My Breath Away

(topic: grief triggers, happy reminders)

Hi friends,
Last summer, I took a picture and made some notes for this post, and I want to share them with you now.

For some reason, there was a summer service at church that got changed around, and we missed the notification that the service was going to start an hour earlier than normal, so we snuck in for the last few minutes… and the closing hymn. Being late, even if it’s due to unusual circumstances, is very overwhelming to me, so I was already a bit thrown off just from walking in at the end instead of the beginning. So here are the words to the last verse of the closing hymn:

Let us build a house where all are named,
their songs and visions heard
and loved and treasured, taught and claimed
as words within the Word.

Built of tears and cries and laughter,
prayers of faith and songs of grace,
let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

All Are Welcome Episcopal hymnal 1982, hymn #641

As you might imagine, that particular set of words struck some chords in me. The words “all are named” and “tears and cries” particularly. This is an example of a non-obvious trigger. An obvious trigger would be things like going back to the hospital where Charlie was born, or seeing an infant that looks like him, or seeing a stillbirth in a tv show. A non-obvious trigger can be nearly anything! Really, anything that makes me think of the sad parts of Charlie or how I miss him, or the trauma aspects of finding out he had no heartbeat, etc. So in this case, “all are named” hit me hard because it means so much to me that we named Charlie and had him baptized. So I know that Charlie is included in this song.

Another trigger that hit me that day, was right after service concluded, and I used the ladies room: the changing table in there has a picture on it that also meant something to me personally:

A baby tiger…
If you’ve read my blog posts before, you know that tigers, particularly cubs, represent Charlie for us. So this was another little symbol, out in the world, that was a sweet (if wrenching) reminder of our little one.

I’m sharing this story to show that triggers are not always bad – sometimes they are reminders of his life, or his inclusion in our religion. But I’m also sharing just to show how hidden and common triggers can be.



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