Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grieving those we never knew

Sometimes, life is sad. Truly, truly sad.

A couple of days ago, someone called my daughter to see if she would be interested in being a model for sonogram training at a local pregnancy care center. The problem is, Jess had lost her baby a few months ago. The phone call renewed the grief that is never too far from the surface. After she told me about this happening, I sat in my office and wept. You see, when our children lose children of their own, we grandparents experience loss as well.

Whether it is through a miscarriage, stillbirth, or even a regretted abortion, grief is very real for a family whose child has never let out his or her first cry. Platitudes like, "Well, there was probably something wrong with the baby...this is a blessing," or "At least you're young and can try again," or "Thank God you have other children," do not help. A simple, "I'm sorry," is enough. And if you don't know what to say, say nothing. A caring touch, a tear, a hug...that's what the grieving parents, and grandparents, need.

Photo by Linda Allardice
Of course, this grief is not limited to the children who have never cried. I have a friend who was told her son would die as soon as they cut the umbilical cord. Brandon had anencephaly. My friend's arms were filled, then emptied, leaving her only with crushing grief.

Where does one turn when others expect you to "move on," "buck up," "look at the positive..."? Many times, feelings of grief and thoughts of their child simply get buried beneath busyness until everyone thinks you're okay.

Have you been there? Are you currently mucking through the mire of "let's pretend we're all okay?" I know of one resource you might find helpful. Healing Hearts is a site designed to comfort those dealing with the loss of a baby. There are free eCards to send, Healing Gifts from Earth Mama Angel Baby, a comprehensive list of Grief and Infertility Resources, and even advice on what to say and what not to say. The best part of the site, however, for those of you who are in the midst of feeling the weight of empty arms, is the section called, Remembering Baby. This is a place where you can write a love letter to your little one and post it for the world to read.

When no one else seems to remember...when even friends no longer want to listen...there is a place where you can share your memories and your grief with others who understand and care...others who have walked this painful road.

Today, I am missing grandchildren who I never had the chance to meet. I look forward to the day when our family is whole again...a time when we finally can wrap our arms around these beloved Heaven. Until then, I trust they are all safe in the arms of Jesus.

Sharing my grief, and yours,



  1. Hana, last month we "lost" our 10-year-old granddaughter. Our daughter Joy adopted a sibling pair that had been her foster kids. Ashlee didn't adjust to the adoption well. She came and lived with us for 7 months. She insisted she was "well" and wanted to go home permanently at Christmas. Six weeks later the state she lived in came and removed her permanently from our daughter's home because she was considered a danger to her sibling, to our daughter, and to herself. We will have no contact unless she chooses to find us when she is 18. Reminders of her are everywhere in our home, our thoughts, our conversations. We grieve. I feel the ache of your heart.

  2. Oh Carol, I am so sorry. This is heartbreaking. Yes, we can experience losses in many ways. I gave a baby up for adoption in 1980, and grieved the loss of her from that point on, until October 11, 2003, when I answered the phone and a young woman on the other end of the line said, "I think I'm your daughter." The joy of that day is unsurpassed. It was an amazing experience to hear her voice and to finally be able to hold her in my arms again. I pray that you will reunite with your granddaughter as well.


Search This Blog