Letters of Wood

In October, it was baby loss awareness month. I saw several beautiful things on Facebook, while thinking: I don’t feel like this. I often have that when it comes to special days and weeks around problems that I recognize. I try to be open about those things, but I don’t feel directly attracted to days or weeks around such a subject. As if, precisely when it is asked for attention, I do not want to draw attention to it and don’t want to pay attention to it. But perhaps that also happened now, because my missing her is not so much upfront at the moment and I was actually happy about that.

Last night there was a special event called ‘light night’ and I wasn’t there. I was invited to come and sing my song in another town, but because of corona it was postponed to next year. I thought it would be so special to sing my song to other parents who lost their baby and every time I practiced it I thought of my own little girl. It was bittersweet.

So it was baby loss awareness month. A month with special attention to miscarriages, stillbirths and infant deaths. The loss of the future with your child. Invisible parents. With every post I saw on Facebook and Instagram, I wondered if I shouldn’t write about it as well. I didn’t, because I only write when I really want to say something and also because, just as in previous years, I doubted whether I should pay attention to it or not.

What’s nice about such a month is that people dare to name and express their sadness and that just helps. What’s annoying about such a month is that you are confronted with sadness, when you weren’t thinking about it and were content about that. But today I saw a picture of the name of a deceased child, next to a candle and with a beautiful text. I suddenly remembered a message from the funeral director who arranged Amanda’s funeral. When we carried Amanda into the church service, she had made a beautiful podium, with the letters of Amanda’s name in white wooden letters on it and also two large and five small stars of white wood: the family of seven that we invisibly still are.

In that message, the funeral director told that there is an old father who makes these letters by hand. For each baby for whom the company of that funeral director arranges the farewell ceremony, he makes the letters of his or her name. I was so moved to hear that and so grateful for the work of this man. Her name in those wooden letters tells me that she was there, that she is loved and has a name. I promised to share a photo in that post, but forgot. When I saw the picture of the name of that other deceased child, I suddenly wanted to take a picture of the name of my deceased child. And share it, for baby loss awareness week.

This is how the letters are placed in our bedroom right now.

First published in Dutch on October 16, 2020 when it was baby loss awareness month

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