Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This past week I witnessed a beautiful moment that I would like to share with you. It touched me profoundly to hear such a wonderful expression of love from a mother to her child. One might imag- ine many occasions in which it could have occurred, but never at her child’s burial. The mother wrote this letter for her child and she read it at the end of the burial service. It moved me so much that I asked her to share it with you, hoping and praying that it may bring consolation and healing to any parent who lost a child at any age. May God, the father of all consolation, and Our Lady Com- forter of the Afflicted, intercede for those in need today and every day of their lives. Please let us know if there is anything that we priests can do for you or anyone that you may know.
God Bless, Fr Steven
My Sweet Andrea,
On the day I discovered that I was pregnant with you, I was at first nervous and unsure of myself. But after attending Mass later that morning, and listening to the message conveyed in readings, in music, and in the homily, I knew in my heart that it was God’s will that I be- come a mother. I was so happy that after all this time, God granted us a miracle of life during such a dark period. We were both excited about becoming parents, reading all about and preparing the way to provide you with what was needed. Your Dad made sure I ate healthy and provided you with what you needed to grow, and I got resources together to care for you in the future. I felt that becoming a Mom was the best thing in my life and the best thing that ever happened to me.
When I went for your first ultrasound, they showed me your heart beating on the monitor. It was an amazing thing to see, although I couldn’t share it with anyone because of COVID guidelines and hospital policy. It was proof you were alive. Although the changes I was ex- periencing in my body was the primary way I experienced you, and felt your presence every day. Dad and I read about and looked at pictures of what your development was each week, and went on walks together- I sometimes walked with Nana. We marveled at all the changes to our lives that were coming soon, and thought about ways to plan for your arrival in the world.
At the second ultrasound our hopes were dashed when there was no longer a heartbeat de- tected. We were told by the doctor that by your size and visible development, you may have died the day before, when you were just 9 weeks and one day old. It was not God’s will that we meet you in this life after all. God had called you to himself in heaven, where I hope you have met other members of the family or at least hopefully will never be alone.
While I don’t know whether I will ever become pregnant again or carry a child full-term, I do know two things deep inside me are true. I love you and will always be a mother to you; and that my life is forever altered because of the grace and gratitude I have been given from God after having bonded with you and after having shared a body and bloodstream with you, lov- ing you, and growing closer to God because of you. I thank God for the gift of having you in my life, even for a short time, and for the realization of the precious gift that life is.
Father Steven Clemence