Yesterday a group of women and I talked about a subject that is both heartbreaking and difficult: losing a child. While I know this varies from my usual tone, it has touched my life and those around me. It too is a part of this season of young “families” we are in. For Brian and I it has been something we personally had to navigate in the midst of raising our other children. This is our story.
Many have experienced losing a child through miscarriage, abortion, still birth and/or the death of an infant. In every minute of every day in America a miscarriage happens. That does not include the other forms of loss. So much grief it is heartbreaking. This is our story.
My boys are almost four, which means if I had not lost my daughter to miscarriage she would be about two and a half. She would be running around and playing with the rest of her brothers and sisters. I remember like it was yesterday. It was an early miscarriage. I had suspected I was pregnant for almost 6 weeks when it began. For days the miscarriage went on. Brian hadn’t known so he wasn’t sure how to be there for me. The grief was overwhelming. There would be times I would weep on the floor. Other times I would be fine and then see my kids playing quietly when the loss and grief would rush over me again like a tidal wave. Every trip to the bathroom brought me face to face with the carnage of death. For weeks I grieved and Brian, try as he might, couldn’t connect with me. It was the first time we had not been together through something. I felt alone. The ER doctor was callous, the nurse compassionate.
Friends and family didn’t know what to say or how to comfort. How could they? I had lost my child and there was nothing that would bring her back. I say her, because somehow in my spirit I knew it had been a girl. Her name would have been Eliza. Is Eliza. I know many have faced the struggle of infant loss as I have, some involving a delivery and a casket. Many have suffered blame, shame and guilt over it. Was it the cold medicine I took? Did I do too much? Am I being punished? Then comes the pain caused by people who don’t know how to respond so they say insensitive and hurtful things.
Being parents is a precious gift. There is so much joy and beauty in it. Making memories like pumpkin patches and hot chocolates. But this is also a season of life when we come face to face with grief in feeling the loss of a child. Whether in your own life or walking with a friend or family member’s in their’s. Grief is no respecter of persons. Rich or poor, it touches us all. This is a great resource to have for you or a loved one.
But Jesus has a rocking chair and I know that he will take very good care of Eliza until I can hold her myself in heaven. He is the God of the living and she is alive with him now. Who knows, maybe our children are even friends up there. I know she has at least one friend named Jacob. Take heart my friends. It is good to remember and know that in Christ, we will all see them again.
In her memory, we will be planting a tulip tree in our yard. It will always be “Eliza’s Tree.”
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,” I pray (Name) would, “think…”