I’ve been trying to write down some of the tugging my heart has been feeling as I continue to grapple with the death our baby girl. And bear with me, because it’s the kind of heart tugs that I know will bring good…
As we now walk this journey, I can’t ignore how my eyes have been opened to the all too common reality of miscarriage and stillbirth and how we as a society still haven’t figured out how to best deal with it. Many friends and even family have since shared their own losses and journey of grief. Mind you, in most instances, its shared discreetly and privately. And through tears welling in their eyes, these same women then say but my loss “doesn’t even compare” to your loss. Though I appreciate the sentiment, but that my dear friends, couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, I get it, it’s nearly impossible to try to put yourselves in our shoes. I couldn’t do that when our own friends went through unimaginable losses. But if there is one thing that I’ve taken away from each and every story is that not one life…not one…is any less precious; regardless if the baby lived 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 22 weeks or 40 weeks. It is a life that God created and intended to be lived…period. I do realize that yes, we knew our Elodie. We got to hold her and stroke her face. We could call her by name, but from where I sit today we are the ones that have been blessed.
We’ve been blessed, because we can openingly and publicly grieve our daughter. It’s absolutely healthy and expected that we have a memorial service for her. It’s ‘OK’ that we take time off work to grieve and spend time with our family. I have freedom to “grieve well”. I can cling to my Heavenly Father through every messy turn. Why is my pain validated, while that mom who loses a baby at 12 weeks has to “move on” and “get over it”? Why are any of those other babies any less treasured? The truth of the matter is that they’re not.
My lovely sisters, my loss is not anymore painful then the one you too carry. The difference is that society tells you to hush now, keep that to yourself. There may even be a sense of shame or guilt…why burden others with this loss when they didn’t even know you were pregnant? And the irony to all if this is that 1 in 4 women will lose a child to miscarriage or stillbirth. If there is one thing I see the Lord tugging on my heart is that as a community of women and as a church body, we need to be meeting young families in the middle of this battlefield. How can we give mothers (and fathers) open space to grieve the children they will never know? How do we help society deal with this head-on vs. sweeping it under the rug. I don’t know what it looks like, but my heart is open and I’m listening.