sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
My wife and I have 11 living nieces and nephews, and at various times during the holidays, we saw all of them. When you add in our own three children, we have plenty of kids to love on. But something struck me particularly hard this holiday season. Even with all the kiddos in our family that I hold dear, I miss the four nieces and nephews that we’ve lost to miscarriage.
It’s a joy to have a good relationship with my siblings and in-laws; to watch their little ones grow. My kids have a special bond with their cousins and getting together with any of them is like a vacation or Christmas gift. I treasure the moments I can play silly games with them and sneak them treats that I refuse to give my own children.
Even with all that love and an indescribable amount of chaos when we’re all together, there’s a hole in our family that remains. We’ve papered over it the best we can, and no doubt a great deal of healing has taken place, but I can’t escape the feeling: I miss them.
I never held them or wrestled or pretended to drop them. I never tickled them until they couldn’t take it or had a dance party with them. I never made them grilled cheese or hugged them when they got hurt. But I miss them.
I never bought them a Christmas gift or let them stay over with my little ones. I never took them to the park or got them McDonalds, succumbing to their pleas for ice cream. I never made a deal with them that if they cleaned up their mess, they could watch a Disney movie. And still, I miss them.
The wound persists, but isn’t as gaping as when they first died. I’m no longer in shock, unable to do basic tasks without feeling the sting in my heart. I ache over their loss sometimes, but mostly, I miss them.
My lost nieces and nephews weren’t present this holiday season, but they weren’t forgotten. Something nags at my soul, reminding me that our extended family won’t be complete in this life. It’s haunting in a way, and yet, it makes sense because I love all four of them.
They are missing from our family get-togethers, but in a way, they remain quite present – because I miss them.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Associate Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University