Thursday, September 29, 2011

Angel of Hope

Here in the St. Louis area, there is a park with a special area devoted to families who want to honor the children they've lost.  There is a beautiful statue of there called the Angel of Hope.  Every winter, they hold a candlelight vigil there in memory of the children we miss so much.

via the Share website
The tradition is that when you visit the angel, you leave a white flower in memory of your child.

The angel is surrounded by a brick patio, with paths that lead around the garden.  You can order bricks through Share and have your child's name engraved on them.

We did this last January, still in a daze of grief.  I remember stressing out because Eliza has a pretty long name (twenty letters plus two spaces!) and I didn't know how I'd get her whole name on the brick, plus her birthdate, plus some short phrase about how much we loved her.

I wanted to write "Our Baby Duck" on the brick, because before she was Eliza, she was still our Baby Duck.

I wanted to write "We love you and miss you forever."

I wanted to write, "I'm so sorry, baby, I'm so sorry."

I wanted to write, "My heart is broken and I don't know how I am supposed to keep going without you."

I wanted to write, "I wish I'd died instead of you."

I had to put something perfect.  Something that expressed everything I felt and showed the world how much we loved her.  And something that was no more than 15 characters, counting spaces.

After fretting about this for days, David finally told me to just stick with her name and date.  After all, we couldn't fit our love for her on a brick.  It was impossible.

So Eliza's little brick just has her name and birthdate.  Almost all the others have a sentimental message, but there was nothing we could have added that would have been enough.

A dear friend of mine visited the park yesterday.  She left a pink and white rose for my Eliza, and she sent me this picture:

Oh, Baby Duck. I would have done anything to keep you here with us.  I could pave the entire park world with bricks saying how much we love you and miss you.  And it still wouldn't be enough.


  1. That's a lovely brick, and I think with such a beautiful name, it says it all. :)

    There will never be a way to show much much love we have for these babies of ours, never.

  2. it's beautiful the way it is. you are right, there is no way to express our love and devotion for them. especially not on a brick. but it is a wonderful lasting legacy of your baby girl.

  3. I think it's stressful either way. We stressed over exactly what to put in the space we had left. There are actually a lot of bricks with no message. I think Eliza's brick is perfect, just the way it is.

  4. It's never enough. But, it's something. : ) A lovely memorial!

  5. This is why Addi still has no headstone because I can't find the words to let the world know just how loved she really is. I love the brick, I wish we had something like that here.

    Sorry the brick couldn't hold everything you wanted to say, but I know it still wouldn't be enough because your love for her is so much bigger than any words. Thanks for sharing the picture of that beautiful name <3

  6. The brick is perfect and so sweet of your friend to leave a flower. I have been struggling to find the right words to put on Liams gravestone. There's never enough room to express the love we have for our babies, but her brick really is sweet and there's a lot of love there:)

  7. Thinking of you and your Baby Duck. I wish she was in your arms right now.

    I love the brick. You're right - there's no way to get everything you want to say in 15 characters, but it's beautiful as it is.

  8. I think it's wonderful for the city to have such a place. It's a beautiful sentiment.

  9. Totally beautiful... and yeah, a who freaking garden full of those, I'm sure is possible.

    I think there is a place near the hospital, but I don't want to really associate with that area if you know what I mean. I think it's wonderful that STL has a place for this.

  10. I was thinking the same thing before I got to the end of the post. There would never be enough space to write about all of the love you have for her.
    It is so lovely that there is a place like this.. what a moving and beautiful tribute.

  11. About a year ago we visited St. Louis and fell in love with the city and hope to go back. Whenever we do, I'd like to go visit this sweet area and that sweet brick. it's beautiful.

  12. Wow, I wish our area had a memorial like that...

    How lovely of your friend to leave something at Eliza's brick.

  13. what a very nice way to remember the innocent souls