Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where to Go

Since losing Sage, I have encountered quite a few women who have experienced pregnancy loss, and one thing I have heard over and over is how the baby, which was so very real to them, was not exactly real to most people around them, and so there is sometimes less acknowledgment of the loss. It is almost invisible.

If the loss was early on, there may be a question of whether or not to have a memorial service, and so often parents miss out on that communal ritual. With late-term losses sometimes the hospital will whisk away the baby without giving the parents time to see, hold and connect with their child. Thankfully, this is changing. Now many (but not all) hospitals offer parents time to be with their child.

There is also a network of volunteer photographers who are part of an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, that does bereavement photography - photos of the parents and child together, documenting the bond that would have otherwise remained unseen and unshared.

Another thing I have heard from mothers who have experienced pregnancy loss, is that many people assume that the words "You are young. You'll get pregnant again," are comforting. For many mothers, these words utterly miss the point. Yes, maybe she will have another child, but that doesn't lessen the loss of this unique and precious child.

And in addition to losing a child, parents lose the dreams, hopes, and wishes for that child. They go home to a thoughtfully decorated nursery with empty arms.

I want to share a poem written by my friend, Liz, after she miscarried her baby. I am so touched by the simple, beautiful honesty of this poem, and of Liz herself, whose heart is very tender and open to life.

Where to go
(For our unknown love)

You grow and grow
You hope and wish
You plan and question
You grow and grow
You kiss and talk
You love and look
You grow and grow
You pray and sing
You rub and comfort
You grow and grow
And love grows and grows
And each day all of it multiplies by hundreds and thousands
And then one day it's all gone except love and prayers
Your hopes and wishes
And planning and questioning
And kissing and talking and looking
And singing and rubbing
And comforting and growing
And all that is left is tons of love with no where to go but in prayers


Laura said...

You have hit on such an important point that is so often misunderstood. It is important that each child is acknowledged, no matter what the age when they pass. The child is no less real to their parents and loving family.

CRICKET said...

My brother and his wife had a miscarriage a few yers back and my mom still says she lost a grandchild and it hurts.