Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. A day to remember all babies whose parents and families have had to say goodbye, sometimes before they’ve been able to say hello. Lets be honest, if this is a cross you are carrying, then you remember you baby (or babies) everyday. You don’t need a day to highlight their memories. What is great about today, though, is that it sheds light (for the rest of the world) on what can be something very difficult to talk about. Something that is almost treated as taboo, perhaps because people just aren’t sure how to help. They can’t make it better and death is messy stuff (just like life). It’s uncomfortable to wade through that mess with somebody else, especially if you never had to deal with it yourself. Today I think of the Beatitudes, especially “Blessed are those who weep and mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Dear families who are on this journey, who’ve been given this cross, please know that you are not alone. You may be in the absolute deepest depths of weeping and mourning. You may be surrounded by this mess but you are not alone. There are millions of us on this journey with you. Please, know that we are here for you, for each other, and let us comfort each other on this journey. What’s more, know that our Blessed Mother understands our hearts and our pain. She, too, buried her child. No, she didn’t lose her pregnancy to a miscarriage and no, Jesus didn’t die as a young babe or child. But, she said yes to God’s will and all that it entailed. She gave herself wholly and completely to God, offering up EVERYTHING she was and had to Him. We do that, too, when we say yes to life. When we are willing to allow God to work in our wombs, to participate in creation with Him, we are offering up EVERYTHING we have and are to Him and the new life (lives) He is bringing forth in us. We are given the great blessing of being life-bearers, of being co-creators with God. Rain & rainbows, blessing and suffering – they come hand in hand. We are guaranteed that there will always be some bitter sprinkled (or poured) upon us with the sweet.
There is a famous 80’s rock song…you know the one. “Every rose has it’s thorn. Every night has it’s dawn.” No matter where you are on your journey, no matter how normal or not your “new normal” feels, no matter if you feel like you are in the middle of the darkest night or thickest thorn bush, please know this. Roses will bloom, the sun will rise, and you are allowed to find comfort & joy in your life and whatever new blessings you are given. Weep, mourn, scream, pray, talk…do what you need to do and know that we are here, all around you, ready to embrace you, to weep, mourn, scream, pray, and talk with you. You are not alone. You are never alone. You have all of us, along with all the angels & Saints, and our dear Blessed Mother walking with you, praying for you, and offering whatever comfort we can.
The end of this world, this temporal life, will eventually come for all of us. May we live lives that lead us and our families closer to Christ, into His loving arms. May we be hidden and comforted in His sacred heart. When each of us are called, may we find that we are happy and our family is whole.
Jesus, we trust in you. All the holy innocents, pray for us.