This Is Still Birth: For My Daughter, One Year Later

September 22, 2008 at 8:49 am 78 comments

Still Birth, September 22

for Felicity
by Karsten Piper

Oh sister and brother,
your eyes change color
holding your daughter.

You dress her shoulders
in cherries, as pearly cold
threads under her collar
against the deep warmth
of your labor.

You say her name again,
your whole gladness with her,
and nurses cut you
a walnut lock of hair.

She lies right here,
so close, if you could reach
through the pale flannel layer.

Hope after hope splinters
or turns.

She is infinitely far,
while here are sighs and stinging tears,

everything you ache
to feel turned
forcibly into former things
and this is still birth.

Ten hours are left in the summer
ten hours to hold her
and oh sister and brother
your eyes
have already changed color.

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Entry filed under: Felicity, Grief.

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78 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jane  |  September 22, 2008 at 8:55 am

    Molly and Abraham,
    Sharing your grief and tears today as well as your hope for tomorrow. A beautiful poem by Karsten.
    ~jane

    Reply
  • 2. Karen  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:19 am

    achingly poignant poem for such an anniversary. I may not know you nor your husband except through your respective blogs but I am praying for you and your family this day.

    Reply
  • 3. Rachel  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:25 am

    thank you for sharing again…

    Reply
  • 4. Greta  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I’m sure this day is filled with a huge range of emotions for all of your family and most especially you and Abraham. Hopefully you can take comfort in knowing there are so many praying peace for you and remembering your precious daughter with you.
    Happy Birthday Felicity.

    Reply
  • 5. Tina  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:29 am

    thinking of you and praying for you

    Reply
  • 6. Marsel  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Praying for you as your heart aches for your daughter…rejoicing for you as your sons help to fill your arms.

    Reply
  • 7. Marsel  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:40 am

    I was trying to be succinct, but now that it’s posted, it looks harsh (not what I was aiming for). I know from experience that the longing for a child lost is not removed or replaced by the gift of other children…but I also know how grateful I have been, on the days that the ache for my lost ones is overwhelming, to have two others to hold close in my arms.

    Hopefully Orison will tolerate some extra snuggling today. 🙂

    Reply
  • 8. Karen  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:50 am

    So beautiful. Thank you for your openness – it is a ministry.

    I’m holding my daughters a little closer today – that is what you’ve given me. How easy it is for me to take them for granted. How easy and how wrong!

    Reply
  • 9. Leslie  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

    So touching. Praying for you today.

    Reply
  • 10. diane  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Beautiful poem. Praying for you and Abraham today and the rest of your family today.

    Reply
  • 11. Hannah  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Such a beautiful poem–and so familiar through experience.
    Thank you also for sharing the picture of your beautiful daughter.

    Reply
  • 12. Hayley  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Oh hugs to you! I, too, lost a daughter to stillbirth 6 years ago. You can see my story under the family section on my blog.
    What a beautiful gift you have to write, and this poem is just so touching. I will be thinking of you and your family today. May God give you strength and may you remember fondly your beautiful baby.

    Reply
  • 13. Angela Caprine  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Hi Molly! I am a Desiring God listener and heard about your loss of your daughter last year either on the website or through the Radio Program. I just recently found your personal blog and have really enjoyed it! (I have commented one other time on your Olympic Post). I am writing today, to tell you that I was going through my journal the other day and realized that on Sept. 24, 2007, I jotted down a prayer for you and Abraham. I ended that prayer, with “give them peace and rest today, give them strength for today and hope for TOMORROW! Reading your past blogs about your sweet new baby boy and his name- Morrow, I just had to tell you that a sister in Christ prayed for you. I will pray for you today as well!!

    Reply
  • 14. Tanya  |  September 22, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  • 15. Chris  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this special poem. God bless your family today and in the seasons ahead. We think of you and pray for your often.

    And blessed be the name the the Lord…

    Reply
  • 16. jennapants  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:30 am

    i’ll just be crying off and on all day. love you.

    Reply
  • 17. Stephanie  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:40 am

    What a wonderful, beautiful poem…you guys are in my prayers today.

    Love you.

    Reply
  • 18. MrsMK  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:40 am

    With you today.

    Happy Birthday Felicity!

    Reply
  • 19. Amanda  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:45 am

    Molly,
    Thinking of you today on what must be a bittersweet day. I hope that the day is gentle on you and you are able to take some time to remember your sweet, precious baby girl. Happy heavenly birthday Felicity!

    Blessings,
    Amanda

    Reply
  • 20. Tiffany  |  September 22, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I’ve been thinking of you and praying for you all today…I’m shedding a few tears as well. She’s beautiful.

