October is pregnancy and infant loss remembrance month. With 15th October being the day set aside to light candles of remembrance and hold vigils of love . A special month set aside for parents to remember all those Angel children taken too soon through miscarriage , SIDs and death. To those parents who’ve lost a child , the loss is 24/7 , 365 days a year …..there is never a time when the grief of a lost child does not tug wearily at their shattered hearts.
Its specifically this time of the year that I, in particular, choose to remember my angel child who passed through miscarriage.
According to statistics, approximately one in every 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and yet we still live in a society where, as moms of angel babies we are required to hush our grief under cloaks of acceptability , moving on with our lives as fast as we can .
People around us are awkward , avoiding our pain and brushing our loss off with words like ‘it wasn’t meant to be’ or ‘you can try again’.
It’s not politically correct to address the matter of miscarriage in public and very few resources are found here in South Africa for grieving parents .
I remember, that afternoon, as I lay listening to the cold words the Dr uttered , how very sad I was. It was a hard , gut wrenching sadness that engulfed my entire body and left me breathless as the hot, salty tears streamed unashamedly down my face.
I’d lost so much In that instant ….my child , my dreams, a part of me .
I felt robbed ..robbed of the chance to carry my baby, to feel his kicks and his tiny body grow inside me. Robbed of the chance to watch him grow and share his journey.
It hurt. Everywhere!
I watched as moms carried their children past me and I cried. I saw the many incidences of child abuse and neglect in the media and I questioned my God! Why would someone who’d hurt a child be given the chance to be a parent and not me?
A deep settling depression engulfed me. I lived in a world of sadness and negativity. Alone in my grief, the pain was all I had to hold onto and I wasn’t ready to let go.
I spent hours scouring the internet , looking for a support group, a way to honor my child and a way to find my joy again.
I tried it all….journaling, memory boxes , online support groups , fairy gardens , memory services and still I felt a sickening void . A complete emptiness, but mostly I felt alone.
My partner couldn’t help. He didn’t understand. He’d lost his child and me and yet, all we managed to do was grieve alone , isolated from hurting one another anymore. I felt a crippling guilt as I saw the loss pour through his tear streaked eyes….it was my body that rejected our child. My body that betrayed us, that shattered our future.
My friends didn’t know ,we were only 8 weeks and hadn’t announced our joy with anyone yet. It seemed futile now and so they couldn’t share my grief.
I’d cry myself to sleep , wake up shivering from hellish nightmares and scream inward at the world for my loss.
A year later , I chose to go back and work with children. It took much of my courage . I still ached as my barren arms longed for the sound of my child , but I knew that I would never honor my baby by dying myself. I had to live , to speak out so that others knew their pain was real, that they weren’t alone and mostly that their precious angels aren’t forgotten.
I’ve chosen to break the silence, to speak my babys name and share my grief so that other mothers know that they are not alone.
Today I want to honor all the mothers who’ve held a little life, even for the briefest moments , and share a poem I wrote for Pregnancy Loss Australia.
An angel went to heaven,
My heart is beyond sad.
A beautiful little baby
Cradled in Gods hand.
His wings are made of gossamer
He wears a silken gown
And every time my heartbreaks
He sighs a little frown.
He leaves me little gifts
Sometimes a sign or two
Just to say, “Dear mommy
I’m thinking of you too! “
So, although I cannot hold him
Or call his gentle name
I see him all around me:-
In wind and sun and rain.
He’s the mornings rising sunlight
The moon within the sky
He’s the rainbow after raindrops
And the light that caught my eye.
He calls me through the wind,
The ocean and the trees.
I sense him all around me
And hear him in the breeze.
I see him in the flowers
That smile in summertime,
And although I never held him
His heart is always mine.
An angel went to heaven
I never knew his name,
But I’m his dearest mommy
And love him all the same.