I started a new book, “Mended,” in which the author recommended throwing a piece of pottery on the ground and then glue it back together. It seemed a little counterproductive but she said it made her feel better, so I gave it a try. After your child dies you’ll try almost anything that might help you feel better. My experience, unfortunately, was not the same as hers. It never is. She had a child die as well but no two losses are ever the same. You might share some of the same emotions and you do have a common bond with others who lost a child as well, but you can’t compare or know what the other is feeling or what will help or hurt.
I thought out my plan for breaking and putting back together my little vase. I put it in a ziplock to contain the pieces (which didn’t work) and went outside, ready to feel better after this little project. As I was outside standing there with this case in my hands I suddenly developed a strong attachment to it. I didn’t want to break it. It’s not like it was some important decorative piece, it’s been moved to various places to fill a space when needed, and I don’t even remember where exactly it came from, but when it came time to throw it on the ground all I wanted to do was hold on to it. I questioned why I would break a perfectly good little vase, but after a couple minutes I convinced myself to throw it down.
I watched as the pieces of the vase flew everywhere with tears pouring down my face (ziplock doesn’t make as sturdy of a bag as I anticipated). The majority of them stayed in the same general area but others flew over 5 ft away. It felt as if I was the one thrown on the ground and broken again. As I got down on the ground and began collecting all the pieces it felt as if I was trying to pick up all the pieces of my life. I felt a little frantic since it didn’t appear all the pieces were there. After several minutes I decided to just go back in with what I had and to come back out later if I needed to find more.
I plugged in the hot glue gun and just stared at the pieces, not knowing where to start. I decided to start with the pieces that still resembled pieces of a vase. The bigger pieces. As I was gluing pieces together, I was supposed to pray, but I didn’t know what to say. Instead I listened to a song, the same song over and over again and I let it become my prayer. I’ve listened to it many times before but this time I really paid attention to the lyrics (below) and cried as I put the pieces back together as best I could.
Like you’ve never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you’re never gonna get back
To the you that used to be
Just let that word wash over you
It’s alright now
Love’s healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
‘Cause your story’s far from over
And your journey’s just begun
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again“