By Tracy Lee
I was reading an article this weekend about a prominent woman who recently miscarried her baby. Upon miscarriage, she temporarily stepped out of the public limelight. The public would not accept her absence without all sorts of speculation, and thus, she came forward to explain herself and save her reputation.
The miscarriage of a wee babe creates an emotional and sometimes psychological nightmare for the mother, father, siblings, grandparents, and others close to the immediate family. A tragedy has occurred within this small circle of human beings, and an appropriate amount of time is required for healing and recovery. They need support, understanding, and at times, privacy.
Tragically, sectors of society have misplaced, or have been misled, in regard and value for human life. The entanglement of love that one carries for another is spiritual charity. Spiritual charity materializes upon conception and extends beyond death. Were this untrue, grief would not exist.
It is the virtue of spiritual charity that drives human beings into civility. Those who have misplaced, lost, or suppressed their spiritual charity may become callous toward loss of life, uncaring or impatient toward those who grieve, or brutal toward those whose precepts disagree with their own. They may become enormously dangerous to everyone as they carry a valueless worth for human life. Tolerance may disappear. In short, brutality and even murder may become commonly acceptable to them.
The existence of life prior to birth is a difficult concept for some to understand. If we juxtapose the life cycle of a plant with the creation of human life, it seems easier to comprehend. When a farmer harvests a seed from his or her crop, the potential for growth, or creation of life, exists. Once the seed is planted, and the elements for germination are added, the seed will sprout into a living plant that will eventually produce and bear fruit. Germination of the seed is the beginning of the plant’s life cycle. Were you to withhold life-sustaining elements, or pull the sprout out of its growing environment; it would die. The sprout would never mature, crest the earth’s surface, or complete its life cycle of producing and bearing fruit.
The beginning of life is the same for human beings. Scientifically, reproductive cells are the seeds for human life. Conception is to human beings as germination is to plants. The division of human cells, containing the perfect and equal distribution of DNA, is the immediate organization, or sprouting, of human life upon conception. Were you to withhold life-sustaining elements, or pull the fetus (sprout) out of its growing environment (the womb), its life would cease, and death would occur.
The loss of a human being is much more significant and precious than the loss of a plant. However, the life cycle assists us in understanding that life begins upon germination for plants, and conception for human beings. The evidence is that life requires life-sustaining elements to survive. If life-sustaining elements are withheld, not only does growth discontinue, but death occurs. Death can only occur where life has previously existed. This is precisely why parents and family members grieve unborn children. They grieve the loss of new life created upon conception.
Last year I suffered the loss of my grandson as my daughter miscarried his sweet little body. She searched for the reasons that caused his death. She wondered if her activity, stress, age, weight, etc. caused his loss of life. Had she eaten the wrong things? Were her pre-natal vitamins sub-standard? Her search for answers never ceases. She traveled back to the mainland to visit her original ob-gyn to see if he would be able to help her understand what her physicians in Hawaii could not. His findings were the same as before; her son’s life was lost due to uncertain unsustainable reasons.
In the article that I read, the author quoted statistics stating that grandparents usually suffer painful grief for 2 to 4 years after a miscarriage occurs. I recently passed the first anniversary of my grandson’s loss. I no longer cry every day, but every other day would not be an exaggeration. Little things bring the pain of his loss to my heart, and tears suddenly flood my eyes. I never know what will awaken my grief, a ball rolling in the street, a child playing, or the sight of an expecting mother’s joy, just to name a few. I miss my little Mikey Joe, and although I never saw him until the heartbreaking moment that I held his tiny lifeless body in my hands, my heart will always reserve spiritual charity for him. No one and nothing will ever rob me of the love I hold deep in my soul for my precious grandson whose life was lost in his mother’s womb. Life-sustaining elements were ineffectual, growth discontinued, and his life was lost before his birth. Not everyone understands that, but I do. My grandson’s death occurred in his mother’s womb when his life ended.
The author of the article and my daughter have something tragic in common; they each grieve for a lost child. Each will carry never ceasing, torturous anguish until the moment they die. On that day, joy will fill their hearts as they embrace the tiny soul withheld from them in life.