Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day of Remembrance

While in Colorado, I read in the bulletin at church that October 15 has been set aside as a National Day of Remembrance in honor of the memories of children lost in death, miscarriage or stillbirth.

I can think of quite a few names just off the top of my head and know that there are many, many more I'm not aware of. I have not experienced this myself - so cannot begin to imagine what it is like to lose a child. But, I do know that if I had lost a child - I would not want anyone to forget about that sweet life. So, today - let us remember...
Dear Lord,

Thank You for being the author of life - for being sovereign over life. I cannot begin to understand why You would allow some of us to live for years and others to never take a breath or live a shortened life - but I do acknowledge that You know best and You are in control.

I would like to pray for all the sweet mothers who have experienced this loss. Lord, You know what it is like to lose a child - to see them suffer and die. You can comfort them in a tender way that only You know how.

I pray, Lord, that You would show the rest of us how to honor the memory of these lives. How to encourage our dear sisters, how to lift them up to You. Bring them to mind so we will pray for them, call them, send them a note, check on them. I can only imagine that this is an ache that may dull but never truly go away.

Help us not to forget these precious ones or what they meant to their families. Thank You that we will see them again one day - and that we can look forward to that. I pray for peace and comfort in the waiting - wrap Your loving arms around each family who has been touched by this and draw them close and even closer to You Lord.

Lord, in all things including this - we pray that You would be glorified. That Your Name would be furthered and made known more clearly. Thank You for loving us so much - teach us to love You more.

In Jesus' Name,
Amen
For those of you who have experienced this loss - if you would be willing to share, please let me know how to pray, how to encourage, how to uplift you. I know that I have felt at a loss so many times - please teach me how to care for you.

42 comments:

Katy said...

I didn't even realize there was a day of remembrance for this. I have lost one child. It was my first baby and I lost it due to an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. It was an awful thing to go through. I still feel sad about it at times...but I know that all is well and I can have peace that my baby went to a better place and I will meet him or her one day!

Thank you for bringing this day to light for me. My heart and comfort truly goes out to all the women who have lost a child...I know the emptiness it brings!

I hope you have a truly lovely day Monica! :o)

Lisar said...

Bless you Monica for this prayer...I haven't lost a child myself, but my parents have (my brother) and still they struggle 25years on..and I am often at a loss to knwo how to pray for them....I will be praying this prayer for them and for the others whom I know have been through this sad sad experience....Lisa

Mrs. Bonnie said...

Hi Monica! I don't usually comment (generally because someone has already said what I was going to!), but I wanted to thankyou for the beautiful prayer, and your thoughts.
I lost our second baby due to miscarriage , and though it was very early (didn't show up on a pregnancy test, they determined the pregnancy by blood work), when you realize that your baby is gone, (even when you didn't know at first one was there), it's rough.
Until you mentioned it, I hadn't thought about the fact that God lost a child too. Oh yeah, He would know exactly how I feel then, so thankyou for pointing that out!
On a happier note, our active little boy was born less than a year after the misscarried baby, and I am expecting our third baby in about 6 weeks.
Thankyou again for your caring attitude towards all the grieving, or remembering what might have been Moms, I know I am blessed by it.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
Bonnie
P.S. I am Anna's (who was your swap partner in August) older sister.

Megan said...

Naomi Elizabeth was born at 31 weeks... perfect in every way, just not alive. This year she would be 4 years old.

Thank you for your sweet post and especially for your prayers. For me, the hardest part of losing a child is that the world has moved on. The wound is still tender to us and I am so afraid she will be forgotten.

So, again, thank you for remembering her life and for praying for Chris and I as her parents. That's the best thing you could do for us!

In Christ ~ the Great Healer,
Megan & Chris

Jeremiah & Stephenie said...

I have two precious little souls in Heaven I am waiting to meet. Though they were called Home early in pregnancy and although I have 5 beautiful, healthy children with me here, they are loved and missed. Thank you for remembering.

