Can anyone look upon the death of an infant child and not be moved by such a loss?
As I sat and listened to the words of a grieving mother who experienced this tragic and traumatic loss my heart was broken knowing that she would carry that moment in time, that sadness, that emptiness, for the rest of her life.
The infant was stillborn and the hospital would not release the deceased infant’s body to the mother until she had paid the bill in full. The grieving mother now had to leave the hospital, and her child, to ask family, friends and neighbors for help; hoping to gather enough money to satisfy the balance of the charges that were still pending. Imagine the hurt and anguish of leaving your child behind as you literally beg for help. Picture her walking in the heat of an equatorial sun and only hours after giving birth to her now stillborn child. Her strength waning as she trudges from house to house seeking assistance. Her heart is aching by the loss of her precious baby.
After paying her hospital bill she has to now transport her stillborn child to her home. Her mother goes with her in a taxi and pretends that the lifeless infant is alive, because the driver would not transport a dead body. The charade is successful as they arrive at her home. How much more can she endure this day?
All of the funds that she borrowed were used to satisfy the monetary demands of the hospital and now there is no money available for a casket and a cemetery internment. With tears in her eyes she places the child’s body into a shoebox; then she goes outside and begins to dig a grave in front of her house. She is at the point of exhaustion as her body is now completely drained of energy. The grave is finally dug and now this poor mother must place the shoebox containing her child into the ground. Oh, the humanity of it all!
Tenderly, she picks up the shoebox and holds it close her breast. Weeping, she tenderly prays and whispers to her lifeless child; “I love you. Mama will see you in heaven.” In silent desperation she places the shoebox into the grave and slowly covers it with dirt. Handful by handful the fresh dirt, saturated with the moisture of abundant tears, slowly covers a life that was only here for a moment, but will remain in a mother’s heart forever.