To lose a child has to be the most painful experience a person can endure. I have watched a few people close to me lose a child and it is just heart wrenching. There is no way for my brain to process the loss of a child. Back in 2002 I experienced a miscarriage. It was the most difficult experience I have had to deal with in my life thus far. The loss of this little soul at 12 weeks into my pregnancy shook me. It hurt. Everything hurt. Everywhere I looked there were reminders; pregnant women, new babies, baby coupons and samples in the mail, complete with reminders of how many more weeks/months until I would give birth to my baby. Each of these things was like a knife in my heart all over again. And while I knew that this couldn't possibly be as bad as losing a child I had given birth to and held, it still hurt tremendously. My heart breaks for women who have experienced a loss further along. I can only imagine it gets harder.
What shocked me most was how lonely that walk was. There was nothing tangible, no baby to hold, no funeral, no reminder of who that little one was, so the world just kept moving along not noticing. I couldn't understand why this meant nothing to so many people. Of course there were my family members and a few good friends who let me know how much they cared, but then still others who made comments like, "Well at least you have others." or "At least you weren't far along." Really? To me this was no doubt my child. I heard this little ones heartbeat, I knew he/she was there. Does the fact that I have other children really lessen the loss? Absolutely not! This was an individual, unique gift from heaven. One that, though I hadn't met yet, I already felt connected to on a deep level.
Some things that got me through were, journaling, praying, reading books on miscarriage, and speaking to my priest, who answered many of my questions. I decided to take the one ultrasound picture I was blessed to have and put it into a scrapbook. Yes, I only had 1 picture, but this book became my journey in healing. I wrote things to our baby, I put name cards in it, I found poems and songs that struck me and added them to it. I don't look at this book very often anymore, but it served a purpose in the healing process. It was the only way I knew to honor our little one.
Jean Keaton prints are so beautiful and brought me great comfort. I ordered some of the scenes of Jesus with babies and added those to my book. I especially liked the ones titled, Snuggling Infant, Laughing Baby,
Teach Me To Walk, In His Hands, and Young Mother. I hope you will find comfort in these as well.
Our Baby's name, Josiah Noel, is inscribed in The Book of Life at the Shrine of Holy Innocents. At this church in New York you can have your baby's name added to the book. There is a candle lit there at all times in their memory. People stop to pray there and on the first Monday of every month a Mass is offered up for all of these children. It's a beautiful way to honor your little one.
If you have suffered losing a baby I pray you will allow God to walk with you on the path to healing. May God bless you and carry you~