I finished the first blanket for Carter’s Care Packages (packages for families of stillborn children). It was hard to knit, not because the pattern was difficult, the pattern was quite easy, but because I kept thinking about the recipient and the painful moment they would have to endure. But, I know firsthand how comforting it was to have a handmade blanket in this situation. I kept thinking about the time the knitter spent making a blanket to cradle a stillborn baby. It was beautiful and I could tell it had been made with care. This is a true offering.
Receiving someone else’s offering during an extremely difficult moment made me realize how much gestures of time and care really matter. There is nothing that can make a person feel better about the loss of a pregnancy but there are things that can provide comfort in the moment.
I always prayed for the recipients of the prayer shawls I knit. Now I pray for the women and their families that suffer this kind of loss. Their vision of the future has to be reframed without the child they anticipated. There will always be a hole in their hearts.
Our offerings are so important in times of grief. The offer to mow the lawn, bring over a meal, knit a blanket, sit and listen, clean the house, do the laundry, and on and on. I find that it’s just better to go ahead and do it. Don’t ask, just show up with the lawnmower or the meal, or the blanket, or the vacuum cleaner, or the clothes hamper and get it done.
Sometimes the most important offering is simply the acknowledgment of their pain.