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.
This is a great read….Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong
Michelle E. Steinke writes:
I’m here to say those who are honest with the emotions that surround loss are the ones who are the least “stuck” and have received the best therapy around. You see, getting in touch with our true feelings, embracing the honest emotions of death only serve to expand the heart and allow us to move forward in a genuine and honest way. Death happens to us all so let’s turn the corner and embrace the truth behind life after loss.
This is a beautiful article called “Losing a little one a great mystery”, written about the recent loss of baby Josephine and the blessings she has brought to her family.
Anna writes “I want to assure all parents who have lost children at any age that their little ones have a great mission: to inspire others to love. Our babies do this by their simple fact of existing; they witness to God’s beauty and goodness, and their innocent lives inspire others to generosity and kindness. May your little saints in heaven ever guide you and bring you hope.” Well said Anna. Our hearts go out to you and your family. I remember too clearly the early days of missing Keaton.
Denis Boyd was a guest speaker at an Infant Bereavement seminar I attended a few years ago. He talked about “good” grieving and a lot of what he said made sense. Read more about what Denis has to say about “good” versus “bad” grief.
Another bereaved mom just shared this beautiful video with me. It is called
Choosing Thomas — Inside a family’s decision to let their son live, if only for a brief time
Take time to watch when you have a few undistracted minutes to yourself…Have a tissue box nearby.
Another bereaved mom posted this so I thought I would share. The more research that can be done about stillbirth, the more likely we will be able to help prevent such devastating losses.
Information about how to participate can be found here.
I’m thinking of all the newly bereaved families that may be saying good bye to their precious babies today, my prayers are with you.
This is a great interview of parents who have given birth to a stillborn babies. There is also a mom in this video who will be giving birth to twins knowing that one of her infants has already died…
I recently saw the trailer for this movie called “Drop Box”. Sometimes it only takes one person who truly cares to make all the difference in a little one’s life…