A Day I Will Never Forget
I remember the call like it was yesterday. The phone rang mid-morning January 5, 2019. I noticed the call was from my son, Colin. That’s strange, I thought, he never calls during the day. I answered the phone and I couldn’t tell if he was sobbing or laughing hysterically due to a great deal of background noise and commotion. Unfortunately, he was sobbing. “We lost the baby,” he cried. I was at a loss for words. I felt helpless and devastated.
It was supposed to be a happy day. Colin and my daughter-in-law Krissy were going to find out the gender of their baby in preparation for a gender reveal party that weekend.
My first thought was for Colin and Krissy. I wanted to be there for them but wasn’t sure how to best support them. I asked if they wanted us to come to the hospital, but he said no as it was already quite chaotic.
I frequently kept in touch with him during the day by text and phone, making sure he was ok and giving him emotional support. I found out the baby was a boy and they named him Liam James. I gently asked if they were planning on a service of some sort and offered any help I could give.
I knew as a grandparent I needed to walk a fine line between being too present and not present enough. I realized that the best thing to do was let my son take the lead. He knows we love them and are there for them. I did what I could do immediately—made food for them, offered to watch their daughter, and pray.
One of the hardest things I have ever had to do was accompany Colin and Krissy at the funeral home the next day, when Krissy was discharged from the hospital. Colin had asked us to be there to support them in this difficult task. We had not seen them since hearing about the loss of Liam and all we could do was hug each other. I am amazed by the strength they showed during this process.
At the funeral home, Krissy picked two small urns for Liam’s remains. Although they didn’t want a formal service, I asked if they wanted me to arrange a memorial mass at our church, which they appreciated and wanted.
Finally, Krissy asked if she could see Liam one more time. We all went to pay our final respects to baby Liam. I was deeply touched by the care the funeral home had taken to wrap him in a little blanket and place a tiny knitted hat on his head. My only solace was in knowing that we now had a little angel watching over us.
It is so hard watching your children suffer. Moms are supposed to be able to fix things and I couldn’t fix this. There are some valleys in life those we love must all walk through; sometimes all we can do is offer a hand and a hug. It is one of the toughest parts of parenting—raising your children to be strong enough to meet these dark moments with strength and hope.