I have eight children. Four of them I get to raise, and four of them were lost before birth. Losing my babies was painful of course. Most days I do well, but occasionally my spirit still feels raw. Years later, I still think about them. Never having gotten to know my babies, I still wonder about who they are, about their unique and unrepeatable personalities. Sometimes I still cry over them, but I would not wish my miscarriages away because those children too, are blessings.
Though sometimes people say, “It was God’s will” to a couple grieving a baby death, I know that God does not will death. Death entered the world with sin. As Catholics we believe that God weeps with us when we mourn because pain, suffering, and death were not a part of His original plan. I also know that God makes all things new. I know that when all I can see is a bloody corpse on a cross, that God is working His greatest act of redemption; darkness is being defeated.
I also pray that I will enter heaven one day and that at the end of time I will be able to hug my children whom I never got to hold in this life. In fact, I say it as part of every Sunday mass I go to. “I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” As Christians, we do not believe our bodies are prisons that we will be freed from when we die. We believe our bodies have dignity, so much dignity in fact, that it is the Holy Spirit’s preferred dwelling place and one day He will make us–including our bodies–new. And when that day comes I will be able to hold and caress all my children.
Those of us who have lost our wee ones, what a gift it is to pray for them and to be prayed for by them. What a blessing it is to have these souls whose special interest it is to pray for their family members on earth. It gives me great comfort to know that I have four children praying for our family and working hard to get us all to heaven. I am not happy my pregnancies ended in miscarriage, of course, but I am happy that they existed, and still do exist. I feel privileged that I was their first home and the place of their creation by God. And when one thinks of the sheer numbers of miscarried babies there are since the start of humanity, the numbers of these souls (and the prayers being said for the world by them) is staggering. I’m sure we can never know this side of heaven what blessings have come from their prayers. So I have hope that the blessings are not just for my little family, but that they are truly cosmic in proportion. For the prayers of all the beautiful and innocent souls lost before birth, I give thanks to God.
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us.” Rom 8:18