Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Going to Church OR Anxiety, part deux

In the past two Sundays, I made it through church services without crying. The Sunday before last I broke down in the car on the way home, but last Sunday I didn't cry at all! My church is full of adorable young couples and their adorable new babies. One baby in particular--the Nate-face baby. This kid looks just like my son. One Sunday we overslept, and had to go to the 11 o'clock service. After we had arrived, a couple sat in the pew in front of us carrying a car seat. Great. Car seats have become my kryptonite. I tried to focus my attention elswhere, until she picked up the little boy and turned him in our direction. Nate-face. Instantly I dissolve into a puddle of tears and snot, and run to the bathroom. Next Sunday, different service, same baby. God!! Last Sunday, we sat at the very front where I couldn't see anything--no babies, no tears. So far, I've managed to avoid baptisms. Hopefully I'll be able to hold it together then.

Tom and I hadn't really attended church together until all of this happened. After our son was born, our priest was at the hospital in a flash to baptize Nathaniel. He sat with us while Nate was dying, tears running down his face. We felt that we should be going to church now, not because we thought we owed him one, but because our spirit is so injured. This is the church where my grandparents met, my parents were married, I was baptized, I married my husband and where my son's little white coffin stood during his funeral service. I remember sitting in the front pew during his funeral, looking at the pew across the aisle. Seven months before that, I had sat there in my bridal gown with my six bridesmaids, so excited about the day and my future. I was madly in love with Tom (still am) and I was eight weeks pregnant with sweet Nate. I looked at that pew and could almost see the ghost of that girl, and felt then as I do now, that girl died with Nathaniel.


kate said...

I am so sorry for the loss of sweet Nate. (((((((hugs))))))))

I found your blog from a comment that you left on Anam cara's....i am so sorry that you have joined our 'club'.

Oh, by the way, i think it is perfectly acceptable to cry in church. I cry all the time in church, still.

Sherry said...

I think many of us would agree that the old "us" died, too, when our precious little ones did. Those reminders of our life before everything came crashing down are sometimes tough to handle - I can't imagine how mixed up you felt sitting in your church, recalling the happier times.

msfitzita said...

Oh God, it's like running the gauntlet at church for me too (serves me right for moving into a new subdivision, I suppose).

I'm sorry it's so hard.

I too think it's perfectly acceptable to cry in church - especially one that holds such dear memories, and such sad ones.


delphi said...

Two comments:

a) the old me is gone for good, so people can just forget about her.

b) there is something about church that is so hard. We didn't go for the first few months after our son was stillborn. When we started again, we made a point to go to the early service, rather than the "family" service. We needed the smaller size congregation (8-12 people, if you can believe it) instead of the 150 of the family service.

R said...

I'm sorry, Laura. I love how you write. I have experienced loss, but not the kind you have. Consider this a big, internet hug.