Saturday was the second anniversary of my first miscarriage. It was a rough day. We were spending the weekend at my in-laws so there wasn't any sort of ritual or remembrance; but we were busy with family all day and in the end, I think that was probably the best way it could have been spent. Had we still lived in North Carolina, we would have continued our family tradition of honoring our baby by daily Mass, visiting the cemetery, and then an afternoon at the beach. (The cemetery was about an hour and a half away on the way to the beach. When my husband buried our baby, our priest mentioned that making a beach day of visiting the grave could be beautiful family tradition. And it really was.) We tried to go to daily Mass but none of the parishes close to my in-laws had one on Saturday mornings. In absence of a grave or beach to visit, keeping busy was the best way to distract me from the pain of the day.
Many people assume that these anniversaries are less painful because I'm currently nine months pregnant. And yes, in many ways, the joy of the child in my womb blunts the pain. But in other ways, this pregnancy has added a sharpness to the pain of these remembrances. Each milestone I reach in this pregnancy, each baby kick, each midwife appointment and heartbeat heard is a reminder of what I'll never get to experience with four of my children.
Two years and a healthy pregnancy later, the pain is still not gone. Yes, life goes on and we've found ways to experience joy again. But thoughts of our children will always remain. We'll always be aware that they are not here, that there are four souls missing from our family. That's why days like today, Pregnancy Loss and Remembrance Day, are important. Because they validate the desire to remember. When the rest of the world has forgotten and expects us to forget too, a day like today reminds us that remembrance is important, it is good, it is necessary.
Every night I pray for parents who have lost a baby and for those little souls gone too soon. But today, your intentions were my constant prayer, in all I did and thought and said. May God comfort you in your grief and bring healing and fruit from your suffering.