Have you ever noticed how much people clam up and will not mention a child’s name when child loss has taken place? To bereaved parents, this is one of the biggest hurts of all. What we need — what we’re wanting so desperately — is to know that our child has not been forgotten! Hearing our child’s name spoken is the sweetest name we can ever hear! I am a bereaved mom, and I know that for me to hear the names of my sons who are no longer here with me is both a comfort and support.
Samuel was born still and during that time twenty-five years ago, sadly parents were not encouraged to talk about their deceased children. That was especially true for parents of early loss such as miscarriage, stillbirths, and ectopic pregnancies. Everything was “hush-hush” and we were often made to feel “odd” or a bit “crazy” to want to name our child, much less talk about our child.
I wrote in great depth about this in my first book on child loss, “Silent Grief.” I cannot tell you how thankful I am that things have gradually changed for the better over the years! Today, it is not unusual at all for miscarried babies to be named, and it is certainly encouraged for all stillborn babies to be named, held, have pictures taken, and to have some kind of special memorial service. Oh, how healing those things are!
And, how special to be able to hear the name of your baby being spoken many years later by those who remember!
Just hearing someone speak of my baby Samuel is music to by broken heart!
In May of 2015 my son Michael (Mike) died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack. There are no words that can describe the depth of grief that I feel as Mike’s mom. Nor are there words to describe what his siblings and his wife and three children are feeling. Mike’s friends are grieving, and they have expressed how much they, too, miss him!
Part of my daily strength comes from hearing the name “Mike” spoken to me. Yes, of course I cry at the mention of his name. Tears are streaming down my face now as I write his name. But, the best thing that anyone can do for me right now is to say Mike’s name. I want to hear his name. I “need” to near his name.
I need to know that Mike is not forgotten. And, when I hear his name spoken by someone I know that Mike is remembered! ***I’ve written more about this in the book Child Loss – the Heartbreak and the Hope.
I work very hard every day to make certain that my little baby Samuel is not forgotten. Even though he never got to spend one waking second alive on this earth he was my son, and I loved him with everything in me. I held him. I counted his little fingers and toes. And, I agonized for years over the fact that nobody would speak his name to me because they didn’t know what to say or how to say it.
In an attempt to help others know that it’s so important to speak the names of our children who are no longer hear with us on this earth, I’ve made a short video speaking from my heart to yours about why it’s so important to validate the life of every child by speaking that child’s name.
As you listen to my heart speaking, it is my prayer that you will be comforted in knowing that it’s normal and healing to want to hear your child’s name being spoken. Please, please share this video with others so that they, too, will understand why it’s so important for every bereaved parent to hear the precious name of their child spoken by others.
It’s time to break the chains of silence! Talk about your children — ALL of them! Learn to be comfortable speaking the name of your child who is no longer here. And, when you become comfortable doing this, others will become more comfortable, too.
It’s sad that as bereaved parents we have to lead the way to breaking the silence that surrounds child loss, but if we want things to change it’s up to us.
I hope you’ll feel comfortable mentioning your child’s name here in the comment section. I want to hear your child’s name. Others want to hear your child’s name spoken.
The time to break the silence is now.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts in this journey with me. There is nothing better than to get the support we so desperately need from each other!
Clara — Samuel and Mike’s mom forever and always