After the way the last couple of weeks have gone, I was a little nervous to open the box when I got home and saw it waiting on the table.  I honestly feel like I don't have it in me to cry anymore.  It feels like I just don't have time for it.  So, I usually avoid it.  And I knew if Rachel's Birthweight Buddy was in there, I would cry...

I opened the box, which was filled with a bunch of things for our whole family, and saw it immediately.  I pulled it out and the first thing that came to mind was that I didn't remember her feeling that heavy....

I couldn't remember what she felt like.....

Without even thinking about it, I turned the bear sideways and cradled it in my arm.  Matt was watching me, but was not aware of what the bear was. I stood there for a moment and just stared off as I planted my feet firmly beneath me wondering what it would be like if it was really her.

I closed my eyes and started crying.

And cried some more.

And some more.

I walked into the livingroom and sat on the couch and cradled this bear with a daisy in her hair and I couldn't stop crying.  Matt sat next to me in silence watching my lips quiver as her handprint necklace got covered with my tears on my chest.  I started to feel like a freak hugging this stuffed animal, but I wasn't ready to let her go.... so I closed my eyes and just felt the weight of her in my arms again.  Ezra was sitting near by and he started to grunt....  I'll sound crazy, but I'll admit it, I pretended she was here.

Oh dear God, it felt so good it hurt.

Matt started checking the bear out, commenting on how nicely made it was, and when he lifted one of the feet and felt its weight, he realized... "This is the bear?" he asked.  I just nodded and cried.

The instrumental song playing on Pandora caught my attention and I looked up to see it was called "December".....  the next to play?  The one I recently blogged about, "Quiet Beauty"....  the next?  "Blessings" by Laura Story.


We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home

It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise
I opened the rest of the bag for Rachel and was so emotional.  Beautiful little things that said "Rachel" so perfectly.... and as I looked at each one, I just cried.  I am so thankful when people remember her with me still.  I'm thankful that I have friends and family who "know" her for as much as they can without ever meeting her. 
I had put my Rachel Bear in Ezra's carseat cause the seat was sitting on the table and it seemed like a safe place for it while I opened the other goodies.  Des came in and asked about it.  She picked it up and put it up on her shoulder like she does Ezra. 
"It feels like a real baby." she said as her body naturally swayed as if to rock the bear to sleep.
I remembered being in church for weeks and weeks after Rachel died and I would catch myself swaying during worship - like my body knew I was supposed to be rocking a newborn.... and when I would realize I was doing it, her absence would burn through my soul.  Watching Des sway brought me right back to those days... 
"I can't believe she weighed this much" she said as she rubbed the bears back.
I just cried.
Somehow remembering what it was like to feel that pain so freshly while getting to hold a little bear with her weight and length - even with the tears it brought - was what I needed.  I put her little lamb with it, just like in the picture of me and her together - and remembered she is also buried with a little lamb just like it...

I had heard of people responding like this when they received their bears or other memorial items and always thought it was weird and that I'd never do that....well, I guess we'll add this to the list of "you don't know until you get there" experiences....because I totally did everything I didn't think I would without thinking twice - and I can't tell you how much  I needed it. 

My heart needed to feel her weight in my arms....and to cry over how much I miss it there. 

 Thank you, Lisa - you're such a blessing.  A true gift from Rachel to me.  I thank God for your friendship.

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard of Birthweight Buddies - how special! I'm so glad you got to hold the weight of your sweet girl in your arms again. I love that those songs were playing on Pandora... Rachel Bear is beautiful!! The daisies are so sweet... love her lamb in the photo with it.

    I have my Lily Bear, made by Molly Bears. When I first got it, I remember thinking the same thing... I don't remember her weighing so much! 7 lbs 9 oz... my mom said the same thing. You can see my Lily Bear and read about her on my blog here: http://www.roseandherlily.com/2012/11/lily-bear-made-by-molly-bears.html

    By the way, I just got Lily's blanket and a onesie for Lily Bear embroidered with her footprints/handprints/name/birthday from Jamie's Butterfly Kisses... it's so beautiful! You might like to do something like that for Rachel Bear or for a blanket of Rachel's or something else. I am going to be blogging about mine soon so you can see photos of it if you'd like. Here's the website:


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