“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart. ”
When I look back on this year I am struck by not only the pain that we have experienced, but also the happiness and the strength that have come out of those moments. For me today is not a sad day. It is a day to stand up and declare my love for the babies that I have lost this year.
In truth, everyday is still a remembrance day for me. I don’t go a single day without thinking about the little bean that should have been my son. I picture his life as if he had already lived it. I imagine him to have his father’s curly hair and my dark eyes. I see t-ball and monster trucks and superheros in my mind. All the things that our little boy would have loved. I imagine taking him trick-or-treating and teaching him to walk. I invent these scenarios in my mind as a way of connecting with him even though he is gone.
The pain of pregnancy and infant loss is a pain that no mother should have to feel. But the statistics are shocking. 15-20% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Nationally nearly 30,000 babies are stillborn every year. Those numbers are staggering. But what is so sad to me is how this pain is considered shameful, or not important. We hide these things away because they are taboo. I get it. It is a very personal thing to talk about, but it is also very real. And we should not have to feel ashamed to admit that we are hurting.
Tonight I celebrate the happiest moments of my year. The moments where I started looking up due-dates and picking out names. I celebrate the bitterly short lives of my children that I will never get to hold. I want them to know how happy they made me even though they were only part of my life for a short time. I want them to know that I will always consider them my children and that I will always love them. Two candles. One for each of the babies that I will never know.
I also light a candle for everyone in this community. Every single one of us has been touched by loss even if you yourself have not gone through it. We all know someone who has. We all have that fear living inside of us. So this candle is my show of support and love to you all. To all those who have supported me through the past 6 months, to all those who have also felt the heartbreak of losing a desperately wanted child, and most importantly to everyone who has felt short of hope. I wish I could say that none of us are ever going to have to feel this loss again, but I can’t. I can’t even say that for myself, but I hope. I hope that one day we are all where we want to be.
To my babies: The only words I have are from a story my mother used to read to me as a child. These words have been in my head constantly in the past 2 months. Because I feel that they say what my heart feels more than I could ever express .
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”