Ellis' Rainbows 2/5: The Rainbow

There were no windows in the triage room but unbeknownst to me, a severe thunderstorm was pummeling the ground outside. My doula called my mom to come to the hospital and the heavy rains forced my parents to drive well below the speed limit on the highway. 

I’ve thought about this storm many times; how nature seemed to coincide with what was happening. Was this storm just for me? Did the gravity of my loss somehow manifest it? 

Then there was the rainbow. My sister in law, Morgan, saw it on her drive home from the hospital to take care of our dog, Zelda. She snapped a picture and later shared it with me—proof that something magical had happened. Again I thought, was this rainbow somehow just for us? 

I have other friends who’ve experienced loss and have their own special signs. One friend has found yellow BBs for years since her husband died. Another friend, whose baby died shortly after birth, has a special connection with butterflies. I wondered if I would get my own sign, if Ellis would find I way to talk with me.

During that first week after we came home from the hospital I clung to the picture of the rainbow in my phone, continuously looking back at it. The rainbow became my symbol of hope, like somehow Ellis was still with us and that he was okay. 

Let me be clear—seeing a rainbow did not redeem Ellis’ death or my grief. Going through a c-section to give birth to a baby we already knew was dead was the worst experience of my life. But somehow we made it through. Even in the darkest situation light found its way in—through the beauty of nature and the people who surrounded us with love and compassion.

In the gravity of this darkness, the rainbow gave me hope that I could still see beauty, which seemed impossible at the time. Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not over come it (John 1:5).

Continued tomorrow…