Saturday, August 8, 2015

Burying our Babies

When I lost my little Lily to miscarriage 10 years ago I really didn't know what to do.  Sure the doctor had given me clinical instructions.  I was given some pills and told to go home and I would 'pass the tissue' and it would be over.  She didn't tell me the pills she gave me would actually induce labor, I would labor at home for hours in pain, and then be left with a little corpse.  The actual baby she referred callously to as tissue.  Even in the latest planned parenthood videos they call the babies "babies".  But the doctor never told me what I was supposed to DO with my little baby once she came out.

The doctor looked into my tear stained, red, swollen face and told me to just pass the tissue at home.

 Once my miscarriage was over, what was I to do with the babies body?

No one told me about the possibility of infant burials for babies who die prematurely. No one told me about the beautiful hill they have places like at Queen of Heaven (pictured above in title photo), where parents are able to bury the remains of their smallest family members and do so at no cost.

My little one was no larger than a walnut.  We had actually called her "Walnut" lovingly before she died.  It was a great way for Anthony (at age 2) to conceptualize just how big she was and how fast she was growing.  She had a beating heart and little fingers and toes at the end of her little arms and legs.  She didn't have gender differentiation yet but I know she was a girl just like I knew her siblings' gender from the time I found out I was pregnant with each of them.  Somethings you just don't need an ultrasound to tell you. You feel it.

Watching the 5th video, I found myself crushed at the thought of the nurses and technicians talking about lumping all the babies together in waste bags.  But when you think of it as a lump of tissue then these babies are no more special than the buggers you blow from your nose. I don't mean to give these people as excuse for their inhumane treatment of our littlest humans - but rather to highlight the fact that they have actually de-humanized these little babies.  But looking at the remains you can see their little arms and legs and eyes - if it isn't a baby then what is it?

Which leads me back to Burying our Babies.  When my sister-in-law lost her pre-term baby this past year, it was so important to me that she bury have the chance to bury her little Peter.  It was important to me, because I didn't have that chance and I live daily with the regret. That regret still chokes me and it has been a decade. I won't be so dramatic as to say "I will never forgive myself" for not giving her a proper burial, because I was ignorant. I didn't know it was even possible. Now I not only know it is possible, but I see the importance not only to the parents, but to our culture as well.

Earlier this week I heard two commentators talking about the abortion issue and one of them said that unborn babies aren't afforded the same social status as 'people' . As evidence he referred to the fact that unborn babies aren't buried and given funerals. Then it went to commercial leaving me again with my regret over her non-burial.

When an unborn baby dies - at any stage of gestation - the parents CAN get a death certificate.  They CAN have a burial.  They CAN do a funeral mass.  The Church DOES give them the same status as 'people'.  They CAN have a little headstone or be buried in a family tomb or be buried with the other little saints on a hill like my nephew Peter.  The parents just have to KNOW that it is a possibility.

I write this post with the hope that next time any of you know of a friend, or a family member who  has lost a baby through miscarriage or is fearful of that occurrence, you let them know that they do have options.  If you feel moved to share this post please do so.  Let's get the word out to all those women who may one day loose a little baby before delivery.  Babies don't belong in the sewers or in waste bags or having their little bodies harvested for their parts to be sold to the highest buyer.  They belong in consecrated ground with our other loved ones.  It is a small thing maybe, but even the small things make a difference in shifting a culture from a culture of death to a culture of life.  For more about some of those little (or bigger) things we can do check out Healing the Culture, a organization designed to so just that.

Sweet Baby Lily and Baby Peter - pray for us.

Thanks for stopping by.

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