You are now a member of a group of women that no one wants to be a part of. A secret, hushed club of strong, sometimes broken, always scarred women.
You may have lost your child yesterday, last week or a few months ago. Maybe you lost your child years ago. It doesn’t matter.
It is your child.
People have said, “…but I was only four weeks along.” “…eight weeks along.” “…eighteen weeks along.” Maybe you were twenty-two weeks, thirty weeks. Maybe you had made it to that blessed finish line. And something went horribly wrong. It doesn’t matter.
It was your child.
People will try to comfort you. They will tell you, “Well, at least you have all those other little ones at home.” Or, “You’ll have more.” It doesn’t matter. This was your child.
There will be people who mean well. They will say horrible things, not knowing what they say is like knives to your already searing heart. It doesn’t matter. There will be people who know what they say. They will say horrible, hurtful things. And they may walk away for awhile. They make walk away forever. It doesn’t matter.
It was still your child.
And life will never be the same again.
You will feel those breaths that are hard and pounding. You will feel your pain rise from your depths and come out of your mouth in guttural sounds. Your heart will feel burning, searing pain. You may be surrounded by people and feel completely alone. You will do things you never thought you’d have to do. See things you never thought you’d have to. Maybe more than once. You will wonder how you keep breathing. But you will. Because it was your child.
If you feel every day is a swirling drowning torment of darkness, that is okay. If you only have days like that every few weeks or months, that is okay. Because it was your child. You will watch all of those moms give birth when you were supposed to. And you will feel empty. You will probably relive all of the pain again. And that is okay.
You will maybe pick a name, pick a casket, bury that child. Keep that child’s name a daily part of your lives. Or you might not. And that–that is okay. Because it is your child.
Give God what you have left. If it is the anger, the hurt, give it to Him. He will take it. Like an angry toddler that doesn’t understand, approach our Father and give to Him what you have. Scripture is full of what others saw as unworthy gifts, and our Lord accepted them with beautiful gratitude. Bread that only the poor ate. A few coins that emptied a purse. A bleeding, broken body heaped in the dirt. Give it to Him. Because that is beautiful to Him. And you are His child.
Healing will come. It will take a long time, and it will require great Faith. God will supply it. He will pull you forward. Ask Him. Ask Him to show you He is there. Ask Him to take you by the hand, and He will. He is your Father. And you are His child.
Reach out. Talk to the other mothers that have walked this path. They share your grief. Just as our Lord shared his Cross with Simon, we must share our grief with those that don’t walk away. That can stand those horrible, raw text messages when it feels like you’re drowing. Again. Let them hunch down under that cross and help shoulder it with you. Because it was your child. And he or she mattered.
Slowly, over time, it will get easier to bear. The pain, the scar will never be gone. Not completely. But, long after the loss, you will realize that you felt joy. Joy! It lept cautiously inside your heart. And, in the great heavens, our children rejoice for you. Because they were our children.