Two years ago I lost my first child. For many people, it wasn't a child, it only had the "potential" for life. But for those who know that life begins at conception (which is biology, not politics), each and every pregnancy loss is the loss of a child.
We named our baby Casey Marie. Unlike her little brother, we never got to see her on an ultrasound or hold her in our arms. She died not long after we found out she existed.
I went to Mass today in commemoration for this tiny life that lived inside me for just over 8 weeks. I personally dedicated that Mass not just to my little Casey, but to all families who have lost children to miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion and to all those couples who struggle with infertility and long to conceive a child.
No matter how far you get away from a loss such as a miscarriage, you never forget. It is not the kind of thing that you "get over" and "move on" from. And if anyone ever tells you differently then they've never been through it. Two years later, I still miss all the possibilities we could have had with our baby. The birthdays, the milestones, the hope for her future, even sickness and tears. All those things are part of caring for a child and I never got to do any of them with this baby.
But I still celebrate the life this child had, no matter how short it was, and I don't regret for a minute that I have shared this child's life with everyone and anyone. Naming our child was very important and I couldn't imagine ever pretending she didn't exist just so I wouldn't have to talk about a death to anyone. We live in a culture of death that no one likes to talk about. We talk about abortion like it is some sort of right (and those that push for it seem to forget about the child's rights) when it is really about murdering a child. By sharing my story of my baby's life, I am reminding people that life begins long before we even know it is there. This is my small part in helping to change our culture into a culture of life.
By the grace of God, my baby is in Heaven close to Him. From the moment we lost Casey I imagined her in Mary's arms. Even though I wasn't able to hold my child on earth, I know that she is held in the arms of our spiritual Mother. That is a great comfort. During a Memorial Mass we had for Casey several months after we lost her, someone came up to me afterwards and told me that she saw Mary during the Mass holding my little baby. I was stunned, because at that point I had never told anyone about my own imaginings. I will never forget that.
In addition, knowing that my child is in Heaven means that she can pray for us. She can intercede with God just like any of the saints. I call Casey, and her brother Zachary, my little saints. It is a blessing to know that my children are part of the communion of angels and saints, they can intercede for us in our prayers, and they can pray for us as well. I often ask them for prayers. Prayers from those in Heaven are so powerful!!
So although this is a sad day, it is also a day filled with happiness and hope. Happiness because I know my child is in Heaven for all eternity with the Blessed Mother Mary, our Savior Jesus Christ, and God the Creator of us all. Hope because I pray everyday that one day I will join her in Heaven and be able to hold her in my arms.