Dear Babies in Heaven,

This month makes it eight years since I had to say goodbye to you, and while you may not feel those days and years where you are, I feel every one of them. A lot has happened since that April. The world, of course, is crazy but that may not have anything to do with you. You are safe with God! Each day you experience joy, unlike anything I would ever know on this side of life. You have never known pain or suffering and by that fact, I will always be comforted. Of course, I miss you. Even though I know better, I still miss you.

An illustration of Natasha Carlow's family - Dear Babies in Heaven, It's Been 8 Years Since We Said Goodbye

Author’s Personal Collection/Natasha Carlow

As a family, there have been lots of big days for us, like the days your siblings were born, or the days they spent in hospitals, anniversaries, school plays, dance competitions, and birthdays. But the most remarkable days here without you have been random and unplanned. Like the time I got to spend an hour in a public bathroom talking to a stranger who was trying to compose herself because just two weeks earlier, she had to say goodbye to her baby too. It’s any day that our living children speak about you or ask questions about you. It’s whenever someone I love gives birth to a live baby, or I learn that someone’s child shares the same name as one of you. It’s any day I get to tell someone that I once held, loved, and protected three babies who live in heaven.

If I had to describe it, I would say that the little, random days are the ones that make me long for you the most.

Not the grief-filled longing of those early years when I wanted to go back to when I held you in my womb. It’s a quieter longing, like on days when my arms are filled with squiggly rainbow babies, and I just know they are capable of holding you too, so I close my eyes and smile at the hope that we will see each other again one day.

Can I share something with you? Your siblings can be a handful sometimes, and I do not think I would have known how to love them the way I do if I hadn’t already been your mother. You made me a mother! Your life, memory, and that special grace that God gives to all mothers have helped me parent them as best as I can. There is not a single day that you are not a part of this family. You were there on our children’s family tree the days they graduated pre-school. You are there on our Christmas tree each December and in our hearts every single day.

After eight years, I sometimes ask myself, is there anything more that I can say?

I have shared every inch of your life that I can, but on the off chance that someone reads our story for the first time, I will say this: Being a mother to babies in heaven is one of the most challenging things a person can endure. But you will endure. You will grow and learn and change, and best of all, you will find a way to embrace all of your motherhood. You will learn that your baby’s worth doesn’t lie in their death, but in the life they had while with you.

And for this, my loves, I thank you.

With enduring love,

Your mother

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