A Mothers' Loss Of Her Child

      I wrote this one night, (in the summer of 1998
unable to sleep, when a small child of a family in our 
church congregation was killed in a playground accident. 
I'd received many calls and inquiries about what to say 
or do... And that night I wrote the following to be read 
at church on the next day.....

I pray that fathers, siblings,  other family members and friends 
will not feel offended by omission or think that these words are 
intended to imply that their own pain is overlooked or considered 
of any lesser importance. A childs' passing is a great loss to each 
person in their own unique way and relationship. It is the mother, 
though, that all seem to have the most difficulty in reaching out to. 
I remember..... Also, 
since I, myself,  am a mother who, like Julie, went through this. 
It is only that perspective that I can most clearly share with you. 
I am relating what I know of the experience primarily because 
many of you have been calling and asking of me, what you can 
do in the aftermath of the tragic accident which so suddenly took
 the life of our congregational familys' little 4 year old Brett .....

On that first night that a mothers' child is dead......
and for countless other nights  throughout the rest of her life)
she longs to hold the cold and lifeless body in her arms,
close to her as if to warm it and bring life once again
to the body which formed and grew within her own flesh 

It is the beginning of a never-ending ache of emptiness
that only that one child could ever fill again..... 
yet, never will.

The shape of that spirit, like a missing puzzle-piece,
stays empty and a part of her forevermore in her mortal lifetime....    A whisper of mourning and memories 
which will never be stilled.

Only the mother..... and she alone,
who felt that exquisite first fluttering of new life
taking on its' physical form and movement.....
Only she can feel the stone coldness that comes 
within her when she knows that it has ceased its' 
earthly existence forever.

Every mother has the incomparable privilege
of feeling the first beginning of a life in that way.

I thank God that every mother does not have to 
feel the equally incomparable...... utter cold and 
stillness when that physical life of her child ends.....

Those of you who know and care about such a 
mother - hurt for her, and with her.  Of course.
But none can know........ or imagine to know.....
that overwhelmingly terrible, heavy ache of 
emptiness which comes and will never, ever leave......

Just warm her as best you can....  From the outside, 
with your love, your caring and your compassion.....
Reach out, if you will,  and give those to her.... 
she needs the warmth so very much....

For the death of a mothers' child is the 
Coldest, Emptiest 
that Anyone..... 
Any time.....
will ever know.

I know that you are wondering....
What can I do?
What can I say?
How can I help?
Is there anything at all.....?

I want you to know that there are no words.
None at all.
You need not seek any.

What there is, ..... is You.  There is your caring.
Share it.  Please.  That is what you can give to her.
It is what she needs most of all.  You only have to 
reach out your arms...... and, speaking silently,
but oh, so loudly, in your embrace, you will be 
heard and felt....... and that sharing will be a part of 
the strength and healing she needs at this time.


Written by Nina Roberta Baker, 
for Julie Cooper and Brett, June 28, 1998

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