We used to be happy people… I even have proof.

July 23, 2009 at 12:15 am 111 comments

In early September 2007, Abraham and I traveled to Wheaton, IL for “one last hurrah” before our second child would be born.

We left our 2-year-old with my mother-in-law and hit the road in a sporty-looking rental—a highly impractical red Pontiac. I remember we stopped for a leisurely lunch on our way there, and I kept my feet up on the dash for a good portion of the six hour trip to prevent swelling.

While in Wheaton, we distributed books to the college students, compliments of Desiring God (the company my husband works for). We also went out to eat, talked with students, visited with Abraham’s brother and his family and other good friends. We were footloose and fancy-free.

And I was 36 weeks pregnant.

We took this picture of us to email to Orison so that he’d know we were thinking about him and missing him.

We Love Orison

What strikes me most about this picture is how happy we look.

One of the things I’ve been grieving this last year is simply that I used to be a happy person. It used to be that my days were primarily happy, with the occasional interruption of melancholy or difficulty. For the last 22 months, the opposite has been mainly true.

One of my good friends uses the phrase “secondary losses.” I think that’s what this year has been—a whole bunch of secondary losses. The loss of innocence. The loss of happiness. The loss of youth.The loss of simplicity. And when you experience those secondary losses, you grieve.

I look at those two people and truly wonder if that is the same person I see in the mirror each day. I feel like I’ve aged something like 10 years since then.

Today, memories like this one make me cry—hard. We had no idea that we were a few weeks away from one of the worst tragedies we’ll ever face.

So if you’re a mom like me, living without one (or more) of your children, take heart that this is indeed one of the hardest things you will ever live through. But that also means that you lived.

The lines around your eyes will deepen. But that also means you’ve seen. You’ve seen the chaos of pain. Your eyes have and will shed tears for people in their pain that you could’ve never understood before. This is a blessed gift.

Hold on with me. We’re gonna make it. We might not be the happy-go-lucky gals we used to be, but our lives here will tell stories of indescribable loss and the love of a God who made us to be exactly who we are—every line, every gray hair. None of it is wasted.

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Entry filed under: Felicity, Grief, Travel.

Blogs I Read: Honey for a Child’s Heart Welcome, and let me introduce you to a friend of mine.

111 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kcperritte  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:39 am

    Thank so much for this.

    Reply
  • 2. Gretchen  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:32 am

    We lost our daughter just over four years ago now, and everything you said resonates with me. I also feel like a different person from before. But you’re right…losses like ours happen to a lot of people and now I can comfort them in an understanding way. I want to encourage you, though, that as time goes on, happiness comes more easily.

    Reply
  • 3. Heather  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:50 am

    Yes, it’s been five years since our miscarriage. It seemed overnight we aged. I look at pictures pre-miscarriage and we look so young and so free of concern. We had no idea the pain and sorrow that would follow.

    Although there is a deep pain of loss…I know my strength comes from waiting on the Lord.

    Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  • 4. Kirsten  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Your post struck a chord with me tonight, thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    Reply
  • 5. Kellie  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Molly –

    Your post made me think about Him – He was a man of sorrows, well aquainted with grief. That comforts me.

    Also I have never read A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sitzer- but Dustin loves it and therfore I feel like I have read it. He says something like the depth of loss you feel increases the depth of joy you can feel. I think that is true.

    I heartily agree with you none of it is wasted – I like the verse from Psalms about how he puts all our tears in a bottle. He cares about us too!
    with love, Kellie

    Reply
  • 6. Tonya  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Thank you Molly. It has only been 8 months since my little boy was stillborn, but I already find this to be so true. I miss the person I used to be. I know I will never be that same person again, but I’m striving to be the best that I can be as I travel through grief. God bless you!

    Tonya

    Reply
  • 7. april  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Hey Molly,
    This post brought me to tears. I was just thinking the same thing the other night, but it wasn’t a picture it was hanging out with an old friend who made me laugh so hard for the first time in a long time, the way I used to laugh all the time. I realized everything in your post.

    We experienced a 20 week loss, a little over a year ago, and just two weeks ago experienced a 7.5 miscarriage. I am tired. I am sad.

    I have two precious girls with me a son in heaven and a baby whom I will never get to know here. I am not saying this to make people sad, but more of what you said, it is a bittersweet gift to have eyes opened to the reality of this world. And, it just really sucks sometimes but others, we are able to comfort, and mourn with others, something that is great and awesome.

    But, you are not alone. We can be older together 🙂

    Reply
  • 8. Rachel  |  July 23, 2009 at 8:07 am

    I struggle with looking at “before” pictures too. The people in those pictures are different people than we are now. It’s only been 9.5 months since my Felicity was born still and some days it feels like a lifetime and other days if feels like moments. I haven’t cried in a week or so but can feel the tears coming even now. I feel like I constantly look tired. I’m weary and think I’ll always be until I’m with my babies in Heaven. Weary… it’s different than just being tired, it encompasses an emotional and mental tiredness. Some days are lighter than others but it’s a feeling I can’t ever shake. I feel old too. I’m so thankful for the women I’ve met online who have held me and my family up in prayer these months. They have been my closest confidants and it’s helped to have them to talk to.

    Oh, and for the record, I may be weary, but for now I’m still going to pull those gray hairs when I find them!

    Reply
  • 9. Nick  |  July 23, 2009 at 8:54 am

    Your openness and honesty through this time in your lives has meant more to me than you know.

    I am encouraged and challenged to pray for you all more and more, and I pray that God will continue to sustain you (Ps 46:1-3). He is so good. You faith and confidence in the love of Christ is extremely contagious. Keep holding on. Praying for you guys.

    Reply
  • 10. amanda  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Molly, your writings have ministered to me so much. Thank you. My husband and I lost our only child around 13 weeks, a little over a year ago. It devastated us. I’m still sad today. I still miss my child today. We are not the same people we were, some of that is good and some is really hard. I cling to God, like I never did before. But, at the same time it’s often not until something happy happens that I realize just how sad I have been. Thanks for helping to get me through these tough times – it’s been so good to know there are other people out there who understand.

    Reply
  • 11. JenR  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Molly, I am praying for you. If I may try to encourage you, that not only have you experienced secondary losses, but, if I may be so bold, you have also gained something sweet and tender in the process. You have allowed God to use such a tragedy to refine you in ways many will never know or experience. You have ministered to grieving women in ways not possible before. Thank you for your openness and vulnerability. You have helped me more than you know, and that seems to be the sentiment of many of your readers.

    I still dont think it is fair that there is tragedy and heartache in this world and I think it is sometimes cheap comfort knowing that good can come from bad.

