Permission to Grieve  by De'Andrew Brown

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Permission to Grieve

PainMost men do not know how to grieve, or they feel like they are not allowed to because they have to be "strong." I am here to tell you that not only are you allowed to grieve, but you must grieve in order to live in complete freedom. My wife and I moved to Redding from Guam with at the time our one year old daughter (Petal) and five months pregnant with our baby girl (Posie). Three weeks after moving to Redding we found out that Posie no longer had a heartbeat, and a week after waiting to see God bring her back to life her heart remained silent. Rosie was going into her third trimester. We then went through labor just like when you have a healthy baby. Four hours later my wife (Rosie) gave birth to Posie not only in physical pain but with so much more. I remember crying so hard when I held Posie, because I had an ounce of hope that she would be born crying and living. When that hope was completely gone, I turned to feeling the loss of my daughter. Undoubtedly the hardest day of my life, feeling so much pain in such a short amount of time. My wife and I prayed through the entire process and believed that God was a God of miracles up to the moment of birth, and then we had to make a decision that we would continue to believe that. GrievingThree weeks later, I joined manalive and was placed in Nick Harper's group. I did a good job at talking about my pain, but I needed help processing it. After having a healthy man (Nick) walk me through it I then started crying every time I talked about Posie and could not talk about her without crying. I started learning how to grieve in a healthy way and Holy Spirit was with me every time I opened up my heart and let others inside. Every time a memory came up or a new detail was discovered I had to choose to either face it and share it or suppress it and move on. I continued to face my pain and sit in it. Sitting in my pain meant I had to feel it without knowing the outcome or length of how long I would feel it. No matter how much it hurt I had to allow Holy Spirit into my pain. I remember feeling like it was my fault and I took ownership in Posie’s death. I had to speak this out loud and share it with Holy Spirit and healthy men. I had to choose to ask Him questions that scared me. If I did not choose to move my family across the ocean with a pregnant wife would our baby have lived? Did I actually hear God say go and was I just listening to my own desires? Asking these questions were painful because I did not know the answers. God responded to each question by taking it all off my shoulders, telling me there was absolutely nothing I could have done to prevent this. This was not my fault and I was hearing His voice. I also needed to hear that from healthy men whom I respected. After grieving and going after my pain I started seeing change in my family. My wife and I became even closer, and my confidence as a man started growing drastically. I was free from regret, free from thinking it was my fault, and free from trying to be strong through the loss of my baby. Because I grieved her and processed my feelings I believe I was able to receive from God in ways that were very intimate. He brought me back to the delivery room and let me see it from His eyes. He told me that I could revisit that moment any time that I wanted to.OthersI was amazed to find out that one in four babies do not live and realized that with that many not making it I rarely heard anyone talk about it. Then I thought about men never talking about it, and I could not remember a single time I heard a man talk about the loss of his child. This hurt my heart because I actually experienced freedom in talking about it and processing my pain with others. Each time I share my story I meet someone who has also lost a child. Almost every time they have never truly grieved and processed their pain. This is holding us back! Mathew 5:4 says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."RedemptionMy story is a story of redemption, and continues with hope. Seven months later we found out that my wife was pregnant again, bringing a ton of fear and pain back into our lives. Walking with God and trusting Him that this baby would not have the same outcome as our last. There was no guarantee that we would have a healthy baby and we had to completely trust God. The journey was scary, painful, and was a rollercoaster of emotions. April 2018 we had a healthy baby girl and we called her Primrose. As soon as she came out of the womb I started weeping, thinking about the journey we had just gone through. Holy Spirit showed me that since I had grieved Posie so well, I was now able to give Primrose my full heart and hold nothing back. She is eight months old now and she is healthy as can be. She is our rainbow baby and reminds me of how good God is. That He is still a God of miracles.