Though sometimes small and often overlooked, there are miracles that occur every day.
My sister named her 2nd daughter Iris Sterling. She was given her middle name in honor and memory of my boy. But my sister chose the name Iris for her baby girl before knowing the meaning that it would hold for our family. The name Iris means rainbow.
I struggle with the term “rainbow baby”, because losing Sterling was not merely a storm. The pain of watching our newborn son die in our arms and having to live every day without him cannot be downplayed and described simply as a storm.
But still, I cannot deny its meaning and the hope it offers. Beauty rising from chaos. A breath of fresh air after sinking for so long. A light in a sea of darkness. A rainbow after a storm.
Just two months after Sterling was born and died, Iris made her way earth side. I know “rainbows” usually belong to the bereaved mother, but I don’t think its a coincidence that the first baby born into our family following our loss of Sterling was magically given a name with such meaning.
Iris is also the name of a goddess in Greek mythology, one who personifies rainbows. It is said that she connects heaven and earth with her rainbow. Two worlds linked together.
While my arms ache for Sterling, Iris is a reminder, not of my emptiness, but that heaven is closer than we think. And Sterling, he is all around us.
Iris Sterling, your worth is completely separate from our darling boy. But in this time of deep suffering and mourning, you bring so much joy. Rainbows appear when white sunlight is broken up by water droplets into a beautiful display of seven colors. And you are a light. Thank you for the messages of comfort you’ve given me. You truly are a rainbow for our whole family.