Lima beans and hope in the freezer aisle: Miscarriage through the eyes of a grandfather
Welcome to the Men & Miscarriage Series where we’re exploring how miscarriage impacts men, listening to their stories, and finding ways we can support them in their grief. Miscarriage is not a “women’s issue”—it’s a family issue, a human issue. When we minimize miscarriage as a women’s issue only, we reinforce the notion that women are the only ones affected by this type of loss, which simply isn’t true. The Men and Miscarriage Series features contributions by both men and women. I’m especially excited to help set the stage to give space to the voices often unheard in conversations surrounding fertility and pregnancy loss: the voices of men—fathers and grandfathers who have lost and learned to give expression to their grief, and have learned to grieve with hope, despite what cultural norms surrounding masculinity have instructed them. Together may we discover ways to normalize this grief and find our way forward.
Please note: If you’d like to read further, you can also pick up a copy my book, Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss, which includes a special section for dads written by my husband, Ryan.
Guest Post by Kevin Lotz
It was another Wednesday afternoon. I was at work, finishing a budget spreadsheet for my team’s next assignment. My phone buzzed at 4:57pm, announcing a text message from my daughter-in-law. I smiled, looking forward to the latest updates from my son and daughter-in-law’s end-of-first-trimester doctor appointment and ultrasound. My first grandchild—how exciting!
Just two months before, they had shared their news with family; a few weeks after that, they shared the baby’s first sonogram—the baby was the size and shape of a lima bean.
I finished my spreadsheet, picked up my phone, and opened the text message. I read the first line: “Just found out we lost the pregnancy.”
My heart sank; I was in shock. As I sat at my desk, a fellow manager and friend dropped by on his way home. “What’s wrong?” he asked, taking one look at me.
I opened my mouth to speak, but no words came forth. I pushed my phone across the desk so he could read the text message. He expressed his condolences, then quietly shared that he and his wife had also experienced miscarriage, but in the end were blessed with two great kids. His words of empathy and understanding, sharing a very private part of his life that I had not known about, helped break the initial devastation.
My first instinct was to drop everything and be with the kids, to mourn this loss with them in person.
But with 1,800 miles and two timezones between us, this was not a snap decision. After conferring with the kids, they assured me that there was nothing I could do, and her family was nearby. I would keep my previously planned visit in two weeks’ time.
In the ensuing days, we spent evenings texting and on the phone (along with my other three grown children), expressing and processing our grief, loss, prayers, tears, and family support with my son and daughter-in-law, and with each other.
While I walked through this time with all the kids, the Lord reminded me to also set aside time to experience and process my own thoughts and feelings. Even though I had processed a lot with the family, I was surprised by the tears and emotions that surfaced when I was alone.
The Lord brought consolation and peace from three sources.
First, the Lord reminded me that as the one who knit this little one together, He knows everything about this child (Psalm 139). I find great peace and comfort in knowing that I will be able to spend all of eternity getting to know this little one—to see his face, hear her laugh, to walk and talk together.
Second, I found great solace in a text from my daughter-in-law. My son (a professional chef) had just opened his own restaurant about two weeks before the miscarriage. When they went to the doctor’s appointment and learned the news, he immediately notified the restaurant staff, stuck a sign on the door, and closed for the evening so they could spend needed time together. When I asked about coming out right away to be with them, here was her response: “Thanks dad. In your absence I have your amazing son who you raised so well to take care of me!” Well done, son, for choosing to love your dear wife well.
Third, I found soul healing in sharing with others. As an introvert, this was extremely tough. But as I took a step of faith and obedience to share with friends and a few others, the Lord brought many alongside me that shared stories from their child-bearing years, and stories of their children’s journeys. Paul’s wise words came true—as I shared my story and experience, God worked in me and through others to heal and comfort me (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). I trust that the Lord will now use my words to bring healing and comfort to others.
The two weeks between the text message and my scheduled trip to see my son and daughter-in-law seemed to drag on forever. While technology is wonderful to help keep us connected, nothing replaces being face-to-face. My son, daughter-in-law, and I hugged, talked, shed tears, listened, and healed while munching on her favorite custom-made pizza from my son’s restaurant.
Just a few weeks ago, on what would have been the end of the baby’s second trimester, I was at the grocery store picking up a few items. When I opened the door to reach for a bag of frozen corn, there it was—a bag of lima beans, draped halfway across the bags of corn, reminding me of God’s faithfulness, comfort, and healing.
It was a holy moment, right there in the freezer section.
Meet Kevin Lotz:
An Information Technology professional by day, Kevin Lotz enjoys spends his early mornings writing a devotional blog for his kids, extended family, and anyone else that wants to join the journey. Kevin has done nearly everything in the local church, from park cars to preach. He currently teaches and is involved in discipleship, spiritual formation, and encouraging others in their walk with Christ. When he’s not working or serving, Kevin is outdoors, reading, or cooking dinner to share with friends. Kevin prefers mountains to the beach, has lived in six states, and currently calls North Carolina home. Kevin is also a dad to four amazing grownup kids. Visit Kevin’s devotional blog.
Featured image by John Jones.
THE MEN & MISCARRIAGE SERIES:
(Find the whole series here: Men & Miscarriage Series.)
How to Grieve with Hope Devotional—A free 7-day devotional on YouVersion Bible app based on Grace Like Scarlett
Book: Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss by Adriel Booker