Doctrine,  encouragement,  Motherhood

The Loneliness As We Sit Together

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By Vanessa Rasanen

Last week I wrote about hope.

This week so much of that hope is gone. Even when I’m able to spend 5, 10, 30 minutes focused on a project or helping one of my children get dressed or giving them a bath or rocking them to sleep, it doesn’t take long for this painful reality to come and smack me in the face again.

Our baby’s dead. Not even alive long enough for his or her heart to start beating. Dead. Gone. And as if that knowledge wasn’t difficult enough as it is… there is the physical reminder, the discomfort, the pain, and the visible evidence of an ended life being thrown away and discarded.

I know I’m not alone. The countless messages of “I’ve been there” are proof of that. The times I’ve been on that other end sending flowers, cards and offering the few words I could manage are proof of that.

Yet there is this odd phenomenon where loneliness still lingers no matter how many sit shoulder to shoulder with me. There is this deep sadness and heartache that remains even with the knowledge of my Lord and Savior who is here, suffering alongside me, bearing my burdens.

Yes, I have faith, and I have the Gospel, and I have God’s Word, and I am beyond thankful for it all. I am thankful for Pastors and friends who pray and console and listen. It is more than my sinful flesh deserves, to be sure. But the comfort still feels elusive.

I want to feel better. But I can’t will it to be so, no more than I can will my babies to be alive again or for my body to be strong enough to grow them and support their life.


This isn’t what I wanted to write. I wanted to type some uplifting piece for you, one celebrating life’s gifts and treasures even amidst life’s pain and heart rending agony. Maybe something happy and smiley, with unicorns and rainbows. Definitely with bacon and some beer. Perhaps with a few sing-song-y birds, a warm Wyoming breeze and the feel of sunshine on toes.

But all I’ve got right now is a melancholy heart — which, though sad, still knows the Truth that is Christ Jesus, the comfort that is His Word, the blessing that is His Grace and the fact that He has not forsaken me in this time of distress even when I have cried out “why me?!?” and “what gives?!?” and “I don’t get it!”

So I may not have any unicorns or rainbows. And I’m not all that willing to share my delicious bacon and beer. And I kind of want to shoot these annoying birds that won’t shut up. But I do have a God who loves me, loves my husband and loves all of our children (even those He took so soon) — our God who loves us all so much He gave His Son on that cross to make all of this right and make all our wounds healed and make all our sins disappear.

I may not feel better yet, and I may not even know when I will. But I do know I’m not alone. I’m not forsaken. And someday… one day… comfort will come — even if I have to wait for Jesus Himself to return before it does.

Photo credit to Melissa Doroquez. Creative Commons license.


  • Diane

    Hi Vanessa,
    I’m so sorry that this tragedy has come upon you. There is an organization in Rockford, Il called The Haven which specifically ministers to people who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth. The lady who started it, Jean Heise, is a member of my LCMS congregation. Here is the website address: // I think several of the people on their board of directors are also Lutheran.
    Also, today in the NYT there is a video by a doctor called ‘The Silence of Stillbirth’ under their Health section.

    In Christ,

  • Jan Payne

    Your words recalled for me a chilly Spring day in 1986 when we lost a child. Nearly 30 years later, the scar is still there although the pain has subsided. Dear sister, we will sit with you as you wait for healing.

  • Nicole

    I know. I have 4 healthy children and it’s been almost four years since we lost our third child at 17 weeks. But it hurts even now. My pastor’s wife had gone through it and took me out for chocolate cake and a sympathetic ear (though I didn’t feel much like talking). I have no advice but this, hug your husband.

  • Beth

    I’ve been here, both very recently and years ago. Thank you for writing this. It was good to read and be reminded, yet again, that I’m not alone in this.

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