marked.

by Emily

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a reason to be sitting on a therapist’s couch, spilling your deepest hurts to a perfect stranger, but maybe you can imagine the awkwardness. I know she wants to help, she’s so kind, but still. It’s just an odd feeling.

She asks us, “What have you done to gain closure? To commemorate losing Whitman?”

We stare back blankly. Nothing really. I think of that plate stuffed in the back of my closet. The one with the tiniest set of footprints you’ve ever seen.

The thought of hanging it on a wall where I’ll see it daily makes me feel like I’m choking.

“You might think this is funny, but I’ve actually been thinking about getting a tattoo. Just something small…”

She visibly brightens. “I think that’s a lovely idea.”

My husband and I smile at each other. It’s a good idea.

:::::::::::::::

It’s a good idea, but we let a month or so go by.

Then we get an unexpected date night and after dinner he says, “Let’s go get that tattoo.”

We walk into the place a little before closing, but we convince them that one little letter a piece won’t take too long.  We pour over the font books. I need it to be perfect. It’s going to be permanent, right?

We notice that, hey, a W from the other direction is an M. Our first son is Miles.  I smile to myself.

Joy and pain mixing together.

For both my boys then.

:::::::::::::::

In our culture we’re in such a hurry for everything. Drive-thrus and fast-food. We want 3 easy steps for everything.

I don’t think grief is that way. You can’t hurry it up or just move on.

I knew that the first time when I talked with another woman who had lost a baby nearly 30 years ago. Her eyes filled and she could barely speak past the lump in her throat.

And I guess I just want you to know that it’s okay to hurt.

I don’t know what hurt you’re carrying. Maybe you’ve lost a child too, or maybe it’s something else entirely.

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay question God. It’s okay to lose sleep wrestling with the why. It’s okay to laugh and keep living.

It’s even okay to scratch it into your skin so you can never forget.

Our pain, it changes us, and maybe we should let it.

 

 

89 Responses to “marked.”

  1. Sunshine February 21, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    My brothers 16 year old daughter, Esther, died after a four year battle with cancer. A few months ago he got a tattoo of a Star, underneath is written, “Love is Stronger Than the Grave”. Very beautiful, very healing.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 5:47 am #

      Oh how my heart breaks for you and your brother. That sounds like a beautiful reminder of her.

  2. HopeUnbroken February 21, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    oh, you have me thinking. a labor/delivery nurse i work with just lost her nine-month old son. we all feel so lost in helping her grieve.
    thanks for the reminder that it takes time. and perhaps a visible reminder of the person she loved. she is just the person that might do it.
    steph

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 5:50 am #

      Oh wow… 9 months old. I love that you are looking for ways to help her grieve. Tattoo or no, she’ll carry that always.

  3. brianne February 21, 2012 at 3:44 am #

    “It’s even okay to scratch it into your skin so you can never forget.” Oh my. This is beautiful. This encouragement to let ourselves be changed by the pain. This resonates also with what Sarah wrote about leaning into the pain. So hard to do… but if we’ll do it, I imagine that it is worth the change it brings…

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      Yes, I loved Sarah’s post. It’s so hard to let pain do it’s work.

  4. Addie Zierman February 21, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Made me cry this early Tuesday morning…for the pain and the beauty of it. For the way we are all cut deep, marked by this broken world.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 5:53 am #

      The older I get the more I see how most of us are hurt or carrying heavy stuff. I try to remember that when dealing with frustrating people. We’re all fighting a hard battle, no?

      • Morgan February 23, 2012 at 5:31 am #

        This happens to me time and time again. I grumble about someone, and then find out about the load they are carrying and am able to be compassionate. What if I just skipped the grumbling step, remembered that we are all in struggle because we live in a fallen world, and went right to compassion?

  5. Melanie @ M&M February 21, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    This is my favorite line: “Our pain, it changes us, and maybe we should let it.” But I also like your realization about the W/M. A lovely remembrance. Pain is part of our life experience, and it is unnatural to hide it.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 6:01 am #

      Sometimes it’s easier to tuck it away, and pretend like everything is fine. But the more I share with people the lighter the load becomes. Thank you Melanie.