    Reply
  • 21. April  |  September 22, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Crying tears of empathy and joy. Joy for our hope in Christ and empathy for our children who we have lost on this earth.
    When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we all see Jesus we’ll sing and shout the victory.

    Reply
  • 22. melissa mailly  |  September 22, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    I have been thinking of you today, Molly, as I see Felicity’s name written on my calendar.

    Her name is written on His hands, and she is known and remembered!

    Reply
  • 23. Nikki  |  September 22, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    What a beautiful poem in honor of a beautiful little one. Our prayers are with you today especially, but also always.

    Friends from Colorado

    Reply
  • 24. Heather  |  September 22, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    I didn’t realize, as I started reading your blog several months ago, that the day your daughter died was the day before my son was killed in a car wreck 5 years ago.

    Praying for you today, as I have been over the past few months. Jesus IS faithful.

    God Bless

    Reply
  • 25. bimw  |  September 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Praying for you on this anniversary!

    Reply
  • 26. Kathi  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    We’ve been praying with you this year. Today we’re praying that God would be close with special mercy for THIS day.

    Reply
  • 27. Adrienne  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Praying for you today!

    Reply
  • 28. M. Taylor  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Grieving with you especially today, Molly and Abraham. May grace abound and may Jesus return soon.

    — Matt and Sarah

    Reply
  • 29. Crystal  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    You guys are certainly in my prayers today for a special grace in the midst of this milestone.

    Reply
  • 30. Cara Herzberg  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Carrying the weight with you today. You are a beautiful mother.

    Reply
  • 31. Kendall  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I commented over at Abraham’s blog – asked him to give you a hug (and I’m not a real “hugger”) – chuckle. I promise I’m praying VERY hard and very constant for you today…

    Reply
  • 32. Carol  |  September 22, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    We prayed for you in our staff devotions this morning.

    Reply
  • 33. Sarah Shackelford  |  September 22, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Thank you for the poem and for sharing your thoughts as you have grieved for your baby girl this year. My husband and I lost a son in May — a stillbirth at 37 weeks. Your posts have been helpful to me during these past months. Your family will be in my prayers today.

    Reply
  • 34. Andie  |  September 22, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    I’m sure you are missing Felicity a lot today. I just wanted to share that I miss her, too, when I think about how she is not in nursery with Byron. May you feel Christ’s presence today especially.

    Reply
  • 35. Elda  |  September 22, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    My grandson was just shy of two months when I first read of Felicity, and I cried with and for you. I’m crying now as I read the poem and look at her photo. My precious boy is now 13 months and I hug him so closely these days… because of your grief, if that makes sense. I am praying for you today.

    Reply
  • 36. Julie B.  |  September 22, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful picture of Felicity and the poem. To see her renews my emotions of shock and sadness and a shared grief over losing a child. I am remembering your whole family today in prayer. Grieving with you with hope…
    Julie

    Reply
  • 37. Donna (WayMoreHomemade)  |  September 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    OH my heart. It breaks. Anniversaries are so hard. Been there. With so many other things going on right now for you I hope that you are able to find time to be alone today and just grieve all that you need to. What a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing it and allowing us to grieve with you. Praying for you right now.

    ~Donna

    Reply
  • 38. Kim D  |  September 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Praying for you with a heavy heart, knowing the pain of missing Felicity will be stronger today. We also lost a daughter, Brianna, on Feb. 14 this year. May the Lord strengthen and sustain you and your family today.

    Reply
  • 39. Debby  |  September 22, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    I’m one of many who stand amazed at how God has carried you guys through this year. We’re remembering–with hope–your dear Felicity with you.

    Reply
  • 40. Kirstjen Pratt  |  September 22, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Molly and Abraham – we’re thinking about you today!

    Reply
  • 41. Lorie  |  September 22, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    My heart aches for you. I pray that you find peace and comfort today in knowing that you will see your baby girl again.

    Reply
  • 42. Loni  |  September 22, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    What a heart-stirring poem. I am so sorry for your earthly loss, but look forward to heaven with you to be reunited with our daughter who was all stillborn almost 11 years ago. I understand your pain. I understand that even with a new little blessing, he does not take the place of the missing person in your family. Because of our daughter’s loss, I have a webpage for bereaved moms. You can find numerous links through my blog as well.

    My heart goes out to you – with you I weep – with you I rejoice.

    Reply
  • 43. Tricia  |  September 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    I’m praying for you all today. Thanks for sharing the poem and the picture…absolutely beautiful.

    Reply
  • 44. Greg  |  September 22, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    I’m going to copy and paste what I posted on the twenty-two words site. Hopefully, it will still hold some encouragement and blessing for you…

    I just happened upon your blog, actually looking up some web design resources (found by way of Fire & Knowledge). Seeing the grave marker and reading this post – I felt a rush of emotion, back 19 years ago when we lost our daughter.

