Friday, October 15, 2010

infant and pregnancy loss remembrance day ~ oct. 15

and yet another year comes around that i know about this day.

in some ways i wish i didn't know about it...but in other ways i am glad i do.

it helps me to remember all of the other families out there who grieve publicly or silently at the loss(es) of their infant child(ren) or their early/late pregnancy loss(es).

i wrote one of my new friends yesterday and asked her to not feel as though she had to disqualify her loss as less than mine. she had a pregnancy loss before the doctors could tell if it was a boy or a girl and she was grateful to know that oct. 15 exists.

i have many friends and know many people who have had a miscarriage(s), and i see their loss the same and yet different. that child was a child they don't get to raise here on earth. when asked, how many children do you have? the obvious answer is three but that mother knows there are actually five.

in different ways, i think it must be harder to not know if the child was a boy or girl. some early pregnancy losses do not grant the parents the pleasure of actually seeing what the baby looked like. this must be tough; i can only imagine. the dreams and hopes you had for their life...just vanished at the words "i'm sorry, there is no heartbeat." and yes, not even a name for this life that mattered.

yes i buried a child, but i had the privilege to birth him, see him briefly when they woke me from general anesthesia, and eventually i got to hold him after he had gone to be with Jesus.

i want to encourage those who have silently grieved their losses to spend some time thinking about those children today. maybe in your grief, they need a name. they need to know you recognize their life as equally as your other children.

can you see their faces in heaven?

your jewel-adorned house waiting for you in heaven will not have three rooms for your children...but five.

and my heart aches particularly for those who have endured pregnancy loss after pregnancy loss and do not have the "validity" of mommy status yet, because there is no child to hold in your aching arms. you are a mommy. please know that. i hurt for you...and i pray for you. only Jesus can heal your wounds. and it will happen in time, if you let Him.

i love this paragraph from george w. bush's letter to officially recognize this infant and pregnancy loss remembrance day, october 15:

"the pain of losing a child is unimaginable and something no parent should have to endure. we believe that EVERY HUMAN LIFE has inherent dignity and matchless value in the eyes of God. on this solemn day, we remember those who have died, and we honor the parents for their strength and courage in the face of such terrible heartache."

some of us baby-loss parents have a grave to visit today, some of us are too far away to do so, and some of us simply do not.

please join me in praying for those parents who have lost children in silence, who may or may not be able to recognize that precious and valued life. please know your baby's life mattered to me...but more importantly he or she mattered to God. that precious child is sitting at His feet as you read this.

dear matthew phillip,

we miss you so much. there is not a day that goes by where daddy and i do not think about you. tonight we will light a candle at 7pm to remember you and all the other babies in heaven with you. because your life mattered. their lives mattered. i just got a new pumpkin spice yankee candle, and it is my favorite scent because fall is my favorite time of the year. i think i'll light that one.

baby boy, i could have lived in a black hole of despair and depression for many more months and years, and probably for the rest of my life. but only 2 short months ago, Jesus gently asked me to let you go be with Him. i decided to not let the grief of losing you get in the way it wasn't easy. some days, it's still not.

i sit here and look at kennedy playing on her play mat and sometimes wonder what it would be like if my 21-month-old son was running around the house too. would mommy be losing her mind? probably! but it would be the good kind of losing her mind. when you finally stood still for a second, i'd swoop you up in my arms, give you lots of kisses on your cheeks, lips, and face while you would be squirming. eventually i'd lay you on the ground next to kennedy and tickle you until you couldn't laugh anymore. i'd be laughing too and since kennedy starting laughing really loud a week or so ago, she would be laughing at us! it would be a moment i would take a snapshot of in my memory to treasure for a lifetime. better yet, if my camera was nearby, i'd be sure to grab it! i sort of have an obsession with capturing these precious moments you see! :)

on a brisk morning like today, we'd bundle up and go for a walk. i wonder if you would ride in the tandem stroller or if you would just want to walk with me holding mommy's hand. after our walk, we'd come back and make pumpkin bread and butternut squash soup to have on hand for lunch tomorrow. juju and aunt granny deb are coming tomorrow and we'd be ready, even though the house is still a mess! later we'd go to the commissary and with two children under the age of two, it might be a lot to handle. you might throw a tantrum right in the middle of the aisle while older men glare at me...but it would be perfectly fine with me because you would be here screaming in the grocery aisle instead of being away from me in Glory.

matthew phillip, it's a conflict. after i decided to start living my life again, i still wish you were here with me, yet i know you are at such peace walking daily with your Heavenly Father. most days i can focus on the latter and that gives me comfort, joy, grace, and understanding. but there will be days for the rest of my life i will just have to be sad you are not here with me on this earth. and that's ok.

but the sad day will come to an end, and if i'm granted the next day, i will get up, do the best i can as a wife to your wonderful daddy and mommy to your amazing little sister, and i will go out into the world and ask Jesus how he would want me to introduce Him to someone that day.

i love you precious son. you give me strength to live each day.
~ mommy


Joyfulness said...

Wow, very powerful. Thank you for sharing!

Kathleen said...

Thank you for your amazing thoughts. I miss Matthew also. It gives me comfort to think that Phillip is there in heaven looking out for his little nephew along with Jesus.

Anonymous said...

please know that matthew's life has had such an impact on our family and many others. while i never met him, he reminds me to love a deeper, reach a little farther and hugs my babies here a little tighter. much love to you dear friend! xoxo laura

Toni said...

We were thinking about you!!!!