There are many issues in life that causes deep grief. The most common of these is in the area of death. We grieve the loss of loved ones and friends. They are no longer with us and we miss them deeply. There is a deep sense of losing a part of us. There is a deep sense that a part of us has died with them.
This is why funerals are so important. We can see the coffin. We can gather around as family and friends to support each other in grieving process of losing a loved one. Together we can cry, pray, acknowledge and celebrate the life lived and even laugh during the eulogy.
However there is a deeper sadness and grief that happens when the deceased person is not physically there to say good bye to. Seamen lost at sea, never to be seen again. People who just disappear and never to be seen again. Take the recent account of Daniel Morecombe in Queensland whose body was never found. The recent discovery of his body and clothing means a huge chapter can be closed for his family and that a deeper grieving cycle can begin.
Within this framework of pain and grief is the pain of mothers and families who suffer miscarriage. The pain is perhaps more deeply felt for the mother. For there is a special bond that happens in the womb…emotional, physical, spiritual. The mind starts to imagine the future for the child….sex, name, clothes, school, work, and even marriage and future grandchildren. Dreams are dreamt. Visions are shared. Grand parents can start to visualise and dream their part in bring the child up. Brothers and sisters likewise.
But those dreams are shattered through the loss of the child through miss carriage. And deep pain can result. Compounding this problem is there is often no one to say good by to. No one to hug and hold and scream and cry. No hand to hold and say good bye. And so a deep emptiness takes hold. Confusion and even false guilt can arise. And often the mother is left to just get on with life.
October the 15th is the International Day for pregnancy and infant loss. To coincide with this date – our church is planning to host a community memorial service to celebrate the life of a life short lived, to acknowledge the deep pain and confusion of that loss and to provide a space where individuals and families can gather together to acknowledge the deep loss, the hurt and pain and to cry, to share with each other and to help those within our midst in their journey of grief.