    Lost to us for now; not so for eternity. I’d like to say that I was comforted by God’s sovereign embrace back then; I was actually – as He held His kicking, screaming child close to His heart. Now, almost two decades later – even as I feel my head swim from the rush of emotions, the “floor has dropped out” feeling – I can know my Savior lives and He loves me deeper than I can ever know.

    So – true Grace and true Peace to you and yours today. My love and heart go out to you. Although your path is not my own, I must mention that God blessed us with two more – a 3rd son, and then a daughter. Even now, I choke a bit musing on His incredible mercy.

    Reply
  • 45. Emily  |  September 22, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    remembering her with you, dear friend.

    Reply
  • 46. Nikki W  |  September 22, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Molly, Thank you for sharing that poem and the photo of Felicity. I’d not seen one before…what a beautiful girl.
    You’ve been in my thoughts today as well as on Saturday, since I know that sometimes the day of the week they were born can feel like a birthday, too. Praying that you find peace in His arms as you remember your precious girl.

    Reply
  • 47. Khirsten  |  September 22, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    i have always been a lurker until now. you all are in my prayers this evening. felicity is beautiful. thank you for sharing with us.

    Reply
  • 48. Emily  |  September 22, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Molly,

    I’m a stranger who has been praying for you this year. I want to let you know how encouraged I have been by reading your (and Abraham’s) posts. You really make me think of 2 Cor. 1:3-4–comforting others with the comfort that God has given to you. May He continue to bless you as He has been.

    from William Cowper’s “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”:

    His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding every hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flower.

    Blind unbelief is sure to err
    And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain.

    Reply
  • 49. kaysie  |  September 22, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Praying for you, dear Molly. Happy Birthday Felicity.

    Reply
  • 50. Lindsay  |  September 22, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    love and prayers with you today.

    Reply
  • 51. Megan  |  September 22, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    I have been lurking around your website as well and wanted to let you know what a blessing your blog has been to me. We lost our first child in an early miscarriage in July and reading your posts has been a huge encouragement to me. Thank you for sharing during these difficult times. I am praying for you especially hard today. Thank you again.

    Reply
  • 52. Shannon (Rocks In My Dryer)  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Molly, this is so beautiful. Praying for you today.

    Reply
  • 53. Christine  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Molly and Abraham,

    Just wanted to let you both know that we are thinking of you, Orison and Morrow today. Take comfort in knowing that those who love you are thinking of you and praying for you.

    Love,
    Christine, James and Olivia

    Reply
  • 54. Katrina  |  September 22, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    praying for you…

    Reply
  • 55. soulost  |  September 23, 2008 at 12:22 am

    hi there, I just found your blog surfing around the wordpress page, and wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I also have just had the one year anniversary of the death of my newborn daughter. It was September 15, 2007. I am newly pregnant, just 5 weeks, and it is encouraging to see you anticipate your new baby so much, it gives me hope. Desperately, we want this new baby, but I am so scared, for so many reasons. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply
  • 56. Elizabeth Esther  |  September 23, 2008 at 6:38 am

    A beautiful poem and picture of sweet Felicity. Thank you for your honesty.

    Holding you in prayer today…..

    Reply
  • 57. Bernard Shuford  |  September 23, 2008 at 9:04 am

    I’ve never suffered anything like what you guys have, but you have been a tremendous encouragement to me in the past year or so. Thanks. God bless you.

    Reply
  • 58. stacey  |  September 23, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Beautiful poem!!!
    Even though I am sure this is a heart wrenching time for us left on earth……..This IS Felicity’s 1st Anniversary with God…..So a Happy Anniversary is in order for Felicity also this week.

    Reply
  • 59. sntjohnny  |  September 23, 2008 at 10:25 am

    May you have the peace that passes all understanding.

    Reply
  • 60. Dina  |  September 23, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Thank you for sharing. You are in my prayers this week. There is such a mix of joy and sorrow on the birthday of a baby with Jesus. Joy that she is complete and whole in the arms of the Lord. Sorrow that she is not in your arms with you. May the Lord keep your eyes on what your sweet Felicity has gained this week and may that bring you a comfort and peace.

    Reply
  • 61. Emily Morisset  |  September 23, 2008 at 11:57 am

    So sorry for your loss – I did not know. I cried when I read the poem and when I thought about and your family. I am praying for you today.

    Reply
  • 62. Dorothy  |  September 23, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Rain just seems right for today.

    Reply
  • 63. joabandemily  |  September 23, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing. May the God of all comfort be close.

