Angel (noun): A spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, or messenger of God
Rainbow (noun): An arc of colour in the sky that can be seen when the sun shines through falling rain
Blunt blog alert! Let’s talk about some of the airy-fairy terminology around baby loss, more specifically: angels and rainbows.
To any loss mums reading this, who find comfort in this terminology: I really do think that this is great. To be clear, these are not terms that offend me in any way, they’re just terms I personally will not be using. It’s why I have addressed you as ‘loss mums’ throughout and never ‘angel mums’. We all draw the line somewhere. Even ‘loss mum’ is still a rather rubbish term, I didn’t misplace my children did I? But that’s my line.
People depict their losses as angels? I choose to portray mine as a broken heart. People talk about their angel anniversaries? I will always talk about them as birthdays and loss days – I did give birth to all three of my children, after all.
Angel babies (noun): Refers to an infant who passes away during pregnancy or soon after birth
To my mind, these terms are used to pretty it all up. To shine a positive light on the situation. Again, there’s nothing wrong with being positive, but it’s not necessarily something I choose to cast a positive light on. Right now, I just want to sit in the sh1t and tell it like it is. I think the truth is more important. We need to talk about babies dying, not angels flying:
My children did not sprout wings and fly. My babies lived and then they died.
Was this term created to convince ‘non-believers’ that these babies were here and that they mattered? Newsflash: they were real and they did matter, even without their halo and wings. I think the ‘angel’ idea detracts from this message, feeding into the idea that these babies were mythical, fanciful, intangible beings. And let’s not forget that baby loss can make you lose or question your faith or religion. So dressing them up as messengers to God? I just can’t get on board with that.
Rainbow babies (noun): A baby born subsequent to a miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of an infant
Everyone loves rainbows, but then again, everyone loves summer (even Olaf made a song and dance about it, and he’s a snowman). I just don’t think I can ever celebrate new life in comparison to what’s gone before. I can’t see me wanting any rainbows in my nursery. Not yet. Maybe in time I can just look at them and see them for what they’re supposed to be: something beautiful and a symbol of hope. But I like to think I’d think of any future children in this way regardless, without summoning a rainbow. I think I dislike the banality of it. Our children are unique and special, not just another rainbow.
As I said, I will never be offended if people refer to me as an Angel Mama, or any future children as rainbows, but please know this:
Rainbows follow a storm. My Baby was not a storm, my babies were my sunshine. BoC was my sun and she was my Summer.
N.B. This is all rather ‘head over heart’ – progress?
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