Among the things I never thought of before I had a child was the weight of losing a child. How could I? I had yet to experience the mind-altering experience of having a child, so there was no way I would know what even a potential loss would feel like. Some people experience a loss most of us can never imagine – loss during a pregnancy or shortly after delivery. ALW has shared her accounts here and here. She is, thankfully, resting at home with her new baby girl.
I have friends who maybe have one or two children living, and are brave enough to say, “well, in my third or fourth pregnancy,” or who speak the names of their children. A statement, a name, a word that means and carries so much. The weight of a name that holds hope, promise, sadness.
October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Month. The amazing blog, sweet | salty, wrote about the remembrance walk she spoke at, and I was grounded to halt, as I often am, while reading her words.
Mikayla’s Grace is a local non-profit that provides “support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at Madison Area hospitals by providing NICU care packages and angel memory boxes that offer both practical and emotional support for the parents.”
What I’ve learned over time is that there is no perfect thing to say. But what is most often hoped for is what isn’t asked for – you. You, sitting. You, remembering a lost one’s birthday and saying their name. You, remembering them.