Infant Loss Awareness month

A soft goodbye

The words won’t come.  The ache is too great.  My breath, part of my life is gone forever.

Tears fall and the heart beats.  The ache spreads and grips hold of every portion of who I am.

I scream.  I sob.  I push away the hands of those who love me, who love him.

He is mine and I am his… his mother.

He is gone.

Reality slams into my chest and the world around swims through tear after tear after tear.

I try to think of others; those around me grieving… those who love him too and love me as well.

I want them to get to hold him but I don’t want to lose the warmth of his body.  I want to pretend he is still here with me.

A change of clothes.  A sample of his adorable red hair.  Measuring his now relaxed body.

He is tall.  My night owl, my tight-fisted fighter.

It is time to let him go.   I will never see his earthly body again.

With a kiss and a whisper, I speak a soft goodbye.

 

I met a woman a few weeks ago.  She had suffered a miscarriage, a still birth, and the death of her four-day-old son… more than 30 years ago (probably more, actually).  When I shared with her what Intentional Intimacy is doing for families grieving infant loss, she had teary eyes as she shared how important she thought that such retreats would be for families.  Infant loss, no matter the form, brings heartbreak that does not end during the mother’s or father’s lifetime.  Just as any loss, a person faces each day anew and tries to find a new normal.

The problem for those facing infant loss is the expectation that “well, you can have another one” or “you can always adopt.”  Would you ever say to a friend who has just lost their spouse, “well, you can always marry again?”  What about to a child who has lost his dad, “Don’t worry, your mom will marry again and then you’ll have a new dad?”  No, of course not.  Yet, with infant loss, that is the perception by those who have not experienced it.  At my son’s memorial service someone tried to comfort me with, “At least you can always have another baby.”  A few people did over the weeks and months before and after his death.  Jedidiah is a unique individual who can never be replaced by another baby.  Savannah Grace is a little bitty life that I never even felt wiggling inside me, but she, too, is a unique individual.  Neither of them can be replaced.

After Job lost everything, including his ten children, God replaced all of his earthly possessions DOUBLY.  Yet, Job only had ten more children.  Why didn’t God replace his blessings of children DOUBLY as well?  I believe that it is because those children can NOT be replaced by another.

This month is Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness month.  During this month, I will be adding links to organizations and blogs that focus on infant loss.  Some provide goods and services, others provide counseling, and some are blogs of mothers dealing with their own infant loss.   May this month be a blessing to you or to someone you know who is walking a journey of loss at this time.

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