On Loss, Grief, And Giving Thanks

I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for a month now, so I figure it’s about time for me to just go ahead and do it, else I might never blog again. I’ve rewritten this post in my head so many times that I simply need to sit down and spell it all out. It’s been a rough few weeks, so here goes.
We lost our baby the day after Thanksgiving, an occurrence which took the metaphorical wind out of our young family’s sails, to say the least. It’s been a strange grieving process — I’ve felt alternately hyper-emotional and completely detached. Random things will call to mind the baby and bring tears to my eyes, while most of the time, I’m fine. This entire stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been surreal.
Our church provided meals for the first week or so, which was great, but as we plowed through to the 25th, things just seemed “off” to me. I’ve struggled on and off with God over questions of “why?”, “why now?” and “how could a God that is (loving, all-knowing, etc.)…?” but have largely been at peace in the knowledge that He, ultimately, knows what He’s doing. My wife and I have been trying to be more committed to doing Advent every night — reading the progression of passages from the Bible outlining the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament passages on Jesus’ arrival and, for me, at least, reading about God coming to Earth in the form of a baby has been comforting. It reaffirms the fact that He cares so incredibly much for the littlest ones among us and that He (as we have told Will) needed to call the baby back to Himself early, certainly earlier than we would have preferred.
With the baby dying at Thanksgiving, Paul’s words of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 have been with me almost continuously:

16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

(Emphasis mine.)
This is a tough word in many ways. It’s difficult to think in that manner in the face of adversity, but I feel personally thankful to God for:

  • my wife
  • my children
  • my parents and siblings
  • my church
  • a roof over my head
  • a well-paid contract

…and the list goes on. I have been blessed, truly blessed, and while I don’t, nay, can’t know the mind of God on this, I am comforted and thankful that He is in control.
I’ve felt preoccupied by all these things and it seemed just, well, disrespectful somehow to blog about other things while leaving our loss unspoken. Hopefully I will be able to get back to near-daily blogging again soon.

Site Comings And Goings

Good news, everyone!
With the host switch complete, I decided that it might be a good time to start sharing the wealth, as it were. I went from a hard limit of 1GB of files and 70GB of transfer/month on The Host That Shall Not Be Named to 4.8GB of storage and 120GB of transfer/month with disk space increasing automatically by 40MB per week and transfer increasing by 1GB per week(!) with Dreamhost. Pretty sweet.
As such, I offered several friends the opportunity to start their own blogs here. I convinced Brad to move off of Blogspot (completion of that transaction pending) and have two Andy’s ready to go. Brad’s new blog (Agent Orange Relocated) is available at http://agentorange.zamoose.org and Andy H.’s blog (Muy Caliente!) is available at http://muy-caliente.zamoose.org. Andy W. hasn’t picked a name yet, but once he does, I’ll be setting him up.
All of their sites (as well as my own personal test blog) are running the latest nightlies from the WordPress 1.6 dev Subversion tree. 1.6 is shaping up to be pretty slick and I was amazed at how easy they’ve made importing your old posts from other blogging systems. The Blogger import, in particular, impressed me greatly. With little more than a username and password prompt and a couple of mouse clicks, I was able to suck down all of Brad’s Blogspot content, all in a matter of around 5 minutes. Very cool.
I’ll be adding things to the roots of both zamoose.org and literalbarrage.org soon, pending a content management system decision on my part. I’m leaning towards Joomla, although that might be a bit heavyweight for my purposes. In any event, watch this space for further updates in the days and weeks to come.
Oh, and still no baby.

The Waiting Game

The crib has been bought, set up and placed, the car seat has been placed and fitted into the car, the due date has come and gone and my mother-in-law has arrived to help with the baby. One small problem, though. No baby yet.
Any day now.