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A Blessing for Parents

None of us want to face death – either of others or our own. The toughest kind of death may be of children though, especially when within our own family. I’m posting this blessing in honor of a family who lost their unborn baby this week. It is an experience I wish no mother or father, sister or brother would ever have to face. Words feel flimsy in these situations, yet may at some point during grieving, offer some kind of soothing relief.

For a Parent on the Death of a Child

Family of Great Crested Grebes. Two adults and...

No one knows the wonder

Your child awoke in you,

Your heart a perfect cradle

To hold its presence.

Inside and outside became one

As new waves of love

Kept surprising your soul.


Now you sit bereft

Inside a nightmare,

Your eyes numbed

By the sight of a grave

No parent should ever see.


You will wear this absence

Like a secret locket,

Always wondering why

Such a new soul

Was taken home to soon.


Let the silent tears flow

And when your eyes clear

Perhaps you will glimpse

How your eternal child

Has become the unseen angel

Who parents your heart

And persuades the moon

to send new gifts ashore.


Written by John O’Donohue and published in his gorgeous gift of a book: “To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings”


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