Posts filed under ‘Felicity’

A Poem For the Grievers Out There

A fellow grieving mother sent me this poem the other day. Her son is buried very near to my Felicity. I visit him each time I go.

I know I haven’t written much about how I’m doing, grief-wise, in awhile. But it’s there, always, and some of it too deep, too painful to share here. Maybe I’ll get there someday.

In the meantime, you can read something that just recently made me cry tears of longing and joy and pain, all at the same time.

Resignation
from The Seaside and the Fireside

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807-1882)


There is no flock, however watched and tended,
But one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe’er defended,
But has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,
And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel, for her children crying,
Will not be comforted!

Let us be patient!  These severe afflictions
Not from the ground arise,
But oftentimes celestial benedictions
Assume this dark disguise.

We see but dimly through the mists and vapors;
Amid these earthly damps
What seem to us but sad, funereal tapers
May be heaven’s distant lamps.

There is no Death!  What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.

She is not dead,–the child of our affection,–
But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our poor protection,
And Christ himself doth rule.

In that great cloister’s stillness and seclusion,
By guardian angels led,
Safe from temptation, safe from sin’s pollution,
She lives, whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing
In those bright realms of air;
Year after year, her tender steps pursuing,
Behold her grown more fair.

Thus do we walk with her, and keep unbroken
The bond which nature gives,
Thinking that our remembrance, though unspoken,
May reach her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her;
For when with raptures wild
In our embraces we again enfold her,
She will not be a child;

But a fair maiden, in her Father’s mansion,
Clothed with celestial grace;
And beautiful with all the soul’s expansion
Shall we behold her face.

And though at times impetuous with emotion
And anguish long suppressed,
The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean,
That cannot be at rest,–

We will be patient, and assuage the feeling
We may not wholly stay;
By silence sanctifying, not concealing,
The grief that must have way.

January 10, 2010 at 7:53 pm 18 comments

A Family Tree for Christmas, Part 3: Including Felicity

Our Christmas tree decorating process has morphed and evolved over the years. Now it includes shedding tears for our family member who’s not with us, prancing around the Christmas tree and getting into trouble.

Our daughter has been with Jesus for three Christmases now.

Most people who’ve ever lost someone they love will tell you that the holidays are particularly hard. So, for people to have the foresight to give these ornaments to us back in 2007… let’s just say, I’m deeply thankful.

We’ve done it differently every year, but this year, the Felicity ornaments were the last to go on the tree. And since there were three, Abraham, Orison, and I all chose the one we’d like to hang.

I don’t want to make our tree a Felicity tree, I just want her there. These three little ornaments are very special to us.

If you’ve ever wondered what to get for someone who has lost a child, I would highly recommend an ornament. That way, it’s not another item they have to find a place for year-round, but when Christmas comes, there’s a ready-made place for remembering.

Our tree isn’t fancy. It’s not pristine. But it’s ours. It’s our family tree.

December 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm 10 comments

A Family Tree For Christmas, Part 1

Most of you have already put up your Christmas trees. You’ve strung the lights and hung the ornaments. You might even be sitting and enjoying it right now.

There’s nothing like a Christmas tree at Christmas to make it feel like home. Like family.

We chose, for a number of reasons, to put up a very small tree this year. But in actuality, it’s the third year in a row we’ve used this little thing as our family Christmas tree.

You see, I bought it in the Fall of 2007, just after we lost Felicity and I was going through a major money-spending binge (shock does insane things to you). And then when Christmas came, I was too tired to think about putting up a real tree. Plus, we decided to go on an extensive 4-week road trip at Christmas. (Again, shock does crazy things to you.) We spent Christmas #1 without Felicity in Pennsylvania (in our stupor of shock) among our family and friends there.

Then for Christmas 2008, we had just moved into our current house a couple weeks before and the only thing I had time for (and room for among the boxes) was this little tree. Combine that with having a 4-month old baby, and it wasn’t exactly the right time for me to move forward with any elaborate Christmas decorating.