Stephenie

Elaine said...

I am like Lisa, my parents lost my brother, William Robert, 3 years before I was born. Mom never forgot but came to a peace when she came to Christ, believed she would see her son again and named him. I've carefully inscribed his name in the genealogy of our family. It makes him real to me and I look forward to meeting Will one day.
I didn't know there was a day of remembrance but I like that it is today, my parents' anniversary.

Monica, I so appreciate your sensitivity and caring heart in the things you share. Blessings

Joy of Frugal Living said...

Thanks for this! I'm mom to three babies who are in heaven, lost late in the first trimester. After seeing that little heartbeat on the ultrasound screen, it's just unimaginable that you could lose them - but it happens. I am thankful that God is taking care of them.

I think prayers are the best way to help people in this sort of situation. If you wouldn't mind to pray for me when you get a chance, please pray for a healthy pregnancy very soon, as well as for the strength to make it through without our little ones. You can never replace them, but the ache of not being parents multiplies the feeling of emptiness from being without our first three.

I'm joining in praying for all who have experienced this kind of loss today. Thanks for being so sweet as to mention this on your blog.

Jennifer

Julian said...

thaks Monica, I wish our church had this. I have 6 kids. 2 are stepkids. We lost a little girl Faith, 3 years ago. It was extremely heartbreaking, but we got through it with the love, gentleness, and faithfulness of God. Thanks for this gift today.
Christina

Christy@MercyEveryMorning said...

Monica,
Thanks for posting this. I lost a stillborn baby boy at 23 weeks in 2002, and lost another boy at 9 weeks this past summer...both due to Trisomy 18. You've probably heard of John Piper of Desiring God ministries? His son and daughter-in-law lost a full term baby just over a year ago. She (Molly Piper) wrote a series of posts on how to help your grieving friend. It is excellent, and I couldn't add anything to it. You can read it here: http://thepipers.wordpress.com/2008/03/25/how-to-help-your-grieving-friend/.

Many blessings, and thanks for your sweet prayer!

~Christy

Tracy said...

Hi Monica- I love when someone remembers. I lost our second one at 11 weeks and as everyone else moves on I still have that loss in my heart. It's nice when someone says "just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten your little one."

Rachel said...

We just went to a funeral last Monday... some very dear friends of ours lost their little girl at 6 months in the womb. This was an encouragement to me to keep praying for and encouraging their family. Thank you for posting it.

debbidutton said...

Hi Monica.

It's your old friend Debbi (Scott) Dutton from Colorado! I've been reading your blog for a few months now ~ Linda McLane showed it to me ~ and I've really enjoyed "checking in" with you every day. It's exciting to see how God has blessed you with a wonderful husband and three special little ones!

I had to finally comment today because I lost baby number three to miscarriage last year and he or she would have been turning one year old right around this time. I wasn't very far along ~ about 10 weeks or so ~ but it was still a painful experience. Still, I was blessed to see God's goodness and faithfulness through the whole process. I appreciate the emphasis in your prayer on God's sovereignty ~ it was focusing on this aspect of God's character that really helped me through the sadness and disappointment of losing our baby. And the love of our church family and other friends was such an encouragement ~ the hugs, the cards, the e-mails, and the prayers. Even if you don't understand the pain of another person, I think it's important to listen to those promptings of the Holy Spirit to reach out and comfort them!

On a positive note, I got pregnant again a few months after the miscarriage and little Nathanael is now almost eight months old ~ not far behind your little Samuel, I think! And another interesting thing ~ my first two kids are named Samuel and Rachel. Great minds must think alike when it comes to picking out baby names! =)

Take care and I'll keep enjoying your blog!

Debbi

MelanieKS said...

Thank you for this sweet post!

Last year my daughter's best friend died after a year and a half long battle with neuroblastoma (she was 8 years old). It was so sad, but yet it was a comfort to see how her parents dealt with the loss with the Lord's grace to comfort them.

