Dear Eric and Becca,
I am so tempted to say “I know how you feel.” But that’s not true. Having been in your situation, I have a good idea what you are going through. I know what my pain felt like. I remember hearing the ER doctor tell me I was miscarrying, that nothing could be done to stop it, and that I should go home and rest—and wanting to rip his heart out, the way it felt that he was ripping mine out. I remember the agony, the confusion, the anger, the emptiness. The hopeless longing that it was all a bad dream. And it’s not hard to imagine that the two of you are feeling some combination of those same emotions.
But I can’t say that I know just how you feel because each loss is different. Each parent is going to grieve in a different way. The two of you, as much as you love each other and as much as you both love that little baby, are going to grieve the loss differently. Some days, Eric will hold you, Becca, when you feel like you can’t go on. Some days, he will not be able to stop crying and you will need to hold him up. You will be strong for each other, even when you feel like you have no strength. That love you share, the love for each other and the love for God, is what will give you that strength.
People are going to give you a lot of advice. You have probably already noticed that. You are going to hear things ranging from why this happened to how to grieve to when to try again. The advice will come from friends, family, and even from virtual strangers. Some will come from people who have gone through a loss like yours; some will come from people who never have. Please keep in mind that every piece of advice is meant to bring comfort. Some of the words won’t sound very comforting. In fact, some are bound to sound downright hurtful. It took me a long time—months, years in some cases—to move beyond the words and see the kindness at the heart of the one who spoke them to me. I don’t want that for you. My prayer is that you both can keep your eyes and your hearts focused on God through this difficult time, that you can do a better job than I ever did of handing your pain over to Him.
Eric, whenever I think of you, I think of you with a smile on your face. You were always a happy baby boys, smiling and laughing. As a child, you teased everyone. The only time I remember you not smiling was when I “forced” you to dance with me at my wedding. But I don’t think I ever saw a brighter, more radiant smile on your face than the one that was there the moment the church doors opened and you saw Becca in her wedding dress. Becca, the only time I met you was the weekend you married my nephew. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen a couple as genuinely happy and in love as the two of you. It seems unfair that the strength of your love has to be tested in such a tragic way so early in your marriage. You made the conscious decision to invite God not only to the wedding but into your marriage. And I have no doubt that He will hold you up and give you the strength and peace to come through this challenge.
Will you come through it unchanged? Probably not. You will both carry that baby in your hearts for the rest of your lives. That baby, no matter how brief his existence, was—and forever will be—a part of you, an extension of your love for one another and your love for God. Just because you don’t have the physical reminder doesn’t mean he’s not there. Love him, remember him, cherish him—in whatever way is best for you.
This isn’t the way anyone would chose to grow. But so long as you hold on to each other and to God, you will grow and blossom through this in ways you can’t possibly imagine.
I love you. I pray that God continues to wrap you in His love, peace, and strength in the days to come.