Too Young to Understand?

I mentioned in yesterday’s post that my friend suffered another loss. Her fourth miscarriage. It upset me. It angered me. I mourned for my friend.

Little Monster had been playing in the living room, but she came in and saw me upset when I learned the news. She went back to playing. A little later she came back to check on me. She noticed my tears had stopped, asked if I was feeling better, and offered to help with dinner prep.

She didn’t know what was wrong, but at four years old, she gave me space, then came to check on me and help me. She has always been empathetic. I first saw it when she was about 6 months old. She is very perceptive to others’ emotions. She is learning how to filter those emotions and comfort them appropriately. It is nothing I can teach as a parent, it is something she is learning on her own as she navigates through life.

At prayer time that night I shared with her the news. I told her that we would need to say a different prayer for our friends. A prayer for comfort and healing. We had been praying for the baby, for health and strength, and that they get to bring this baby home. I told her that their baby doesn’t get to come home. That their baby died. I told her our friend’s baby is in heaven with our baby Faith.  She said, in her sweet child voice, “because the baby’s heart stopped beating?” “Yes, Sweetie, that’s exactly why.”

I assured her that Baby Skywalker is OK. That he is growing and I could feel him moving around in there. We still have hope that he will come home with us.

Some would say she’s too young to share this kind of news. Some would say it’s too much to put on her shoulders. I hate that she has such an understanding of pregnancy loss already. But I am also glad that she is learning how to comfort those who mourn at such a young age. That she can go to the store with me to get something to help our friend in loss. And that she can’t wait to give her a big hug. And then go play.

I’m glad that she understands that life is not guaranteed. Maybe she won’t grow up thinking she is immune to loss like so many in my generation. 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in loss. We all know someone who has lived it. Why did we think it couldn’t happen to us? Because no one likes to talk about it. It is a hard subject to swallow. But it is the reality of life.

She lived through our journey of loss. She knows that our baby died. Now she knows it can happen to other people too. And she knows that she can comfort people with her mighty big hugs and her joy of life. Because she is one of the bright lights in the world. And while it can be painful to see her, a reminder that the new baby will never grow up like her, she is a reminder that there is much joy in this life. And we can’t let that pass us by.

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