And within a couple of months we lost the baby I was expecting as well. Last year was a difficult year. *sigh*

The hardest part about our loss is that I have been suffering from premature ovarian failure (I was 40 at the time), and we had all but given up on another pregnancy. My youngest was almost 4 at the time.

I was at 11 weeks and had no thought that something could go wrong. Despite many heartfelt prayers we have not been able to get pregnant again.

I think that I still have not totally healed from the loss yet, and I believe that I may never do so on this side of heaven. We so desperately wanted more children, and yet we need to trust the Lord that His will is best for our lives. Not always an easy balancing act to accomplish.

I think the best thing anyone could do for someone experiencing such a loss is to pray for them (and to make sure they know you are praying), be there if they need to talk. I think that those of us who have experienced a loss realize it is difficult to understand without going through it yourself.

I appreciate your kindness today. It was a great encouragement to me!

Melanie in KS

SmrfChic said...

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I lost our 6th child last year in December, only days after a positive pregnancy test. Even though it was very early, and not a planned baby, I still tear up whenever I think of the "what might have been"s.

Jolene said...

Monica, What a very sweet thing to do! I have never lost a child but I know many who have. My mom had a misscarriage when I was young. My Aunt has had 2. I know what a heart breaking time she has had. I have talked with her and told her to read your post today. It has been a couple years now but I don't think the pain of it ever goes away. She named both the babies with names that could have been for a boy or girl. It was her way as well as the families way of dealing with it.

Thanks again Monica for your thoughtfulness to those who have lost a child! Hope you have a great day!

Milehimama said...

I have a beautiful miscarriage prayer on my left sidebar, written by Mother Angelica.

We've lost two babies to early miscarriage. I don't have any advice for helping a friend - except to BE a friend, but I do have some general advice.

If you see a larger sized family, don't say "Aren't you done"? or "How many are you gonna have"? Because the mother might be missing a child, and will think, well, I SHOULD have 6, but only have 5.

Don't say "At least you don't have to celebrate a birthday in December, you get the month off" because the mother might think about the baby who should have been born in December but died too early.

Don't say "You need another girl to even things out," because there might be a girl who is no longer with us.

All things bright and beautiful... said...

A lovely post Monica - thank you. I lost two babies a year apart -both were 17 weeks - Each died in the womb.

With one baby I found out a few days before Mothering Sunday but had to wait until after Mother's day to be hospitalised. I "celebrated" mother's day with my three young sons and hubby knowing the baby inside me was dead - surreal but amazingly calming - it felt like I had that special day with my baby before I had to say good bye. Mother's day is always a poignant time for me.

These babies were my final two pregnancies - I already had my three boys - so I kept busy with them.
I just kept going knowing that I am not the only one who has been through difficult times and that God was with me.

As for how to support others - just being there for them, letting them talk for as long after as they need to, not saying stuff like "You can try again, or there must have been something wrong with it - it's nature's way" (I am sure you would not say these things but I was told that by many well meaning people) oh and remember that the Dad is grieving too.

I am often asked how I can believe in & love a God who "allowed" my babies to die - which is perhaps the most hurtful part of it. God got me through this he didn't allow it to happen but he did help me to heal.I hate it when people blame God.

Your prayer was lovely. And I thank you for it.

gail said...

monica, you have a sweet tender heart. thank you for this post and the prayer you wrote out.

i lost "aimee" to an ectopic preg even before the preg was confirmed. but i knew inside i was preg. i was so excited, and then so sad. but the doc assured me i would have others. she would have been 22 yr old.

then i lost jr and emily, back to back miscarriages at 12 weeks. they would have been 13. then i had my son who is now 10. finally we were expecting gabrielle grace but at 18 weeks she decided to come early. only she didn't make it alive. i got to hold her which was so hard, and yet so good. she would have been turning 5 this fall. then i miscarried the last one 2 years ago. (i didn't name him/her, don't know why.)

i do look forward to meetintg them all in heaven, and i do appreciate those that treat them as real people, a real part of my life.

i read once that naming the babies is important. what you and others can do, is pray that God replaces the grief with joy, that when someone mentions they had a miscarriage or stillbirth that you ask them if they want to talk about it. sometimes its just nice to be able to share your emotions and thots.

i don't think about them often, my life is full with my son and hubby, but when i do there is only a tinge of sadness now. time does heal if you let it. and God is good. even in the hard times.

can i use your prayer on my blog today to commemorate this day?

