…Or, Why I Take Pookie With Me To Public Places
There are many reasons I take Pookie with me, the primary one being that I feel like I need a little one to hold, and/or the comfort of a stuffed toy. I’ll sometimes take him just for company, but usually it’s because I’m going somewhere that I expect to be confronted with topics that make me emotional or will at least bring sensitive topics to mind. And sometimes I just take him because it might be fun, or because I want Charlie represented.
The other night, however, we saw first-hand another reason, one that is actually just as important, and that I hadn’t thought of. My husband and I were at a lecture by a vibrant pastor/theologian (Nadia Bolz-Weber, if you are interested), and while the point of the talk was not related to any usual triggers, I thought I might be better off if I had someone to hold, just in case.
(Click here for a link to a great podcast interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber)
As we came in, we saw the people we were planning to sit with, and found our seats. We were a little early, since we knew there was no assigned seating, and we also knew it was a sold out house! On the other side of us from our friends was an older lady. After Hubby got up to use the restroom, she turned to me and asked “What’s the story of the bear?”. I thought that was a nice way to ask about him, for sure! I told her that he represented our son Charlie, who died last year, and that the bear was weighted the same as our child… and so on. We ended up having a lovely conversation. One of her close relatives had recently miscarried, and so I was able to share our story, commiserate, talk about grieving relatives, and share resources.
At the end of the talk, Nadia Bolz-Weber gave a blessing that included, among many other things, mothers who had miscarried their babies, and death of loved ones, and several other items that hit close to my heart. By the end of the blessing I was weeping quietly on Pookie’s head, holding him close and holding Hubby’s hand.
The grandmother we had met – and the relative who had lost a child – thanked us afterward for sharing our story, resources, and our experience.
We shared our story because we feel – and we have experienced – that hearing that we are not alone on the journey of infant loss can be very comforting. We shared resources, because we want to use our tragedy to help others in any way we can. But most of all, we shared our experience. We all knew that our hearts were aching, each, individually, alone. But to share with someone who you feel will not judge you for it, I feel, lightens the ache ever so slightly. I hope that it did for that young mother and grandmother.
Pookie has a new mission. New job? Ambassador. Spokesman. He seems willing, and happy to share Charlie with the world.
Love to everyone whose heart aches.
Most sincerely yours,
Infant loss resource document: www.tinyurl.com/infantloss