On this feast of the Presentation, Karen Edmisten writes a beautiful reflection about motherhood that really touched my heart:
This feast day is so rich and full of meaning, and so dear to me, and to the hearts of other women who have also lost children. There are many ways in which many of us have lost children: through miscarriage … stillbirth … failed adoption attempts … infertility. Those of us who have had our souls pierced by such a sword cannot read the Scripture passage on which this feast is based without feeling the sharp pain of the blade again.
And thy own soul a sword shall pierce
Karen also links to a pair of beautiful posts by other mothers who have suffered the swords of loss, Suzanne Temple:
Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel; and for a sign of contradiction; yea, a sword shall pierce thine own heart also.
These words were repeated again and again throughout the ceremony. They were sung and chanted, spoken and whispered. Suddenly, as if by prompting, I recalled where I had been just the year before. One year before (almost to the day) I had been “presenting” my first born child to the Lord; not in the temple… but in grief, scared and alone in an apartment and I finally understood. I wasn’t being robbed of motherhood through these trials. Rather, I was being introduced to it sooner than I liked.
and Minnesota Mom:
In my own little way, I lived the Presentation.
And a sword my own heart did pierce.
This past week has not been easy. I labored to deliver my stillborn child on Wednesday evening and when he finally did arrive, it was at the very moment of another son�s First Confession.
My mother�s tears of joy were mingled with my cry of anguish.
If I had more time and energy I’d add some thoughts of my own about my own experiences of loss and a mother’s sorrow. Then again, these beautiful women have said quite enough for me to ponder in my heart this day.