Friday, November 29, 2013

A Complainer Meets Sorrow, and Gives Thanks

By Joy Pullmann

I complain a lot about pregnancy (if you haven't noticed). I whine about how fat I am, and uncomfortable in myriad minor ways. But a few weeks ago, something made me sick of myself. It was a friends' funeral for their unborn child.

Their son died at about 19 weeks old. There is never very much to say about funerals. Thankfully, it was a Christian funeral and family, so grief in that case can be temporary. And I do not like to use other people's stories and sorrow as a morality tale—too much talk cheapens grief—but the little boy's death did make me realize how foolish I am. I complain frequently and crankily about a perfectly normal pregnancy (at least, as far as we know) while another woman and friend would give her right hand to have her little boy still kicking her ribs out. A commenter made a similar point a few weeks ago on one of my rants. And she was right.

My 14-year-old brother died in a car accident on my 19th birthday. Because of that, I sometimes look at my precious children and wonder if one of them will die before me. Or, worse, I wonder if one of them will not join me in heaven. There's no way for me to know, and it's not helpful to sit there morosely thinking of all the evil that may happen. Instead, I try to be thankful for what we do have, which is a great deal. One of them is this tiny little child inside, whose irritations to me mean he is not dead.

Image by The Bywaters.


  1. "It's not helpful to sit there morosely thinking of all the evil that may happen."

    I need to write that down and stick it all over my mirror. How many nights I've laid in bed, thinking what if Ellie falls out of the window what if she's kidnapped what if she eats something poisonous what if she goes to Africa and gets malaria what if... the list never ends.


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