I call upon the Equals to the Apostles
to bear myrrh with me
For the innocent ones lost, for my
Small one whose face I cannot kiss.
You bold ones, you tender mother
Kiss the face of her angel in heaven.
Let down your tresses, you who
wiped Christ’s feet with your hair,
and let me dry my eyes there beside you.
You who poured out the jar of nard,
Put your fragrant hands around my little one and tell her that I love her.
You nameless one who swept up the shards of that jar,
Come help me pick up the pieces.
And You, our Mother, You who among us knows best
What it’s like to lose an innocent son,
Warm me with the fire of the Seraphim
Who sing around You,
For my heart has gone cold.
I cannot let my heart leave the grave of my child.
I have to walk in both worlds now.
I need your wisest cherubim to guide me.
I need you to hold my hand, o Holy Mother.
All of my failings come to mind, but
They are nonsense against my love
for this one who is gone.
The little twist of fear, the shadow of the
serpent by my ear, tries to make me
take the blame for my empty womb.
But I will take up the faithfulness of God instead–
the shield and buckler of God with me and with my child–
And that shadow had better run for it.
I am mourning with the warriors–
the women who carried spices to the Tomb,
who met an angel and were not afraid
but nodded and did what needed doing.
I am crying in the company of a woman
with the spring of Living Waters pouring
from her lips and hands.
I am weeping with the Most Blessed
woman whose presence fills the air with roses.
Her tears are pure myrrh from heaven.
They teach me to stand firm in grief,
The virtuous vigil of Mothers.
They will look after my baby till I am
done with what needs doing here.
When I was first grieving for our baby lost to miscarriage at 8 weeks, I searched for prayers online. They were cruel or stupid or distant, with nothing of the immediacy of pain and grace and ferocity that I felt and needed from God and His saints. I offer this prayer reflection here today on this feast of St. Photine, the Woman at the Well, the memorial day for our little lost one whom we name Seraphim because we never knew if she was a boy or girl (but all babies look like girls till about 12 weeks). May it help other mothers going through the bright sadness of grief to know that God and all the holy mothers (and His Mother) are nearby, sharing the grief and the burden and the love.
5 thoughts on “Myrrh-Bearing for My Little Lost One”
Oh my…this expresses a grieving mother’s sentiments exactly. I pray that my daughter, Magdalena and my granddaughter, Felicity are playing with your Seraphim now! Thank you for this, Summer. You gave a voice to my thoughts. God grant you peace!
😭Hugs. Thank you for saying this. I think of all of our little ones tucked under Her cloak.
Lovely and needed. I have 9 little ones waiting for me, that I meet in the Eucharist. Do you know if a Saint that intercedes for mothers that have suffered miscarriages or infant loss? Thank you for sharing your gift.
I have always prayed to the Mother of God, but this prayer here is directed at the myrrh-bearing women and St Photine, too. They’re all very near in trouble.
Thank you for this profound poem about miscarriage which speaks from our Orthodox faith. I will keep it in my prayer corner! After I had a miscarriage years ago, poetry helped a great deal with my grief, but it was all secular. One of my favorites at the time was the Australian folk song “The Water-Lillies” by Henry Lawson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoOtAQS3Kp4).