Movie stars, musicians, and professional athletes often seem larger than life. Like superheroes, immune to the everyday challenges of life that we regular folk often face. But as it turns out, no one is safe from heartache. From tragedy. From the unbelievable pain of losing a child. Marquise Goodwin, wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers is, sadly, an example of this reality.
If you watched the 49ers beat the Giants this past Sunday, you may have seen Goodwin take a knee and look up to the sky in prayer after an 83-yard touchdown. You may have seen him put his head to the ground, overwhelmed with emotion. Since it’s not uncommon for players to celebrate after they’ve scored, you may have thought nothing of it. But Goodwin’s family and fellow teammates knew what it meant. They knew that while Marquise Goodwin is a professional football player, he’s also a dad. A dad who had lost his baby boy just a few short hours earlier.
“I just wanna thank those who’ve genuinely prayed for @morganakamomo & myself through out this pregnancy,” Goodwin shared in a post on his Instagram account. “Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4 AM.”
And attached to his post is a beautiful photo of his son’s tiny hand resting peacefully on Goodwin’s finger.
If you’ve ever experienced this type of heartache — the unbearable pain of losing a baby — you know that there’s no easy way to tell the world. Do you keep it a secret? Tell only close family and friends? Or make a public announcement? And even if you are a high-profile athlete like Marquise Goodwin, you’re faced with that same difficult decision. While some parents find it best to keep their pain private, others find solace in receiving the comfort of others. And some parents say they share their story to help fellow parents who’ve endured this experience feel less alone.
Another choice parents have to make after a devastating miscarriage is to continue on; to carry on with their day, go to work, and to function, despite feeling overwhelmed with emotion. Marquise Goodwin went to work that day, after saying goodbye to his sweet baby boy at 4 AM. And he scored a touchdown in his son’s honor. This commitment to his team did not go unnoticed, as reflected in a statement made by teammate Eric Reid: “I have so much respect for him, to come out here and still play, with the hurt that he had in his heart, and to ball out.”
Knowing that 10-25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage, Goodwin’s post likely helped many of his fans who’ve also faced this pain. Because the truth is, this can happen to anyone — professional football player or regular Joe down the street. There is no way to prepare, and only time will heal a father’s broken heart after he has said goodbye to his child. And he also may give others hope and courage to get up, to go to work, and to function as they need to, while still grieving for their lost child.
“Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan,” Goodwin’s post continues. “The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family.”
His wife Morgan also took to Instagram this weekend, writing:
“This whole week has taken an emotional toll on my husband and I, Struggling to keep our healthy baby safe in my womb. However, God had other plans for us. Today, I had to deliver my precious baby boy early this morning due to preterm labor. Despite our loss, my hubby kept grinding, scored his son a touchdown & got our first ‘W’ of the season. He had a wonderful game today.”
Goodwin’s post has been liked over 85,000 times and the comments have been flooded with prayers and love from Goodwin’s followers and fans. Hopefully, he and his wife Morgan can feel all of the love and support being sent their way and it brings them comfort through this difficult time.