October 15th is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. To mark the loss of babies and infants who have died too soon, people all over the world are invited to light a candle in their time zone for one hour at 7 PM. The hope is that a candle will be lit around the world for 24 hours to remember the lost children. This year, my wife and I will be lighting a candle for the baby we lost this summer. The closed rosebud is the symbol of miscarriage. I wanted to write this letter as another way to remember.
October 15, 2013
Dearest child of mine,
I remember the day that your mommy announced you were on your way. She came into our bedroom and shared the news, “um…guess what? You’re going to be a daddy!” I was shocked and surprised.
I remember the day that your mommy and I drove to the doctor’s office to see you for the first time and the look of horror on her face when the ultrasound yielded no image. I was shocked and surprised.
Your mommy and I had only been married for a couple of months when she told me of your coming. If my math was correct (which you’ll find out can be iffy at times. That’s why mommy does our budget), we would have held you in our arms a couple of days before we celebrated our one year anniversary. It was a lot to process and nothing could prepare us for the roller-coaster of the next couple of months.
We encountered ridicule from some people and joy from others. Some said it was too early to think about children and others shared their excitement. Some were more supportive than others. But still you were coming and we were so happy to know you existed.
We had so much fun picking out boy and girl names. We chose one of each that had special meaning to us. We had so much fun dreaming about what our future would be like with you in our arms. We even envisioned what the baby room would look like (okay, that was more of your mommy, but sometimes you have to take one for the team) in our new house that we would hopefully move into before your arrival. All of this positive and negative momentum propelled us to that fateful day in the summer.
I can still see your mommy crying out in anguish as the nurse kept trying to find you on the tiny screen, then finally turning it off because we couldn’t see you. I wanted to cry too, but I felt like I had to be strong for your mommy. As I held her head to my chest, with each tear on my t-shirt, a memory of what could have been appeared in my head. You walking for the first time. You running into my arms when you got a boo-boo and subsequently, you running as fast as your little legs could take you. Your first ballet recital or your first little league game. Your first time behind the wheel. You driving off to college. Walking you down the aisle to the man of your dreams or seeing the look in your eyes when your bride walks down the aisle. All of these memories helped me hold back my tears. I wanted to cry, but the shock and surprise prevented me.
In the time after your passing, some friends said that you were in hell. Honestly, if God would send you, an innocent child away from him, because you died before you knew about him, I want nothing to do with him. But, we know and trust that God is a good God; he may not be safe or always make sense, but he is ultimately more in control over life and death than we are. We still have hard days, but it is filled with hope I write to you today. I know that this will not be the last time we talk to each other. I cannot wait until the day we see each other face to face in glory. I will be shocked and surprised.
I love you so much,