    Reply
  • 12. Christine  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Molly,
    Thank you for putting into words what I have so much difficulty doing. I did not know what to say on Micah’s 18 month birthday but what you wrote is it. Thank you so much. I hope that those who see this are not just those of us who know this but also those who are walking this with us who do not know what to do or say.

    Christine

    Reply
  • 13. Lisa Collinsworth  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:31 am

    A friend pointed me to your blog this morning. Two weeks ago my husband and I lost our son at 31 weeks gestation. We were lucky enough to get to hold him in our arms and he was perfect. There is a memorial video on our blog if you would like to see it.

    So I am at the very beginning of this very difficult journey and it will be helpful to read your blog as someone who has also endured it. I wake up every morning feeling like I will not make it through the day. My arms feel so empty. But I know this journey would be impossible if I didn’t have the hope and love of Christ. I’ve lost twins at 12 weeks, 2 others at 5 weeks, and now sweet Noah at 31 weeks. So I believe we have 5 children in the arms of Jesus. Thankfully, we have another son named Ethan who is 3 years old and having him has also helped through this tragedy. I hold him a bit tighter and spend more time playing with him. I cherish every moment. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I’m not pregnant anymore.

    Reply
  • 14. emily  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I do vibe with the term “secondary losses,” there there is much to grieve with each secondary loss- especially the loss of the happy, innocent self.

    I see the transition as if I used to live life in a major key, and my life has shifted to a minor key.

    Reply
  • 15. Monica  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:32 am

    I’m only 9 weeks out from the stillbirth of our Duncan. I have no idea where I’ll be 22 months out, but you give me hope. Or at least company. Thank you Molly.

    Reply
  • 16. Christen Hill  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Thanks, Molly, for sharing this. I had never thought about suffering and loss this way – how it will (understandably) change you like this. I’m so thankful for the ways God has redeemed the loss of Felicity… just like you said, maybe you’re not so happy-go-lucky as you were but your joy and steadfastness in him I’m sure has brought you to places and depths you never knew before. I think the power of God in making a faithful woman is so beautiful.

    Reply
  • 17. Natalie  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Thank you for your candor and authenticity. I have not experienced loss in the same way you have, but have struggled with depression for the last 15 years. Hearing other people’s stories helps for some reason.

    Reply
  • 18. Kelly  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:44 am

    This is so true Molly. I have a friend that experienced so many hard things in her life including losing her dad when she was in college. I guess it sounds weird, she teaches me so much and I’m thankful to have this friend that has experienced Jesus in this way. I know Him more because of her.

    Reply
  • 19. Lisa Collinsworth  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I also meant to mention that your father-in-law’s message from a few years ago really has new meaning to me now.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1177614548013968538

    Reply
  • 20. jee  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I’m not a mom. But I lost my brother 10 years ago and the pain and the loss still hurts me deeply. Different things will trigger a sadness and pain I couldn’t have ever imagined. And it’s hard knowing how to keep it inside or let it out at “appropriate” times.

    I haven’t lost a child but I somewhat feel your grief.

    Thanks so much for sharing honestly.

    Reply
  • 21. danielle  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:45 am

    i’m not a mom. but i still really want to be her aunt.

    Reply
  • 22. Ruth  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:45 am

    My Husband and I miscarried once and have never gotten pregnant again. This has been our journey for the last 8 yrs. What a journey it is! The mountain tops, the darkest valleys, one thing we have learned….He is the same…yesterday, today and forever! We would not be here without his covenant and faithfulness to us!

    Reply
  • 23. Suzanne Marsh  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    That was beautifully expressed!

    While I have not experienced the pain of losing a child, we were thrown into the world of becoming parents with our first baby fighting for his life.

    Some years later I came to the realization that all my dreams (and fears) had been built on a lack of faith. And now everything that I had longed for and could not afford (with time or money) you couldn’t make me have…. even if you paid me :).

    And God’s not done with us yet!

    Reply
  • 24. links worth clicking « Re:Wilsons  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:53 am

    […] Piper’s post “We used to be happy people… I even have proof.“  If you’re a crier, you better grab something tear absorbent, this is a great, hard, […]

    Reply
  • 25. Ashley  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Your words are right out of my head. I used to be silly giddy and now that is gone. It is hard. I wonder what God’s purpose is in all of our suffering? I guess the answer is probably it is not about us, it is about Him.

    Reply
  • 26. Elissa  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I appreciate your transparency in this writing. Thanks for sharing. I needed it too. 😦

    Reply
  • 27. Lexi  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Thank you for sharing your heart Molly. I am one who hasn’t been where you are, but want desperately to be a support and encouragement to our friends that are going through this intense pain. Thank you for helping me be able to better understand.

    Reply
  • 28. hannah  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    This spoke to me today. Thank you. I needed to hear it.

    Reply
  • 29. hannah  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. . .

    Reply
  • 30. lauren  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Thank you, Molly.

    I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child but I am very much in the middle of mourning “secondary losses”, and it is so good to be reminded that this difficulty won’t be wasted.

    I’m praying for you and your family.

    Reply
  • 31. lynne  |  July 23, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    thank you for sharing. i have not lost a child but have had other great losses in my life. this touched my heart and i truly appreciate that you shared this so openly.

    Reply
  • 32. Kim  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Secondary losses is such a good word for it. I have lost children through miscarriage and have experienced secondary losses and still do. When I read this though I was thinking more of the secondary losses that I am experiencing because my daughter has fetal alcohol effects (she is adopted). I am not the “happy” person I was and much of it is the daily losses and grieving I do for her and for our family. It’s a constant barrage of what she cannot do “normally” and what I hope to help her achieve.

    Thanks for giving me some perspective on why I am feeling the way I am!

    By His Grace

    Reply
  • 33. Lori Bardsley  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Molly,
    Initially I got on Twitter to follow my daughter who works in D.C.
    I found Desiring God, 9 Marks, MacArthur etc. 🙂 Your family has been a blessing to me in more ways than you will ever know, even though we have never met. The internet is an amazing thing. Women can experience grief in so many forms. Children with chronic illnesses, marriage, etc. I appreciate your ability to share with others. Thank you.

    Reply
  • 34. tymm  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story and your heart.

    My wife and I lost our son a year and a half ago. He was living in an orphanage in Africa but he was every bit our son. He was 76 days old when he went home to be with his Father before we could get there to bring him home.

    We have since visited him in his land and brought home a daughter – but his life – the whole long 76 days – will ALWAYS be ingrained on me and not a day goes by where I don’t think about him.

    We can really relate…

    Reply
  • 35. Chelsea Bass  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Those last two paragraphs… oh, boy. The tears are flowing. What a precious Sister you are, Molly.

