Dear mama friend,
I saw your post on Facebook today. It’s usually something funny about your kids or a cool project you are working on, but today was different. Today, you said that you hated to sadden friends and family, but asked for our prayers. Your baby boy had no heartbeat. You will soon meet him to say goodbye.
I stared in shock at the screen before offering the prayers you asked for. Then I just cried.
I cried for you, mama.
Not because I know what you are going through, but because I’m a mama, too. I cried because I gave my heart to the tiny baby growing inside me the minute I knew he or she was there. I know you did the very same. I’ve never lost a piece of my heart, and I hurt so much for you, knowing that you have. I hurt for your husband and little ones. I hurt for your own mom and dad. As their hearts are broken for the grandson they already loved, they have to watch you, their own baby, face the unthinkable.
You wrote about finding comfort in your faith and confidence in seeing your sweet babe in heaven. Seeing the wonder on your children’s faces upon hearing his heartbeat for the first time and your husband’s hands feeling the baby’s movements brought you so much joy. You were thankful for those times. The devastating news you had to deliver was accompanied by gratitude and joy.
Do you know how amazing you are?
You, who finds grace and gratitude amidst unspeakable sadness. You, who wrote words of appreciation and hope to comfort those saddened by the sudden loss of your baby.
I want to thank you for inspiring me to live my own life with more grace and gratitude. Your baby’s life mattered. All those who love you are at a loss of what to do to help you and your family. There is so much we can’t do, but I can give you this truth and pray it comforts your heart:
Your baby was held his whole life. He was snuggled with his mama, warm and safe. Never cold, never hungry, and never, ever alone. Love and warmth was all he knew. His life was much too short, but it certainly was good. You made sure of that.
If we didn’t live so far from each other, I would give you a hug, make a meal for your family, and take care of your kids. I pray that you have friends and family nearby who just start showing up. When they do, I hope they keep showing up with meals, invitations to do things together, and offers of care for your children. Even if it means there will be tears, I hope they talk about your baby with you. I hope they hug you often and find little ways to show you they are thinking of you and your baby. I hope they tell you that it’s always, always OK to cry.
Your friends and family want to be there for you, but they may not always know how. Please don’t hesitate to tell us, and never, ever, hesitate to seek advice from a minister, counselor, or therapist. You don’t have to be strong, gracious, and hopeful all the time. No one expects that of you, so please don’t expect it of yourself. Being an inspiration does not require perfection.
Know that your family will be lifted in prayer in the coming days, weeks, and months. Know that you are thought of with great admiration and respect. Above all, please know that you are greatly loved.
Your mama friend