For Whom the Flames Burn

Friday, August 20, 2010

A lot of people I've spoken to who have lost children have opted to bury the ashes or, in lieu of cremation, had them buried in cemeteries, or, if they chose to do neither, have had trees or plants planted, as a physical marker of their child/children, or as a place to visit, etc.  I'm happy we chose cremation, and that we have chosen to keep the children with us.  I cant imagine moving away from here, and not being able to visit a grave or tree, and that being the only physical remains of them.

That being said, I know it is hard for our friends and family who would prefer to have some marker or place that they could go (without coming into our bedroom to see Nicholas, Sophia, and Alexander's box) to visit, to leave toys, or to put flowers.  Some "holy" place where there is something that acknowledges them.

We thought of having the township plant a tree and put a little marker in a park.  We've given money to our church for a new baptismal area, where the children's names will be listed on a sign, saying that money was given in their memories.  But, still, we were on the lookout for the marker that felt right, if "right" is the correct word.

We have taken to visiting the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a national shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as she is seen as the patroness of Poland.  Masses are given in both English and Polish, and there is a Monastery on-site.  It's a beautiful place, full of peace and hope.  As I prayed and asked the late Pope John Paul II to watch over Bobby and Maya while I was pregnant, it is especially fitting that we take the children there now for prayers and worship.

As you walk towards the church, there is a candle chapel, where the monks will keep candles lit in memory of those who have died, and where little brass markers remind visitors of the names of those loved ones for whom the candles are lit.

And now, there is a special place, in candelabra 20, that will proclaim three very special names.

It is near the center altar, but is viewable from outside as you approach the chapel.  Open 24 hours a day, visitors can always go in for prayer and remembrance.  And, if you'd rather stand outside in a beautiful spring day or winter snow shower, you can still see their beautiful names.

9 comments:

Michelle said...

So beautiful. A wonderful place for friends and family to honor your children.

Trennia said...

That is so sweet!
WHat a nice way to remember your sweet little ones!

Just Breathe said...

It's beautiful. Sounds like a wonderful Shrine. So happy that you found it.

Catherine W said...

It is beautiful Michele. I love that you can still see their marker from outside. xo

one-hit_wonder said...

a beautiful idea

butterflymom said...

So glad that you did this...hoping it brings you some peace.

Holly said...

I really like what you chose to do!

Amy MEV said...

As a devotee of Our Lady of Czestochowa, I am familiar with the Shrine. Our family sends them money, what we can, to help support them. I would LOVE to find a way to have my children memorialized there. I have never seen anything on their website about this. If you would be so kind as to send me some info, or perhaps I could simply send you the names and money to have the same done, I would be indebted. We buried our daughter (the other children we lost too early to do so), and the one thing I truly fear is moving away from her.

Terri Jones said...

Beautiful and perfect, just like them.