    Reply
  • 36. Tracy  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    That’s it. I hadn’t put it together, but you did it for me.

    I’ve been puzzled by how quickly I seem to have aged lately. I’m 41 and look so much older than I did just 3-4 years ago or so.

    My mom died in late 2004. Everything shook, God was there, and I am not the same person that I was nor do I want to be. But the road is hard. I know what you mean by secondary losses. ‘Hollow’ is how I described feeling to my husband. She was my best friend, and she loved her God, and she is gone.

    I’ve lost two babies through miscarriage. That was hard too. But I never held them; they were too little. Your pain and loss are much greater in that respect. It was the death of my mother that came into my life like a tornado and forever changed me. What would I do without God. Despair and die. that is what I would do.

    Incidently, it was because God had me studying literally hundreds of hours under your father-in-law’s teaching in the years leading up to her death that gave me the foundation I needed to bear up under it. It still hurt profoundly. It was still dark. I still smelled the stench of hell as Satan taunted me in my darkest hours. But God was there, and the tiniest flame of faith burns brightly in utter darkness.

    So thank you. As I watch myself age in the mirror, I feel guilty for vanity–wanting my youthful look back. I think I will have different thoughts about it now. Battle scars–that is what it is. Proof that darkness came, and the darkness did not win; God saw me through, and paradise with Jesus awaits. (And Mom will be there too.)

    Hugs,
    Tracy

    Reply
  • 37. Dana  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you for putting into words some aspects of my pain that I haven’t quite been able to articulate. What a blessing.

    Reply
  • 38. Michelle- This Ones' for the Girls  |  July 23, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    This is how I feel about pictures of my husband and myself before years of life in the ministry. “We used to be happy.”

    But I love what you said: “We might not be the happy-go-lucky gals we used to be, but our lives here will tell stories of indescribable loss and the love of a God who made us to be exactly who we are—every line, every gray hair. None of it is wasted.”

    None of it is wasted. A good word.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • 39. Trista  |  July 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. It really sums up the way you feel when you lose a loved one. We lost our son three years ago at birth to a neural tube defect and are now frequently in the hospital with his sister who just received a small intestine transplant. You are absolutely correct in saying “We might not be the happy-go-luck gals” we used to be, but our lives here will tell stories of indescribable loss and the love of a God who made us to be exactly who we are – every line, every gray hair. None of it is wasted.” It took me awhile to realize this, but you’ve put the feeling into words perfectly. God Bless.

    Reply
  • 40. David  |  July 23, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    I find everything in our life. Greater Faith, hope, love was our after we lost our son. (Died after 15 minutes alive without an explanation) Everthing in our lives really can be labeled pre and post…

    6 Years later we still grieve, But God has used it in amazing ways in our lived and of those we influence.
    I can say God has been faithful.

    Perhaps we always will grieve on some level. but that isn’t nessasarily a bad thing. We won’t know until we get there. But this too is God’s grace.

    bless you on your journey

    Reply
  • 41. hannah  |  July 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    thank you. for sharing. being honest. speaking truth.

    we suffered the loss of two babies in 2007. god is faithful. he has restored our joy. we still ache, but are comforted and lifted up by HIM always in all ways. praise the lord. we now have a 7 month old baby boy; god provided through adoption this past christmas.

    Reply
  • 42. Leslie  |  July 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    i have a beautiful daughter that is 5, and a son, Chet that is with Jesus. He was stillborn at 37 weeks almost 4 years ago. this past january, my son Shiloh, went to be with the Lord at 27weeks due to complications during my pregnancy that ultimately caused me to have a stroke. as i read your blog this morning and felt your pain, i was so grateful that you know the Lord, and that you choose to glorify Him through your pain. i remember shortly after losing Chet, i attended a Christ centered support group for moms struggling with loss, or infertility…on my first visit, the leader of the group who suffered a loss similar to yours and mine said : ‘if i had it to do over again, i wouldn’t change a thing’…i remember thinking she was crazy, and that my arms would never feel less empty. 4 years have past, and i know what she was talking about. God became real, my faith was not just in theory,it became real, and my life took on new meaning…to follow a great God. before my loss it was all about me and my plans. i lost my sweet boy, but realized i needed a savior. could anyone be more proud of their childs’ accomplishments? as i recently faced another loss of Shiloh, this time I knew God went into battle with me.i knew He would be there to comfort me. yes, i still ache to hold my boys, but i hold onto that beautiful promise of eternity…i now realize that Jesus is the prize, but an eternity with my children is a great bonus.
    He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
    God bless,
    Leslie

    Reply
  • 43. Monica Edwards  |  July 23, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Molly~
    As I write this, I have now spent at least 2 hours on your blog catching up on past stories, understanding more and more how you got to where you are today and what you wrote today. It was shared with me by a friend from college on FB! 🙂 As I read through, days and days of your posts, God keeps laying it on my heart that I MUST share this snippit from His word. Of course, in order to learn and quite possibly even fathom this snippit, I had to experience some sort of pain, but that is not the point here. The point is, I discovered it, or rather it was revealed to me and I am compelled to share.

    After my rather tragic event, I awoke every morning saying today, I am going to be happy! Today, I am going to find my smile. I use to be the happiest person people knew, where did that happiness go? That single moment sucked all of the happiness I had from me and that was not fair! I want to be happy, I am suppose to be happy!! But, to no avail. There was NO happiness to be had in my life! I figured it was just not for me, my happy days were over as a result of this one single moment in time. How? How can 3 words bring such a tragic end? And why? Why can I not be happy?

    It was then revealed, God never required of us, nor did He even request for us to be happy. His only commandment on this matter is found in Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice! I argued, this is what I was striving toward, this is what I was wanting and this is the commandment I was trying to follow. But what I learned in an instant was that there is a difference between happiness and joyfulness or even sheer joy. They are not equal, they are not the same. Yes, they can happen simultaneously, but still, not the same thing. You see, joyfulness is a state of mind. It is a choice we make, that at times can only come from total and complete reliance on God. This choice, the choice to choose joy in spite of circumstances, is what God asks of us. It does not have to follow with a smile, and is often followed with tears. Thus bringing tears of JOY! Happiness is a state of being. Purely circumstantial! In fact there is no control over happiness. It overcomes us without us even knowing it. I read about your “Molly Day” there was no denying the happiness that surprises bring, the smiles that go from ear to ear as a result of such wonderful indulgences that are happening without any planning on our part. It is extremely difficult to act sad in the face of such wonderful circumstances!!! 🙂 Likewise, if thing suddenly took a turn in the midst of those circumstances that was negative in any way, it would be extremely difficult to hide the pain and disappointment that immediately follows. As a result, no amount of choosing could change the human response of happiness and sadness. BUT Joyfulness, that is another story. It emanates from our very depths! 🙂 It screams from the bottom most part of our hearts. It cries out to God for the strength to carry on! And it bubbles over to the point that it is completely uncontrollable. All of this being said, we have happy times and we have sad times, but remember, God never required of us to EVER be HAPPY! 🙂 Just to be JOYFUL! And He is the one who provides this JOY! Isn’t it amazing?!?!? Not only does He require this of us, but He also EQUIPS us!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Such a comfort and strength, when we just have nothing left.

