For where your treasure is, there will your heart also be.
— Luke 12:34
Times of tragedy allow true character to flourish. Times of heartache reveal family ties we may not have seen before.
As I have said before, we have been truly blessed with my family’s support throughout our journey. Between parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, we have been overwhelmed with love and thoughtfulness.
But losing our boys has led us to redefine “family” in more ways than one. We have seen firsthand that just as not all family can be captured in a single portrait or photograph, not all family has blood ties.
Family is the friend who watches your big kids while you deliver their baby brother, stillborn.
Family is the BFF who stays the night with you at the hospital after losing a baby.
Family is the friend who drops everything, driving from out of town to be with you while you labor to deliver your second sleeping baby.
Family are the ladies and girls from church who, recognizing that grieving is hungry work, prepare a spread of food so vast it will feed your household for days.
Family are the poets who know words are insufficient, send cards and prayers and food, and more food. Delivered with hugs.
Family are those who listen. Or simply hug.
Family are the found sisters who share the same aches, but never presume to know the same path.
Family is the friend who insists on helping clean house when the grief and depression and anxiety paralyze.
Family are the relatives, friends, and strangers who help cover medical and funeral expenses.
Family is the friend who networks to find a burial place for your baby.
Family is the clergy who responds to an emergency call from the hospital at 5 am, blesses your baby, takes the time to “meet” your child, offers Mass in their memory, prepares the plot.
Family are the women at church who you see once a year at the annual memorial service, the woman who didn’t talk about her lost child until she heard you speaking of yours, the woman whose daughter just lost a baby.
Family are the friends met by chance, from many miles away through social media, with whom I’ve walked in remembrance and hope.
Family is Mom flying down from Pennsylvania to help. To do and to just be.
Family is parents and siblings, nieces and nephew, aunt and uncle coming from out of state for memorial services.
Family are cousins and friends and friends of friends and sisters and cousins all sending prayers.
Family are those who brought meals and mailed gift cards: Dunkin’ Donuts delivered by way of the post office.
Family are my boys here, who lost brothers but so often carry me.
Family are my sister and brother-in-law who now carry their own cross of loss, but helped us carry ours long before.
Family is my husband, steadfast. Patient. Faithful.
Family are my boys in heaven, praying for us all.