What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Hyacynth.

I am not broken to joy.

I may have said goodbye too soon to babies we’ll never hold this side of eternity, but that hasn’t broken my ability to rejoice and give thanks and see blessings unfold even if those blessing aren’t mine to hold.

They’ve tip toed around, in numbers growing weekly, quietly keeping secret or hesitantly sharing with me the beautiful news of a new life growing inside them. They think they are sparing me agony, that their pregnancies will inevitably bring to my mind our own babies gone too soon. I appreciate such thoughtfulness of my feelings. .. and I get the train of thought. I get that no one likes to have something flaunted in their face that they themselves long for but cannot have.

Still though, I wish they wouldn’t.

I wish they knew that I don’t just think my babies are gifts, but that their babies are gifts, too. But I didn’t really know I felt this way until after our fifth child died during pregnancy. A knee-jerk response to a post on Facebook featuring a tiny onesie elicited an out loud exclamation that sounded something like, “If one more person tells me she’s pregnant …” and ended in trailed-off silence.

“Then what?” John had asked after a few minutes of pin-drop quiet. “What will you do?”

Frustrated and overcome with emotion, I sat long in the silence of his question and searched my heart for how I’d really respond. If one more person told me she was pregnant … I’d … sob? Scream? Swear? But none of those were fitting responses to the announcement of a blessing, a joy, a gift. So I finished the sentence for him, for us both aloud:

“I’d rejoice.”

The gift of a new life stretches beyond the yours or mine or his or hers — the gift of a new life is totally a gift for us in many ways, but the gift of a new life is one to the world, too. Yes, your baby is yours, yes, and I long for another child to add to our family who we can call ours, but when our babies grow up into their skins and souls and spirits and become the people they were made to become suddenly they are not just yours or mine rather these people become ours.

When it really comes down to it while we’re all gifts to each other, we really belong to the Creator who gave us the skin and souls and spirits into which we grow and flourish and become. Also, honestly, this isn’t the Hyacynth show. Life isn’t about what happens to me and mine and only my tiny little family; we’re part of a much larger family, and in families we celebrate each other’s joys. And just because I know loss, I know sorrow, I know the pain of saying goodbye for now, doesn’t mean that any of those things have broken me to joy. Actually, I think those emotions have done quite the opposite; they’ve taught me what joy really means.

So tell me. Tell me about that new life inside of you. So I can rejoice with you.