Friday found me miserable. I woke up and my body had lost the last signs of pregnancy. I was almost frantic, then, because I had nothing – NOTHING – left either within me or around me that spoke of my little one.
I didn’t know what to do. I was angry. I was so, so angry. I was terrified, too, because I knew I’d officially lost something I could never replace. A friend of mine had said, “At least you didn’t deliver a still born.” Another had said, “Be grateful you didn’t miscarry in your 6th or 7th month.”
I just… saying those sorts of things, while true, are SO incredibly hurtful. It seems as if they were invalidating my emotions… invalidating my child. “Meh… a few weeks in and it’s not a child anyway, so why the long face?”
I mean, would they say that to a mother who lost her child to cancer at 5 years old? “Hey, lady, at least he wasn’t 18 or 32. Then you’d’ve REALLY been upset.”
I’m pretty sure a mother is going to mourn her lost child regardless of the age that life is taken from her. I admit it is likely much more traumatizing for mothers to endure stillbirth and late-term miscarriages, but making comparisons of any sort are just… they’re not helpful. Just because my pain is not the same or as terrible does not mean my pain is not present. It does not mean I can just wash my hands and forget.
Maybe that was my oversensitive heart reacting poorly, but I felt so hurt by those comments… so brushed aside by such tiny statements. I wondered at how many other women were dealt such callous blows by folks trying to soothe broken hearts.
Argh. So with those statements in mind, I was heartbroken and angry on Friday. While it’s true I didn’t suffer the same heartbreak as a mother bearing a stillborn nor a mother who went through pregnancy long enough to prepare nurseries and quilts and research on schools, I also didn’t have the tangible evidence they carried of their child. I have no ashes with which to place into an urn on a mantle. I have no locks of hair to gently touch when I’m hurting. I don’t even have a positive pregnancy test to hold as proof this miracle was granted to me. I only have my faith and the same maternal instinct that confirmed I was carrying Vincent before doctors could find any evidence of him.
So on my way home from work, I was angry and hurting and asking God why I couldn’t even be given some small piece of my child to hold onto. I have nothing, and that really bothered me. I wanted something – ANYTHING – to mark this little one’s passing. But nothing – there was no response.
But silly me, God had heard my bitter diatribe before I’d even uttered it. He understood that I’d have a longing in my soul for some physical memorial I could look upon with love while uttering a prayer of thanksgiving for His great gift. He had arranged to send the Holy Spirit all the way to the opposite side of the country so that my intense sadness could be looked after.
Through them, Divine Providence found its path of least resistance. This duo spotted a small music box. Its color is blue – the shade I always refer to as “Blessed Mother blue.” They thoughtfully picked that out and promptly shipped it to me. On Saturday, just before I went out to a party I was dreading on account of me being a miserable wretch, the box appeared on my doorstep.
I can’t possibly convey the feeling of gratitude I had upon realizing what the surprise was. The source did not surprise me as this family has routinely showered love and prayers my way. However, I wondered if they realized just how special their choice of gift was… how divinely inspired it really was.
I couldn’t choke back the tears that freely fell in appreciation for this little box. This would be my memorial. Instead of carrying the ashes of a child I never physically held, it will carry a set of special charms I’ve created just for my little one.
The process of creation was healing, and now I have something tangible to carry with me (or wear) wherever I go. The Miraculous Medal / Precious Feet charm will stay within the box as my memorial to her. The other two I'll carry around with me much in the same fashion as I take a little charm of Vincent everywhere I go.
I thank you all, and in a special way, those two beautiful souls who acted as such perfect circuits for Divine Providence.