My daughter died in a tragic accident when she was nine months old. (the story is in my book) She was the light of my life and my little savior actually, during a dark time in my life. The moment before I closed the casket for her funeral, I reached in and held her little hand one last time, touching her baby ring. I slowly removed it from her finger deciding I wanted to keep it with me. I had on a dress with no pockets and my sister held my purse for me, so I couldn’t figure out where to put the tiny ring to take it home. I slid it on the first knuckle of my pinky finger and it fit. This is where it has been now for the last 34 years.
I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have had nowhere else to put the ring at that moment. I stuck it there and it just stayed. I see it everyday now and it reminds me that she really did live. She was not just a figment of my imagination. At times I feel so close to her merely by glancing at the tiny gold circle wrapped around my finger. And when someone asks me about why I wear that ring halfway up my finger, I have the wonderful chance to speak about her life. The comfort it has given me is beyond belief.
Losing a child is one of the most difficult human experiences on earth. It is so unnatural. Your children are supposed to grow up and bury you. Not you, burying them. It is a brutal soul crusher. No matter how many days, months or years they lived on this planet, pain knows no time frame, and you will painfully grieve for a child who lived 3 days, 3 years or 30.
When one loses a child, it’s not something we talk about a lot. It doesn’t come up in conversation, for example I wouldn’t say, “Hello my name is Lucetta and I had a daughter that died.” That wouldn’t happen, so without meaning to, it lives in a hidden place buried inside of us. We have no way to process the grief or let some of it come out of us by speaking of our little loved one. It’s like Cancer was in the 70’s. No one talked about the C word, ever. Now with the movement of the pink ribbon, people speak openly about cancer and are able to process and grieve openly.
In the US alone over 20,000 children between the ages of one and eighteen die each year. That’s 40,000 parents grieving and 80,000 grandparents. And that doesn’t even count miscarriages.
I would like for other parents who have lost a child to find the same comfort that I have found. I’d like for them to be able to let the world know they had a child who was dearly loved, and is now gone. To me it is a way to honor that child’s life. Although it may be painful and take courage to put it out in the open by wearing a ring, each time you speak that child’s name is an opportunity to release some of the grief. And healing happens. It is my dream that the baby ring becomes as strong a symbol as the pink ribbon in making this topic less taboo.
This movement will also help friends or family talk about the child too. So often we don’t know what to say to grieving parents, so we don’t want to bring it up. This will hopefully open the conversation.
If you have lost a child, I encourage you to find a local jeweler who carries baby rings and find the one that most speaks to you about that child. Pop it on the end of your finger and over time, see what it does for your heart.
Even if you haven’t lost a child, but your friend or brother or sister has, you could wear a ring to honor that little one, because you miss them as well.
Please help me spread the Baby Ring Movement by sharing this everywhere with friends, loved ones and on social media.
Let’s honor the children who have gone before us.
To read baby Leah’s story go to https://www.amazon.com/Its-Already-Tomorrow-Here-Underestimate/dp/194426003X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8