Who Have Lost a Child
by death, miscarriage, or estrangement.
I know something of the hole in your heart, the empty place that haunts you, especially on Mother’s Day.
There is one less card, one less hug, one less chair today. It hurts. It always hurts.
And while I know only too well there is nothing I can say or do to fill that hole, I would like to offer this prayer for you and ask you to pray it for me.
Of all birth and adoption,
Of all life and death,
Of all our days marked by relationship and separation;
You know the hole we carry.
Take us to your quiet place this day of many celebrations.
Remind us of the hope we shared for the life we borrowed from you.
Point out where hope grew love
To make something good and lasting in us.
No matter what time we had, remind us
That life matters, even when it was just the hope of it.
Say to us again that we did what we could.
Protect us from the useless ghosts of guilt
That whisper their if-onlies to our undoing.
Show us again that your match
Of mamma and child was perfect,
That nothing we could have done
Would have made as much difference
As all we did.
Teach us how to celebrate our memories in gratitude
For we would be paupers without them.
Each one stretched our hearts and shaped us.
And when the tears comes
As we know they will,
When we miss all that will never be;
Give us a new picture for our heart’s scrapbook
Of who we have become,
Of how no part of love is ever wasted.
Of how it leads us to love deeper
With an urgency we would not have known.
Help us hold our heads high
In the circle of mothers where we belong,
For though part of our mothering is over;
You never waste what love has grown
You redeem, reuse, restore.
And you let us touch the hope
Of the right now but not yet mystery.
While we may celebrate this day quieter
And with a touch of sadness;
Make of this day first and last
A day to remember that
You made us mothers
And nothing we have lost
Can take away anything we have gained.
Today, especially today,
Help us to live the gain
As we remember the loss.