Monday, January 27, 2014

To Mothers of Miscarriage and Stillbirth

A soon to be released movie, based on the book Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, is the remarkable story of a little boy who died and went to heaven—briefly. God sent him back to his family with an amazing story to tell.

This story is particularly griping to me because in heaven Colton meets a sister he never knew, a sibling his parents had never told him about. His mother had miscarried early enough in the pregnancy that they never knew her gender until Colton told them.

This incident encourages me because I’m reassured that my stillborn daughter is happy and whole in heaven, totally loved by her heavenly Father, and awaiting her parents and siblings in eager anticipation.

I am fortunate to have a grave and a marker to prove that Shera Lynn Hassler was stillborn on April 18, 1976. Most parents of miscarriage and stillbirth have nothing but painful memories. No visible reminders assure them that a little one lived for a few weeks or months in utero.

Parents are left to grieve pretty much on their own. Often family or friends don’t take the loss seriously because to them the baby was never real, almost as though he or she were an illusion. Not so to the mother whose pregnancy test was positive, who felt the nausea or the faint little flutterings beneath her belt.

This child of love is so real, will always be real, will always be missed. Even with the assurance of a heavenly reunion, the hole remains, unfilled by another subsequent child or children. This is as it should be. A child is irreplaceable.

I wrote this poem last week when I learned of a women who suffered several miscarriages. I hope it will convey to other mothers God’s perfect gift of Hope.

Little tiny feet and hands that will not run and play,
Trees unclimbed, blocks unstacked, a cheek unkissed today.
But in my dreams I see you still and frame your tender face.
And at my table, settings laid, I save you, dear, a place.

I know you’re just a blink away, a prayer, a loving thought.
In time I’ll join you up above, my home already bought.
I’ll praise and sing and joyfully tell to all both near and far,
Not who you were or could have been but who you really are.


  1. Precious! I will share with my Hopelifter friend in AZ. She ministers with mother's who have lost children. I am sure it will resonate with her and her audience. As for me... I have another little girl awaiting my arrival. Over 4 months in utero. Thank you!

    1. Thank you for your affirmation. I would never have chosen this ministry, but it's amazing how many mothers never heal from this.

  2. This encourages me, Betty, because I read one of your Facebook posts from not too long ago that definitely seemed like you supported abortion. I was surprised. What you've written here seems more in line with what I would have expected. The first two lines of your poem hold true for the aborted child as well.