Early in August we got the joyful news our daughter was expecting our sixth grandchild. We were rejoicing and looking forward to a March trip to help out after baby arrived. Friday August 12. Our daughter went in for a twelve week checkup at her midwife and no heart beat was found.
were ordered and confirmed this precious little one was no longer alive. The next day medication was given to expel this precious one who had went to dwell with God. The medications caused our daughter to hemorrhage to point of losing consciousness in ER. Blood transfusions and an emergency D & C stabilized her physically but left her and her husband’s hearts shattered with loss and grief.
Since they were unable to know the sex of this little one they name him/her Solace Emmanuel. Solace meaning “comfort” and Emmanuel meaning “God with us”.
In my processing this loss I wrote the following letter to Solace.
Your life ended as the blood heavily flowed. Oh so much more than a baby’s body was expelled in that gushing flow. Hopes, dreams and anticipations for a future that included you in our lives also hemorrhaged away. You were/are loved, you are missed and you are grieved for Solace.
As I was praying for your Mom, while she was in the hospital hemorrhaging, I so wished I could have spared her this pain. This pain and grief I have walked through three times myself and know will be something she will carry with her for the rest of her life. I was so keenly reminded of the Heavenly Father, who did not spare His Beloved of Son, even knowing the pain, shed blood and punishment He would endure out of His great love for us. How the Father knew from His Son’s death would spring forth life and redemption. While I cannot spare my daughter this pain, I pray that God will work His glorious plan of redeeming grace, love and refining in your Mommy and Daddy as they walk through the shadowlands of loss and grief. I pray that your brief life would work changes in them, in your siblings, in Papi and I that would have eternal benefits.
I know the three I lost changed me, like the loss of you dear Solace will forever change your parents. My losses showed me how precious and fragile life is, they developed compassion in me for others walking this lonely path of loss from a grief the world either does not recognize or feels too uncomfortable to talk about and does not publicly grieve as we do other loved ones that die. It grew my dependence on God as I learned how to grieve and find comfort in the laments of the Psalms. I learned to pray “Thy will be done”, though my heart was shattering into a million pieces. I experienced firsthand how God is near to the broken-hearted and how He can comfort and carry me in my hard and broken places. Through loss and grief I learned new facets of His faithfulness, His sovereignty and His goodness.
Solace, you will be remembered. Every March 1st I will think of as your birthday and think of the possible milestones of your life. My last wee one lost was to have been born in February 1988. She would have been a few months older than my niece Lydia. At occasions like Lydia’s learning to read, school graduations, wedding day I would pause in the midst of the joy and remember the one who left before any milestones outside my womb. Just as your Mama will,in the years to come,sweet Solace, have the bittersweet moments of recalling you and your short precious life.
So dear Solace Emmanuel celebrate the eternal joy, as you do not see through a glass darkly, but you clearly see our Savior face to face.
As I have seen a mother bend
With aching, bleeding heart,
O’er lifeless limbs and lifeless face –
So have I had to part
With the sweet prattler at my knee,
the baby from my breast,
And on the lips so cold in death,
Such farewell kisses prest.
If I should live a thousand years
Time’s hand cannot efface,
The features painted on my heart
Of each beloved face.
If I should bathe in endless seas
They could not wash away
The memory of these children’s forms; –
How fresh it is to-day.
Ah, how my grief has taught my heart
To feel another’s woe!
With what a sympathetic pang
I watch the tear-drops flow!
Dear Jesus! must Thou take our lambs,
Our cherished lambs away?
Thou hast so many, we so few –
Canst Thou not let them stay?
Must the round limbs we love so well,
Grow stiff and cold in death?
Must all our loveliest flowerets fall
Before his ice breath?
Nay Lord, but it is hard, is hard –
Oh give us faith to see,
That grief, not joy is best for us
Since it is sent by Thee.
And oh, by all our mortal pangs
hear Thou the mother’s plea –
Be gracious to the darling ones
We’ve given back to Thee.
Let them not miss the mother’s love,
The mother’s fond caress;
Gather them to Thy gentle breast
In faithful tenderness.
Oh Lead them into pastures green,
And unto living springs;