Friday, September 16, 2016

On the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and the parish where our little Frances was buried offered their annual Our Lady of Sorrows Mass for families who have lost children.   We made the hour long trek out to Holy Trinity even though I was pretty sure mass without Chris would be a disaster since Margaret hasn't made it through mass without needing to be escorted outside for months.  It was well worth it though, even if I did end up in the cry room with my screaming toddler and then the apple picking I dangled as a reward for attending mass after an hour long car ride plus another thirty minutes to the orchard lasted all of fifteen minutes before the bags were full and the children done. Kara, the woman behind a m.o.m.s peace, who literally buried many of those lost babies herself, was at the memorial mass and, as usual, was working tirelessly to bring comfort and peace to all the grieving families there.

When we lost Frances we didn't realize what an ordeal it would be to have her buried with some modicum of dignity.  When we lost our first daughter in Pennsylvania, our parish referred us to the funeral home owned by another parishioner and he just handled everything at no cost to us.  He said he always took care of babies for free.  He was even willing to fly her back to North Carolina where we wanted her to be buried at no cost to us.  We ended up having Chris' parents drive her down, but it was such a blessing to not have to worry about the logistics of anything on top of our grief.  I just assumed that that was how it was everywhere.   I was wrong.

Here in Virginia we were looking at either the cost of a full funeral which would have been several thousand dollars or letting the hospital "dispose" of our daughter's remains themselves.  Neither was an acceptable option.  We just needed a place to bury our baby and someone to help us figure out what to do to make that happen.  That's where Kara came to the rescue.  Kara knew the law, gave us moral support, offered prayers, and arranged the burial with Father Woude from Holy Trinity presiding and even provided baby blankets and a much more appropriate tiny casket than the tupperware container holding our daughter's remains that we left the hospital with.

Well, I didn't set out to write a pitch for this wonderful ministry, but losing a baby is difficult enough without dealing with all of the aftermath alone and seeing Kara again at this mass reminded me of how much she did for our family and so many others.   If you live in the Northern or Central Virginia area remember that  a m.o.m.s peace is here if you or someone you know needs them.  Or better yet, contact Kara and see how you can help.  Goodness knows she could use it.  

Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
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