Vintage Mommy said...

What a sweet and thoughtful thing to do Monica.

I have not experienced this, but my sister has and my mom had 5 miscarriages. It can be hard on siblings, too, who wait with excitement for a new little brother or sister to arrive.

Kether said...

Monica,
Thank you for the lovely prayer. Have you seen the (when last I checked) over 600 comments at Bring the Rain about this very thing. It is both heartbreaking and comforting to know that so many women have felt loss like I have. I have lost three babies, and had one delightful child born healthy. We are still in prayer for the growth of our family, and waiting for the Lord's answer...sometimes patiently, sometimes not so patiently.
Thank you for taking time to remember those of us who are trying to build families, but have suffered along the way.

Kether

Just Me said...

I lost my first daughter to a car wreck 21 years ago next month, she was 18 months old. Two days ago a friend of my daughter (16 years old) was driving a car with his family in it, and was hit by a semi truck. His 9 year old sister was killed, so it has brought all those memories back in full force. The best things that people did for me at the time were: prayer, hugs, and talking about my daughter. The things that hurt the most were: "you're still young, you'll have more" (it didn't matter how many more I would have (4 more) they would never replace the one I lost), "she's with God" ( I wanted her with me, I'm selfish at times), and then those who wouldn't even speak her name (she is and would always be a part of my life don't act like she didn't exist).

I think you can only be present and there when they need you, because they will break down and it could be sooner or later, and it seems like people give you a certain time to grieve and then you're supposed to move on with your life, easier said then done.

Thank you for remembering those who hurt.

Debbie J. said...

Hi Monica, I didn't know about this day either. I lost my son, Josh, in 1986. He was two. I don't want him to be forgotten! You could read about him and see his picture on my blog under "Josh" in the archives on the right. He's holding the gates open for me!

kritterc said...

Such beautiful words. Thank you so much for sharing. I lost three babies to miscarriage and even though many years have passed, I still have a special place in my heart for the precious children I never got to hold in my arms.

Michelle said...

Thank you for your kindness in sharing this. We lost our first little one at 4 months due to anencephaly. It truly is difficult to describe to someone who has never experienced this. It seems so unreal to others. I felt my little one move, I was showing and wearing maternity clothes - a bedroom had been set aside to begin decorating for the nursery. All these plans and hopefulness of holding your first child just suddenly disappears. It actually disappears for others, but mothers and fathers never forget. I keep a pretty hatbox filled with the journal I was keeping for the baby, clothes that had been already given, pictures, cards and such. Like others have said, I know one day in heaven, I will get my chance to hold my sweet little one.

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Thanks for doing this. So many times these little lives are forgotten by everyone but the parents who grieve their missing babies.
My first child was stillborn at 25 weeks and it was devastating. It's gotten easier as time has gone by (it's been 7 years) but I always feel like something is missing.
The thing I needed most after losing my son was just to hear "I'm sorry" and "I'm here for you."
Never ever say to a grieving parent that it was for the best or you'll have another baby. Because to a parent who's lost a baby- you can't replace the one they've lost and it's never for the best.
Thanks Monica! Blessings!

Jamie said...

Hi Monica,
One suggestion for when a friend has a miscarriage is to just write them a simple card. If unsure of words just say you are sorry and perhaps write a verse. I really treasure the card a friend gave me and I know I will keep it for a very long time. It's the only memento I have of the baby. Also practically, a meal would be helpful, especially if the mother has other children.

