Thursday, 7 October 2010


I wrote this series of posts a couple of months ago. Now things are settled we want to share them, as an encouragement to others who may face similar experiences.

It was raining in Keswick. It almost always does. The Cumbrian mountains suck the moisture out of the sea air and deposit it over hordes of holiday makers desperate for a bit of sunshine.

As we walked through the side streets we came across a jewellers. We had pondered the idea of getting a bit of jewellery to remember baby. The first time someone suggested it we were a bit dismissive because we didn’t want to just have to buy something to feel ok. We did not want to succumb to a weird retail therapy.

Several weeks after we lost the baby Esther expressed that she was struggling to move on, not wanting to leave the baby behind. We did not just want to turn the page of our lives and leave this all behind. The baby was no longer with us. Suddenly it dawned on us that something like a piece of jewellery would be "with us", and might free us to move on without fear of forgetting.

The word “Mizpah” is used as a Hebrew blessing. It is found in Genesis 31 verse 49:

“It was also called Mizpah, because he said, "May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.”

Mizpah jewellery is given between people who travel long distances, or emigrate. “The Lord watch over you, while we are apart” is a lovely blessing to give to people as they step on the plane. For Diaspora Jews this became a known blessing.

It is also used when death occurs, and is often seen inscribed on headstones. It sees the separation of death and faces it head on. Separation has happened. I can no longer “watch over” you. However, I know one who does. He is the Lord. “Mizpah” May He watch over you.

We had the ring engraved with the word “Mizpah”.

We will not “watch over” our baby. But we know the One who does, and the One who will. That is not a vague hope or a distant blessing: it is a reality, and it is the desire of our heart.

Now as we go about our daily lives Esther carries a reminder. Not a reminder of death. Not a reminder of sadness. Although it does cause us to reflect on both. No, the ring reminds us that our hope and our strength and the future of our baby is in the hands of our loving Father who watches over baby while we are apart.

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