All children, every single one, are a gift. In early days of my grief journey, seeing little ones had the power to take my breath away as I missed my baby boy with such raw intensity, but I always considered the children around me as blessings.
Other babylost moms just shook their heads when I told them that I was still able to go to baby showers and rarely declined invitations to play dates when my friend’s got the kids together. I have always enjoyed being around children and did not stop loving those around me.
Just because Keaton was no longer here physically in my own arms, does not mean I resented that there were others who had healthy babies resting in theirs. I love going to church and seeing young families there. You may catch me cooing at babies and adoring infants, and watching with wonder toddlers who are around the age that my son would be.
What would Keaton be like? Would he be charming the people in pews behind us during Mass and playing peek-a-boo? Would he be smiling and laughing at other children and trying to break free from my loving embrace when we were supposed to be kneeling silently? Most likely.
Admittedly, there are moments when I miss Keaton so much that it is almost too much to bear. Innocent triggers that remind me of him tug at my emotions, and no matter how hard I try to be strong, the flood of tears are just too much to hold in and I have to simply let them flow freely.
One morning during Mass, every little voice, whimper and giggle of a child, even in the very back of the church, I was able to sense clearly. No matter how hard I tried to tune out the faint cries of the hungry newborn, it stood out above the rest and that is all I could focus on. All I wanted to do was to cuddle my son.
Being at church is my sanctuary, it is my time to open my heart to Jesus and to consciously wipe away any kind of mask that I find myself having to wear to protect “others” from seeing my grief. Mass is also the time when I speak directly to my little boy and tell him how much he means to us and how much he is loved. The peace I feel after talking to him is an incredible blessing that I wish I could share with all bereaved parents for them to also experience.
I am so grateful for these special moments during Mass that give me joy, they greatly outweigh the painful ones, like these…