Joy in the Mourning
Updated: Jul 4, 2019
"What we suffer now, is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal later" Romans 8:18
Going through infertility is likely one of the hardest struggles you have had to go through, I know it has been for me. While going through infertility and miscarriage, I often thought this is THE hardest life struggle I will have to deal with. This thought often came to mind after receiving a negative pregnancy, or days when I was overwhelmed with appointments and injections, or on the day I heard the NP say there was no heartbeat. I know, as well as you likely know, infertility is just one of many heartaches and battles in our lives. But the strength and coping skills we gain during infertility can help us break through the mourning of other heart breaks that will come our way.
Meet Mahkia. My mom gave me Mahkia as a Junior in high school after begging for a dog for quite some time. "Kia" quickly became my best friend. She helped me through high school, we rode in my white Honda Accord on backroads with my friends, she went with me almost everywhere I went-- she went to college with me at Purdue and Louisiana Tech, traveled on vacation with me. She was my walking partner during much of her younger life. She traveled to races with me and was the best little hotel sleeper. She was my protector, all 4 pounds of her. She was there when I was dating my now husband and was there on our wedding day (being the doggy maid of honor of course). She always had to be between me and Justin and snuggled up so close at night. She snuggled with me while we went through infertility, was there when I received the news of the negative pregnancy test after going through our first round of IVF, was by my side when we received the great news of our positive pregnancy test, napped on my legs as I held our son Grady, laid in bed with me as I struggled coping with our miscarriage, and was there with me up until the very end of our current pregnancy. Grady loved Mahkia. Most recently they got to take baths together and he loved having her whereever he was--whether that was outside, downstairs, in the living room or in bed. However, he made sure she was not in the bathroom with him while he was going potty--was sure to close both doors so she couldn't get in. He loved having her on his lap--most days. Although Mahkia wasn't quite so sure. The past several months her health started to decline, her hearing and sight was minimal as well as her appetite. She often lost her balance and would fall on her side. She even fell down the stairs, so we had to put up the baby gate.
Last Sunday, June 23rd sometime between 2 and 3 in the morning, I took her out (for the second time that night) to go to the bathroom. For the past 2 months she was getting up several times at night. Being in the last trimester, I was exhausted and often laid on the couch, waiting to hear her bark to let her back in. We even had started not having her sleep with us after so many times getting up to go to the bathroom. This time I never heard her bark. I got off the couch at 3:15 and frantically searched for her in the rain, calling out "Mahkia, Mahkia!". I searched in our backyard, in the front by the road, near the woods and cornfields, in the lean-to with not even hearing a wimper. I went and got Justin out of bed...we searched nearly 17 hours that day with no sign of Mahkia. Its now been 10 days without her and I would love to say each day gets easier, but that's just not the case...yet. We continue to search daily. I have been struggling, but have been trying to dig deep and pray to God to help comfort me and heal my pain. Two of the most difficult things I am struggling with is 1) losing her---I just want to find some trace of her so I can say goodbye. I knew one day we would have to put her down, or I would wake up and she not be alive, but never did I dream after 15 years, I would let her out to go to the bathroom and wouldn't see her again. And 2) am I going to see her again? I would love to think all animals go to heaven, but do they? I have to put my faith in God knowing she is in a better place and for my own piece of mind I have to choose to think I will see her again someday.
In the midst of mourning the loss of my 15 year best friend, I think this pain is the most difficult I have ever had to deal with because THIS is the current heart ache and situation. It takes me back to the heart ache of going through infertility and miscarriage. We have been in a season of life where we have been on top of hills--being pregnant again and raising our son Grady. But now we are in this valley. When we are down in the valleys this is when we grow in strength and character and when we have to choose to trust God and rely on him. I am reverting to my favorite scriptures and praising God in the mourning. I am trying to focus on thanking God for the past 15 years with Mahkia and everything she has helped pull me through. "Raise a Hallelujah" by Bethel Music is my new anthem-- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awkO61T6i0k
Losing Mahkia is making me more aware and empathetic of what others who have lost children or other loved ones have gone through. I pray for all of those out there who have ever lost a pet or a child or loved one and was unable to find them. The lack of closure is difficult to embrace. So although this post is not directly related to infertility, remember that there will be future battles and God will equip you with your necessary weapons to help you overcome--as long as you let him in and allow him to work in your heart.
Love and baby blessings,