      • Melanie @ M&M February 21, 2012 at 6:19 am #

        I know just what you mean. I was abused as a child and didn’t begin talking about it until I was 38. I’m nearly 50 now and the load is still getting easier to bear. Sharing is the only way to healing. Blessings!

  6. Julie Sunne February 21, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Incredible post, Emily! I’m sure it spoke to many of us. We do need to allow our pain to change us–for the better. Otherwise it will grow a garden of bitterness. I believe sharing that pain is a wonderful way to process our grief and minister to others in theirs.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:45 am #

      Thank you Julie! I couldn’t agree more.

  7. Runblondie26 February 21, 2012 at 6:20 am #

    This was a beautiful post Emily.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:46 am #

      Thanks friend.

  8. tara pohlkotte February 21, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    this is just beautiful. yes, let this hurt change us all.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:46 am #

      Thank you Tara!

  9. PL February 21, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I read this and I’m undone. Thank you, thank you for sharing this and the story of your loss.

    “Our pain, it changes us, and maybe we should let it.” Beautiful and just what I needed to hear today. Writing this through tears of thankfulness for such an awesome God who speaks to us through strangers, speaks to us through “random” blog posts.

    Beautiful tattoo and a beautiful tribute to the life of your little one.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:47 am #

      This brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad you found us today.

  10. Hallie February 21, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Emily ~

    thank you for you post ~ I am a therapist that often hears of the awkwardness of sharing the “deepest” with me ~ and for that I appreciate your trust in not only your therapist but the profession. I know how much strength it takes to see a therapist!
    But, before being a therapist I am a mom who lost her baby girl 2 1/2 years ago and I still often cry when thinking about her. I also believe that my pain has, and will, continue to change me. I hope that in the end it changes me in a way that allows God’s work to be seen in me.
    I pray that someday you and I, along with countless others, find our closure. I think that your tattoo is a great start ~ I do love the initial….

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:49 am #

      I think you have to let go of a lot of pride to say “I need help.”

      I’m so sorry to hear about your little girl. Praying for peace today.

  11. Jessica February 21, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    I wonder what Christ remembers when He looks at the nailprints in his hands and the scar in His side. Oh, that our grief would bring the Father such glory! God bless you today as you continue to let His love cover you richly and heal you fully!

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:50 am #

      You know, I hadn’t thought of that. He carried that reminder of his pain too. Thanks Jessica.

  12. Kaitlin Curtice February 21, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    I am so blessed to know you, so glad you are a part of my community.

    Thank you for letting us in. We want to walk this road with you.

    Kait

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 7:56 am #

      We are the blessed ones. We love you all so much already.

      Thanks for shouldering some of the burden with me. It helps.

      xo

  13. Sarah K February 21, 2012 at 7:59 am #

    So beautiful, Emily. I remember praying for you when a vague prayer request showed up on Twitter only to feel my heart break for you when you shared your painful experience of losing Whitman. It’s just wonderful that you were able to find such a perfect way to keep him with you always and to remind yourself that you WILL be reunited with him someday. A brilliantly written post about such a powerful, personal tribute. Hugs to you, friend.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      I still have all those texts and twitter messages saved on my phone. Thanks for helping to hold me up that night, even if you didn’t know why. xo

  14. Anne February 21, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    This is beautiful, so sad and yet so hopeful. Thanks for sharing, truly.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

      Sad and hopeful, joy and pain, it all mixes together. That’s right where I am. Thank you, Anne.

  15. Tessa February 21, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    This was so lovely. I think the hardest part of experiencing pregnancy loss, for me, is the wondering of where God is in all this. Without my faith, life is what? The questions and the unknowns terrify me.

    Your tattoo is beautiful!

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Oh how much I understand Tessa! And thank you.

  16. Kristin Smith February 21, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Thank you Emily for sharing your heart and your journey. I think the tatoo is beautiful and a perfect way to remember your son…and it gives you opportunity to share him with others, if you are comfortable, when they see it! Praying that God continues to fill you with His peace as you navigate your new normal without your sweet son.
    Hugs!

