Mourning in a Culture of Death

After the loss of our little baby, my wife and I decided that we would have a simple service and burial. There is a Catholic cemetery that has a special plot for babies who have been miscarried and our pastor suggested we contact them. What we thought would be a fairly easy process has now become a laborious chore, partly due to the reaction of others we have had to deal with.

resurrection-fra-angelico

No one in mainstream society seems to understand or care that our little one was our son, a little baby, fully human like the rest of us. They don’t get that. Instead, they wonder why we are having a burial at all. They say things–trying to be comforting–like, “At least it happened early on,” as if that were ever some consolation. 

There have been many little opportunities to evangelize throughout this week. Even many Catholics and Christians we know need a gentle reminder that our son was just as human as the rest of us. We cannot escape the reality of our sorrow, but others seem not to understand the reality of Simon’s humanity. I can’t say we’ve taken advantage of each evangelical moment, except by our example and our commitment to honor him as we honor any loved one who dies.

The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. The burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit – Catechism of the Cath. Ch., 2300.

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One thought on “Mourning in a Culture of Death

  1. Hi Aaron, I’m so glad you’re burying him. Friends who have had this same experience have also found surprising resistance to any memorial or even to naming the baby. It’s heartbreaking, and at the same time such a call to witness to the irreplaceable person Simon is and each of us are. Your love and grief are a sign of hope to the world.

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