At 8:33 pm on the 20th of June, the Tabacaru household welcomed Rapha Courage into the world. Mark and I were so overjoyed, to say the least, a little man, our little man! But I remember feeling a whole lot of mixed emotions in that special, beautiful moment, as our Ezra Brave would have been 4 years old and would have, like the girls, had the very same opportunity to meet his little brother the next day. I wrote ‘the art of grieving’ on what would have been Ezra's first birthday, which is also Hadassah's birthday and that same wave of mixed emotions can be overwhelming.
This is dedicated not only to the beautiful Mumma’s that are reading this who have been through something similar but, to all the strong, brave, bold women in my world who have experienced grief in any capacity. Whether it be a miscarriage, infertility, losing a loved one, abuse or even grieving over a dream.
Whatever it is I truly believe that grief is grief and there is an art to doing it well. Give yourself permission to grieve in the right space and to the right people and watch God turn your darkness into dancing.Grief is a response to loss. Grief causes immense emotion and can cause pain physically, emotionally, and mentally. Grief is not kind; it doesn’t care about the dreams, desires, and ambitions that you have. Grief is persistent and it can hit you so hard that you are unable to get back up again, that you are unable to fight! I have found myself feeling like this before… Let me start from the beginning…
Today is my little girl’s birthday! Today marks a very special milestone… she is one! I remember loving her right from the very beginning even without seeing her face, her smile or hearing her laugh, I loved her unconditionally from the start. I remember her very first breath and the first time I laid eyes on her was a happy, tear-filled moment. What can I say? My little girl is not so little anymore! Today is a day filled with so much happiness and thankfulness to God for entrusting us with this little bundle of joy, but it is also filled with incredible sadness. This is a day my husband and I will never forget, as we not only celebrate Hadassah’s Birthday, but we also celebrate a birthday that never was, as we remember and say goodbye to our beloved Ezra, whom we would have welcomed into the world today.
Sunday night the 30th of August 2015 was the beginning of my toughest week. Now, even though I am only twenty-five years old, I have already had a few tough weeks, tough situations & tough experiences to face, but this was the hardest yet. I had just arrived back from our women’s conference down in Townsville. I couldn’t describe it but I had felt uneasy and emotional all weekend. This was kind of expected, as I was almost twelve weeks pregnant. After church that night back in Cairns I went to bed feeling pain in my stomach and soon after that noticed that I was bleeding. Being pregnant for the second time and having experienced complications with Hadassah (my first child), I was a little worried, but I was oblivious and thought that it would sort itself out, that God wouldn’t allow anything bad to happen.
I remember getting to the hospital at 10 pm that night and being admitted straight away. However, as time passed, I remember lying on the bed feeling so frustrated because no one was communicating with either Mark or myself. We had no idea what was going on, all I knew was that it was getting late and I was in a fair amount of discomfort. I finally put my feet down on the cold tiles and with a whole heap of courage from my husband I made my way up to the doctor at the front desk to ask if we could have some information otherwise, I said very politely ‘we’ll just go home and see my doctor tomorrow. At that point it was 1:30 am and they immediately got someone in to look at me. Long story short- the doctor couldn’t see anything. No movement. Nothing was there.
I remember the long drive home as a second turned into a minute and a minute seemed like an eternity. Needless to say, both Mark and I didn’t say much, there were lots of emotions and tears flooding the car. I was in a whirlwind of confusion and grief, as I couldn’t and didn’t understand. I only saw Ezra two weeks earlier growing with a strong heartbeat! I was heartbroken. I just can’t begin to express the pain and emotion that assaulted me. It was indescribable.
Next 5 weeks
For the next five weeks, I had so many follow up appointments, scans, and uncomfortable conversations. Something that I noticed was that every professional and doctor that I saw were afraid to use the word miscarriage and never used the word baby! The fact of the matter was that I did have a miscarriage! Our baby had died at ten weeks, not a fetus, but a baby who at that stage was developing little fingernails and who was now a visible little human busily moving around. Miscarriage is almost unheard of unless you, a family member or close friends go through it. It’s a taboo topic really, almost like sex; almost no one wants to shine the light on it and talk about it because it’s awkward and unpleasant until it’s too late.
Before I lost Ezra, miscarriage was an unfamiliar subject for me and because I never thought to ask, no one thought to share their knowledge or experience. Miscarriage is very common as 10 to 20% of positive result pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur so early during pregnancy that most women don’t even realize that it’s happened. Doctors say that most miscarriages are caused by genetic problems in the mother, but they don’t know why it’s so common and why women who have had a miscarriage are at higher risk of miscarrying again.
So, the art of grieving, well I haven’t given you a formula or a step by step guide to follow, as I believe each of us face & experience different forms of grief in our way. I know for me it was not only important to have my friends around to support and love me at this time, but being brave and bold enough to talk to a professional, a counsellor. Someone who would listen and allow me to bare my heart and soul, someone who would give me the understanding and Godly wisdom and guidance to let go and move forward. When I say, let go I’m not meaning to forget, but to process, to grieve and heal, so instead of walking around with an open wound instead there is a scar. Today we celebrated two birthdays, a life that is and a life that was. We celebrated our thankfulness by taking time in our day to pray and let go of two balloons, one for Hadassah and one for Ezra. At that moment, as the waves rolled in, I can’t express the sense of peace and love that came over me. So, the art of grieving, is very much a journey!
There is a song written by Hillsong United called ‘Here Now’.
Some of the lyrics are…
‘Faith makes a fool of what makes sense,
but grace found my heart where logic ends.’
Life can serve you the unknown and the uncertain. Life can be a wild ride; taking you on bends, twists, and turns that don’t make sense. But faith, faith to me makes perfect sense. When you experience something for the first time and it’s so real to you that you don’t want to let it go, you can’t let it go! I know that my faith in God isn’t logical and doesn’t make sense by scientific reason, but I do know that through it all He is fixing my eyes on not my current realities, but on future dreams, desires and big plans to be used by Him.
Chevaun Tabacaru is a mother to three children, two gorgeous girls and a cheeky, beautiful boy. Chevaun is studying a Bachelor of Ministry and Pastors alongside her husband Mark at Calvary Christian Church, Rockhampton. She is passionate about bridging the gap between Community and Church, as she leads Calvary Care globally.