“I lost my first baby in mid April. I dreaded Mother’s Day that year for obvious reasons. A very kind mother/grandmother from church came to talk to me…she told me that I was still a mother though I didn’t have a child on earth. Sometimes, just one person truly acknowledging your grief can comfort you in ways unexplainable. I will forever be grateful.” ~~A Miscarriage Mommy~~
“I would like others to know that it’s OK to say something about my son and that you won’t hurt me by talking about him; actually quite the opposite. It is nice to know that he is remembered by others.” ~~A Stillbirth Mommy~~
“For me 7 years later, having people bring up (my son), not pretend it never happened, is healing.” ~~An Infant Loss Mommy~~
The words you read above came from three different mothers I know who have lost children, and they echo the sentiments I have read and heard from so many others. The first step in beginning to minister to those who are grieving the loss of a child is to recognize their loss. Whether they miscarried early in their first trimester, brought a “sleeping” baby into this world, or gave birth to a child only to lose him months later, all of these mothers lost something. They lost a precious, specially designed creation of God.
Some mothers will not feel those first fluttery kicks in the womb or hear the squeaky cries of a newborn baby, greeting the world for the first time. Some will not know the joy of introducing their healthy child to family and friends. Some will miss the sweet bonding times of late night nursings and early morning cuddles. For these mothers, there will be no first birthdays, first steps, first lost teeth, or first days of kindergarten. They will always wonder what their child would have looked like. What color would their hair have been? Would they have had Daddy’s eyes and Mommy’s smile? Would they have loved music? What would have been their favorite subject in school? There will be no music recitals or sports games to attend. They will never watch their child walk across a stage to receive a diploma or down an aisle to commit their lives to the one they love. When their child died, they lost the joy of making these precious memories. In a few moments of time, their lives were forever altered: their minds forever destined to wonder about what could have been!
I started thinking recently about all the other ladies I know who have traveled this path of grief and loss – I counted them – I know 54. Fifty-four mothers with broken hearts and tear stained cheeks whose children are waiting for them in Heaven! Some of them have made their losses public; others have kept them private. Their stories are as varied as their locations around the world. They are why I have chosen to write about my journey and to speak out about a subject often talked about only in hushed tones and quiet conversations. They are my inspiration. Today, on this National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I salute them and I honor the memory of the children they carried.
What about you? Do you know someone who has lost a child during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy? Take a moment today to recognize her. Send her a text, an email, or a message through social media; call her on the phone; give her a hug when you see her at the store or in the pick-up line at school. Tell her that you thought of her on this day and that you are praying for her! It will not take much of your time, but your recognition of her loss will touch her heart in ways you cannot imagine!