Monday, October 15, 2012

The end of the story

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  Not exactly a holiday you wish to celebrate.

Five times our family has experienced the joy of expecting a baby, only to be crushed by loss.   I know we have been blessed.  Six more times, that joy was made complete in the present as I delivered healthy children.  But looking around our table, I sometimes still see the missing spots.  The longer gaps between children where a brother or sister should have been.  And I catch my breath and thank God that this is not the end of the story.  

Someday I will hold those children again: the ones whose feet never touched this earth, but were born directly into the courts of the Living God.  Someday He will wipe every tear from our eyes and we will be together again.

But in the meantime, it still hurts.  1 in 4 known pregnancies ends in miscarriage.  Chances are, if you have not had a loss, someone you know has.  This October 15, please remember those who grieve.  Pray that God will comfort them.  Lend your ear and your arms to listen and hug when they need to remember.

I have been blessed, in a way, in that all my losses were in the first trimester.  I never felt my babies move before I had to say a premature goodbye.  But there are many, many moms out there who felt the kicks and knew a gender and gave a name before their babies went ahead.  Honor those moms by asking how they are doing.  Talk about their children by name.  A dear friend told me, after losing her full-term baby, that what hurt the most is that no one talked about him.  No one wanted to say the wrong thing, so they said nothing.  And it made her feel like he had never been real.

May God Himself comfort all who grieve their babies, and may He daily reassure us that this world is not the end.