How a tiny ring can help grieving parents honor the child that has gone before them.
Look closely, see that tiny ring on my pinky finger? It belonged to my beloved daughter who died in a tragic accident. Right before we closed her casket I decided I wanted to keep her ring with me, so I took it off her finger. I was wearing a dress with no pockets and couldn’t figure out how to keep up with it until I got home. So I stuck it on the end of my finger, and this is where it has been now for 34 years.
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. Even if the child’s feet never touched the earth because it was lost in a miscarriage, the grief is still unbearable.
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, are able to process the tragedy and have support.
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. This is an uplifting and positive way to honor that child’s life. Although it may be painful in the beginning 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, because if you see someone wearing a baby ring on their pinky you can say, “Oh did you lose a child? Tell me about your baby.”
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 http://amzn.to/2oAmwkQ