Dawn said...

Thank you for the prayer and for your special post. With my first pregnancy I suffered a pregnancy loss due to molar pregnancy six years ago. Due to some complications I was never able to get pregnant again. It took time for me to find peace through prayer, tears, and more prayer. I know that my child is safe in Heaven with God and waiting for me.

Too many people brush off the loss of a child - especially a child lost early in pregnancy. I wish more people were sensitive to this.

Being told that I was too petite to ever have a child or that "at least it was not a realy baby" only brought more sadness. Looking back I would have liked people to have prayed for peace and healing for myself and my dh. I also wish more people would have simply said "I'm sorry" or "I'm praying for you" rather than the more hurtful things said in 'kindness'.

debra said...

Thanks for the thoughts and prayer, Monica. I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks about 8 years ago. We went on to have another baby about year after that and she is the light of our lives. But I still think about the loss and how our lives would have been different. Everyday gets easier and the joy of our daughter helps.

I think just letting people know you are there for them is a big help. Sometimes it's hard to talk about and frankly I think with a miscarriage others tend to forget after a time.

Thanks again!
Debra

Christy said...

Monica,
I check your blog everyday. Thanks for all your great ideas.

We have two beautiful children, 8 and 6. In March, we lost our third baby, it never developed past the fifth week. My other pregnancies had been uneventful-no problems, then when the bleeding started it was so traumatic. We became pregnant again in June and I am 21 weeks now with a healthy baby boy. I am more nervous this time than I ever was with my first two children. But I know God has a purpose and a plan and I choose to trust Him.

You never think about it until it happens to you and then you realize it happens to more women than you thought. We just don't usually bring it up to others. Thanks for remembering.

Home School Dawn said...

Thanks Monica for this post. I had 2 miscarriages. The most painful part for me was how few people would acknowledge the loss. In so many people's eyes, I had a fetus and not a baby inside me, so how had I lost a child? I am glad to know there is a day to remember our children who are with the Lord. Thanks for your sweet prayer and caring disposition toward those of us who have experienced a loss.

Melissa Cummings said...

Tears are streaming down my face.
The Lord gives and He takes away -- blessed be His Name forever.

Although I have a precious five month old son here on my lap, my first baby (a daughter, we believe, named Covenant Hope) is praising God with joy in heaven.
I still feel the emptiness, although it was fifteen months ago that she left my womb. I praise God that He gave her to me, and some days I struggle to praise Him for taking her away. Yet I know with confidence that He does all things well. And without Covenant's death, my son would never have been conceived. My loss is bittersweet.

Thank you -and all these other women- for sharing stories, offering prayers, and being encouraging sisters in Christ.
Although you do not know me, your blog blesses me daily. I praise the Lord for your ministry to me -- a complete stranger, yet your sister in Him.

Emily said...

Thank you for the beautiful prayer, Monica. I have three children now, ages 30, 20, and 9, but many years ago I had a miscarriage. Not to go into the details which are complicated because I was an unwed mother, but at the time, I was especially grieved that people were not acknowledging the fact that my baby had died. It was almost as though they were not acknowledging the fact that it was a baby. I was about 8 weeks along. My advice would be just to be there, to be a friend, to say I'm sorry your baby died, to give hugs, and to give love and comfort. It would not have taken away my grief but it would have at least let me know that someone else cared. Even the people at the hospital emergency room were cold. I felt so very alone. My baby - boy or girl, I never knew - would be twenty-two now.

GritsGirl said...

Thank you for the beautiful prayer! It was an encouragment. I lost my first child in May and its still hard at times.

Hayley said...

Thanks for remembering....you can see my story at http://haphawhomhou.blogspot.com/2008/09/remembering-my-angel.html

tommiejo said...

I cannot imagine the pain that would accompany losing a child and hope I never have to. I'll say a prayer for those that have.

Mother of Many said...

