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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.