By: Robyn Busekrus
On December 6th, we attended the annual Angel of Hope Ceremony in our town of Washington, Missouri. Last year was our first year to participate and the grief was very raw. Being new to the event, we were not sure what to expect. I went through the motions of being there, but my heart was aching. The music was serene and the ceremony was simple yet moving. We placed our rose on the statue and stood in silence realizing this loss will always be a part of us.
At this year’s event, our son’s brick was dedicated. It took me quite awhile to find the words I wanted engraved on his brick. He was so longed for and loved. I kept rewriting words and phrases that I thought would be a good description for him. On the last day the paperwork was due, I turned in the words we had chosen.
The Angel of Hope ceremony is such an integral part of our family’s journey of grief. We are so grateful for this event to remember all the children who have died. There is a tribe of us standing shoulder to shoulder each December. We can empathize and grieve with one another. This year’s ceremony was simple again. It began with Christmas carols and a prayer. Holidays are difficult and sometimes the lyrics of songs can trigger emotions. As everyone sang and there was spirit of peace.
When Hope’s name was read, we all walked together as a family and placed our roses at the statue. I am grateful we can join together as a family and honor our son each year at the Angel of Hope. As the program continued, I tried to hold back tears, but they started to fall. While standing there, two acquaintances of my husband gave their sympathies and shared their experience of loss. Having support from family, friends and other bereaved parents is so important on this journey.
Last year at Christmas, we hung a stocking in Hope’s honor on our mantel. I wrote a letter to our son and placed it in his stocking. Each year we will hang his stocking and write a note of remembrance to him. I wish I would be filling his stocking with toys, but this is our reality. Now we will honor him by filling it with the joyfulness we felt for the short time he was with us.
During the holiday season, may we treasure the connection we had to our children. May we foster the bonds with our family and friends. May we find comfort and peace in our journey. Wishing you a holiday season of comfort, love and peace.
Robyn Busekrus is a mom, wife, educator, and writer who makes her home in Washington, MO. Losing her third son Hope in the second trimester of pregnancy, was an unexpected part of her life’s journey.
Robyn’s blog www.robynsnestofhope.com chronicles the journey of loss and hope. Appreciating the little things in life, while holding onto faith each day is the message she wants to share with others. Her interests include reading, home decorating, vintage markets, and community service.