Baby in a MangerSilent Night always makes me cry. Every Christmas. Sitting in Mass on Christmas Eve, happy as Larry with my little family (noisily) around me. And as it always does, that particular Christmas carol will come up. And I’ll be crying and remembering.

You see, on Christmas Day 2008 we lost a baby. I miscarried at around 9 weeks. Something which shook me very deeply. And though now I have three beautiful children, and though its impossible that we have these same children if we had had our first baby, something is still missing sometimes. That baby taught me that we aren’t in control. That thinking that we can “plan” parenthood and get pregnant and have babies when and as we want is foolish. That all life is in God’s hands. That its really hard to mourn a baby when either people don’t know or have no words to say.

Christmas can be a hard time. We see those we don’t often. We miss those who aren’t here. I guess we let ourselves have time to rest and ponder things we are too busy or don’t let ourselves remember the rest of the year. And amongst the happy, busy, family filled, beautiful moments of Christmas, I remember losing our baby four years ago.

Memorial GardenRecently I had the chance to visit a newly created memorial garden at the John Paul II Centre in Idris Road, Christchurch. Its a beautiful, serene place to remember those who died yet unborn.

Sometimes it helps to have someone to share the burden of grief. JPII Centre also offers caring (and confidential) support either by phone or face to face. You can contact the 0508Here4U Pregnancy Centre at the John Paul II Centre for Life, Christchurch.
Ph 03 351 3227 or visit 88 Idris Rd, Bryndwr. I encourage you to check out the garden. All are welcome to come and spend time in the Children’s Garden of Remembrance or the Chapel where there is a Book of Life for the names of loved little ones.

So heres my online Christmas toast and prayer. For all the parents who have lost babies before they’ve even been born, whether through miscarriage or abortion, whether other people knew or didn’t know that there was a little life within them. For all the mothers who are pregnant who are considering what to do with the life of their baby.

I pray for the intercession of all the innocent souls.