October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I've written a lot about our loss and this journey we've been on since August 5th, 2010.
So what else could I possibly have to say? Well first I send many, many hugs and prayers to all the families out there who have lost children, at whatever stage of life they were in. I know that the road is long and hard and that it will never meet up with the "normal" road again. I know that you are finding a new normal. I would also like to say that without Jesus Christ, I probably would have lost my mind completely after losing baby Josiah. If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me. I love to share how Christ continues to play an integral part in my family's healing and how He can play an integral part in yours, too.
Second, I would like to address anyone out there who knows someone who has lost a pregnancy or an infant...Please, I am begging you, CONTACT that person on the 15th. Tell them that it came to your attention that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day and that you are thinking of them, praying for them, wondering how they are doing, WHATEVER. Just acknowledge the loss. Yes, it is awkward and yes, it is scary and yes, they might cry...but all of those things are better than the alternative of a person walking through grief wondering if anyone in the whole world even notices that their CHILD is no longer in it. Chances are if you are finding it difficult to approach that person/couple, so is everyone else. But it's time to stand up and say, "I AM thinking of you, and darnit, your loss matters." I promise, you will earn a very, very special place in their hearts.
Oh, and it doesn't matter if they lost the baby this year or 20 years ago. If the baby was 3 years old at the time they went to heaven or the mother was only 6 weeks pregnant. It doesn't matter if the person is still visibly aching or if they're mean or if they seem 100% "over it." Just do it. You will be glad that you did, and more importantly, they will be touched that you thought of them and that their loss counts to you.
The thing is, loss is a touchy subject but not one of us is exempt from death. Death is no respector of age. Someday, somehow, death will touch each one of us. Each and every life counts. Each and every life should be celebrated, affirmed and mourned when the time comes. Real healing will never happen until a person is able to share, discuss, cry, feel validated...when we hide a wound in darkness, it festers and boils. When it is opened up to the light, it will scab over and heal. Let's be the light for someone else who is hurting.
Our boys, Joshua and Josiah, were lost in July 2007 and August 2010. Each loss affected us differently. The first loss caused us to clam up. Many people didn't even know we lost a baby because we became pregnant with Violet so quickly afterward. The second loss caused us to look out and up, knowing that we couldn't cover that pain with another child due to an untimely vasectomy. Each loss, though, stitched those who acknowledged and affirmed the lives lost very close to our hearts. Each loss caused us to find a more condensed purpose and a more rich life in Christ. Our boys lives matter. Their deaths matter. And I'm grateful to each and every person who has walked alongside us after these losses.
I will continue to add to this list as I think of more or am made aware of more, but I would like to send very big hugs and love to:
Gayle W.-pregnancy loss
Melissa E-pregnancy loss
Erin Z-pregnancies lost
Melissa A-pregnancies lost
Karie F-pregnancy loss
Paula W-pregnancy loss
Deb L (my mommy)-pregnancies lost
Jennifer R-pregnancy loss
Amy B-pregnancies lost
Amy Lee B-pregnancies lost
Nicole M-pregnancy loss + infant loss (Yorel Ryan)
Sharie W-pregnancy loss
Stacey G-pregnancy loss
Tasha S-pregnancies lost
Amanda B-pregnancy loss
Marissa N-pregnancy loss
Bonnie G-pregnancy loss
Christina J-infant loss
I know there are many others who have shared their stories of loss with me and if I've left you out, PLEASE let me know and I will add you to this list. Know that I'm loving you and praying for you today. <3
Oh, and what did "Putting God in a Box" have to do with this? I didn't get there because I have to get ready for work, but I will write more about how things are going here in a post coming soon.