On this Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, I remember my baby.

Many people remember their lost loved ones on Memorial Day. Before now it hasn’t been that big of a deal to me. Most of the people in my extended family who have died in my lifetime, have mostly been older or not close to me, and so it hasn’t impacted me as deeply. This year is different.

Our culture doesn’t talk about about death very much, and too often people don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving. We do have some rituals around death, but for miscarriages and even stillbirths, we do not have any rituals. Many people never tell anyone they’ve lost a baby, and some choose to wait to announce pregnancies until after certain time periods. (I’m not criticizing you if you have chosen to do that <3). I’m a shout-it-out-before-the-pee-is-dry-on-the-stick girl, personally. 😀 It was hard enough telling people who knew we were pregnant, but it was much harder telling people who didn’t know.

The death of a baby is not like any other death. I never got to see my baby laugh. I never got to hear her voice. I never got to see if she looks like Mama or Daddy or Sissy. I do not even know if it was a boy or a girl, tho’ I assume girl since we have two already. She’s a person I am missing getting to know. No one else knows and thinks about a baby daily during pregnancy like Mama does. So often, Mama is the only one who remembers her lost babies–alone. 😦

I do not have the memory of little things that she would have said, or her sisters would have said about her. Instead, I have a 2 year-old who asks “Why our baby is in Heaven?” and “When are we going to get another baby?” 😥

Right now, one of the worst parts is no one else remembers my baby with me. No one even asks how I am. I should be pregnant. I should be getting ready to birth in a few weeks. Instead my womb is empty. My belly isn’t big with a growing child. I am not waiting for life. I am waiting for the day to pass that I would see my baby.

You may be reading this and thinking, “I don’t know what to say! What if I say the wrong thing.” Yes, it can be easy to say something that might hurt someone’s feelings, but if you stick with a simple, “I’m sorry for your loss,” and a hug, you cannot go wrong. Weep with those who weep, and laugh with those who laugh. Yes, some people may not look sad, but I would guess there are very few who do not remember their lost babies with sadness and who would not appreciate a hug or a remembrance.

An aunt gave me a hug and cried with me. A friend sent me a card when she found out. You can send a message and say, “I remember with you.” That means so much to know that on this day, I’m not the only one who knows there’s a person who is missing in my life.

What if you didn’t have a place to go and remember your child? What if you had a D&C and did not get to hold your precious little one? I am sorry. I have a friend who had made her own mourning ritual. Every year she goes to the ocean with a friend. I am making a necklace with my Ella Rayne’s conception month, passing month and due month, along with my other two children’s birthstones.

Please share your story in the comments below, and I will remember your little ones with you. :candle

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9 Responses to On this Memorial Day

  1. tealrose1 says:

    I am so sorry to hear you lost your baby. That must be devastating. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain as I was lucky not to have suffered a miscarriage.

    My bf has lost three and will never be pregnant again and has no living children. She lost two just about the time she found out she was pregnant and the last she was 10 weeks and did hear the heartbeart, just the day before she lost ‘him’. This was a few years back now – and she is still so upset, but has coped by meditating on her babies – she felt two were boys and one a girl, and has named them as such in her own mind. She found it has helped. Like you, she will never forget, and I don’t think you should stop talking about him or her either.

    My mother didn’t know she was pregnant [first time] before me, and when she did know it was because she was losing a 5 month old little boy. She never forgot him – and I know she told me about him when I was quite small, so have always grown up knowing that I lost an older brother. She never told me if she named him – but I have a good idea of what she would have named him – and my sister and I have never forgotten either. She kept him where he belonged – in her heart forever, just as you will your little one. I feel sure that these babies know they are loved. I think a little ritual is a very good idea, as it helps you feel that you haven’t forgotten them, and that they are part of your family. Much love, prayers and hugs XXXX

  2. Pingback: Memorial Day at Boston Common - DaddyLibrary.com

  3. Erin Olson says:

    Loss is so, so hard. I remember the acuteness of all the feelings you describe so well. I found out two weeks before Christmas of ’07 that my little one did not have a heartbeat. I waited and waited to miscarry but for some reason, my body held on. For 3 weeks I carried my precious, lifeless babe. I felt like a walking tomb. I finally miscarried on January 8th, the day after scheduling a D&C for the following week.

    Not having anyone to remember my baby with, to talk about my baby with, was and still is so hard. Even my husband, though loving and caring and sweet, did not and never will understand the depth of my love and connection to that little one we never got to meet. I remember a couple of months later we were speaking with someone whose wife had twins and they lost one (40 years ago) and my husband said to him, “I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child.” That comment was like a knife in my heart. I could imagine that pain! I was still going through it!

    God is so good, though. I will always remember my little one. I will always love my first baby with all my heart. On those days – the day I found out she had no heartbeat, the day I miscarried, the day that should have been her due date – I still get weepy and feel the ache of loss. But it has gotten better with time. And my almost-3 year old brings so much light to my life. I think, without the loss first, I would have been a very different mother. I think I am a much better mother for having gone through what I did and, although I would never wish for that pain, I thank God for teaching me intimately the preciousness of life and of every moment we have with our children.

    My prayers and remembrances are with you. Did you know that October 15th is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance day? Joining with other mothers who are also remembering their babies has been very healing for me. http://www.october15th.com/

    • MorningGloryGirl says:

      Thank you, I had seen it, but had forgotten. Wow, I just realized that that would have been my baby’s conception date (on paper) I don’t recall! 🙂

  4. MorningGloryGirl says:

    Thank you for posting. Yes, we do remember our precious little ones in our hearts. ❤

  5. Jess says:

    My prayers are with you. It is never easy to lose a child whether at 4 weeks or 40 years.

  6. Joel says:

    Thank you so much for posting. Our son, Sky Gabriel was born still on December 14, 2011. We’ve shared his story here: http://blueskyshiningover.wordpress.com/sky-gabriel/ we never forget and appreciate all who remember with us too. All the never will be memories are hard.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I understand.
    For months, I was afraid to be happy. I knew I had to be a mother to my 2 live children, but I was afraid to stop crying because that would mean I had forgot. But I have not. For me it was June 2010 and again January 2011. I had never known what depression was until that agonizing year. A year of bouts of depression. And anger. Not anger towards anyone in particular, but just so much emotion I could not process. I remember telling someone that the saying “time will heal” is not true. It is not. It is God who heals. I am praying for you this moment because I understand.

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