The Loss of a Child
When a child dies, it is not possible to tell his or her mother and father that you understand unless you have experienced that loss yourself. In one week’s time, two families in my home state lost children. Even if it were not for family connections with them, these parents would be on my mind, and while this letter was originally written for them, it is for all mothers of all ages who live on after their children. I hope that it speaks to their fathers as well.
Dear Sister Mother,
I woke up this morning and learned of your grief and cannot begin to adequately express how deeply your loss is felt even though we have never met.
Our children are born tethered to our hearts. As they grow, we let the tether that holds them to us go a little more, a little farther. But no matter how far they go our heartstrings feel them. There is no place too close or too far that we do not feel that tug. You will always have this to hold you to your baby – even Heaven (especially Heaven) is not so far that this connection can be lost.
You are in my prayers and with each prayer, I am sending up memories that we share as mothers. The morning sickness, the first kick, the first push, the first snuggle, the first words and steps and jumps and runs and temper tantrums. With each experience, we give a little more room to grow and a little more independence and love, love, love. I pray that remembering these moments and memories help you heal.
As far away as New Orleans – and even further than that – prayers and thoughts are being lifted up by your other sisters in motherhood as well and sent to you. We are in mourning with you.