Monday, July 21, 2008

for Brother, Mom and Dad

After that last post, if I have any readers left, I apologize.

Sometimes I just have to share those difficult moments, the ones that leave us all staring at our shoes and wondering what to say. That was rough, I know. There is so much more to say about it, and I wondered if I erred by saying too little. (Not something I do very often -- say too little, that is!)

Anyway, I realized some of what I said was painful for my mom, and I so deeply regret that. I should have told more of my brother's story -- especially that he DID have a name, but that my mom was told not to name the baby (because he was stillborn he did not have a birth certificate.) She got horrible comments and advice from people (including a priest, which really saddens me.) My mom almost died when her baby was born, and while she was in the hospital my dad went alone to the cemetery to have him buried. Not even family members and friends knew what to do or say.

Back in 1961, this was not uncommon. Parents were told their babies went to Limbo, that maybe it was better that they died because they might have turned out to be criminals (yep, someone said this to my mom -- that priest, in fact.)

After their babies died they were told, either outright or through awkward silence, to forget them and have other children. No one really talked much about my brother, and I didn't even remember his birthday until I saw it on the stone the other day.

For these reasons, for my parents' pain and the pain of so many who have lost babies and have felt that they have been forgotten -- for this I wept as I stood by Brother's grave.

47 years later, my parents still suffer and remember their son. They loved him, and wanted him, and mourned him largely in silence. Every week when my 87 year-old dad and I go to Eucharistic Adoration, he asks me to light two candles, for "the babies"; his son, who would be 47, and my daughter, who would be three.

My last post was not the best memorial that I could have offered. To Brother, I say, "Keep praying for us! Hold your little niece close to your heart and give her a kiss for me!"

To Mom and Dad, I say, "I love you. I'm sorry your baby died. He will never be forgotten."

2 comments:

Almost Catholic Momma said...

What a touching post.
Sometimes we forget that society was so different not long ago. Things that we talk about openly today were quite hush hush back then.
Thanks for visiting my blog today. I'm glad to have found yours in return.

God Bless!

Soul Pockets said...

I could not imagine losing a child and then just expected to "forget" about it. Even though the subject does make me look down at my feet and not have anything to say. I feel blessed to be introduced to the Saints you talk about.

Thank you