Blog post by Autumn Purdy
Dear Grieving Parent,
What I want to say to you if you are suffering the loss of your child: I know this heartache. I live it every day. I understand your pain. You are not alone.
What I would want you to know about me: I have lost children, too—six, to miscarriage. The losses no longer haunt me, but I’ll never live without the pain. I don’t want to live without these sorrowful scars, but the grief no longer defeats me. We named our children, and that gave us tremendous peace. I call them by name, silently in my prayers, remembering their tiny, yet, significant lives. They are a part of me, my marriage, our family, my story.
What I would do for you if you told me about the loss of your son or daughter: I would hold your hand and ask if he or she had a name. Then, I would say that name out loud with you to acknowledge and affirm that child’s life, no matter how short he or she lived inside or outside your womb. Named or not, your child was real, true, loved, and deserves to be known.
What I would ask you: What can you tell me about your child(ren)? What would you want others to know about them? How did your loss unfold? Tell me anything, or everything. I will listen, and laugh and cry along with you. I will marvel at the joy their life brought to you, and I will grieve all that you have lost. I will stay with you until you have nothing more to say, and together, we will sit in silence and solidarity of being parents whom have loved and lost.
What I would tell you now is: Thank you for sharing your pain with me. Thank you for trusting me with your vulnerability. I will hold the knowledge of your heartache sacred within my own heart. I won’t forget you or your children, either.
Please, remember: You are never alone.
In prayerful lament,
October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and October 15th is a special day dedicated to raising awareness for pregnancy and infant loss. At 7:00 PM tomorrow night, please join us in lighting a candle, praying, and speaking out loud the names, and honoring the memories of all the children taken from us too soon.