Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States, created for remembering the men and women who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. But recent tradition has grown to also make this a holiday for remembering all our deceased loved ones. This past weekend I spent time at several cemeteries in town, placing flowers on family members’ gravesites. But one visit I made was to a special place that commemorates our babies, comforts bereaved families and remembers all who have been a part of the Rainbow support group over the years. Next month marks the 16th. anniversary of the Angel Dedication at the Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park. With the placement of a bench and angel statue, along and with the planting of trees, this area remains a place of comfort and quiet for bereaved families and friends.
The Closing Reading from that Angel Dedication sixteen years ago, by Father Arnaldo Pangrazzi , is still touching and powerful today.
Touching Our Broken Dreams
Our silent hopes remind us of our broken dreams as there are so many things that never came to be.
And there are so many questions we have asked and never gotten answers to; questions as to the reason it had to be us instead of someone else, questions and fears as to the chance of it happening again. Somehow, our questions reflect and put us in touch with the insecurities and mysteries of life. We experience our helplessness and our anger in not being in control of it and feeling our emptiness and sadness in being without our babies.
And as we look a the little empty room that was prepared in vain for a life that never came, as we move aimlessly around a house and a world that now seems too big for us, as we become saddened because there is no treasure in the world that can make up for our loss, we feel again the pain of broken dreams.
The dream of what could have been: the eyes and faces of our silent hopes, the ways our children would have grown, the ways we would have loved them, the people they would have been.
And it is hard to believe the silent hopes we remember in pain today were so much a part of the promise of our yesterdays.
And yet, those silent hopes gently invite us to learn to dream again.