The Price of Love

It has been a month since Max died. A whole month. I really can't believe it.

I still feel like he was just here, like he was just born. But the days have turned to weeks and the weeks have added up to a month since he has been gone. We've had to face that truth in many ways since then. Just this week I started to go through the nursery and packing things up to put away to store. It was an emotional process. I want it to still feels like Max's room, but I also want it to be a functional space for us. I cried as I packed up diapers, baby lotion, blankets and toys. I wished so much he had come home to lay in that crib, or be changed on that table, or rocked to sleep in that glider.

Here's the thing- I don't know about you guys, but I really struggle with being human. I know that Max is in heaven. I know he has a great calling there. I know that he isn't lost to me. I know I will see him again some day. I have faith in my merciful and loving Heavenly Father and his great plan of happiness. Yet, there I sat, crying on the nursery room floor, because I am human and I miss him. I miss him every second. My arms ache to hold him. My eyes wish to see him. My heart longs to feel like it did in his presence. Despite the truths I know and the faith I feel I have I still feel sad without him, which made me feel weak.

I have really struggled with this side effect of being human. I felt like Heavenly Father and Max must  have been so disappointed in me because of my weaknesses. I have wondered why I couldn't be stronger if I know what I know. I felt, like, if I really was a great woman of faith then I would be strong and not sad. And, if that is the case, then I must not be very strong or very faithful... Right? Well, no. I have, finally, come to realize that is wrong.

Being sad does not make me weak. My human heart was made to bear grief. We came here for mortal experiences: to have great joys and suffer great trials. Even when we endure the difficult times faithfully, that doesn't mean we won't have sadness or heartbreak. Even the only perfect being to ever walk this earth experienced heartache. The shortest verse in all the scriptures, is also one of the most profound, "Jesus wept." In John 11:35, upon finding out that His dear friend Lazarus had died, even Jesus shed tears. Christ knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead, but He still wept with Mary and Martha. And the next scripture, verse 36, describes the messages His tears conveyed to those who saw "Behold how he loved him!"

I have searched all over and cannot find an author for this quote, but it perfectly sums this all up.
“Grief never ends... But it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith... It is the price of love.”

Well, I loved Max. I love him with every inch of my soul. I grew him within me for 34 weeks. I gave all of myself to him, physically and emotionally. I sat with him nearly every day for 5 weeks. I held him close in my arms as he died. So, how could I not be sad? How could I not miss him and cry? And I don't think that makes me weak, anymore. Every tear I shed conveys the strength of my love for Max. Missing him so much means he was real, and he was here.
Missing him is just the price of loving him so much.