    I never expected to leave so much for you, but thoroughly enjoyed the reminder of what God CAN DO and DESIRES to do for each and every one of us.
    Thank you for blessing my day.
    Have a wonderfully blessed day,
    Monica 🙂

    Reply
    • 44. Elizabeth Bradley  |  July 23, 2009 at 3:15 pm

      “And He is the one who provides this JOY!”
      Yessss!!!!! 🙂

      Reply
  • 45. Katie  |  July 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Thank you SO much for writing this! It is beautifully written!! I couldn’t agree more!! This came at just the right time. I am counting down the days until my due date August 3rd, when our baby who died at 5 months of pregnancy would have been born…and it is so hard…especially since this is our second baby in a row to loose at 5 months. It definitely isn’t easier the second time around…only harder! But, I am thankful that I can grieve with hope!

    Reply
  • 46. Elizabeth Bradley  |  July 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    I’m new here. I read because I love to see Christ lived out in the lives of his own. That you would be faithful to God enough to share your experience, allow others to love you through such an awful heartbreak and still considder ways to glorify him in the process, is PURE BEAUTY.

    I’m glad I’ve found you. Who doesn’t thrive off of inspiration?

    Reply
  • 47. Dan  |  July 23, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks. I’ve had the same experience, looking at an old photo and wondering who that person was.

    Reply
  • 48. Becky  |  July 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Wow. Thanks for your words. I am 8 days away from my due date with my first and am praying that we have a healthy baby. At the same time, I just learned of a friend who was 6 months pregnant with their first, but just lost their baby on Monday. The grief of that loss and the fear of losing my own have turned me running straight to the Lord in a mighty way this week. I’m forcing myself to remember that “Perfect love casts out fear.” Thank you for your words of truth. Though you did not have a choice, thank you for living through this and reminding me that if this tragedy ever comes into my life, I will have truly *lived* and *seen.* And that nothing God does is ever wasted. I’m praying for you and your family as you continue your journey.

    Reply
  • 49. deAnna  |  July 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    thank you so much for sharing this. god has given me and my husband two beautiful, healthy children. just weeks after my son was born, though, some dear friends lost their daughter. just grieving her death, i can’t begin to imagine how our friends feel. my husband and i thought: if we are in this much pain, how much more are they hurting? i do understand “secondary losses”, though. i have not been the same person since i was 19, when a man violently took something from me and my husband. god, in his infinite grace, led me to read many many sermons and books by your father-in-law, who helped me to see the blessing in my suffering. almost nine years later, i still think about my loss daily and think “i used to be happy”, but i am still living …

    Reply
  • 50. jennapants  |  July 23, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    there’s times at church during worship when i take a moment to look around for people i know who have suffered deeply, but who look really…happy. i’m looking for promises…for evidence that people can heal and whole-heartedly praise the Lord with joy.

    a few weeks ago, i got to stand behind the ever-smiling kathy sturm. (yes, you, kathy!) and she was my evidence that through Christ you can survive losing a child.

    i praise God for people who are proof that he has the power to bring people out of darkness…in so many ways.

    Reply
  • 51. Natalie  |  July 23, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I have never had a miscarriage but I have lost a child. My David was 2 months away from his 5th birthday when the Lord called him home. It will be 26 years on August 2 and i still miss him. Not only did I lose him but found out 2 months after his death that my husband and I could not have any more childen. We went from a happy “perfect “family. of a beautiful little boy and a younger sister to a family torn apart.. I know the feeling you are experiencing I know the days , the heartache , the grief you feel when you hear of someone elses pain.
    I do know you will survive day by day year by year. You will experience joy again. As long as Christ is in your life He will lead you out of this time. You will always remember. and cry when you hear of someone else that has lost a prescious child as i am weeping as i read your story.
    My husband and i went on day by day, week by week , month by month. we adopted 3 beautiful mixed race children. one of the things my paster’s wife said to me when I held my first special baby in my arms at church for the first time. that for the first time in a long time she sees peace in my eyes instead of pain.
    My children are now 24, 21 and 19. they are such a blessing but I will always remember my first born David and the 4 5 beautiful years i had with him.
    God bless you

    Reply
  • 52. Sharon  |  July 23, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I am encouraged by your honesty and blessed by the freedom with which you reveal your heart. Praying for you as God persistently restores you and forms you into more than you imagined you could be. May you and your family be blessed beyond measure and may your territory continue to increase daily!

    Reply
  • 53. amanda  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    our family lost a 12 year old boy. i feel exactly like this. like my life could be divided up into before and after. i was in college at the time and i can remember being so outgoing i knew the names of all our cafeteria workers and they would give me free ice cream. i didn’t even realize until years later that i wasn’t that girl anymore. much more guarded and reserved. shy, even.

    i found this post both heartbreaking and encouraging because it’s hard to understand what exactly happens to you as a result of intense grief. while the pain of his passing is unspeakable still, i don’t feel like i’m different because i’m sad everyday. i don’t understand quite how or when it happened, but it actually changed my personality. reading this gave me a strange hope that maybe this is who we’re supposed to be, that maybe change isn’t failure after all.

    Reply
  • 54. Stacy  |  July 23, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Molly,

    Thanks for this post. I needed to hear these things today. Grieving our loss of Isaac has included so many secondary losses as well… many of which you named. But I know that God doesn’t allow the grief to be wasted… He will make beauty from ashes.

    ~ Stacy

    Reply
  • 55. Top Posts « WordPress.com  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    […] We used to be happy people… I even have proof. In early September 2007, Abraham and I traveled to Wheaton, IL for “one last hurrah” before our second […] […]

    Reply
  • 56. Marie  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Thank you Molly – Im from New Zeland and its the first time for me reading your posts. How encouraging you are. I want to share your story with my aunty who lost there daughter 10 years ago this September. I hope she finds your story encouraging and comforting too.

    Reply
  • 57. Anita  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    “None of it is wasted.” Amen Molly!

    Reply
  • 58. Julie  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    “Happy-go-lucky” is not it’s all cracked up to be. To know Christ intimately as the Redeemer of all our losses is. I love your heart as you write of your pain. Surely it is one of the ways your pain is not being wasted. Thank you.

