I’ve been thinking a lot about why angel mom’s are so sensitive about the possibility of their little angels being forgotten. I was trying to figure out what the difference was between our angel babies and other older loved ones who have passed on and I came to the realization that it is literally, life.
When thinking about perinatal loss, I’m considering all little angel babies from the 4-8 week gestational period to babies born sleeping or passing shortly after their births. These precious little ones were with us for such a short time… they barely lived any life at all and definitely not one independent of their momma. Sometimes, only the little ones parents even knew about them at all. Our older loved ones who have passed on likely have lived fuller lives. They have days under their belts, other people knew them and interacted with them, they had experiences and lives independent of us that others can acknowledge and validate… they are remembered outside of our little bubble of family.
I was watching American Gods on Starz (love that show btw) and was really struck by one of the concepts that the old gods are at risk of extinction or simply being forgotten because people don’t talk about them anymore. People don’t acknowledge their existence or tell their stories or pray to them or provide offerings to them in exchange for their love and blessings and general good favor. Those old gods are planning a war against the new gods who are trying to replace them in essence. That fact isn’t as important to this writing but the first part definitely is. Follow me…
I’ve overheard that people think it’s weird for parents to talk about the little ones they’ve lost. I’ve heard that people think keeping an urn with ashes is morbid and keeping that in a place where it can constantly been seen or interacted with is also morbid. I’ve heard that people think talking about our beautiful little babies is a barrier to us moving forward with our lives after the loss. Author and grief specialist David Kessler always says, “your grief needs to be witnessed” which basically means we need for people to listen to our stories, listen to our pain, share in it if it feels right for you.
We need for our little ones to not be forgotten. They haven’t had as much life as some others and that makes them that much easier to overlook which is terrifying. We call perinatal loss and specifically losses that occur in the 1st and 2nd trimesters the “silent sadness” (see earlier post) and that silence is deafening. I need to look at pictures of my beautiful little girls and remember. I need to remember giving birth and seeing their little feet and hands move. My spouse needs to remember and talk about seeing their little hearts beating strongly despite being too early to survive. We need to talk about what happened and how we feel about it. We need to say their names! Aviva and Jora were two of the brightest lights in my life. Their spirits still are and every Wednesday when I light their candles I am reminded of just how bright they were/are. I don’t want people to forget. I don’t want it to be true that because others didn’t get to see our daughters outside of my belly and on ultrasound pictures that means my girls didn’t really exist in the world because they did!
So yeah, I’m sensitive to you forgetting my girls. I’m sensitive to you not mentioning them, glossing over their short time here, telling me to get over it or that we’ll have other children. I’m sensitive to the fact that the world won’t get to witness all the glory that is my daughters. I’m sensitive about feeling like they were taken too soon and I’ll be damned if I allow you to act like in their short time here, they didn’t mean something. We’re all sensitive to making our children the forgotten. We don’t stop being mom’s because our children aren’t here even if we don’t have/can’t have other children. We’re forever mom’s to angel babies… we’re angel moms.