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      I think so, too, Kristin. I don’t always feel up to telling strangers about it, but it leaves the possibility open. Thank you.

  17. Genevieve @ Turquoise Gates February 21, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Your words are beautiful, Emily. I am so glad you chose to name your baby. Having a name for my Theodore has helped me immensely – mostly, it’s given me permission to grieve a person, not just a blob of cells or an idea or a dream. Though I only knew for 5 of the 14 weeks I carried him, he left a big hole in my arms as my last baby, my post-cancer miracle baby. I still don’t understand what God was up to by giving Theodore to us and then taking him away. I think I will wrestle with that until I die. It is so hard for me to keep the eternal perspective that he IS part of our family, even though we’ve never seen him.

    Treasure those footprints that make you choke, sweet friend. Treasure this time of being oh, so close to God and heaven that you can almost feel it. You are loved, Whitman is loved. He will forever be part of your story.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

      Ah, thank you Gen!

  18. HopefulLeigh February 21, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    The last line says it all. I’ve experienced a lot of loss in my life, which has enabled me to be there for others who are grieving, let me be a compassionate hospice social worker, and ultimately inspired the novel I wrote. But it hasn’t been an easy process. I’m grateful for the people that listened and cared for me during those times.

    My second tattoo is in honor of my cousin who died when we were 22 years old. Two of my other cousins got tattoos as well. My next tattoo will be in honor of my grandma who died almost 5 years ago. My tattoos are not all loss-related, I should note. This is why I love hearing the story behind someone’s tattoo though. There’s something about marking our grief in to our skin that is healing. A way to say that we will never forget, even as we move forward.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      I don’t guess I knew what you did Leigh, but wow. That is amazing.

      We’ll have to show off our tattoos this weekend. ;)

  19. Tara February 21, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    So beautiful! All but brought to tears reading this. Our God heals. It’s a process, but it does happen. God bless you!

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      Thank you so much.

  20. Hayden February 21, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Emily,

    Thanks so much for writing this. Not a day goes by that I don’t remember our little girl, Karis, and long to hold that sweet baby. Thanks for the reminder that it’s okay to hurt, to cry, to remember.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      You’re welcome Hayden, and I know you know exactly what I’m talking about. I think about you and your little girl often.

  21. Betty February 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    32 years ago I lost a son. I don’t care how much time goes by it is something you will never forget. You just learn how to deal with the loss. One day I will tell you the long version but today, my friend, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish 32 years ago tatoos were okay to do!! Maybe it isn’r too late!! I know when I get to heaven he will be there with smiles and I know I will know who he is right away. Whitman will be there with open arms. Thank you for sharing Em. Love you

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Betty- love you too friend! And it’s not too late for a new tattoo. I’ll take pictures. ;)

  22. nikki February 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    i needed this. thank you.

    • Emily March 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      I’m glad you found us then, Nikki.

  23. Jenna February 21, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Bless you for sharing your story, praying for you x

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      I appreciate that Jenna. Thank you for being here.

  24. Katherine Willis Pershey February 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    Oh, this is so hard, and so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart, and the memory and grief that is written on your foot in indelible ink.

    For what it’s worth, also, you chose a lovely W. Blessings, Emily.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

      I think so too. Thanks Katherine!

  25. Tiffany February 21, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

    This post was sent to me by two people today. I had not taken the time to read it. I figured I could get to it later. But due to a nagging feeling, I stopped and read it.
    See, I was supposed to meet my baby this month. This month was supposed to be filled with so much joy. Instead I’m burying myself in work so deep so I wont have time to think or feel.
    Every time I take 5 minutes to myself it hurts. But this post was the best 5 minutes I have taken in a while.
    I feel like I should be over it. I feel like the statute of limitations is up on my grief.
    Thank you for reminding me that it is okay.
    PS – My tattoo says “held” and it has a stitched together broken heart next to it. It reminds me every day that even though it hurts, I am blessed to have the most amazing people holding me up.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      Oh Tiffany. Emailing you now.

