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Drawing close to Our Lord is a way to draw close to infants lost

Libby DuPont is a consultant for the archdiocesan office of marriage and family life.

by Libby DuPont

One of the more difficult parts of losing a child before or shortly after birth is that there isn’t much to hold onto. Unlike when we lose an older loved one, there aren’t very many (if any) photos, belongings or stories to connect us to the child who has died.

On two separate occasions after the death of my infant son Peter, I was granted a great grace of connection with him. The first was during eucharistic adoration on a retreat a few months after his death. While I was asking Jesus for a sign that Peter was with me, a woman I didn’t know knelt beside me and shared a Scripture passage with me.

“I don’t know if this means anything to you,” she said, “but I thought I should share it.”

She handed me her Bible with the first reading from Peter’s funeral marked off, and for just a brief instant, I felt a bit of the joy that my son must be experiencing in heaven.

The second occasion was a few years later, on his birthday. We had just finished setting up for a retreat and a priest offered Mass just for our little retreat team. I had been so busy all day that I hadn’t even given Peter much thought, but during Mass, I was overwhelmed with the joyful warmth of his presence.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that these experiences both happened in the presence of our eucharistic Lord. Although they were extraordinary graces, they are a reminder of an opportunity that we all have on a daily basis to connect with our little ones who have gone before us: the Eucharist! Jesus is truly present to us in the Eucharist, but he also created and cherishes our children. Therefore, it makes sense that drawing close to him would be a way to draw close to our kiddos.

October is the month of Miscarriage and Infant Loss Remembrance. If you love a little one who died before or shortly after birth, I encourage you to spend some time this month with Jesus in the Eucharist, specifically asking him to draw you close to him or her. Whether or not you have an experience like mine, you can rest in the certainty that you are united to them through our merciful Savior.

One specific opportunity is to join Archbishop Naumann for our annual Mass of Innocents, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m. at Holy Spirit in Overland Park. Whether you are a parent, grandparent or just a supportive friend, this is a beautiful chance to celebrate their lives with the body of Christ. May our eucharistic Lord bring peace to all grieving hearts!

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Libby DuPont

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