As some of my very devoted readers may have noticed, I deleted a paragraph I had in a previous blog about how other mommas use the term "angel" to describe the little ones they have lost. I went on to say that I didn't really think Gabriel was an angel, and that it's just a nice thing to say... Well, the comment upset at least one person, so I deleted it. Weeks later, it's still bothering me, so I thought I'd further explain my reasoning...
Do I call Gabriel an angel? Yes. Do I think Gabriel is an ACTUAL angel? No.
Confused? I'll go on... By definition, an angel is a "being" stuck between this earth and Heaven. If you don't know this by reading my blog already, I'm a pretty spiritual person, someone who tries to live within God's will for my life, someone who uses the bible as a handbook. So, it's somewhat hard for me to lightly use the word angel to describe my son. Why? Because of the amazing hope and awe I have for the fact that I will see Gabriel again in Heaven someday.
The original greek word for angel literally meant "messenger." This is a better definition of something I can get on board with because of the things I've learned about God and all the ways my relationship with Him has changed due to carrying, meeting and losing my baby. In that sense, Gabriel has very much been a "messenger" to me. The experience has revealed more of God to me, has kept me Heavenly focused, and has helped me have a different, more ETERNAL, perspective.
BUT, I don't believe Gabriel is hovering over me, or even guiding me. I don't think that August 21st is the day he "grew his wings." All this lingo is very popular within infant loss circles, and I am certainly not trying to offend. I will repeat, I am not trying to offend. The term "angel," and all the visuals that go along with it, is all very comforting right after a loss. And, in many ways I still love that we refer to our lost babies as angels. I have an angel hanging from my rearview mirror with Gabriel's name on it, the Gabriel Walk/5k logo has big, amazing wings on it. I still think it's crazy that we named our son AFTER an angel before learning about his fatal diagnosis. But, I believe my son is in Heaven, not a creature flying around with a halo.
I have put all my hope, trust, faith and love into Jesus. I realize that for some "Angel Mommas" this is a different perspective. Infant loss is totally different for the person that doesn't have a belief that they will ever see their child again. They see THIS LIFE as all that there is. This life is nothing compared to the eternity we will have in Heaven, and for that I'm so very thankful, cause this life can be hard...