  26. Kamille@Redeeming the Table February 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    I wish I could be at Blissdom tomorrow to give you a hug, see your face & your tatoo:) Grief, our world doesn’t know what to do with it–you’re right. I’ve been reading Henri Nouwen write on turning our loneliness into solitude. We run from the lonely, but Jesus embraced the solitude, the broken, the grieving–I want to be like that. Not running away but embracing. You are a precious gift and your Whitman is too. I will pray that the etching will never be lost, but you will know more of your story in His story through Whitman’s story.

    • Emily February 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      I wish you were too Kamille! Thank you so much friend.

  27. Angie February 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    “…I guess I just want you to know that it’s okay to hurt… It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay question God. It’s okay to lose sleep wrestling with the why. It’s okay to laugh and keep living.”

    Thankyou, thankyou for this. I lost a child to abortion just over 2 1/2 years ago now. At the time I did not fully understand the decision I was making and despite God since revealing to me the truth about that decision and his love and his grace and his forgiveness, I still struggle every. single. day. Yet despite this, God has shown me that grief is necessary, and that I need to put aside time to allow myself to hurt and to heal. God confirmed this to me again today, through you. Thankyou. And much love. x

    • Emily @ The Pilot's Wife February 22, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      Angie- thank *you* so much for being willing to share. I struggle to find the right words, but you deserve to grieve deeply too, no matter the circumstances. Thinking about you today.

  28. Amy @ themessymiddle February 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Over time I have grown to see grief as fertilizer for the soul.

  29. Heather February 22, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Thank you! Thank you for sharing your story and for giving permission to grieve and question. I’m still in this place. Hoping that time will heal yet I’m finding it’s not time I need but a pressing in to this hurt. These questions. You have blessed me today!

    • Emily March 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      Happy you found this post, Heather, and that my words could help you, even a little. So blessed by all that are walking this tough road with me.

  30. Angie February 22, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Emily, thank you so much for sharing! My heart hurts for yours. Grief isn’t something that you can get over so quickly, as our culture seems to teach us … but at least in my own experience of loss, it molds and shapes us and if we let it, it can shape beauty out of brokenness.

    I recently read the book “A Grace Disguised” by Jerry Sittser, and I feel that he might speak right into your soul (at least he did me! :D) … he too talks about grief and pain changing us, and letting it do so. My favorite thing he talks about is how grief enlarges our soul, so that its capacity to feel both joy and pain, both ours and others, is greater. Praying for ya!

  31. Hannah February 23, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Loss leaves a mark, whether we make that mark evident or not, it’s there.
    Thank you for your openness and the encouragement to be honest with how our pain changes us. Especially because, if we choose to let it change us, the result can be pretty beautiful.

    • Emily @ The Pilot's Wife February 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

      Absolutely Hannah, and I don’t think everyone needs a tattoo to be marked by their pain. But we can let pain change us for the better, I think.

  32. Rachelle Renee February 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Emily,

    This is such a beautiful post and thank you for sharing it. I don’t know what it is to go through something like this with a child, but I know the feelings that go along with spilling all your thoughts and desires to a therapist. The tattoo is perfect and, clearly, something you were meant to do.

    • Emily @ The Pilot's Wife February 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

      Rachelle- loss and pain come in many forms, losing a child is just one of them. Thankful my words resonated with you.

  33. KK February 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Emily,
    Thank you for your continued willingness to share God’s etchings in your life. They’re shaping up to be one beautiful piece of art, my dear. I’m reading this post today with a resonating heart, as my husband’s father passed away this morning. I’ll pass along your words as he walks through his grief. Thank you again!

    • Emily @ The Pilot's Wife February 26, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

      Oh KK, I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ll be thinking about you guys. Thank you for being so encouraging. I deeply appreciate it.

  34. meghann February 26, 2012 at 4:02 am #

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this – it is truly lovely.

    My dear friend’s middle child was born still…my goodness, it’s almost five years ago now, although it feels like that can’t possibly be true because it happened only yesterday… She got a tattoo last year of his tiny footprints and it is at once the most beautiful and heartbreaking thing I have ever seen.

