I went to visit my baby at the cemetery today and arrived to find the “baby section” still covered in several inches of snow. There were balloons, and flowers, and ribbons sticking out of the snow, and if I hadn’t known better, I might have thought that there had just been a party. A celebration of some sort. But with the bitter cold, biting wind, and deep snow covering the graves of babies, it was hard to imagine that there could be anything to celebrate here.
In many cases, the headstones of these babies are the only proof that they ever existed. Their names are engraved on a headstone and in a mother’s heart, but are rarely, if ever, spoken out loud.
The cover of snow seemed fitting as it concealed the names of the babies who were and always will be hidden from the world. The pure white blanket of snow symbolizing the untarnished lives of the babies who will never know the pain of the world. It was sad, really. The feeling of cold and sensation of death seeping into my soul.
With the snow covering everything buried beneath it, I began digging through it with the hope of uncovering my baby’s headstone. As I uncovered a number of other headstones before finding the one I was looking for, I realized that those balloons, and flowers, and ribbons actually were the remains of a celebration; the celebration of lives that no longer remain, but that are no less important that anyone else’s life. The celebration of a mother’s unending love for her child, whether her child is alive or not.
Dead or alive. Hidden or in plain view. These babies matter. Their names matter. And their lives matter, for they have left a mark on this world. And they will never be forgotten by the few who had the chance to love them.