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  • Maryellen Belz

Grieving with Faith- Easter without your baby

I vividly remember last Easter, sitting on my bathroom floor repeating to myself aloud “try and think where you will be this time next year”. It would be the first time I left my house since my son Stephen was born still at 33 weeks. At the time, the pain was so deep and dark I had to think of a positive future. I was physically heartbroken, the physical pain in my chest was so heavy that at times I thought it would never get any better. I had to have hope, hope that by next year I would be in a better place, hope that my faith in God would help pull my out of the dark days ahead.

I didn’t make it to mass last Easter but eventually started going again, sometimes during the week. That’s where I would talk and pray to Stephen, I felt a connection with him there. This became a huge part of my navigating through my grief journey. I had to find a way to stop the overwhelming feeling of anger (sometimes I felt like a toddler having a tantrum screaming this isn’t fair!) and start praying for some kind of peace in this nightmare we had been faced with. I know the sadness and grief will always be there, and I never want it to go away. That is the constant reminder of the love that I have for my son.

My faith has been a vital part of this journey. It truly helped pull me out of the darkness and hope for a positive future. When I look back at the past year I know I would not have been able to push forward without my faith in God. We found out that I was pregnant with our 4th child in September, and a huge rush of all kinds of emotions hit me. Excitement, fear, joy, sadness, a real rollercoaster to say the least. It has been hard not to let the anxiety of it all take over. I depend a lot on prayer to help me stay positive and keep my blinders on until we reach the end goal. It has helped me stay grounded and calm during the past 9 months. It is so comforting for me to know that our guardian Angel Stephen is in heaven, watching over us and keeping Mom and baby safe.

When I think of Easter Sunday, I reflect on the true meaning of what Jesus did for us and I know now more than ever that he is alongside me and all around me. When I compare this Easter Sunday to last years, I rejoice in knowing that my family and I were able to come out of the darkness and begin to see light again. I rejoice in the beauty of a new baby entering our family in two weeks. And I rejoice in knowing that our angel Stephen is watching us from above every step of the way.

-Stephen’s Mom

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