Wednesday, February 25, 2015

In Memory


"Today I want to share some of the ideas the book (After Miscarriage) offers for ritualizing a loss or memorializing the baby. It might feel right to:

  • Name the baby
    • I've often thought about naming The First, but I don't know how to go about doing it.  He's on the other side, living with our Ancestors, and he's also had interaction with his brothers.  He may already have a name.  I've thought about using the pendulum to ask him, but there's a lot of names already!  Or maybe I could ask the Ancestors what they call him?  Or ask him if he minded whatever name I pick...ed.  Probably be the easiest way to go, since he would've been named by his mom and dad anyway.  When we first found out, we already had names picked out for each gender.  We gave Wolfman the original name.  But there's a name that I always liked, that my husband didn't, "Nathan".  I guess I could ask if he likes it...
  • Get a special piece of jewelry, perhaps with the baby’s birthstone
    •  As posted about yesterday, when I get better at crochetting, I'm going to make him a memorial awareness blanket.  Probably a light blue with the pink and blue ribbon on it.  As I read the article, before I came across this idea, I thought about adding his birthstone, which would have been May...emerald.  
  • Plant a tree or other plant (trees are a popular idea, but consider what kind of gardener you are and how you’ll feel if your plant doesn’t thrive)
    • I've got a black thumb...
  • Write a poem or a prayer or the story of your pregnancy
    • I think about the pregnancy often.  No reason to re-write it.
  • Envision your baby as a person
    • I know he's in the Spirit World, growing and playing.  No need to envision him as an adult.  He'll probably get there.  I don't really know how it works.  One of my friends had a miscarriage many years ago, this past October, she got to meet her child through guided meditation that focused on meeting your ancestors.  She saw a baby, swaddled in one of her relatives' arms.  Whereas when I made contact through the pendulum, my ancestors told me he was a toddler (and a boy).  Perhaps they take on the form that brings you the most comfort? ....Plus I don't want to dwell on what could've been.
  • Donate to a charity, especially one that helps mothers or babies
    • I had thought about charities.  But when I become a better crocheter, I might look into making these memorial blankets for others.  
  • Get a tattoo
    • I've thought about a tattoo.  I already plan on getting each of my children's zodiac signs.  Capricorn (2012), Taurus (2014)...  but I don't know what The First would be.  His due date or the month he was born/returned to the Spirit World?  Perhaps I'd just do a ribbon with October 2011.
  • Release balloons
    • No need for that.
  • Light a candle
    • I light a candle for him and our Ancestors often.
  • Name a star
    • No need.
  • Keep ultrasound pictures somewhere special
    • Don't have ultrasound, only a baby book, and I do keep it someplace special, on our Ancestral Shrine, beside grandma Hester.
Or maybe none of these feels right. In many cases memorializing the baby won’t make sense and that’s ok too."

These are good ideas for others, and of course, there are more than this, like a Guided Meditation, for example.  Makes me wonder if anyone's written one of those aimed directly at contacting children?  There's also writting a letter and reading it out loud.  You could keep it, or release it in whatever way to heaven, the Summerland, the Underworld, or the Spirit World, where ever you think that the baby's soul went.  If I did this, I'd burn the letter, releasing its message to the Spirit World.  Or I'd take out my pendulum, contact him that way, read it, and keep it on the Ancestral Shrine.  For some people a burial is final.  Doesn't have to be an official burial, but it probably could be....I don't know about though.   

Yesterday, in FB Group The Pagan Mama Community, one of the admins asked us how many kids we had.  I, like many of the parents there, counted those lost (during or after pregnancy).  I have three wonderful little boys.

But it was comforting to see how many others had experienced loss.  Obviously I knew the statistics and things, but when it comes to finding resources for grieving Pagans and MU's, it's hard to find.   There's so many of us, there needs to be more support and help.  

There are books and websites, general and faith specific. I have some links above in Child Loss Resources tab.  I add as I find them.  Support for Pagan families has grown, which is good.  It's not like in 2012, when I couldn't find anything, just Christian websites.  It wasn't bad, I still found support through those sites. I found other bloggers, and eventually other Pagans.  

I'm glad that Patheos and Pagan Families often writes pieces or gives information about miscarriages and infant loss.  It's needed.  I didn't realize that it's a taboo in some faiths, cultures, and families.  It doesn't make sense to me why it would be.  But it is, which means to me that more education and awareness needs to be spread so it's not something shameful.  Those who experience loss of any type--minus certain circumstances--they need support, not judgment.  

For me, I didn't tell my family for the longest time because I was already sad, and I didn't want pity.  I'm over that.  I still don't want pity, but I am more open to how others might react.  It's not shame.  It's not pity.  It's compassion.  Sometimes I get those two confused.  Pity and compassion.  Compassion still somewhat foreign to me.  

I guess I was also afraid of indifference or someone saying something dumb, like my husband did when we first found out about the miscarriage.  When we found out we were pregnant, I'd say, "I love you time two."  When we left the office, my tactless husband said, "Well, now you can't say that you love me times two anymore."  He was trying to lighten up the situation....with an awful thing to say.  But I mean, he was also in shock and in pain.  He went through his share of depression, too, but he also had work as an distraction, whereas I had suicidal thoughts.   I was afraid of those types of comments.  My mom's side are jokers.  That's how they deal with pain and uncomfortable situations, by making jokes.  I didn't want to deal with it.  

Away from that, yesterday I found this post about What NOT to Say to someone who's had a miscarriage.  What caught my eye was an image on the writer's page of a card that says, "IT'S A MISCARRIAGE!  (better luck next time)"  I was so disgusted by that image that I almost didn't click it, but I wanted to see the sick fuck who thought that was okay.  Luckily, I found this person's post instead.  

I was lucky to only have one person say something dumb, unfortunately it hurt the most because it came from my husband.  Even though he apologized, it still hurts.  With Wolfman and Warrior, I never used that phrase again.  I won't with future pregnancies.  I feel it's bad luck.  There are a lot of things that I did with The First that I won't do with the others, from taking a certain type of pre-natal pill to taking baby yoga to planning for their futures.

Well, enough rambling.

Here's another article from Patheos: Children Who Rest with My Ancestors.
"When I first started exploring Heathenry, one idea that drew me deeply was the Disir, ancestral mothers who guarded the family.  They were warriors who protected their sons, comforting presences for their daughters in labor and motherhood, and guardians who cared for children who died." ~ Molly Khan

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