Watching a friend experience the loss of their baby and the grief that remains can feel so helpless. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “one-size fits all” approach to support a grieving friend through loss, but there are many ways to be supportive. When my daughter died at 33-days-old, it was the first loss of this type…
“Do you see it Mom?’ my Rainbow daughter asked me one morning.
“See what”? I replied, half awake
“The beautiful colored lights all around us”
Curiously, I looked around expecting to see some sun reflections on the walls of her bedroom. Instead, I saw nothing.
Given how imaginative 4-year old’s can be, I let it go.
Until a week later when my daughter started talking about the beautiful lights again. This time, I probed a bit further, asking her what they looked like. She described them as beautiful and appeared to be in awe whenever she spoke of them. She said they danced around and changed colour. I followed her gaze, and I could see by her tracking that she was indeed seeing something.
Over the course of the next month she mentioned these lights multiple times a week. At one point she got concerned that I couldn’t see them and asked “are they real Mom?”. I sat her down and explained that yes, they were very much real to her. That just because I couldn’t see them did not make them any less real.
She continued to talk about the lights on a regular basis. Though she never seemed bothered by them she did seem to want an explanation as to what the lights were. Of course, because I couldn’t see them, I could not give her an answer. So, I decided to take her to an eye doctor to be sure there wasn’t something else going on. As I suspected everything was ok.
My daughter continued to frequently mention the lights. They actually appeared to bring her a sense of calm and peace. As her Mom, it brought me joy to see her engage in her “imagination” in a way that was grounding for her. I stopped trying to find a reason and just accepted this real phenomenon that was now a part of our lives.
In fact, I had kind of forgotten about the lights entirely, until one-day my daughter and I went in to this store. The store sold personal development books, Buddhas, mala beads etc. It was definitely not a “kid” store. As soon as we walked into the store my daughter bee lined it to the oracle cards. We had never been to this store before but she walked right over as if she had been there hundreds of times. She immediately picked up a deck of cards and brought them over to me stating, “I want to buy these Mom”.
I looked down to see that what she picked had picked up. They were oracle cards for children. It was the only kid related item in the store.
When we got home, she asked right away if she could pick a card. We sat down, and after a few contemplative minutes she chose her card.
The card she picked, titled “ANGEL LIGHTS” took my breath away. It read:
“Your angels want you to know that they are with you. They are always with you. They sent you this card as a sign. The angels also show you twinkling and flashing lights. Have you seen these lights? What colors are they? You can ask your angels to protect you, your home, your family and the world with angel lights. Just ask and it is done”
My daughters face lit up with a huge sense of pride.
“Mom, the lights! They are Angel lights! The lights are REAL”.
Tears streaming down my cheeks. “Yes, baby girl, they sure are.”
My response was to her but it really was directed toward myself.
To the outside world I am a mother of one child because that is what people can see, but I am in fact a mother of three children.
I see my other two babies in my daughter’s smile, in her every tear, every milestone, and every giggle.
No one else but me knows they are there—but they are.
Every time my daughter dances among the lights that are still only visible to her, I am reminded that just because I can’t see them doesn’t make them any less real.
Just as my babies are, and will always be, real to me.