All My Little Angels

by J.D. Richardson

Each of my losses was unique and individual by circumstances, and each were grieved differently for those reasons. Here are my angels' stories:

Willow:
This pregnancy was due to incest; therefore, as a young child, I had no chance to grieve properly. What do you do when the baby you've lost is a baby no one would have wanted to know about, to learn about, to raise? How do you love a child that is both your child but also your brother or sister in some way? What do you say when you lose a pregnancy but cannot even see a doctor because there will be too much explaining to do, because you're only 12? You have no one to talk to, and even if you did, what could you say? I named this child Willow. My favorite tree is the weeping willow. I find it soothing and comforting by its sight alone, and thought that since it is a weeping willow, this would be the most appropriate name for this angel. I weep for the innocence that was lost not only by the loss of this child, but also by the loss of my childhood. I lost my childhood long before this, but this really brought it home.

Breeze:
This baby was the result of a rape by a 'friend' who had visited my apartment and took advantage of the fact that I lived alone. This baby never made it either. Once again, tortured by the silence I kept, I grieved alone. All I remember is missing school and having to explain to very uncaring teachers why I'd been away. I wrote my own notes, since I didn't live at home due to the conditions there, but I couldn't write my excuse. I couldn't tell them the real reason, and I felt I was betraying my baby by keeping my silence. The rest of my high school years were torturous from this point on. I felt I had nothing in common with any of my peers. The best memory I have is a visit from a friend who just came to be with me, and let me talk about it. She's one of two people who knew. She brought me a card, which I still have. It's the only thing that I physically have to remember this baby with. I named this child Breeze as I needed another 'comforting' name. Now every time there is a breeze in the air, I think of the child that might have been.

Hope:
This angel was created with love. The relationship was serious, but we had just gone our separate ways because he was moving across the country and I was starting a new job. He already had a little boy he was raising, which made me love him very much for being such a wonderful father. Since I was on the road training for my new job, and I didn't know my co-workers well I didn't want to make a scene. I just kept going, forcing myself to get up and keep going through the day as though nothing happened. When they found out later what happened, they were shocked and I was embarrassed. I had never learned to talk about it very well, and didn't know what to say. I named this child Hope because I wanted some hope that someday I would be able to carry a child to full term and have kids of my own. I wanted to be a mother and I was worried that the damage caused by the abuse I had as a child. Hope was all I had to hang on to at this point.

Sunshine:
This was the first time I lost a pregnancy since being married to my husband. He always called me "Sunshine," so that was the name I chose. I had gotten so used to carrying the burdens alone that I couldn't find the words to tell him of our loss. We'd been trying to get pregnancy, and had a couple of false hopes, but this was the biggest disappointment so far in our marriage. Very soon after I got pregnant with my son Brandon.

Angel:
This was my first loss after having a child. It felt different since I had a child to hold and love. I told my husband, but he didn't know how to be supportive and helpful, as he's not the most emotionally supportive man I've ever met. He hurt me a lot emotionally by not being able to help me. I figured it would be best to deal with this alone rather than telling him and getting no support. I know that for him, things were different, but for me, this was my reality. This was a loss, and I grieved it deeply. I named her Angel since I believe in angels, and I thought it was an appropriate name.