Last night there was a memorial held at my support group to remember all the little babies we are missing so much.
Parents brought photos or mementoes of their babies and we placed them together on tables at the front of the chapel in the hospital. I did not expect to feel so strongly the comfort of placing Anja’s photo amongst the photos of all the other babies I have come to love this past year. To see them all together, all the beautiful boys and girls, so loved, so perfect: Anja belongs here. Perhaps it is a sad place to belong, but it is a real place, a true place, and her belonging is real and true, too. Here, she is loved.
We were each invited to light a candle and to set it afloat in a shallow dish of water. I watched each parent stand quietly while their candle was lit and then place it gently in the water; I watched each parent parent their child, and though I had initially resisted the imagery the chaplain suggested of a light that darkness cannot extinguish, I felt in that quiet place full of love that there was a light. Somehow, somewhere, there was a light.
While we sat quietly, the candles bobbed and flickered in the water. Slowly they moved together until not one floated alone, until each touched another, and their flames reached up, wavered whenever someone shifted in a chair, gathered to themselves all of the energy of the room. Tiny bobbing lights. All our love. At that moment, I was profoundly glad to sit and watch them.