    I’m so sorry for your loss; I’m so glad you found a way to remember your son that feels *right* to you. xo

    • Emily February 26, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

      Thank you for sharing that Meghann, and for supporting your friend.

  35. Debbie Didreckson February 26, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    My son died January 9, 2010 and was stillborn January 10, 2010. God had allowed 2 other of my friends to experience similar losses earlier in their lives. They gave me some advice, just as you have done with this post. One told me: “It’s ok to be mad at God and question Him and His intentions. He can handle it.” The other told me: “Grief is like a credit card and you don’t know the balance. The whole balance is due, eventually. You can try to cover it up and pay the minimum day after day, week after week, month after month, etc. Or you can choose to pay the whole balance as quickly as possible. Since you don’t know how much is due, you don’t know how long it will take. But give yourself enough time to find out.”
    The pain never goes away, I have experienced and I have been told. But with God’s grace we DO learn how to process (as best we can) it and some are even blessed by later being able to bless others in their time of loss.
    May God bless you and your family during the process. However you choose to do it and however long it takes.

    • Emily February 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Oh Debbie, I am so sorry for the loss of your baby boy as well. I’ve never heard anyone compare grief to a credit card, but I think that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing here.

  36. terri February 26, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    Thank You. Tomorrow is the 4 yr anniversary of losing our son Malin at 19 weeks. we will go together to the cemetery, my husband our 2 yr old and 1 yr old and I. not sure what else to do, but it is always a somber and thoughtful day for my husband and i

    • Emily February 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

      I’m so sorry Terri. I’ll be thinking about your family tomorrow.

  37. Elaine February 29, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    thank you.

  38. Amy March 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

    Just read this today after losing one of the kids I work closely with in Uganda. Thanks for your words and your vulnerability. I especially love the last line.

    • Emily March 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      Losing the ones we love is just hard. Always. Thanks, Amy.

  39. seeminglyrandom March 5, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    i don’t know you, but i needed this today…

    i lost my baby, and even though i never thought i would be the tattoo type, i found myself in a tattoo parlor back in december, getting a tattoo of a sparrow– “God sees the poor sparrow that cannot take wing.) (ironically, it is at that exact place where your W/M is. same foot. same spot.)

    as much i *needed* to do that– i needed my body to permanently remember the baby it carried– i find that i’m not so willing to let myself be marked by the experience itself. i don’t like the emotional up and downs i still have; i don’t like the fact that there are moments where i fight my grief and tears. i used to be so “emotionally stable”– you know, the “rock” that never cracked. i give myself a guilt trip by not “being over it”… when deep inside, i wonder if i ever will be.

    but i think you are right… maybe part of the healing process is realizing that just as my body is permanently altered, my heart is too…

    • Emily March 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Oh, I love that tattoo. This grief thing is always changing on me, just when I think I’ve gotten a hold on it. Give yourself time to still hurt. It really is okay.

  40. Aimee March 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your story. Eight years ago, I lost my baby girl. At first I didn’t even name her. Then I had a dream and she was there, and said to me, “Mama, don’t you know me? I’m your Emily.” So I learned her name, six years later. I still haven’t done anything else to really gain closure, to remember her. Your story inspires me to do SOMETHING to gain closure. Perhaps it will be a tattoo, perhaps something else.

    • Emily March 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      Aimee-
      We didn’t name our baby boy at first either. But a month or so later we decided to do so. I think your dream was lovely, and I’m glad my words are encouraging you to continue to seek healing, tattoo or not. ;)

  41. Shannon March 11, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    I just had my third miscarriage. I’m batting 50 – 50. I have lost three of my children and have three here with me.
    I started bleeding the day before this article was posted and just found this today. I’m thinking of having a ring made to commemorate the babies I lost. Although I have several tattoos I haven’t found one that speaks to me. But yours looks perfect.

    Shannon

    • Emily @ The Pilot's Wife March 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      I’m so glad you found this, and I hope you were comforted in not being alone. I love the idea of a ring or piece of jewelry too.