    Reply
  • 64. amanda  |  September 24, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Hi. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. The part about her being inifintely far gave me a deeper understanding of the scripture about “grieving with hope” about dear ones we have lost. They are so far, but I am so thankful that they are in the amazing presence of our loving God. I’ll keep continuing in hope today and will pray the same for you.

    Reply
  • 65. Nanette  |  September 24, 2008 at 8:43 am

    I hope your were able to find joy on her birthday. The picture of Felicity remind me of those of my daughter Natalie. I dressed her in a sleeper gown and wrapped her in a yellow fleecy blanket with a sunshine on it. I slept with that blanket for a long time. I miss her this week.

    I hope you are holding up, and enjoying the love of your family.

    Happy Birthday Felicity!

    Reply
  • 66. Karen  |  September 24, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    May the Lord richly bless you on this Anniversary/Going Home…May you be encouraged and comforted knowing you will one day see her joyful face…
    Ephesians 3:16-21
    Thoughts and Prayers,
    Karen

    Reply
  • 67. jennifer  |  September 25, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    Your poem is a beautiful testament to your beautiful baby girl. Our anniversary for our Eva is this upcoming Sunday and you have moved me to put to words ( at least try to) our enduring love for her. Happy birthday sweet Felicity.

    Reply
  • 68. shawnda  |  September 27, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Felicity is absolutely beautiful! I love that you share pictures of her with us. We have thought of ya’ll much this wk. We love you!!!!

    Reply
  • 69. Ann  |  September 29, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Because we celebrate life, it’s a blessing that you will persist in acknowledging your daughter who “died”. Never stop doing finding appropriate ways to do that.

    It was not until a few years ago (I’m in my 60’s) that I talked with my husband about the fact that we had never named the baby boy miscarried only a few months into the pregnancy. It had always felt “incomplete”. After we talked about it, we named him Stephen. I don’t know why–but that made a huge difference to my heart, 40 years after the event. I look forward to meeting him in heaven and sometimes remind his two brothers (now in their 40’s) that they a have a brother they have not yet met.

    Reply
  • 70. RaJen  |  September 29, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Happy Birthday, Felicity.

    Reply
  • 71. robyn  |  September 30, 2008 at 8:41 am

    Oh Molly, what sweet words and a beautiful picture. None of us will ever forget little Felicity. You have helped and ministered to so many people. I even recommend your blog to friends down here who have gone through similar loss. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  • 72. Lindsey  |  October 2, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    The poem in honor of your daughter Felicity is beautiful. You are very blessed to have family and friends remeber and recognize your baby girl’s life one year later. I found your blog sometime in August while searching for information on subsequent pregnancy after a loss, my husband and I lost our son Colby on May 28, his due date. He was born the following morning. As we work towards a second pregnancy I have found your story especially inspirational. Even though I have never met you, your story gives me encouragement and hope for our future. The loss of our son has been like nothing else either of us have ever experienced. The brutal reality of it still hits us head on with no warning. Our emotions overcome us yet we feel the need to be stronger than we can be. The emotions are so complex. I want to thank you for publicly sharing your story, and I wanted you to know how much it has helped me.
    Thanks,
    Lindsey

    Reply
  • 73. stillbirth; one year later « grieving with guinever  |  October 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    […] This is still birth: for my daughter, one year later. […]

    Reply
  • 74. Laura Fazekas  |  October 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Molly,

    September this year was a difficult month for the both of us. We lost our little girl on September 18, one year ago too. She was four months old. She was a beautiful Trisome 18 baby.

    My husband and I love listening to your father-in-law (John Piper) preach. Last year, on Desiring God’s website, I was searching for anything on grief and I then stumbled across your story, that happened so near ours. Thank you for your testimony and encouragements to other grieving parents.

    Reply
  • 75. mrs Lydia D.  |  October 9, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    such a lovely poem..we may not know you but we know your pain.loss of a child…whether still born or lost by tragedy is a nightmare for any parent.we feel your pain.

    god bless.

    Reply
  • 76. Suzanne  |  November 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for sharing this. We too just lost our first born, Hannah. She was stillborn at 35 weeks. I type through tears. Thank you for sharing your grief and hope.

    Reply
  • 77. internet elias  |  April 7, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    My little Benjamin lived twenty-two minutes. Visit my blogsite at internetelias.wordpress.com and click on ‘My Baby..from Death to Life’

    I no longer can say that we ‘lost’ our child, that he is ‘dead’, or that he ‘did not survie.’ I can only say, he LIVES.

    Reply
  • 78. Dana  |  September 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

    We love you lots and lots and lots.

    Uncle D.

    Reply

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