    Reply
  • 59. Ashley  |  July 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this. Beautifully said.

    Reply
  • 60. Mark  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    Mam,
    I use the term “mam” out of respect not because of age (I am getting ready to turn 40 and I can swear that just a short time ago I was 26). This may sound odd but I cannot for the life of me figure out what happened and why I am now almost 40 (of course I can reason this out scientifically, but inside where i really counts lives this playful, happy guy that has known the darkness of sadness, but has also known the triumphs of success and joy and has always wanted to do things that poke fun, make irreverant the stodgy, corrupt landscape of the piece of rock we call the USA. I remember a time in my life growing up and being basically free. I lament our loss of that freedom, I lament the loss of our innocense as a country and the fact that y children will never know what it used to be like to drive the car on my lap at 5. to sit in the back of a pickup truck and go “everywhere”. the fact that they will most likely never bundle up on a friday night and go to a drive in movie with all their cousins hiding uder the blankets to get a price that our parents could afford.Other people tell me I am a great parent, one of the best, my children seem to love me and I them and they know that even though I am divorced from their mother, that I wish her well. they know it was not my choice to get a divorce and that I am an honest man. I am this not because of who I am but because I made a vow to god a long time ago and when I follow the tenents of that vow I get to feel happy, joyous and free sometimes, not all the time, not even most of the time. I’ve rambled quite a while but I want you to know this and believe this as if it were written in the sky with the clouds for only you to see. Your daughter is with god, just like the children that my wife and I lost to miscarriage and our own poor decisions (not abortion). for which I am to blame as much as she and for which I hope my maker judges me for ( I was going to say in the last ssentence that I hope my maker forgives me for but I feel so bad about what happened to those children (the children of invetro fertilization that were not used, that were killed because I made choices that left me without aenough money to pay for them to be kept in hibernation, that I was to lazy to or corrupt or just didn’t really care enough to do anything about). for while I am liberal in all things, my scientific mind tells me that since we cannot determine when god places the sparkof life into a child that, the moment must be at the time, that one cell becomes two, for some reason I believe that with all my heart because a human soul can surely live in the smallest of things) that being said, mam you did nothing wrong, you have no burden of guilt,your loss is immeasurably painful but it was not by your choice it was by the hand of god and if you believe in god, then you know in your heart that god has plans for all of us, our job is to follow his will, which means that we freely and without reservation give ourselves over to him and trust that he will help us. I have some measure of fear every day for my kids, I am a very luck man in that my daughter has a light in her heart for others and for protecting those weaker than herself that makes me so very proud. My son, I have to provide a lot of guidnace to but it is my own fault for not guiding him when I should have (I was working long hours to try and start a company). so the time I spend with him, we talk about being hanest noble and true. Love your boys, show them the mother I saw in that happy picture. don’t let your grief consume you, Maybe the reason I can’t figure outh how I got to be 40 is because the gift god gave me is an ability to be silly and irreverant even under mounting forclosures, the loss of teeth that even though I brush are just falling out of my head and even thoug i bring home what some would consider way more than enough to live on, that somehow every week I am behind the eight ball with the bank and rack up 100’s of doolars in $35 non sufficent debit card fees that the bank pays and charges me for. i dont get it all, not even as much as I should. but something had me looking at a sight about how to be happy today, to find your blog, to post one of my first posts and to say in it the only thing could be important to you is this: love the children god has put in your hands to take care of today, love them, play with them, guide them and care for them and even though your day be filled with the darkeest of clouds, make sure that they know that they are the most important thing in your life, that they are the reason you wake up in the morning and teaching them to be good people and follow gods laws are the joys that make your days shine (just like in that picture).; I rant, I wish you good cheer, amazing amounts of happiness and pride in your little ones and peace in your marriage.

    with all my care

    Mark

    (the name “Mark” comes from Latin meaning Hammer, defender) it also means warlike, but I detest war and those that make it and truly believe we should not send our younger generation to war but those that would choose to start it. for me it my name means “defender”

    Reply
  • 61. Debby  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm

    Tears, aching heart and prayers for you, Molly.

    Your lines and your tears are beautiful. It’s astounding to see you holding on to Christ through the grief…and most of all, Him holding you.

    Reply
  • 62. Heather  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Molly – I don’t know what to say except thank you for sharing, and whether you don’t feel happy the way you used to, you are still beautiful and unbelievably inspirational. God is in You and still shaping You.

    Reply
  • 63. Rachel  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Ugh – that was from me, Rachel, Molly. Sorry I was logged in to someone else’s blog.

    Molly – I don’t know what to say except thank you for sharing, and whether you don’t feel happy the way you used to, you are still beautiful and unbelievably inspirational. God is in You and still shaping You.

    -Rachel L.

    Reply
  • 64. ~beautyandjoy~  |  July 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    This is so, so true and you said it just perfectly. I am just so sorry you know how true it is, too. Thank you for your beautiful words.

    Reply
  • 65. Jane Swanson  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Dear Molly,
    I just returned from an evening with dear friends who buried their 3 1/2 year old daughter two weeks ago. Joyous Grief. We all resonate with your heartfelt words. Once again, thank you for being you, being vulnerable and allowing God to use you in people’s lives. Nothing is wasted. How beautiful that God redeems even our deepest losses.
    Much love,
    Jane

    Reply
  • 66. Nicole  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Molly, I have read your blog for awhile, but never posted. My husband and I struggled with infertility and then the loss of 3 babies at 9 weeks, 18 weeks and 20 weeks before being blessed with 2 beautiful little girls. It has been almost 9 years since that first loss and some days it still feels like yesterday. I keep my boys’ things in my curio cabinet and have scrapbooks for both of them. We have told my oldest daughter who is 5 about her brothers in heaven and she loves to ask questions about them. This is what keeps them alive for us. I know that we will never forget them, but the people who have never walked a mile in these shoes will. There are many verses in the Bible that I have clung to through the years of heartache and sadness, but all time favorite is Psalms 40. After I got over my pity party in those first few months, I gave my sadness and fear to our God and climbed my way out of that pit and decided to show the world my sons and what God was doing in my life because of them. They changed me into who I am, I am not the same person I was before them, I am a better, not bitter person. They made me realize that my trust needed to be in God, not myself or anyone else and I am thankful for that part that came out of their death. I am sad that is what it took for me to see who God really is and what He wanted to do with my life, but I wouldn’t change what the outcome has been. My God continue to bless you through your sadness and you continue to grow and strengthen in His love for you.
    In His Grip,
    Nicole

    Reply
  • 67. Kathy  |  July 23, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Molly, this post made me cry. As I shared on Facebook today, my loss was nearly 13 years ago. I’m grieving deeply this year because I could have been entering a very sweet time with my daughter. I look back at my wedding pictures just as you look back at this photo you posted. We looked so happy, and carefree. We had no idea where God would take us just one year later. I have a video of us doing a “tour” of our apartment the week before Madison died. We had just finished her room, and we were showing it off. We looked so happy. I remember looking at her bassinet next to my bed that night (she was our first), and thinking, “there’s going to be a baby in that bassinet in 3 weeks”. It was not to be. In less than a week, I walked into that apartment with empty arms, and made my husband move the bassinet to her room and shut the door before I would go into my room.

