Letters to a Grieving Mom: Open on your baby’s birthday or anniversary after miscarriage
This is part of a series called Letters to a Grieving Mom to help women navigate significant milestone days after miscarriage and pregnancy loss.
Dear Grieving Mom,
You made it. It’s been one year since you lost your baby. Did you have days where you wondered how life could go on as you once knew it? Did you ever wonder if you’d stop crying? Or how you would weather the storm? Me too.
But now, here you are. One year later and I wonder how you’re feeling? Does it sting a little less? Have you been dreading this day, wondering if the grief will hit you like a freight train all over again?
Nearly a year after my first miscarriage I remember dreading my baby’s birthday. I wanted the day to be perfect—to honor her life and tend to my own heart. I wondered, will anyone remember? Does anyone still care?
And then the day came and it wasn’t at all how I imagined. I felt sad, yes, but I also felt a sense of relief—like, I made it. One year later and I made it. This grief didn’t destroy me. It didn’t wreck my family. It didn’t ruin my faith. But it did change me.
A year after my loss it was easier for me to see how I had been undone and remade into a kinder, more compassionate, more empathetic person. My grief taught me that I matter—my body matters, my emotions matter, my dreams matter. And my grief helped me to enter into the pain of others without being so quick to try and swoop in to “fix” it. (I admit I still struggle with this—I still would much rather fix someone’s pain than sit with them in the discomfort of it.) But I have grown. I am less uncomfortable with pain and less intimated by the ways it finds its way out through our emotions.
I won’t presume to know how you’re feeling today. You may have a fresh wave of grief or a sense of joy or a tinge of nostalgia. You may feel tired or disappointed or lonely and isolated as you realize that to most people this is just another normal day. So even though I can only guess at how you might feel, I’d wager to say your grief journey has changed you, too.
Would you agree?
I’d like to ask you to do something today, two things actually. First, would you take some time to think about your own grief journey over the last year? If you’re willing, write your baby a letter and tell her all the ways her life has changed you. Tell him what you miss about him and also tell him how you feel toward him now. Ask her if she knows the impact her short life has had on yours; tell him the ways he’s left a mark on the world.
And then—if you haven’t already—do something to mark this day. Buy yourself flowers or a small piece of jewelry that has meaning to you and represents your baby’s life. Perhaps release a balloon or a lantern. Share your thoughts with friends in a text or via social media.
However you feel today is your reality. At the risk of sounding too Oprah-esk (though, admittedly, I love Oprah), you need to “own your own truth” today. Be real with how you feel—the raw, authentic, messy, complicated, simple, beautiful compilation of emotions that mark you in this moment in time. But also know that how you feel doesn’t define you. Instead, let it inform you.
So listen to your heart, listen to your body, and—if you can—quiet your spirit enough to even listen to God. Whether you’re a person of faith or not, open your heart to the possibility that there really is a divine being out there who’s essence is Love itself. Let yourself feel and receive that Love.
Because I’m a Christian, I believe Love’s name is Jesus. I want to pray this blessing in his name over you now:
A Prayer of Blessing
Jesus, bless this grieving mama’s heart today.
May your grace be upon her to continue to heal.
May she see who she is in light of your love.
Where she has experienced confusion or doubt or anxiety, speak your truth into her heart: She is loved. She is worthy. You have not abandoned her—not on the day she lost her baby, not today, and not tomorrow.
Scripture says you draw near to us in our broken heartedness—may she sense that nearness in this moment.
Today on the anniversary of losing her precious child, may she know peace, comfort, healing, and rest.
May she know that it’s okay for her to feel both sorrow and gratitude, grief and joy intermixed.
Bless her as she remembers her baby and honors his or her life.
Bless her as she tends to her own soul.
Bless her as the tears fall and as her heart swells.
Help her to dream again—new dreams, new hope for tomorrow.
Give her today what you’ve always promised: grace for the present, hope for the future, and love for always.
More posts in the Letters to a Grieving Mom series:
- Open when your period returns
- Open on your original due date
- Open when you’re invited to a baby shower
- Open on a difficult holiday or special occasion
- Open on Mother’s Day
- Open on your baby’s birthday or anniversary
- Open during a post-miscarriage pregnancy
For further resources to navigate grief after miscarriage and pregnancy loss, or to learn how to best support a friend experiencing loss, please visit my Miscarriage Stories and Resources page. You will also find a free grief journal and a free 7-day devotional.
If you’d like to go deeper in exploring how to grieve with hope, I’ve written a whole book for you: Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss (available at all major retailers).
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