at the kitchen table: speaking of faith

A few weeks ago, rocking M. after a middle-of-the-night nursing, I decided I should actively seek God again. This Spanish chant from Taize was going through my head: By night we seek the living waters; only thirst lights our way. I was thirsty. I missed God. I can't do this without God, I thought. I can't do motherhood without God.

I hadn't seen or heard or felt much from God since Joseph died. I'd been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for God to show up in my life again. I thought maybe M.'s birth would bring God back into my world. But it didn't.

So maybe I should stop waiting, I thought, in the dark, in the glider where I was supposed to rock my firstborn, my son, to sleep. Maybe I should hold my daughter and close my eyes and go looking for God, go looking for that feeling I used to get, that reassurance, that peace, that presence.

A few nights later, M. slept through the night, and I forgot all about God. I forgot about my need, my thirst. I fell easily back into what has become my "new normal" since Joseph died: God's absence.

Glow in the Woods isn't big on religion. It almost feels like I'm breaking some taboo to write "God" here in this post. Many of the contributors and readers are here to escape talk of religion--of God's plan, of our babies as angels, of life after death in some particular Heaven. But I also think that tackling big questions of faith is something many of us do after the loss of our children. Some lose faith. Some find it. Some, like me, limp along in a strange limbo. As if I'm still in shock, eighteen months later, from my son's stillbirth.

We invite you to join the conversation at the Kitchen Table. Our conversation is here.  Want to join in? Post the questions and your answers on your own blog, link to us here at Glow in the Woods meme-style, and share the link to your post in the comments. If you don't have your own online space, simply post your answers directly in the comments on the kitchen table page.

1. Before your loss, how would you describe your faith? How would you describe it now?

2. What do you believe about an afterlife? Where do you think your baby(ies) is/are now?

3. Have you had any experiences of visitation--spiritual, bodily, paranormal--from your baby(ies)? If you haven't, would you want to?

4. Glow in the Woods has always been a haven from talk of "angel babies." Why has this been important to you? How do you react to the term "angel baby"?

5. Are your family's beliefs different from yours? Has it caused any tension within your family relating to the death of your baby(ies)?

6.What do you say, if anything, to people--well-meaning or otherwise--when they say those cliche religious phrases like "God needed another flower in His garden" or "Your baby is with God now"?