    I understand your feelings on this post completely. And though it was nearly 13 years ago, alot of days it feels like it was yesterday. I’m hanging on with you though, and I know God will help us through.

    Reply
  • 68. Julie B.  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Molly.

    What a sad post. I look at your picture of you unsuspecting happy folks and I do see a sight that I haven’t seen for a while…
    …and yet, (I hope it doesn’t sound trite) I think that you will again one day be happy people…but not the same happy people. You both have been changed through the life and death of Felicity.
    I’ve never heard of “secondary loss” but it makes sense…and it makes sense for you to mourn those happy people that you used to be…even as you embrace the people that God has made you into today. And maybe that’s a big part of moving forward..acknowledging what was lost and mourning it.
    Be encouraged, Molly, He is making all things new! He will turn your sorrow to joy (in His timing).

    Reply
  • 69. Rebecca  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    Yes. Yes. And oh, yes.

    I completely get ya. As a previously happy-go-lucky gal, I’ve coined a new phrase for myself: “joy-go-Godly”. I can’t say I’m ‘happy’ a whole lot anymore and besides, happiness is based on great circumstances, of which I, at times, have not many. And, since I’m a Bible believer, I don’t believe in luck. So, I am left with trying to become ‘joy-go-Godly’. I often wonder what someone would think of me, if they only met me today and had not known me a mere six months ago. Over-emotional? Cries too easily? It makes me a bit sad for my 19 month old son, knowing that he will only know me as the mom I am now, instead of as the mom I was before my daughter died. But even amongst that secondary loss, I believe there is a second chance at appreciation: appreciating life’s fragility, cherishing each moment more, loving deeper. Acutely aware that the loss makes the good things seem even more wonderful. I have those pictures too. I can look at myself and think, “Oh, if only you knew what was coming, you wouldn’t be smiling like that.”

    Reply
  • 70. For Those Grieving a Loss « ABBA Fund Blog  |  July 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    […] hope by Jason Kovacs Almost two years ago, dear friends of ours experienced an incredible loss. Molly reflects here, offering encouragement and hope. Blogged with the Flock […]

    Reply
  • 71. Lori  |  July 24, 2009 at 12:03 am

    If I had a dollar for every time I have thought about life “before”. When life was carefree and I was innocent of real pain. I can relate to all that you shared. We are a few weeks away from the third year anniversary of our son’s death.

    People tell us we look different. We look it and we ARE different.

    Just because we have hope – I Peter 1:3-5 – and an understanding and sincere belief in God’s love and mercy, it doesn’t mean that the pain of this life doesn’t hurt REALLY bad.

    I appreciate your sharing how you feel. It helps when you know you aren’t alone. I also think it helps people who haven’t experienced this kind of loss to know that it isn’t a one year process, but a lifetime one.

    Reply
  • 72. Grief – In Progress « Goodbye Ordinary  |  July 24, 2009 at 3:01 am

    […] keep waiting for life to feel like it used to.  I read a blog post today that resonated with me.  I read what she had to say and I could completely relate.  There is this […]

    Reply
  • 73. Stephen T.  |  July 24, 2009 at 7:27 am

    “Youth is the period in which a man can be hopeless. The end of every episode is the end of the world. But the power of hoping through everything, the knowledge that the soul survives its adventures, that great inspiration comes to the middle-aged.”

    -G. K. Chesterton

    Reply
  • 74. Chris  |  July 24, 2009 at 7:52 am

    I am a “used to be happy” person, too, for different reasons.

    “We had no idea that we were a few weeks away from one of the worst tragedies we’ll ever face.”–Realizing that I could at any time be moments or weeks away from another tragedy has made me a softer person. More often than before, I tend to choose my words more carefully, let fewer annoyances and inconveniences bother me, give more grace to the people I love and to those whose paths I stumble into and to those who have treated me badly…

    1 Corinthians 15:55
    “O death, where is your victory?O death, where is your sting?”

    Reply
  • 75. Amanda  |  July 24, 2009 at 8:38 am

    As a mother who is walking this same road and definitely looking weary, thank as always for sharing. It has been just over 14 months since Gavin passed away and lately I have just been yearning to be “that” person again. Like you, I was a pretty happy person, always helping my friends whenever needed and these days I am lucky to have enough energy to get through each day sometimes. I needed to read your post this morning and remember that God is shaping me and I will come out on the other side of this loss.

    Blessings,
    Amanda

    Forever missing Gavin 4/7-5//3/08

    Reply
  • 76. dawn  |  July 24, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Molly- was given your blog link by my sister Kerry who’s beautiful daughter Sadie was born still 3 months ago with no explanation. I am also bereaved mom–Aidan died 10 years ago (wow) next month. He had lived 4 months with us.

    I mostly to say is Amen to all you have written in this post. It is beautiful and an accurate description of the longer term grief.

    but I also want to say that 10 years later, my son’s life and death is a huge part of who I’ve become, and I carry him in my heart forever, but it doesn’t hurt all the time anymore. God is faithful to redeem the pain into something beautiful–something He is obviously doing in your hearts as well.

    Press on. I’m sorry you and my sister and all the others here are in this “club” we didn’t choose to join. But I’m so very grateful to the God that makes good from bad.

    Love from one more who gets it.

    Reply
  • 77. casey  |  July 24, 2009 at 9:01 am

    well said, Molly. Well said.

    Reply
  • 78. KristenZ  |  July 24, 2009 at 9:37 am

    I just lost my daughter Abigail Rose two and a half months ago. I can so completely relate to the “memories” of being mostly happy – those pictures make me cry too. It does help to know that there are more of us and we can be in it together and share our heartbreak…and hopefully the happiness that comes too. Thank you!

