October 20th marks the day on the calendar when Marion could have been born. Time has flown since we found out that he was growing inside of me. We shared the news of his upcoming arrival with friends and family and excitedly planned for what was to come. Then he was born into Heaven on March 25, leaving my body in what could have been the last few weeks of our first trimester together.
There is no right or wrong way to experience grief following a miscarriage. Every father and mother deals with the due dates of their children born into Heaven in a unique way.
When October 20th came closer, Joseph and I decided that we wanted to celebrate that day, Maron's feast day, in a way that honored the incredible witness that he was to the beauty of life. Marion's life on earth was very short - only eight weeks. But he touched the hearts and lives of so many with his story. We couldn't be more thankful for the time we got to spend with him during our pregnancy.
Both Joseph and I took off work that day, so we could dedicate some quality time to our family (both here and in Heaven!) We went to the store and picked out baby clothes - five outfits and some socks. How cute is this little fox outfit? Some little boy is going to be dressed to the nines this Christmas.
We got back into the car and made a drive down to our local crisis pregnancy clinic and donated the clothes and some of our tithing to the clinic in memory of Marion.
Aftewards, we spent the rest of the day doing what we love to do - exploring high heights, drinking good beer, and eating some of the most amazing Indian food I have ever tasted in my life.
It’s easy to wonder what our life would look like if Marion had been born on October 20th. What would he look like? Would he have Joseph’s brown eyes and dark hair? Or my green eyes and smile? What kind of personality would he have?
But I didn't want to spend the day grieving over what could have been. If God had desired Marion to live on this earth longer, October 20th may have looked very different. But, after spiritual direction, counseling, and all of the stages of grief, I know that Marion's death wasn't in vain. His short life on here had a beautiful purpose, one which I can't wait to learn all about when I meet him in Heaven one day.
One of my favorite Bible verses, Jeremiah 29:11, speaks of God’s plans for us. We don’t know why Marion was born into Heaven instead of here on earth. But we trust that God has a plan for our marriage and our family – and that it’s a future full of hope.
Some days, it’s easy to wonder what my life would look like today, taking care of a newborn little baby. But I’m reminded to focus on the present, and the reality of what life looks like now. I love writing, and my new job at a Catholic bookstore in town has created so many opportunities to encounter others and experience joy. Joseph and I have invested into our marriage and we're working to love each other more today than we did yesterday.
Don't get me wrong - there were tears on October 20th. But they weren't tears of desperate, hopeless grief. They were tears of hope and rejoicing over the time we did get to spend with Marion - and looking forward to the eternity that we get to spend getting to know him even better.
How beautiful is it that Marion's feast day falls in October, where we remember pregnancy and infant loss awareness month and respect life month? Even more beautifully, a few days later, October 22nd, was the feast day of Saint Pope John Paul II. JPII is the patron saint of Joseph and I's relationship. To think that both our son and our patron saint are experiencing Heaven together is an incredible thought.
We're not pregnant currently, and are resting in God's plan for our family. I'm working on being more receptive and accepting of the fact that God's plan is better than any plan I could imagine. And I'm constantly reminded to 'Be not afraid', and to delve into the present moment.
Joseph and I are parents to someone who is already a saint. We cannot wait to meet him someday. Marion, pray for us!