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Honour the Child

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Wednesday, 27 July 2011
{{child loss mentioned, for those who may be sensitive to this topic}}

"Celebrate Life & Love"
This is the tag on the wee fabric bird that arrived in our mailbox last week.
A call to be thankful for all that we have, and to hold our loved ones close.

The bird was sent by my friend Maria, in honour of the second birthday of her fourth child, Lucy.
'Operation Lucy Bird' was conceived to honour this beautiful little girl who was born on August 5, 2011.
She did not draw breath, she was born still into the arms of her loving parents.

To remember her, and to do something positive, Maria has sent birds around the world to friends and family.
The idea is to take a picture of the bird in a place that is special to each family.
We then tag the photo, or send it to Maria, and either leave the bird for someone else to find or keep it for our own remembering.

What an amazing and beautiful way to remember Lucy (and to bear in mind all the others we know who have experienced the loss of a child).

When our bird arrived, I gave Rowan the task of deciding where we would place the bird.
She took this responsibility seriously, and we openly talked about Lucy's death as part of life and living~ as a minister in frequent contact with the bereaved, I am in strong favour of normalizing death with young children.
This was a chance to speak of it concretely and to allow Rowan to grow in compassion and empathy with the ability to 'do' something positive with the knowledge.

We talked about Rowan's grandmother having lost a baby girl at birth and we discussed the concept of the next child born being the 'rainbow baby'~ when I showed Rowan pictures of Maria's Rainbow Baby Amelia, I think Rowan may have been a little disappointed that she wasn't rainbow striped at all!

After a few hours, she told me she had decided.
She wanted to place the 'Lucy Bird' in the church, at the cross.
Firstly, because she 'knows that Jesus is looking after her for her mommy" and secondly, "so that everyone can know about her and pray for Maria and her family".
I can't make this stuff up... it would be schmaltzy if she were not utterly genuine in her convictions.

On Sunday morning, Rowan sat down in my office and wrote out what she wanted to say.
And when our service began, she pulled a chair up to the pulpit, stood at the microphone and read her words in a clear and confident voice.(Translation provided below for those who do not read 5 year old phonetic wriitng!)
 Lucy Bird is for Maria. She had a baby and when she was born they found out her heart wasn't beating. And she had another baby, Amelia, and that is called a rainbow baby.
Lucy Bird. Lucy Bird is special and she is sweet. I love her very much. She says 'Celebrate love and life' and she loves me, too!

It was moving and powerful.
Our scripture reading for the day was from Matthew 18 "unless one becomes like a child, one cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven".

We remember Lucy and we are so thankful to her thoughtful family for drawing us together in remembering and in their call to 'Celebrate Life & Love' and for the opportunity to be lead by the children.  (Lucy Bird is staying with Rowan). ♥♥


~monica~ said...

I have tears in my coffee and joy in my heart. Thank you Lucy, Maria, especially dear sweet Rowan, and Lori.

PuppyLovePrincess said...


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful expression of love! There are no words.

Hippie Missy said...

Just sublime!! I lost a baby at 21 weeks in January and I am looking for ways to honor and remember him. The Lucy Bird is wonderful, and your daughter is amazing!

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