We Walk For You
(From the 2018 Walk to Remember)
On July 3, 2003 our baby girl Julia Grace was born still. As you all know too well it was shocking, unexpected and heartbreaking. Through a loss group I met two women, Maria Morong and Stacey Blaisdell. We cried together, we supported each other, we shared our stories of heartbreak and loss. Then beginning in 2005 we ran a walk and memorial service right here at Breakheart Reservation for families who had lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death. We continued that event for 10 years and then made the difficult decision that it was time for us to no longer plan is event.
Last year, right before this event, someone who had attended ours reached out to me to tell me about this walk to remember, coincidentally also being held at this very same location and also run by woman named Shari. My husband and I were pleased to attend last year to honor and reflect about Julia, and I was honored to be asked to speak today.
I’m sure that we are all in varying stages of grief. For some it is very new and raw and for others it became our “new normal” long ago; however we can all learn from each other and support each other. For those of you with more recent losses, know that though the pain never goes away and you never forget, it does ease over time. For those us further along in our grief, we see your raw pain and remember that raw pain and we want to remember, because to remember it, keeps it real and the memories of our babies alive.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the staff and volunteers of the Massachusetts center for unexpected infant and child death for giving us this wonderful opportunity to come to support each other and to remember and honor our babies.
We come together in love and support of our babies. We come together to walk for them. I know that many of us feel that we receive signs from our baby(ies): a butterfly...a bunny...a cardinal… Be open to receiving signs. Maybe you will receive some today as you walk around the beautiful and peaceful Breakheart Reservation. I’d like to share with you the shortened version of Shirlie Coleman Andree’s poem I Walk for You.
I Walk for You
Dear Precious baby,
I walk for you today,
To share with everyone your love,
In this very special way;
Oh how I wish you were here,
to come and tag along,
For beloved one, if you were here
The miles would not seem so long.
I know that you would love to see
the sun that shines today.
To feel the wind upon your cheek and
chatter all the way.
I still struggle to understand
why you have gone away.
Yet, there's comfort in the fact
we'll meet again someday.
And when the day has dawned
many people say
We can again walk together
as I walk for you today.
Dear child I still think of you
Each day your love recall;
I had you such a little while,
But in my heart you'll always stay,
Look down my precious child
As I take this walk for you today.
- Shari McStay