SOLACE: Soul + Grief

Tending to the Wounds of the Loss of an Infant

January 29, 2024 Candee Lucas Season 3 Episode 5
SOLACE: Soul + Grief
Tending to the Wounds of the Loss of an Infant
Show Notes Transcript

When the unimaginable happens and a life is snatched away before its time, the wake of grief is deep and wide.  This special episode touches on the tender subject of loss, particularly the profound sorrow that comes with the passing of the young.   It's a journey through the ache of unfulfilled dreams and the silent echoes of milestones that will never be reached, seeking comfort in the embrace God.

This conversation is a circle of healing that extends to anyone navigating the turbulent seas of bereavement. We find solace in scripture, allow ourselves the space to grieve what could have been, and consider how such a void reshapes our lives.  For those who are yearning for a compassionate ear and a reminder of God's presence in times of loss, this episode offers a sanctuary of support and the reassurance that you are not alone in your sorrow.

Be sure to subscribe to this podcast on Google Podcasts, Apple, Amazon Music, Spotify, or follow us on the Facebook pages of Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, California, or Calvary Cemetery in San Jose, California.

SPIRITUAL DIRECTION WHILE GRIEVING IS AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE

You can reach us at: ccoutreach@dsj.org
To arrange personal spiritual direction:  408-359-5542


Our theme music is:  Gentle Breeze by Yeti Music from the album "Uppbeat".
Additional Music and sound effects today by:   via Pixabay

Candee Lucas:

Welcome to Solace: Soul +Grief. We're brought to you by Catholic Cemeteries in San Jose, California. My name is Candee Lucas. The death of a loved one is a huge life transition and we are learning it creates and affects so many other losses in our lives. So we at Catholic Cemeteries want to offer you this place to grieve and find where God's moving in your life as you grieve. Each week we take a new scripture or reflection and seek to find a quiet place in our hearts, together to contemplate our losses, honor our loved ones, remember God's love for us, God's place in our hearts, and seek to make a continuing connection with those we've lost. We want to find that space where God is moving with us in our grief, that space where mourning can be transformed to comfort, a place where our hearts might be reopened and begin to mend, a place where tears can flow. For it is when we open our hearts that we realize that we've made a new space for more love and more compassion and for more humanity and more space for God in our lives. This is a space that we hope solace will begin to fill for you. Please join us if you are suffering or just want to spend more time having God move with you in your grief. You are always welcome here in our circle of healing, love and support.

Candee Lucas:

About a year ago, in episode 31, I interviewed my sister about the loss of granddaughter Katelyn. I was visiting with her in Iowa and one day we stopped by the cemetery where my mother is buried, my grandmother, grandfather on both sides, as . So we took this opportunity to visit the graves of all of these ancestors and that by coincidence (not design) are quite near one another. When my sister told me she rarely comes to the cemetery. A lthough after my mother died, when I was still living in Iowa, I visited the cemetery quite often and talked to my mom until I was certain she was no longer there, but it gave me solace. So I wanted to revisit this idea of grieving the loss of your infant, as it's come up again lately, and how to grieve and support those who are grieving this loss. And I wanted to start with one of the more visual and visceral descriptions of this kind of loss. Katelyn was lost to SIDS, so it was very sudden, very unexpected and, because we follow ritual; in the funeral home, most of the people there were holding it together under the circumstances, until the time that the funeral director asked what size of coffin they wanted for and she told my sister that she would fit in a 24-inch coffin but that a 28-inch coffin would leave more room for toys.

Candee Lucas:

Now most of us can visualize 24 inches as not large at all. We may have something on our desk that's 24 inches wide and you can look at that and see how much space it doesn't take up. It's tiny. That life is tiny. I've seen many stillborn babies in the hospitals when I was a chaplain there and those bodies are perfect and tiny and lightly. We've had that image in our heads unbidden, as we contemplated the murder of babies in a far-off land and all those tiny coffins. What makes these losses so difficult is that not only are you grieving the loss of your infant, whether it be to miscarriage or SIDS, but you are grieving what that life meant to others. Never having a first day of school, graduation, a wedding, a bar mitzvah, grandchildren, all the life that could have been, that new parents and parents to be imagined for their child All of it just stops and is placed in a tiny coffin with the body and some toys. We mourn not only their physical selves. We mourn what they could have been.

Candee Lucas:

We mourn what their lives could have been. We mourn what our lives could have been with them in it. So in a way, it is a more profound loss because it is covered with so many questions colored with what might have beens. So I think of God that day standing near to my sister's shoulder as she collapsed into tears for her loss. I think of God, God's love, surrounding her and her daughter, Randy-- 's mother, and how he was just trying to get them through the hour, the next minute, the next day, how his love, how God's love, was tested in this moment as he held in his arms and wished to reassure her mom and her grandmother that she was held in love.

Candee Lucas:

As all those babies we lost across the sea; we lose every day; that were recently lost in a parish, we share their loss, we mourn their loss. We are not happy that they are in God's arms. We wish they were OUR arms. They are not. They are gone from us. The only place they remain is in our hearts, our hearts so expanded with love for that person, either before it was born or after it was born, that space exists and is filled with perfect love. So when I see those tiny coffins or hear my sister's story about a tiny coffin I remember somebody's beloved baby, hoped for, wished for, loved beyond reason, held down in God's arms forever.

Candee Lucas:

For we pray from lamentations. My soul is deprived of peace. I have forgotten what happiness is. I tell myself my future is lost, All that I hope for from the Lord. But I will call this to mind as my reason to have hope. The favors of the Lord are not exhausted. His mercies are not spent. They are renewed each morning. So great is His faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul. Therefore, I will hope in Him. Amen. -For those who trust in God. In the pain of sorrow, there is consolation. In the face of despair, there is hope. In the midst of death, there is life. As we mourn the death of a child, we place ourselves in the hands of God and ask for strength and for healing and for love. Amen.

Candee Lucas:

That concludes another episode. Please support us by subscribing on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts. We always welcome your comments and feedback. Remember, spiritual direction is always available through Catholic cemeteries. I'm Candee Lucas, chaplain, aftercare coordinator and spiritual director at Catholic cemeteries. You can reach us through the email or telephone number on the show notes. Be gentle with yourselves. Travel safely with God. Va ya con Dios.