At some point today, in between a pitiful nap and bouts of feverish cabin cleaning, I looked down at my phone and saw a little email icon dinging away. What I read took my breath away, and slapped some sense into my puffy self:
‘Please pray for Jonathan and Gina and their family who lost their lil baby boy today who was full term.’
That’s it. One sentence. And a family’s life is shattered.
For a few minutes I couldn’t think of anything else except how incredibly selfish and complaining I’ve been these past few weeks, months, etc. All my pregnancy complaints, discomforts and inconveniences were cast into harsh relief against the reality of what must be the world’s greatest grief; the loss of a child.
My breath catching in my throat, all I could do was pull exterior baby into my lap and sit quietly stroking his soft blonde hair for the 4.5 seconds he would tolerate it, all the while feeling waves of shame for the very weak way I’ve been facing the burdens and blessings of motherhood lately.
I don’t know this family, but they’ll be in my heart for the duration of this pregnancy, and surely for the suffering that is to come in the delivery room and beyond.
Thank God it’s still Lent. I can still start over.
St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for them.