Mourning has broken

 "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...

A time to weep, and a time to laugh.

A time to mourn, and a time to dance."

-Ecclesiastes 3:1,4


The king describes life beautifully, but I wonder if he didn't mix up his order.  It seems so often that the dancing turns to mourning.  We danced for a while.  We asked God Almighty for a child, time passed, and soon a child grew in my wife's womb.  There were days after I found out about the new pregnancy that I radiated joy.  We called family and friends and celebrated.  We prepared our lives for our third child.


But as many of you know, there came a day when my wife called and asked me to come home.  And I knew... by the fear in her voice, I knew something was wrong.  So I came home.  And 8 hours later, after a barrage of waiting rooms and awful tests, a doctor came in to tell us what we already knew.  Our 14 week old baby had a heart that stopped beating.  A body that stopped growing.  Our child had died in the womb, before we ever got to meet him/her.


The dancing was over.  Now was a season of mourning.  The laughter had indeed stopped.  Now was a time for weeping.


It's a crazy thing.  No matter how tough I think I am, when I call my mom to tell her hard news, my strength fails me.  I am a little boy running home to familiar arms.


Mourning is a hard thing.  No one ever tells us how to do this.  How do we say goodbye?  How do we feel this hurt and not crack in half under the weight of it?  How do we keep walking around in a world where death reigns? 


There is only one way I know of.  You have to go through it.  The only way to past it is through it.  Some people try to deny it.  Some try to dodge it.  Other drown it in a bottle.  But those things don't work.  The pain is the payment for drinking deeply of another person's soul.  The goodbye follows the hello, and where one brings someone new into our life, the other sees them walk out. 


I tried to dodge this one.  I did.  I stayed up too late every night. I threw myself into a remodeling job.  I just kept moving.  Cause when mourning needs to happen, silence and stillness is the enemy.  Finally, the work was all done.  Finally, there was no more distractions to be had.  It was time.  So I went on a drive.  A drive alone.  And I turned on the songs.. the anthems of a father grappling with losing his daughter.  And his words became my words.  Those songs were my song.  And I sang them.  And I pulled over.  And I mourned.


This doesn't mean its all over and done.  But I have stared it in the face.  I am letting the feelings do what they must.  I am taking the walk in the shadow of the valley of death.  And i am no longer afraid. 


Mourning must have its season.  So that the next seasons may come.  Cause I don't see it... but there is a dance out there to be had.  And I am making sure my heart will be ready to enter into it.


A person on the way,

Ernesto Alaniz