I have carried around a light blue invitation in my purse for weeks. It was in good company; right next to the notecard that listed the days I would be out on maternity leave with Charlie, a prayer I wrote on my bulletin from church the Sunday before Charlie was born, and a yellow piece of paper that held my to do list for school and home before Charlie arrived. This light blue piece of paper was inviting John and I to a Service of Remembrance that the Pastoral Care Department was having for Charlie and other bereaved families at Children's Hospital.
It said, "We would be honored if you would join us..."
They would be honored? Why did they feel like this was an honor? I couldn't stop reading this invitation and over analyzing the wording. I read it probably a million times. I thought about going and then I thought about ignoring it. I wasn't sure how I really felt about the whole thing.
On Sunday, October 26th, Cincinnati Children's Hospital held their Service of Remembrance for the children that have died in the hospital this past year and we were there. When we walked into the service we were given a program with over 150 names in it. When I opened the book and saw all those names I realized with a heavy heart that over 150 families were feeling the exact same way we were. They were missing their own precious child and sometimes days for them as they are for us feel too heavy.
While I have held on to that invitation and probably will for a long time to come I am realizing that the Pastoral Care Department was not wrong for saying they would be "honored." They were honored to have all of us that lost one of the most important people in our lives back in the place where we lost them. They were able to tell us again that they loved us and that we were not alone. They were able to look at us and make sure we knew that someone was thinking about us when it didn't seem like anyone remembered. They were able to care for us in a place we all secretly want to return to.
One of the moments during the service that stood out to me was a simple poem.
"The mention of my child's name may bring tears to my eyes but it never fails to bring music to my ears. If you really love me and want to support me, please don't keep me from hearing the beautiful music that is the name of my precious child. It sooths my broken heart and fills my soul with love. It gives me hope as I give thanks for the gift of life that I received from the One who is Divine."
It helps to hear Charlie's name. It makes me sad because I miss him but it helps and I feel honored to have shared that time Sunday with my husband and other families that miss their babies too.