February 19th, 1998. We lost
our daughter, Danielle Nicole, she was stillborn at 6 months of pregnancy.
My husband Mike and I were excitedly expecting our first child. Our hearts
were torn out of our chests. We didn't know what to do, or how to react —
one minute she was here, the next minute she was gone. We had no idea of the
pain and suffering we would experience over the next few years having to go
on living without her.
People have said, “Shouldn't you be over it by now? Besides, you didn't really know her, why does it hurt so bad?” One thing I have learned is that you can't measure love by the amount of time you spend with someone. I think most parents would agree that saying goodbye to your child is NOT the same as saying goodbye to anyone else in your life, no matter what their age. Yes, we will go on and we will get through it, but we will NEVER get over it. Somehow, we find a way to continue our lives, but a piece will always be missing. THAT'S why it hurts!
Fortunately, my husband and I were able to connect with a local support group called HEALING HEARTS. We met other parents who had suffered similar losses. We were surrounded by love and understanding. It was a safe place to be where we could talk about our baby and how much we love and miss her without judgement or criticism. Some of these people have now become our closest friends.
Someone asked me today, “What does the Angel of Hope mean to you?” I had to stop and think for a minute. As I thought about all the wonderful parents in the Healing Hearts Support Group and all the friends I have made here at the cemetary where Dani is buried, I realized that a parent's worst fear is that their child will be forgotten. The Angel gives us hope in knowing our children will always be honored and never forgotten. Here we can come together and remember, especially our parents who have no place to go to reflect.
My friend Suzie
has said, “The day I stop grieving will be the day I am reunited with
my baby in Heaven.” I agree one hundred percent! But in the meantime,
we have an Angel of Hope to remind us they are always with us and for that
I am truly grateful.
In closing, I would like to read a poem I wrote for our baby which we had engraved on her marker here at the cemetary.
For whatever reason you could not stay
Our hearts know we'll be together someday
We will trust God's plan and not ask why
As you take His hand and wave goodbye
Danielle, Tiny One, Shining Star so sweet
Heavenly arms now embrace you in sleep
There you will grow in His infinite light
Wee angel baby, on your wings take flight
May you soar to rainbows, stars and the sun
For your endless journey has just begun
Escape the sorrow, lost hopes and dreams
Tears falling like rain, forever it seems
We will miss you with every part of our soul
To be a family again, one day is our goal
Till then fly with angels in skies of blue
Mommy and Daddy will always love you