When I awoke this morning, I read a text from my friend: “T passed overnight.” I didn’t know this precious 93 day old, but my heart has been aching for his family as they’ve lived life in the NICU since his birth at 24 weeks. Every morning, I’ve prayed for him and his mama. I hope I always remember to pray for his mama.
The last year or so has been a doozy. We started off the year with an unexpected pregnancy for my sister, but then immediate bad news at her 8 week sonogram: Acrania. She carried my sweet nephew, bravely for 29 weeks until he quietly slipped from this world minutes after birth. A week later, a dear friend lost her sweet boy at 32 weeks, having no prior warning. Their grief is still raw and fresh. A year ago, another friend experienced a still birth; there have been so many earlier miscarriages that I can’t even count them.
I don’t write this to be scary. But I write this to say that you and I will either lose a baby or walk with a friend as she loses hers. So what do we do?
Be there. If you have a child, you can imagine what it would be to lose one. Be there for your friends. So often, when people experience loss, their friends slip into the background. I get that. We don’t know what to do or say or how to act. I’ve been guilty myself. But we have to try.
Two good friends asked me after my nephew’s death, what they could do. Because my sister is an introvert, I asked that they give her some time, but then pamper her socks off! A few weeks later, they surprised her with a gift card to do just that and sat and cried with her.
We all react differently to grief. Some people need space. Some people want company. Some people need to just go play raquet ball. Know thy friend. Think of her, not yourself when deciding what “being there” looks like.
Stay away from explaining it. I believed with all of my heart that my nephew would be healed. It sounded crazy, and I didn’t care. My sister believed she’d donate his organs when he was born. None of that came to fruition.
This world is broken. People die too young. People are depressed. People from amazing families end up on drugs and homeless. Sometimes there are no explanations for the heartbreak in our lives.
Remember. Days and weeks for us on the outside often involve forgetfulness. But for mamas who have lost, that child is always a part of her family. They can tell you how old he or she would be right now and recall their pregnancies clearly. They wonder what that child would look like now, how he would act, what her favorite color would be . . . all the things these mamas will never know. When you ask them how many children they have, that child will always be in the count. As their friends, we may not think about that child everyday. But we need to remember with our friends–that child was real and lived and is important.
I remember you: Morris, Jeanine, David, Lydia, Henry, Gabe, Silas, Faye, Evans, Tanner. Your mothers love you, and we love your mommies. You are important. You’ve changed the world forever, even if for a moment.
Comment below to remember a little one who left your family too soon. We want to honor these babies and their mamas.