Greetings to you for this first week of Advent! I wanted to share some ideas on ways to brace for and embrace Christmas this year in this BC Catholic article, Creating Meaningful Traditions in the Midst of Grief & Uncertainty.
I’m overwhelmed about how beautiful the Infant Loss Mass was today. If you missed it or would like to experience it again, it can be found here. The Archbishop’s homily was touching and I found his heartfelt words of comfort were genuine. I feel blessed to have such solid support for Elizabeth Ministry from of the Archdiocese of Vancouver and am proud to be a part of this community.
Thank you to everyone that attended in person and online and thanks to those involved in making this Mass happen, I am truly grateful!
On Oct.15th, people around the world honoured infants who have died much too soon. A special remembrance service will be held and a candle will be lit for my own three babies. Will you join us?
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Mass with Archbishop Miller
2:00 PM – October 17, 2020
Evangelist Chapel at Gardens of Gethsemani
Join us online as we honour our little ones who have gone too soon. A special Mass will be live streamed, and candles lit in honour of those we have lost. Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB.
Register to attend online. If you cannot attend, you may still register and we will light a candle in remembrance of whom you have lost.
1). Love never dies.
2). Bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond.
3). I will grieve for a lifetime.
4). It’s a club I can never leave, but is filled with the most shining souls I’ve ever known
5). The empty chair/room/space never becomes less empty.
6). No matter how long it’s been, holidays never become easier
7). Because I know deep sorrow, I also know unspeakable joy.
I hope this town in Newfoundland inspires others to follow their lead. It doesn’t take a lot of funding, just a healthy dose of awareness, understanding and dedication to make our world more inclusive for those with unique challenges and abilities. How can we make this happen in more communities?
The Langley Hospice is hosting an open house for Children’s Grief Awareness Day on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Langley Hospice Society, at 20660 48th Ave.
The open house includes activities such as: a tour of the program centre, crafts for all ages, light snacks, a volunteer meet and greet, and more.
For more information on the Langley Hospice Society and how to light up in blue, visit www.langleyhospice.com or call 604-530-1115.
I attended the Infant Memorial Mass earlier this month on Oct.15th, Infant Loss Awareness Day at Gardens of Gethsemani. It was one of the most touching services I have been to and we are honoured that Archbishop J. Michael Miller took time to be with us again this year. His homily was heartfelt and compassionate.
Afterwards, over steaming cups of hot chocolate, the Archbishop greeted bereaved families and asked us the names of our beloved babies as he looked at the candles we wrote on that lit up the steps of the altar during the Mass.
Over the years, I’ve learned that there will be many who are uncomfortable hearing about infant loss. When I feel people turn away, act like they didn’t hear me, or quickly change the subject, I remind myself that there was a time – not so long ago – when I felt the same way. It was before I had children of my own and I hadn’t experienced what it was like to be a bereaved mom.
In this article, Ask me his name: a mother’s request, Winetta Nguyen writes “There is so much love in our hearts when we get to say his name out loud. I know many people are uncomfortable with asking us about our son because they are afraid that it will resurface the pain and loss that we’ve experienced. The truth is, the pain and loss is always there. We can’t be reminded of something that is on our minds and hearts to begin with.”
I’m extremely grateful that we had this opportunity to remember our children at the Mass; to be surrounded by love and prayers within a supportive, faith-filled community. Over the years, I’ve reassure bereaved families that it’s ok to remember and to grieve; it’s ok to share our stories and to be able to laugh again; to honour the dreams we hold in our hearts, the joys of our pregnancy, the pain of death and the hope of eternity.
You never really know, by sharing the story of your little one, who might be touched or inspired to do the same. It may be your neighbour, a high school friend, the person standing beside you in a movie theatre – or perhaps, someone who might live thousands of miles away like this mother in Hawaii!
Happy Feast of All Saints! If you would like the names of your infants or children to be remembered, I’m happy to place them on the altar at Gardens of Gethsemani in the chapel. Simply send me the name/s of your beautiful child/ren and a team of Elizabeth Ministers and other bereaved families will keep your family in prayer.
October 15, 2018
15694 32nd Avenue, Surrey, BC V3Z 9V1
October 15 is National Infant Loss Awareness Day. This day we remember our little ones who have gone too soon. To honor them Archbishop Miller will be celebrating Mass at the Evangelist Chapel at the Gardens of Gethsemani. This is our third annual Infant Loss Awareness Day event. We will light up the cemetery in their honour, so please come and join us for this special mass.
It’s hard to believe that the concept of limbo still exists…
The writer Joanna Wahlund ends her article, The State of Limbo in Catholic Teaching in the words of St. Bernard of Clairvaux:
Your faith spoke for this child. Baptism for this child was only delayed by time. Your faith suffices. The waters of your womb — were they not the waters of life for this child? Look at your tears. Are they not like the waters of baptism? Do not fear this. God’s ability to love is greater than our fears. Surrender everything to God.