Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little Glimpses of What Almost Was


I've heard a lot of babylost mamas talk about how they sometimes get a sense of their lost children's presence around them, soothing and peaceful. Or they talk about how their dreams are filled with comforting visits from their children.

In the eight months since Eve died, I have not had such an experience.  The only dreams I've had of her have been pure nightmare, or at best a reliving of her death and birth.

I have not felt comforted by her.

And really, I'm not sure that I want to.  I believe that my daughter is safe with God.  I believe that in Him, there is life after death.  And while I don't know what that looks like, I believe that it is good.

So to feel that my daughter's spirit is visiting me?  I'm not sure I would welcome that.  If she's in Heaven, I want her to stay there, safe and whole.

But in the past couple of days, I've had some interesting experiences.  I wouldn't call them visits from Eve, but more like glimpses of the future that might have been.  They are both comforting and bittersweet, and I am treasuring them while they last.

Yesterday, for example, I was snuggled up in bed reading my Bible and praying.  I was doing a good bit of crying, too, and I wondered what Jacob might think of this sort of behavior when he is old enough to be aware of it.

Then, clear as day, I could picture a child running down the hall into the room but pausing on its threshold when my tears became apparent.  Not a boy, but a girl, maybe three feet tall.  She asked what I was doing, and I told her.  She seemed a bit perplexed, like she didn't quite understand but was tucking the exchange away into some pocket of her brain for later.

Was it a figment of my imagination?  Probably.  But there was such a richness and clarity to it that I can't help but clutch it close to my heart.  It's easily something that would have happened with Eve, had she lived, and it's all I'll get to "know" of her in this life.

And another -- this morning, while driving to my doctor's appointment, I found myself wanting to reach an arm back to comfort a baby riding there.  Only of course there was no baby in the backseat.  It was such a strong instinct, though, that it makes me pause, and then makes me grieve all the more.

I don't know what these experiences are.  Little glimpses of a future that almost was?  Reassurance from God that my daughter is safe with Him?  Or the pathetic imgaginings of a bereaved mother's brain?  I like to think that they are not the last, although I am not comfortable in saying that they are visits from my daughter.

But they feel like something close.  And whatever they are (or are not), I know one thing for certain -- they bring me a sort of muted joy.  I hope that I will continue to have these glimpses.  They aren't much, and probably aren't anything at all, really . . . but they are so much better than the devastating emptiness of the Eve-shaped hole in my life.  So I'll take them,  real or not.

Have you ever had similar little glimpses of what might have been?


  1. I have two sons and between their births there were 4 pregnancies that didn't last very long. I've had times when I suddenly feel like a child is unaccounted when a mom says "I realized the house got quiet and I instantly thought, where is little Johnny" or something like that. I've had that more than once and it's so real at that moment. I really feel like I need to find my child but I am looking at both of my sons so who should I be finding? I guess that's not the same as your glimpses. It is a really interesting feeling...sort of unsettling and mostly my brain playing tricks on me, I guess.

    1. I think it sounds very similar to my little "glimpses." Because in that moment, it's like, "Of course I have a living child!" But I don't, at least not outside my body. It's so strange . . . Glad to hear I'm not the only one and therefore not totally crazy (I hope). ;)

  2. I belong to a pregnancy loss support group here in Massachusetts. One of the women there has these experiences all the time. I think you really have to let your mind be open. I have had multiple dreams about my babies dying since I had Colton. The babies were never Colton though. When Colton was born, I never went to see his little body when they were cleaning him or wrapping him, I regretted that and was having a particularly hard time with it. During that time, I had a dream about Colton, and in the dream I was able to see all of him. The dream was so incredibly peaceful and I woke up feeling so much better. I didn't think about it at first but my husband told me that he thought it was Colton helping me and telling me that it was ok that I didn't go to see him in that way. When I thought about the dream more, I remembered that the baby didn't really look like Colton did but somehow I knew it was him. In church, the pastor is always telling us that when we get to heaven, our bodies won't look like our earthly bodies. I think I saw Colton in his heavenly healed body. I do believe it was a gift. I haven't had any dreams about dying babies since then. ( sorry for the long winded comment)

    1. That is so beautiful, Becca. I'm glad you got to dream of Colton. <3

      p.s. not long winded at all :)

  3. Right after Wiley passed, I was sitting on my front porch, staring at my front yard and I could see this little boy about 3 years old with dark hair playing and turning around and saying, "Mommy! Watch me! Look at me!" I know it was my imagination. It was a punch in the gut at the time, but I guess now I'm glad I got a little glimse of him. I have also caught myself many times driving and looking in the rear view mirror to check on Wiley or turning around real quick to look, but no carseat. I have not seen Wiley in my dreams, but my sister often dreams about him. I'm kind of like you, I want him to stay in Heaven :)

  4. In the 18 months since Sully died the only dreams I've had were of him dying, or finding him dead. Not fun. About a half dozen times I've been asleep and thought he was crying. More than once I got out of bed, hollered in to him that mama was coming and then started for the kitchen to warm up a bottle. I stopped in the hallway before going for the bottle. Thank You Jesus! The only time I really sensed him was one day on my way to work. It was a Tuesday, which was the day he died on, and all the way to work there was a rainbow in front of me. When I got to work I asked the others if they'd seen it, and noone had. Just me. I saw it as a promise from God. I don't know if it was my imagination or not. It gave me joy for the journey

  5. I've had a few glimpses like you describe... hard but peaceful. Thinking of you and your darling children - near and far xoxo

  6. I think Becca said it best, about letting your mind be open. I am with you, when people speak of a loved one who has died "visiting" them, I'm mostly glad that I haven't experienced that because I want my loved ones to move on and be wherever they are supposed to be, happy and fulfilled wherever that is. But these wonderful glimpses of things, they're giving you joy! They ARE something, and I think it's OK to not know exactly what.

  7. Beth I am so very happy that you experainced these little glimpes that gave you peace. I know we have have chatted about dreams before and I still have not had a good one but I have felt peace that jonathan is happy. I have also felt he wants me to be happy, so I am trying. Praying for you Beth I know this is a scary point in your pregnancy. You are doing a great job sweet mommy.

  8. it was in a dream last night. it was terrible to wake up.

  9. wow Beth, what a beautiful post. Whatever they are, they are yours. I would hold them dear too! I think writing about them makes them real too. Real to you! What is awesome to me is almost catching glimpse of who Eve might have been. Maybe they are prophetic glimpse of who she is in heaven. Thank you for sharing and being so vulnerable! Beautifully written!!!


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King