Sunday, 3 October 2010

FACING MISCARRIAGE: PART SIX: Honouring the whole journey

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.

Quite a few people suggested doing something special like buying a piece of jewellery or something like that to remember the baby.

Others suggested naming the baby as a way of mourning and remembering. I don’t have any peace with that one, but if it works for you, fill your boots.

One thing people suggest is that you make a memory box. Keeping hold of things that you have to remind you of the baby. When Esther first suggested this my response was less than helpful. It was too much too soon. I didn’t want a box, I wanted our baby.

Our family dog was called Celyn. One of those Heinz 57 variety dogs you get from the rescue centre that seem to live about 20 years. She finally went to meet her maker (not a theological point) and the vet provided us with her ashes back in a little box. That box has sat in the main window of our lounge for nearly 10 years now, in the place she always sat, on guard.

I didn’t want that type of box.

We decided to go shopping for a box to store our precious memories. The pregnancy test. The scans.

As we looked around, I was drawn to the stationery section, and the amazing array of “baby” stationery. Baby picture frames. Baby photo albums. Baby memory boxes.

“I am not sure we are looking for something like that babe” said Esther, with her hand on my arm as I longingly held this blue baby memory box.

It clicked.

“Actually we are” I replied.

“I don’t want a coffin box. I don’t want some strange little urn that sits on the side. I want us to start our baby box. This is the start of our journey. Our family has begun. We don’t have the privilege of being able to raise this child, but I am a father and you are a mother and this is the start of our journey. And when we have our next child I want to put their photos in here too because it is all part of our journey.”

There are not many times I get it right.

I can be an insensitive oaf at the best of times.

But as I stood there with my eyes welling up and Esther nestling her head into my shoulder I knew somehow we had hit it. We had found our way. We were going to preserve the painful memory of our lost child as a valid part of our joyous adventure in parenthood.

This baby can take its rightful place in our journey, and the future joys we hope and pray for can build our memory box into the fullness of the journey God has for us.

If we are to be faithful with what we have we need to honour the whole of the journey, and that starts now, and so our memory box begins.


Charles said...

This has been a wonderfully helpful series of posts

Thanks for writing it Dave and thanks to you both for being willing to share it

Mike T said...

Esther and you are in our prayers,
Mike & Alison T