Thank you Monica. We did go through this. It is difficult. We must remember this happens to the daddies too. It was tough for the whole family. My daughter still mentions it.

I didn't know about this day until I read what Craig wrote.

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Jack and I lost four babies to miscarriage. I was never pregnant more than a couple months and never gave birth to any children. It used to be so hard to deal with but I understand God's plan now. We have a special needs niece in a facility that we are Mom and Dad to and she needs us greatly. Believe me even though I never carried a child more than a couple months it hurts no less than someone losing one later on. A well meaning person once told me that I was lucky to have lost them before they were born as it hurt less than losing one after birth. Those words stung! I will see my angels sometime in Heaven and I can not wait until that day.

Sugar Coma said...

Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I get so caught up in my own life I seem to forget the struggles that others are facing or have faced. My sister has lost 3 babies. Without going into details, one loss was a particularly awful situation. My heart grieves for her but I know hers is grieving so much more. I appreciate the reminder to pray for this specifically.

Gina said...

I blogged about my loss on my blog. . . but I am so humbled and thankful that you care to pray for us.

God bless you and yours,

Gina
P.S. I love your blog and enjoy my visits here.

mama k said...

Thank you for posting this.

I had a miscarriage earlier this year, ironically the week before mother's day. I wrote a big post about remembrance day on my blog if you want to read it.

I think that frequently these losses are simply brushed under the rug due to our culture's ambiguity about "when life begins." But for the mother who looses a baby, no matter how early in the pregnancy, it is a real and painful loss.

Polly said...

My beautiful daughter Isshah was born at home with us 4.5 years ago. We lost her 2 days later to heart failure caused by Trisomy 18.
While the pregnancy after her diagnosis and the two days we had with her were excruciating, I had a peace that can only come from our Father in Heaven. He held my hand and dried my tears through the entire ordeal. And the best gift of all? He made his will perfectly clear to me.
You see, the doctor would not do an ultrasound until I was 32 weeks along. That's when we found out. Therefore, I had to go along with our birth plans. I had no other option. While I don't think I would have induced and "sped things along" as others do. Because I was so far along, I had no option.
To me, that is an answer to prayer.
And my husband was blessed through the situation too. His faith was strengthened. While my husband is a very emotional person, he doesn't like to show it. So one day I asked him why he didn't seem sad about loosing the baby. He said he searched his heart and prayed that God would give him peace. Then, King David was brought to mind. While David's son was alive, he prayed that the Lord would have mercy on their family and that the Lord's will be done. When the baby died, God had made his will perfectly clear to David. So, he rose up, cleaned himself off and went on with life. My husband did the exact thing. God's will was clear. It isn't to say that he didn't or doesn't love our daughter, just that life does go on.
I like to think of my love for her as a scar. When an injury is new, the area is bruised and bloody and broken. But over time it heals, but not without a trace of her. The scar will always be with me, but the pain is not always so hurtful. Some days it is, but not usually. The scar on my heart is a constant reminder that she was with me and always will be, just not the focus of my life.
Thank you for remembering our lost little ones today, Monica.
Polly in Nevada

mom said...

Dearest Monica, this post and the comments left by others brought tears to my eyes. As you know, we lost unborn twins early in pregnancy. Even though it has been 23 years, there is still an "ache that hasn't gone away." I remember reading something written by another mother who had lost an unborn child -- "how can you miss someone so much you never knew?" My doctor at the time was not at all sympathetic (I never went back to him!) and people around me weren't sure what to say or do. The loss of a child -- born or unborn -- is a devastating loss for a couple. One of the most helpful suggestions I received (which came years later) was to write letters to these precious children that I never knew.

One of the sweetest gifts you've ever given me was the rosemary that now grows in a corner of my herb garden. When I see it, I am reminded not only of my babies in heaven, but of my dear daughter who gave me the gift of remembrance. :)

I love you and Carrie very much and am proud of both of you! Love, Mom