    Reply
  • 79. conglac2009  |  July 24, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Your post struck a chord with me tonight, thanks for sharing your thoughts

    Michael Jackson

    Reply
  • 80. Holley  |  July 24, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Molly, thank you for sharing your heart–the beauty and the brokenness. I had a miscarriage over three years ago and this month marks five years of inferility. Happy, sad, those lines blur more than ever before. I appreciate both, breathe both, sometimes it seems they are one and the same. I keep searching for some sort of wisdom to write and none comes. I only know that when the background of your life becomes darker…the white of happy stands out more than ever before. It’s striking, beautiful, perhaps because it is more rare. Praying for you, for me, for all of us…

    Reply
  • 81. Melissa Parnell  |  July 24, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    i have no idea the reality you face daily, but i do love you and all three of your children! what sweet grace to keep trusting in Jesus through your immense loss–“none of it wasted!”

    Reply
  • 82. JenR  |  July 24, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I was thinking about your post a lot this morning, and an analogy came to my mind. I wonder if your loss is somewhat like a forest fire. First, there is glorious shade from the beating sun thanks to the huge trees, a stream to cool your feet, and birds singing to bring joy to your path. Life is simple and peaceful. Then , one day out of the blue, disaster strikes and those sweet memories are tainted forever. And when you close your eyes, you can still feel the heat of the flames, you smell the heaviness of the smoke, you see the insatiable appetite of the flames, and you hear the roar of the fire. And life doesnt feel safe anymore. And when you look out, you see a charred and black wasteland. And it feels like your hope was consumed in the fire. And for a while, this is all you’re able to see.

    And then, as if it couldnt get harder, winter sets in, and a bitter cold settles over an already harsh landscape.

    And yet. In the midst of such tragedy, the intense heat broke open the pinecone seeds and allowed them to finally germinate. Slowly the stream comes back. As the saplings start to grow, the birds return. And, in a few years, those trees once again bring shade from the beating sun. Life will still never be the same and you will still long for the old forest and the sense of security you no longer feel. But life has grown again.

    I am praying for those trees to grow in your life, and for the stream to return and the birds to sing again, Molly.

    Reply
  • 83. MrsMK  |  July 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Molly, I thank you from my heart for sharing the way you do. Sometimes I think ” Can’t wait until heaven, when I’m gonna sit next to Jesus with my daughter on my lap, and Felicity on yours. We’ll catch up on everything we’ve missed.

    Reply
  • 84. Ebe  |  July 24, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Oh, friend. It’s not what we thought it would be, it’s not what we wanted, it’s not what it was.
    Would we wish for them to never have come to us in order to have the happiness…no; but that doesn’t mean we don’t grieve for what we lost or what we will never have again.
    It’s so hard to reconcile. It’s just hard.

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. It is an honor to walk this road with you and the many others.

    Praise God- none of it is wasted.

    love,
    ebe

    Reply
  • 85. Angie  |  July 24, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for this. I can relate in a totally different way as 23 months ago I was a “carefree” mom of a 1, 3 and 5 year old and my world stopped when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have waded through innumerable losses and grief over the past months, and I often look at pictures from before and think how happy I was. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death is life changing no matter what form it takes. I read your blog and pray for you and your pain. We miscarried 8 years ago, and the pain of the loss of that tiny life is so sharp still. I can’t imagine the pain you must bear. Praying you will know His peace and love wrapped around you.

    Reply
  • 86. Chris de Vidal  |  July 24, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
    when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
    and the flame shall not consume you.

    — The Almighty God of the universe (Isaiah 43:2 ESV)

    Reply
  • 87. Shelby  |  July 25, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Thank you for this post. We lost our daughter, Charlie, a little over a year ago at 40 wks 5 days. We took a picture of us the day we found out I was pregnant with her. We took it for her to tell her, “This is the day we found out about you.” That picture, as dear to me as it is, is still so difficult to look at. Different people then, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel richer in certain ways, now. Thank you for expressing that in your post. 🙂

    Reply
  • 88. amy  |  July 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    heartbreakingly beautiful. thanks for sharing your heart, Molly…blessings to you and your family.

    Reply
  • 89. Kristin  |  July 26, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    The things you said also ring true for tragedies other than that of losing a child. The secondary losses make one long for heaven, when joy that is fuller than any we could know here, is restored to us. The secondary losses (as you call them) make me love my life here less and my life there, with Jesus, more.

    Reply
  • 90. Amy  |  July 27, 2009 at 2:24 am

    It changes everything.

    I cannot think of one single thing it didn’t change. Even my faith…I had to deal with spiritual issues I NEVER thought I’d have to deal with. Death is one thing, but death of a child is a whole other issue…and when it’s your child…well, you have all that pain and guilt and agony mixed right in there with it.

    I hang on to the hope that someday either all of this will make sense or else none of this will matter anymore.

    Much love,
    Amy from Raising Arrows

    Reply
  • 91. Ruthie  |  July 27, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
  • 92. Laura Gruner  |  July 27, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you for this post… thank you.

    Reply
  • 93. Aimee  |  July 27, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Wow. thanks for that. I thought I was doing ok until this last week. don’t know why but for some reason my loss is hitting me hard. won’t go into details but I am thankful for God’s grace to get me through the day. I just read your blog and was glad to see that you stil have days like that too.
    Crazy how a loss makes you grow up really quick and think about things differently. how precious every little thing and moment is.
    Thanks for not being fake.

    Reply
  • 94. Sumi  |  July 27, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    Everything you say is so true. My life now can be divided into the ‘before’, and the ‘after’. WE will never be the same, and sometimes the loss of innocense is the hardest thing to swallow.

    But you are so right. I have LIVED. I know my experience has depened me, and has added, rather than taken away something from my life.

    Today is my sweet little Jenna’s fifth birthday. It is the second time that she is spending a birthday away from us, and with Jesus. We miss her more than ever, yet we are so at peace knowing that we walk with a God who is sovereign and has only our best interests at heart.

    Love you Molly, I appreciate your heart.

    Sumi
    http://www.sumijoti.wordpress.com

    Reply
  • 95. Robyn  |  July 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    what a wonderful post Molly! thanks for sharing this. I’ve passed your blog along to several grieving moms in my church and I’m sure they are blessed by it.

    Reply
  • 96. Meredith  |  July 29, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Thankyou Molly. I don’t pretend to understand the grief of your primary loss because I have not travelled that road. But I know the effects of the secondary loss because I too often feel that due to other circumstances that have aged me. But God is good. And regret and loss can be turned to inspiration and joy with lots of prayer. And I know you have prayed much and that many pray for you too. Including me.
    God bless you richly.

    Reply
  • 97. shawnda  |  July 30, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    So thankful for you and for God’s sustaining grace that is testified through you and Abraham! We love you guys so much! Keep pressing on, sister! He is making you a new person, more like Christ, and you’ll worship all the more in heaven because of it! HUGS!!!!!!

