Grieving | Inquirer News


/ 01:28 PM October 27, 2013

I thought the most painful event in my life was the loss of my husband and my Dad. I grieved in my own way. I didn’t go through what psychologists describe as stages of grief from denial and anger to guilt and finally acceptance.

When my husband died, I just felt anger at the doctors who, for me, erred in approximating the time he had left and at God, whom I felt was unfair for taking away a good man. I channeled my grief to passion at work and a dedicated focus on my then three young children. In short, I exhausted myself so that I didn’t know what grieving meant except that every morning my pillows were wet.

When my Dad died, I accepted it right away. He had a hard life. I almost failed to forgive him for what he had done to our family. But because I acknowledge that his sickness was God’s loving mercy for him to atone for his sins, I embraced his death with gratitude that my Dad was finally reconciled with God.


But when a baby dies, there’s sadness that goes beyond normal grief. Shouldn’t the old outlive the young? It is a given that the old have lived a full life and when death comes, it is the natural order of things. But when a baby dies, we think it’s meaningless. Why did he even come into the world if he was to die almost as soon as he was born?


Recently, I felt my niece’s pain when she was told that her one-month-old baby expired less than five hours when she last saw him. Baby Birkoff Jaden or BJ was supposed to be our family’s first grandchild. He was born prematurely at 6 months. For one month he struggled through medicines and machines just to bring joy to his parents. I was with her the night after she gave birth to BJ. So I felt crushed as well when she told me of the sad news in between loud sobs.

Over the phone I told my niece that it’s ok to cry and even feel responsible for the loss. She has to face her involvement so she can accept right away and learn from it.

Her hopes and dreams may be shattered, adding to the overwhelming grief but I had to remind her that BJ had taught her what real joy is and how beautiful a baby is to a mother regardless of the circumstances. He gave my niece one month of maternal bonding which cannot be forgotten and so as she allows herself to grieve. She must remind herself to move forward and feel thankful that she has her own little angel now watching over her.

My dear Jacqui, you may still feel at a loss but BJ will help you find the right path in life after your grief.

You may be feeling guilty that you did not do enough to make him live but BJ is thankful that he was able to hear your voice, suck your milk and feel the warmth of your touch even for a short time.

You may want to shout “Unfair! Babies are the beginning of life, not the end.” But even though you had him for only a month, BJ was still a gift from God. He is the beginning of wonderful memories for you as a woman, as a mother.


You may feel afraid to move on with life for now but think, BJ once gave you strength when you saw him fight to live. He wants you to do the same.

Here’s this beautiful poem that I hope can ease your pain. Imagine baby BJ telling you this.

Mommy, mommy,

please don’t cry.

I’m in heaven now,

so dry your eyes.

God is keeping me safe and warm,

just as you did from the day I was born.

Remember him as a wonderful memory, Jacqui. It’s not the end. It’s hope. Today it hurts, but trust me (I once was there), your mourning will turn to joy. After the tears will be smiles. After your sadness there will be thanksgiving.

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When I was grieving for the loss of my husband and Dad, there was only one Great source of encouragement for me – God’s Word. So, grab hold of the Holy Bible. It is a comfort when you’re hurting. Jesus will give you peace. He promised it: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28).

TAGS: column, opinion

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