In this episode, Ashley Opliger discusses how to raise Rainbow Babies (or older living children) to remember their sibling in Heaven. Through her experience of raising two boys on earth after the loss of her daughter, Ashley shares four practical ways you can help your living children honor their sibling in Heaven.
Ashley is joined by her four-year-old son, Branton, for a few minutes during this episode to demonstrate how to talk to a young child about God, Heaven, and their sibling in Heaven. This short episode is a sweet glimpse into Ashley's life mothering children on earth and in Heaven. If you have lost a baby and desire for your living children to know about them, this episode is for you.
In this episode, Ashley shares:
How to talk to your living children about their sibling in Heaven
Traditions you can do to honor your baby's place in your family
How to involve your living children in Celebrations of Life for your baby in Heaven such as a Heaven Day Birthday Party
Acts of Kindness you can do in memory of your baby in Heaven (plus a link to 50 ideas and a free personalized template card)
How Bridget's life has positively impacted her parenting
Why having a baby in Heaven has allowed them to share the Gospel in a very real and tangible way with their children on earth
Each episode has a special Hope Guide that you can download by clicking the button below. It is packed with hope-filled resources and extra information from the episode!
Discussion / Application Questions (leave your answers below in the comments!)
Ashley shares four ways to help your children on earth remember your baby in Heaven: Talking about Your Baby, Family Traditions, Celebrations of Life, and Acts of Kindness. Which one of these spoke to you the most and what idea can you implement in your family life moving forward?
In this episode, Ashley gave a glimpse into a conversation with her four-year-old son about God, Heaven, and his sister in Heaven. What stood out to you about this conversation? Is it easy or hard for you to have these conversations with your kids? If it's hard, identify what is making it difficult. Plan to have an age-appropriate conversation in the next week and write down how it goes.
Ashley talks about how Bridget's life allows her and her husband to share the Gospel with their kids in a more real and tangible way. In what ways have you seen this to be true in your life? Are there other opportunities you could use to share God's truth and hope with them?
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CRADLED IN HOPE PODCAST
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MEET OUR HOST
Ashley Opliger is the Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles, a nonprofit organization based in Wichita, Kansas that donates cradles to over 1,065 hospitals in all 50 states and comforts over 26,000 bereaved families a year.
Ashley is married to Matt and they have three children: Bridget (in Heaven), and two sons. She is a follower of Christ who desires to share the hope of Heaven with families grieving the loss of a baby.
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Episode 6: Raising a Rainbow Baby to Remember Their Sibling in Heaven
Ashley Opliger: [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Cradled in Hope Podcast where we believe that the hope of Heaven, through faith in Jesus Christ, has the power to heal our hearts after the loss of a baby. It’s a pain no mother should have to endure and we want this podcast to be a safe place for your broken heart to land. Here, we are going to trust God’s promise to restore our joy, use our grief for good, and allow us to spend eternity with our babies in Heaven.
I’m your host, Ashley Opliger. I’m a wife, mom, and follower of Christ clinging to the hope of Heaven. My daughter, Bridget, was stillborn at 24 weeks in my first pregnancy in 2014. In her memory, my husband and I started a nonprofit ministry called Bridget’s Cradles, and God has given us purpose in our pain and we’ve seen beauty come from ashes.
Although we wish you didn’t have a need to be listening to this podcast, we believe God has a reason for you to be here today. We pray this time would be a source of healing for you as we remember that Jesus cradles us in hope while He cradles our babies in Heaven. Though we may grieve, we do not grieve without hope. Welcome to the Cradled in Hope Podcast.
Ashley Opliger: [00:01:28] Hi, sweet friends. We are now on Episode Six and I pray that you have found hope and healing in the conversations we've had in the previous episodes. We have been so blessed to have such wonderful women come on the show and share their stories of heartbreak and hope. We have many more amazing conversations with special guests coming up, but for today's episode, I wanted to talk about a specific topic that is close to my heart.
As many of you know, I am a mom to three children, two sons on earth, and a daughter in Heaven. Bridget is our first child and her two younger brothers are my Rainbow Babies. I recently learned that August 22nd is National Rainbow Baby Day. And I was asked by laurelbox, a bereavement gift company that we partner with, to write a blog post about Rainbow Babies.
As with any writing opportunity I am given, I always pray and seek God about what it is He wants me to write about. After spending time in prayer and reflection, I knew He was asking me to write about my experience of raising my boys to remember their sister in Heaven. After I submitted the blog post, I also felt God was asking me to turn this message into a podcast episode and to expand on some of the discussion points, as well as talk more about the impact Bridget has made on our parenting and the blessings she has given to our family.
Later in this episode, I'm going to also welcome my four-year-old son, Branton, to show you an example of a normal conversation we have about his sister in Heaven. I am looking forward to sharing this part of my life with you, so let's get started.
Ashley Opliger: [00:03:08] When my husband and I got married in 2014, we never would have imagined that we would lose a baby and that the journey to growing our family would be filled with so much grief and heartache. Our first child, Bridget Faith, was stillborn at 24 weeks into my first pregnancy and our family has never been the same.
After we lost Bridget, my husband and I knew that if we were blessed to have living children in the future, we wanted to raise them to k