Darl and PJ Rivera Macalintal had been together for over a decade so when they decided to become parents, it was deeply considered. They expected it would take awhile but to their surprise and delight, Darl got pregnant right away.
At the beginning, everything went smoothly. The parents-to-be were happily impatient to meet their child and making preparations for the new arrival.
But then in the 24th week, Darl went for a check-up and got some terrible news: their little girl’s heart had stopped beating. The couple was grief-stricken. But Darl had to give birth as soon as possible, otherwise her own life would also be endangered.
The next morning, as the sun rose red over the horizon, tiny, lifeless Darlizza was born. Her mother rocked her for the first and last time. Her little hand was so tiny!
Darl, nearly broken by the loss, decided to do something overwhelming. She wrote a heartfelt poem, which she later shared online:
“Our beautiful angel
born silent into this world.
It didn’t matter,
the moment we saw you
it was pure joy.
All questions, all pain and fears,
flew away into the darkness of the night;
as I held you on my chest,
cherishing our time.
Half past midnight the priest came,
to bless and baptize you in Christ’s name.
We may not know exactly when
your heart stopped beating
to an end.
Our child, know that
if love could have saved you,
you would live forever.
For now, God will carry you in his arms
as we carry you in our hearts
until we can hold you in heaven.
Thank you for showing me
how much your tatay [father] loves me,
how much our family and friends love us.
Thank you for showing us
the power of God’s love.
I guess you were made
too beautiful for Earth.
You were born with wings,
you were meant to fly.
Your place is in heaven.
You may be stillborn
A few, simple but harrowing words that contain so much love and life in them. They show how essential it is sometimes, in order to complete an experience, especially a painful one, to let our deepest feelings find expression. Darl has done it so beautifully, we can only be grateful that she shared it with all of us.