I have naively wondered, to my own shame, what purpose “awareness” months, colors, walks served. I have scratched my head over this. I have been intensely curious how wearing a color, ribbon or t-shirt could change anything. Was it a tactful way to rile hearts toward a cause to donate money? Was it to feel a sense of community? Was it for nothing more than the word, awareness? So that I could learn that alzheimers, breast cancer, prostrate cancer, leukemia exists? The charade of ribbons and walks felt like plea for attention. It felt like a need for awareness beyond the existence of the ailment itself. It felt more like a plea for attention and awareness that this awful, awful thing happened to me.
And then I got it.
That is exactly what it was. But it was also so more.
It was a way of solemnly waving a flag over our restless busy world, on a designated time in the calendar year, politely asking the rest of the world to stop and take notice.
To our heartbeat. To our stories. To our childrens’ lives. To the beautiful, yet tragic way grief has presented her way into our lives forever. And that in spite of it ALL, we wouldn’t do anything differently. Because love is so worth the cost.
It is asking the world to bend her ear and give her heart the chance to grow a little more compassion. It is asking her to step wildly out of her comfort zone. Dead babies and costume-planning (or football season!) mix like oil and water.
To cry with us. Tears break down walls easier than a thousand sledge hammers.
To remember with us. Yes, it is not convenient to leave a birthday party for a walk to remember a dead baby. And it might raise some eyebrows lighting a candle for a baby that died X amount of years ago. But you know how these senseless taboos change? Through little actions and willing people. One by one by one. Silence is broken. Myths are busted. And best of all, barriers are torn down.
The mothers and father standing in the gaps feel your love, your support. And we realize, because we’ve sat on your side of the table, that this is anything but easy for you to do.
We don’t need your sympathy, we need your LOVE.
Light a candle. Send a text. Write an email. Send a card. Phone him or her. Press the stupid like button on a post on Facebook to support him or her sharing an intimate part of their grief and pain (it’s not stupid to the person you’re supporting, *pinky promise*).
We will forget many things, because as bereaved parents our souls have grown ancient and our minds weary, but we will never forget the hand you extended on our child’s behalf.
This month belongs to our children. Will you be so brave?