Every parent has a nickname for their little one, but for parents who have suffered through the loss of a child, those nicknames can take on a whole new meaning. Angel babies, rainbow babies, and sunshine babies are sweet-sounding, but what is a shooting star baby? Is this nickname also associated with loss?
There is limited information out there, but the term "shooting star baby" has popped up in a lot of Facebook communities and parenting forums, especially ones focused on infant or child loss. The website for Bears of Hope Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support shared poems to help grieving parents and one poem in particular, There Is A Special Angel, used the term "shooting star" to describe a lost baby:
There is a special Angel in Heaven
that is a part of me
It is not where I wanted him
but where God wanted him to be.
He was here but just a moment
like a night time shooting star
However, the Facebook support group Miscarriage Mamas noted that "shooting star" can also refer to the loss of twins or multiples.
It seems that the term is pretty synonymous with any infant loss, whether your child passed away months after they were born, if you suffered through a miscarriage, or if you experienced a stillbirth. For many, a shooting star is a sweet symbol for the baby (or babies) they lost and can be used instead of the term "angel baby."
No matter what, grieving is personal. If a mother prefers to call her child a shooting star baby, an angel baby, or another term entirely, it's absolutely fine. She has to grieve the loss in a way that's comfortable for her — through religion, through community, through support, through talking about it, and even mourning her loss in privacy. If that means thinking of her child as a shooting star in the night sky, then so be it. A shooting star is magical on its own — people make wishes on them as they sail over their head. Thinking of an infant or child loss as a shooting star, setting your wishes on their memory and your love and hope, makes lovely sense.