    Reply
  • 98. Shannon  |  July 31, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    As the mother of a stillborn baby boy, I GET it. I totally understand. God is good ALL the time. Sometimes, we have to look for His goodness.

    Reply
  • 99. Amanda  |  August 3, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    A friend passed along your blog to me and I am so thankful she did. It has almost been 4 months since my husband and I lost our third daughter, Addison June, when I was 31 weeks pregnant. As I have read about your daughter, Felicity, our story is similar. I was consumed by counting kicks and one day her movement stopped. What a journey I have been on in the past months. THe want to always let out the grief and process and battle the theology I knew the day before I lost her, but how it takes on a brand new perspective without her. Thank you for sharing.. I look forward to knowing you and your journey more.

    Reply
  • 100. Meg  |  August 5, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    As one who is currently walking through miscarrying, your words have new poignancy and weight. I had read your blog for months before. We have been walking for 3 months now through losing our third child and are still not physically done. With every step, literally, I bleed. With every breathe, I bleed. Everytime I wake, I bleed and lay down, I bleed. This is all the physical aspect – I have not even let the emotional and spiritual weight have room yet. Thank you for reminding me and showing me what life will look like a little bit further down the road. I know that I will never be the same, and that is part of the grace of this loss.

    Reply
  • 101. Bonnie Gray | FaithBarista  |  August 8, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Hi Molly,

    Secondary losses. The indescribable losses that bring an un-manufactured love from God, for people, out of our bleeding hearts are the unusual gifts we give each other.

    Thank you for sharing your grief. It has touched mine.

    Here is a poem from me to you, that has touched me deeply to the core this week:

    After a while you learn
    the subtle difference between
    holding a hand and chaining a soul
    and you learn
    that love doesn’t mean leaning
    and company doesn’t always mean security.
    And you begin to learn
    that kisses aren’t contracts
    and presents aren’t promises
    and you begin to accept your defeats
    with your head up and your eyes ahead
    with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
    and you learn
    to build all your roads on today
    because tomorrow’s ground is
    too uncertain for plans
    and futures have a way of falling down
    in mid-flight.
    After a while you learn
    that even sunshine burns
    if you get too much
    so you plant your own garden
    and decorate your own soul
    instead of waiting for someone
    to bring you flowers.
    And you learn that you really can endure
    you really are strong
    you really do have worth
    and you learn
    and you learn
    with every goodbye, you learn…
    – Veronica Shoffstall, “Comes the Dawn” (1971)

    With eyes damp and heart going out to you,
    Bonnie

    Reply
  • 102. mbarley  |  August 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Molly-
    Thanks for sharing your heart yet again. It is so encouraging to see how you are allowing the Lord to move through you. The Barley household in Wake Forest remembers your sweet Felicity often-thanks for sharing her with the world.
    love,
    megan

    Reply
  • 103. cindy morris  |  August 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    it has been 2 1/2 years since our 3 yr. twin went to live with Jesus…i wrote this today……its on my blog…..

    i was laying half propped up on my bed yesterday morning
    looking out the window
    thinking….
    so much is the same
    as when you were here
    trees are in the same place
    the garden has the same
    dirt that your hands
    dug in
    yours and siah’s big yellow
    dump trucks laying
    in the same sandbox
    the little bench sits
    in the same place as
    when
    you
    sat on it
    the furniture in our house is in
    the
    same places
    the trampoline is in the
    same
    place as when you jumped on it
    so much is the same
    and then as i was looking out the window
    your same little twin brother
    zips past the window
    on his bike
    i am thankful that he was old
    enough at the time to remember you
    yet young enough even now
    that the weight of sorrow is not
    changing him
    he’s the same funny little guy
    that reminds me of you
    so much is the same
    but
    i
    am
    not

    Cindy (Joel’s mom)

    Reply
  • 104. Lisa writes...  |  August 15, 2009 at 9:49 am

    I realize this post is a few weeks old but I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate its raw honesty. Your desire and determination to cling to the sovereignty and goodness of God in the midst of great heartache is both challenging and inspiring. “None of it will be wasted”–what a testimony of faith. May He continue to show Himself faithful in the secondary losses and the daily-ness of life…

    Reply
  • 105. Stacie  |  August 20, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Great post. I try to check in with your blog from time to time and always love to read what you have to say. While I have not lost a child, my son was diagnosed with brain and spine cancer in March of 2008. He finished chemotherapy in June of this year and has his first post-chemo scan tomorrow morning. I can relate to much of what you had to say in this post. The not knowing how all of this battle will end has forever changed me.

    Much love,
    Stacie Smith

    Reply
  • 106. Alecia  |  August 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Thank you for being salt in a very dark place. There is so much beauty in the honesty and the struggle and the sharing of this pain.

    Reply
  • 107. Steph  |  August 22, 2009 at 6:38 am

    Thank you for your beautiful and honest words. My first child, Dominic, was stillborn in January this year and I have just been guided to your blog by a kind friend. Your words have made me weep (something I am now so much more familiar with than I was a year ago) but they have also comforted and encouraged me.
    I love your last three paragraphs. This year I have already found so much of what you say to be true in my life in a way I was never aware of before. God loves us. He is good. He made us to be exactly who we are. Our children are with Him. None of this will be wasted. All praise and glory to Him.

    Reply
  • 108. Emily Cassetty  |  August 22, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    I so appreciate this. I used to be a happy girl, too. Our third daughter, Miller Grace, lived five days on this earth. We, too, have been blessed with a healthy child since she left us in June, 2007. But still, the pain remains. Our Redeemer lives though and He is making everything – everything! – beautiful in His time.

    Reply
  • 109. Alison Patterson  |  September 6, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I”m a stranger (not for long) to your blog but just wanted to say thanks for putting into words what I’m feeling. My husband and I lost our son, James, last October. He was born still at 8 months and even though we were prepared for his fate (he was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 4 months) loosing him has been difficult. As we approach his first birthday life goes on and hopefully we get back to happy.

    Reply
  • 110. Leslie Camp  |  September 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    How I admire your transparency and eloquence. You always seem to say so much of what I am feeling, but could never put into words or have the guts to say out loud.

    Its been over eight years since my Ethan was stillborn and I have experienced many deep joys in those eight years. I just sometimes wish to be that superficial happy-go-lucky girl who never had trouble sleeping and didn’t have dark circles under her eyes!

    Sounds trite, I know. But its real. I’m just so tired and I feel old. I wouldn’t trade anything that I have learned from my loss (our God is so good), but I would trade some of these “secondary losses!”

    Reply
  • 111. Tim  |  October 14, 2009 at 11:18 am

    Thank you for being so open and vulnerable with your story. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    –Tim

    Reply

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