Last week a very dear one to me had a miscarriage and lost her baby. As it was happening I felt frantic, helpless and worried. I desperately wished that there was something I could do to help, to change it, despite knowing that the majority of miscarriages are due to a developmental abnormality, which, in the greater perspective, is a blessing for the child to be freed from that and also having faith that the baby’s soul is off to a much better place.
So we prayed and we cried and we read an amazing story about the Garden of God.
The Garden of God
“Ridvaniyyih Khanum related that when her child was ill, the Master came and gave two pink roses to the little one, then, turning to the mother, He said in His musical voice so full of love: “Be patient.” That evening the child passed away.
“Ridvanniyyih,” said the Master, “there is a Garden of God. Human beings are trees growing therein. The Gardener is our Father. When He sees a little tree in a place too small for her development, He prepares a suitable and more beautiful place, where she may grow and bear fruit. Then He transplants that little tree. The other trees marvel, saying: “This is a lovely little tree. For what reason does the Gardener uproot it?” The Divine Gardener, alone, knows the reason.”
“You are weeping, Ridvaniyyih, but if you could see the beauty of the place where she is, you would no longer be sad. Your child is now free, and, like a bird, is chanting divine joyous melodies. If you could see that sacred Garden, you would not be content to remain here on earth. Yet this is where you duty now lies.”
From The Chosen Highway, the spoken chronicles of Abdu’l-Baha, compiled by Lady Blomfield
Shortly after that, they sent out one of the most beautiful and heartfelt letters that I have ever read. I reprint it here with their permission.
Dearest Family of Ours,
As you know, we have had the blessing of providing the opportunity for a new soul to be brought into existence. It is our 3rd child and there has been lots of excitement around the house in anticipation of it’s birth. One of the neatest reactions we’ve seen has been from our son, who really took to the idea of having another sibling and has been giving hugs and kisses and talking to the Baby every day.
Now, meeting this precious little one, who was already nestling itself into our hearts, will need to wait until we ourselves move on to the next life. There wasn’t any foreseeable reason for the loss: no “bad” food was eaten, there was no forceful trauma, there is next to no stress at this time. Actually, everything has been great. So we can only assume there was a dysfunction in the development of the fetus and, for the baby’s protection, it was released from this life and taken under God’s wing for some other purpose to fulfill.
We won’t pretend it hasn’t affected us. We were about 5 days away from hearing the wee ones heartbeat for the first time. But we also understand that this happens and that God holds a special place for those souls that do not have the opportunity to develop in this lifetime. So we are good. This just happened yesterday/today. We would love if you could each say a prayer for the wee one to assist it on it’s journey. I’m sure we’ve got a little ally in the Concourse watching over all of us as we fumble through this life in preparation for the next:).
Much Love to You All
This is a watercolor painting that I did to portray the little baby soul, that we all loved so much already, going up to the “Garden of God.”
Baha’u’llah says that we are all like the fingers of one hand; we are all interconnected and what happens to one, affects us all. I felt this so strongly with this miscarriage experience – although it wasn’t directly my miscarriage, I was attuned to it, almost as if it was mine.
In North America it’s pretty common that people don’t share that they are pregnant until after 12 weeks, once the higher risk of miscarriage has passed. My first two pregnancies we made my family vow to secrecy over the fact that I was pregnant but with my last pregnancy, I finally clued in that it was a silly thing to do. It made me silent and secretive for the whole first trimester – the time when I was the sickest and most exhausted – the time when I needed the most support. So why shouldn’t I let everyone know why I’m sick and tired so that they can actually help me?
The other issue that I realized was that miscarriage is sort of taboo in our culture. Nobody really talks about it. It wasn’t until I got really close to friends and they finally opened up that I realized that almost everyone I knew had at one time had a miscarriage.
If, by chance, we have a miscarriage, we usually carry the heavy burden of grief in silence, in secret (and maybe in shame?) and we miss out on the chance to honor the short life of the precious little soul, as well as allowing others to support us when we really need it and pray for us and the baby.