Text: Tarja Korri
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
My memories often go back to the Christmas 30 years ago. We were expecting our third child, who was due to be born in about a month. I had just had a prenatal checkup, and everything seemed fine. On St. Stephen’s Day I began to think something might be wrong, and a doctor referred me to hospital. After some examinations it turned out our baby had died. I remained in hospital overnight, and my husband went home to see about our children.
The night was long and lonely. I hardly slept at all. Nurses checked on me regularly, but they did not have much to say. Induction of labor was started in the morning, and while waiting, I heard all kinds of sounds. Newborn babies cried. I also heard the midwife tell a father that the mother had survived surgery but the baby had not. It was easy to empathize with the father, although I had no problem with my own health and I had had time to prepare for the fact that there would be no baby to take home.
Our small, perfect baby daughter was born later that morning. Death had already left some signs on her, but she looked so familiar, so like our older children. We were not allowed to hold the baby, who was taken away for autopsy. As soon as I felt a little recovered, we went home. Dear friends came to visit and console us, and cards of condolences came in the mail.
When we later went get the baby and placed her in a coffin, the staff offered us a small devotion at the hospital. We felt we did not need it. It seemed the staff would have liked to comfort us, but they did not have the words. Even in the midst of sorrow, I felt sure that the baby was safely in heaven. I even felt I should somehow comfort the nurses.
The funeral service was attended by the minister, my husband and I. My husband carried the coffin, and together with the minister they lowered it into the grave where my husband’s mother had been buried nearly 16 years previously.
It is probably not easy for any minister to conduct the funeral of an unbaptized baby. But I guess it is easier for a minister who believes that babies are children of God even before baptism. He can comfort the grieving family with the thought that the baby has already reached the heavenly home. He can also speak about the hope for reunion.
Psalm 139 has these words: ”Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” The obituary notice for our baby had a short quote from a Finnish poem that reminds us that Christ the Savior takes care of all children, and that God’s grace enveloped the baby’s life even before the first day dawned on her cot. The baby was a friend of angels. (Niilo Rauhala: Enkelin tuttu.) It was good to rely on that grace.
Because my husband was unemployed at that time, I returned to work only a week after the delivery. We were building a new home, and life was very busy. Only a few months later, I was pregnant with a new baby.
Afterwards I have thought that I did not fully process the death of the baby and did not allow myself to grieve. Quite unnecessarily, I did not let other people approach me and hardly discussed the baby’s death with anybody. I felt that people who had not even seen the baby could not mourn for her.
Now that so many years have passed and I have had time to think, I have begun to feel the loss more poignantly. A few years ago, I wrote a short story of my memories for our other children to read. Last year before Christmas I bought a memorial painting: The picture of a small angel was hung on the wall together with the confirmation and wedding pictures of our other children.
I remember the beautiful words spoken by an older lady after the loss of our baby. She said: ”You had an angel who went into heaven.” That was where you went, our angel. Called into light.
Opistovuosi-koulutuksen valtakunnallisten opetussuunnitelman perusteiden mukaan oppivelvollisille tarkoitetun kansanopistokoulutuksen tavoitteena on edistää opiskelijan omaehtoista oppimista, auttaa häntä löytämään oma opiskelutyylinsä ja antaa valmiudet opintojen jatkamiseen perusopetuksen jälkeisessä koulutuksessa.
Mihin syntien anteeksiantamus perustuu Raamatun mukaan? Kirjoittaja käy läpi Uuden testamentin anteeksiantamusta käsittelevät kohdat, joiden kautta avautuu monipuolinen ja selkeä kuva aiheesta.