My husband and I lost our first child at 6 weeks at Easter in 2017. I wrote this essay to thank the women who cared for me in extraordinary ways while we grieved.
“One week after we lost our baby, the Gospel reading was the story of the apostle Thomas poking his finger into the wounds of Christ. I’d spent the whole week doing the same thing.
These other mothers were Christ to me. I spent the Easter Octave surrounded by images of the crucified and resurrected Christ—women bearing wounds it was hard to imagine they could carry, and yet walking, talking, eating, and loving me.
We lost our baby too early and too suddenly to have a body to bury. If I wanted to have a grave to tend, my only option was my own body, which had become the sepulcher for my child. And all around me, in the women who invited me into their grief, ‘The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised’ (Matt 27:52). The mothers who offered me their grief for comfort were a sign of contradiction, living tombs. They put on Christ and answered my Anima Christi prayers: ‘Within thy wounds, hide me.'”