I had just barely survived my 1st year of grief when I stumbled across Sarita’s blog. Months of typing “My babies died” into a google search had catapulted me into the world of blogging where I found solace, support, and friendship.
Sarita’s blog was different, though. Most of the women I had connected with through blogging were my age and we had suffered our losses around a similar time. This beautiful woman was old enough to be my mom.
Her blog drew me in because of the pain in her words. It was a pain I could relate to, but also couldn’t understand. This mama was writing about her sweet daughter Meredith was born and died in 1974.
Generations ago, losing a baby was handled so differently. Although Sarita had a funeral for her sweet girl, she had never really gotten to tell her story or introduce her daughter to the world. She was inspired by us, this generation of bereaved moms, and she was able to slowly find healing in the things we all do to remember our babies together.
My friend Bree, she would send you a lovely colored butterfly with your baby’s name on it. You could get angel’s wings from Lea, or a lovely embroidered cloth from Deb. Such small things, sometimes just color, construction paper, and glue, but they meant the world.
My mom also lost a baby in the 70s, my sister Mary, who was born still. Growing up, I knew I had a sister who died, but I had never really asked my mom about it. We went to her grave once a year, and that was it. My mom never really got a chance to tell her story. Now, since my twins died, I have gotten to ask my mom more questions. She tells how the doctors and nurses whisked the baby away, and by the time she got home from the hospital, her mom and mother-in-law had cleaned up the nursery and turned it back into the spare bedroom.
Sarita found bravery in our words, and we found bravery in hers. I loved watching her throw a birthday for Meredith, the first one ever, and her family came and loved her and supported her, and of course, ate birthday cake with her.
And now, she helps us heal. She sends the most beautiful tags every year around the month that our babies died. Mine always come with special treats for my living children, too. A birthday card for Aiden and Sophie and some stickers or a $1 bill for Avery and Evan.
My life has proven to be quite unpredictable. But one thing I can always count on is that no matter what happens, beautiful, giving, kind people like Sarita pop up. Generations of healing, loving, and supporting. Bereaved mamas are here for each other, no matter how many years separate our losses. So if you’re new to this community or a veteran, please know that we stick together. Always.
Christy Wopat is a 4th grade teacher and writer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and who hilarious, energetic children, and without her boy/girl twins, Sophie and Aiden, who lived for a very short time in 2009. She is honored to share her words in hopes of breaking the stigma surrounding infant loss and grief.