  42. taralee March 22, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    “Our pain, it changes us, and maybe we should let it.”

    i live in joplin, mo — most people know what happened last year, but for the sake of those who don’t: there was a gigantic tornado that hit on may 22, 2011. over 150 people were killed. so much was ruined – it’s hard to believe that we live in the same place sometimes.

    my heart has just ached over and over again to see so much loss — physically, of course. but also emotionally. i tell people often that the physical brokenness is just a small glimpse that reminds me of the brokenness of people’s lives.
    suicide rates are up.
    domestic abuse is up.
    substance abuse is up.

    it honestly feels like all of the hope drains out of me when i think about all of the horrific things that i’ve seen, and that the people around me have seen these past ten months. my heart aches and breaks over and over again – it seems like about every three or five weeks i start sobbing uncontrollably.
    sometimes it’s because i’m thinking about what 15th street [my favorite] used to look like.
    sometimes it’s because i remember that we could have lost our best friends and their little ones harry and maggie. thank God they weren’t home when their house was destroyed.
    sometimes it’s because i’m angry that it happened.
    sometimes it’s because i feel like there’s nothing i can do to heal joplin.

    i think a great deal of my feelings are summed up by your quote that i posted at the top of this comment.

    i didn’t [and sometimes still don't] want to let pain change me.

    it seems like then maybe that means that pain won.

    i’m afraid to admit that something so painful changed me. i hate it.

    and yet it’s so true.

    i am a different person because of my pain.
    whether it’s because of the chronic illness i was diagnosed with when i turned fifteen.
    or the joplin tornado that my husband and i survived while babysitting four little ones.
    i’ve said often that i feel about ten years older because of all of this pain.

    your post resonated deeply with me. i don’t have children yet, but the tornado was the closest thing that i could relate this to. i am seriously considering what i might do to gain closure from this event.

    i was talking with my husband right after i read your post and explained to him that it seems like a tattoo is such a good idea.

    i feel like it would be awful to forget the life-changing event that we lived through.

    the way we worked alongside our faith community and physical community…

    we were in the hallways of aid stations just running toward loved ones that we forgot to call [or couldn't get through to] and hugging each other saying “you’re okay” and not wanting to let go. such a relief to see those that we love.

    i feel that a permanent, purposeful mark on my body would help me to make peace with the storm. it would ensure that i would never forget such a traumatic event, yet i would not have to continue to relive it over and over again whenever i felt a trigger.
    a tattoo would be a chosen reminder –
    not an uncontrollable wave that crashes over me when i remember that our favorite restaurant is gone, or that this chick-fil-a is actually rebuilt and not the same one that we used to come to, or that the trees will take forever to grow back over 15th street.
    i like that.

    this is a whole lot of words to attempt to share my thoughts in relation to your post.
    so sorry i went on for so long!

    blessings to you, sister.

    • Emily @ The Pilot's Wife March 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

      No need to be sorry! I live just a few hours south of Joplin and at the time of the tornado lived in Independence, KS. We were driving back to Indy that night and drove through Joplin only about 15 minutes after it went through. I absolutely know what you’re talking about in regards to the devastation there.

      I’m so glad my words resonated with you. And I think you ARE working to help heal Joplin. Every little bit helps.

    • lancelot March 23, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Proud of you, my girl. Great words.

  43. taralee March 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

    rereading that last paragraph — let me make one correction:

    i know that i will continue to relive feelings whenever something triggers them, but i like the idea of a purposeful trigger.

    i know that all of the other ones will not disappear.

  44. Shae May 2, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    And it’s not only when children die. A piece of us can die too. As it was with me. Skin is marked too, to remember, to carry on, to hope.

    “It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay question God. It’s okay to lose sleep wrestling with the why. It’s okay to laugh and keep living.

    It’s even okay to scratch it into your skin so you can never forget.

    Our pain, it changes us, and maybe we should let it.”

    Jesus’ pain can change us too – the cross was death and life and marked skin. I am changed.

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  1. Weekend Reading, with coffee « The Ginn’s - March 2, 2012

    [...] marked. by Emily at A Deeper Story: ”In our culture we’re in such a hurry for everything. Drive-thrus and fast-food. We want 3 easy steps for everything. I don’t think grief is that way. You can’t hurry it up or just move on.” [...]

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