I've always loved researching my family history. I'm a Mormon, it's just a thing we do. But more than that, I truly love doing it. It gives me a great sense of self.
Unfortunately, as you go back in time, child death becomes much more common. Before, it always made me very sad to see that list. But now...when I see the death of a baby...it just hurts. Sometimes it's physically painful.
I was writing out a family group sheet for one particular family the other day (the pedigree chart is the one that looks like a tree, a central person and then it branching out for the parents of each individual for four or 5 generations, the family group sheet lists the parents with all their children). I thought there was a mistake because they had two daughters named Evelyn. Records tend to get a little fuzzy when you're earlier than 1800. As I looked closer I realized that the first daughter died at 9 months old. The second daughter was born 6 months later, so she was already pregnant when the first daughter died. It brought tears to my eyes. It was a shock because I wasn't really expecting that at first. This particular woman went on to lose two more before the age of 5. Out of 10 children, 7 survived to adulthood.
My heart just aches for this woman, more than it would have before I lost my own. When you know, when you really know...it's just so different.