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Photo: Felix Carroll

The centerpiece of the Shrine of the Holy Innocents is a life-size statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and the unborn.

Immense Pain, Elusive Peace

How One Mother Has Dealt with the Loss of Children

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The tile in which the Chichesters have memorialized their two children.

By Catherine Chichester

Losing a child is one of the hardest trials for a parent to endure. While the Lord has blessed my husband and me with five wonderful children, we have also suffered the loss of two children through miscarriages. The pain is immense. A thought enters in:

What can we do to help these children we were so looking forward to knowing and caring for? An article I read many years before comes to mind. It advised to name the babies and have a Mass said for each of them. Freely give them back to God. They are with Him. They are now loved more than humanly possible.

Still, what more can we do? There are no gravesites to visit, no names recorded to show they existed — no matter how briefly. Nothing that says "You are not forgotten." Daily, we thank God for each of our children by name, the living and the deceased, and know without a shadow of a doubt that someday we will all be together.

Yet, what more can we do? This question has now been answered in a way we never imagined possible. With the building of the Shrine of the Holy Innocents on the grounds of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., my husband and I were able to arrange for a memorial for our deceased children.

A long, elusive peace is now being experienced. These precious children are remembered in a special way with their names engraved on a tile. Names that otherwise, in time, would have been forgotten but now are recorded and will be seen and prayed for by future generations.

Learn more about the Shrine of the Holy Innocents.

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Jean - Jan 23, 2011

when I was 24 and 26 years of age I had
both micarriages. I am now 78 and still
feel the heartaches and was never able to have children. I was so hurt I could
never to bring myself to know if they were boys or girls. now I wish I would have asked. My husband who has dementia
and in a care center asked me on day why we didn't have any children, and was stunned when he turned to my cousin and said "you know, we have two childre n in heaven." We have never mentioned this subject in 30 years.
Thank you for this article. It seems no one thinks miscarriages tears us up too.