“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. – Henry Van Dyke
If you are visiting this page because you have lost a baby, I am so sorry. It is mind-boggling how life can be both extraordinarily terrible, and full of joy.
Our culture does not understand grief and loss. So talking about these things may be hard for people, who want to spare you, and themselves, pain and potential awkwardness. Family and friends may never mention your baby’s name, or ask how you are doing. They may assume that you’re “moving on,” and assume this to be enough.
For many of us though, when all is said and done,
“Loss is like thread through a needle, everything we do is stitched with its colour” (W. S. Merwin)…
Your memories are yours, to thread through your life as you want to.
Remembering your baby over the years may bring you tender beaming smiles, swells of pride, an ache in your heart. Random ordinary moments, such as driving past the hospital where you were cared for, might become embued with loss.
Choosing to gently lean into these sad-sweet moments, consciously, is a way of feeling, once again, the bond that you have with your baby.
You can remember his or her story in whatever ways feel right for you. Below are a few ideas… if this list seems overwhelming, perhaps just scan it and see if anything shines out for you:
One of my clients speaks to her baby while she hangs up the laundry, years after she lost her little girl. She might say “Hallo, my bubs… Today the sky is the same shade of blue that your blanket was, the day you were born… we miss you.”
If your faith tradition doesn’t allow you to stay connected with your baby in this way, perhaps ask for messages to be taken to your baby by Jesus. He totally will.
Things to make (or ask someone else to make for you), to help you celebrate the time they had with you,
- a playlist of songs
- a quilt from your maternity dresses, baby clothes, blankets
- a space, a small table, drawer or shelf in your home, perhaps with a rocking chair nearby, where you keep a few special objects that remind you of your baby
- a memory box, photo book or piece of artwork celebrating your baby’s life
- a flowerbed or tree, planted in memory of your baby, or
- donate a bench, in a park, or along a pathway, that was special for you and your baby
Traditions can also give you a way to do something meaningful with your grief, and to share with others the joy that your baby has brought. Perhaps you could,
- raise funds for a perinatal unit in your town, to get equipment that will help them look after newborns
- once a year or so, donate a gift for a child who would have been your child’s age
- keep a candle lit, in honour of your baby, on special occasions
- once a year, take a box of treats to the staff on the ward where you were cared for
- in memory of your baby, complete a walk/run, volunteer or donate to an organisation that is meaningful for you
- set the intention every day, or every New Year or birthday etc, to honour your baby’s life by living your life to the full that year, in whatever ways you can.
Hold these lightly
Be gentle with yourself: whatever you do, don’t do, forget to do, or never did – is perfect.
Would you like a Certificate, to celebrate your baby’s life?
If you would like to celebrate your baby’s life with a certificate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post you one (or as many as you need). It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, or how long ago your loss or losses happened. There is no cost.
My husband and I designed these for parents going through loss, and in memory of our twin boys, who died a few hours after their birth. The certificate has guidelines on the back for how you might fill it in.
Please email me at email@example.com, for more information.