Now it’s Christmas 2009. Christmas #3. (For those of you living without loved ones, help me out here: do you mark your holidays like this? I don’t feel like I have the same inclination to mark other holidays like Thanksgiving or Easter this way. But at Christmas I miss her a lot, and I feel the passage of time more poignantly.)

Anyway… Christmas #3. Another Pennsylvania Christmas. So I figured, “Why go to the trouble of doing a tree when we’re not even going to be here?”

But Orison had other plans.

In his Christmas excitement, one night after dinner, he’d had enough of this waiting around thing (I’m pretty sure it was December 1) and decided to light a fire under Abraham and I. He came into the kitchen and announced that we were all going to the basement right now and, “Dad, you’ll carry the Christmas tree. Mommy, you’ll carry the Advent calendar. And I’ll carry the boxes.”

“Ready… set… go!” And all of a sudden we were putting up a tree after all.

(And no, we didn’t make him carry the boxes.)

I’m planning a couple more posts about what makes our tree, our family tree, special for me. What makes your Christmas tree special for your family?

December 9, 2009 at 12:04 am 30 comments

Felicity’s 2nd birthday (mostly in pictures).

On September 22, we marked Felicity’s second birthday. We don’t do anything extravagant, just things that recognize the significance of the day in our hearts.

happybdaypoint

At the cemetery Abraham and I try to give each other a few minutes of peace and reflection while we alternate caring for the other kids.

momgrave

Morrow was alert and aware of his surroundings this year, as opposed to last year when he was one month old. At thirteen months he’s a busy one! He enjoyed the birthday balloon the best, more specifically bopping his brother.

balloonbop

And he enjoyed crawling all over the cemetery (note the filthy knees). He eventually found some goose poop on a veteran’s grave and decided to give it a taste. Abraham used most of a bottle of water trying to flush his mouth, hence the soaked shirt.

filthyMJ

My girlfriends had already brought some of these flowers. It was like a welcome banner for us. And it meant a lot to know that they’d been there.

graveflowers

Orison really likes to take pictures, so here’s one he snapped of the rest of us:

momdadmj

Orison kept himself very busy while we were there. He often brings his bike to the cemetery, but this time he had no training wheels! He hadn’t exactly gotten the hang of it until this day, so bad mommy didn’t even bring his helmet (I totally wasn’t expecting him to get it!)

It truly was a special gift from the Lord to have something to celebrate through our tears. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience or something while I watched him—how did I get here? how did he get to be so old? how is it that he’s taking this huge step of independence right before my eyes?

It felt like a launching forward.

happybdaymj

Happy birthday, Felicity Margaret. We miss you.

October 11, 2009 at 8:05 pm 33 comments

Make a Decision to Love: Educate yourself.

I have people contact me pretty regularly who are intersecting with stillbirth and child loss for the first time. Some are experiencing it themselves, but more often than not, they’re friends with someone who’s just lost a child.

Most of them have no idea what to do. They’re at a loss, completely unprepared to comfort in something so mind-numbingly awful.

It took me at least six months to want to read a book about loss, grief, or death. It took me a couple months to even read anything. It felt so trite and small to read something that wasn’t about death, but then it felt like too much of a bad thing to read about grief and loss when I was just trying to make it through a day with death all around me.

Lots of people want to give a book to the grieving person. It’s not a bad gift, especially if it’s a good book about grief and loss.

But I want to challenge you one further—read the book first.

I want to tell you a story about what that meant for me. A few months ago, I was given a present from one of our dear friends—an unmarried, male friend. It was wrapped in the way you might expect an unmarried male to wrap a gift, in a brown paper bag with my name scrawled on top in permanent marker.

I waited to open it until later in the night, after he’d left. I unwrapped the package and found a book, a book about stillbirth. I opened the cover to find this inscription:

This is a book I recently stumbled across by a woman whose first child was stillborn. It moved me very powerfully, and I wanted to give it to you… “We read to know we’re not alone,” say the characters in Shadowlands. I hope this book makes you feel less alone.”

I could hardly read his words through the thick tears in my eyes. All I could say over and over, through my sobbing was, “He read the book. He read the book!”

What was a single guy with no children doing reading a book about stillbirth? I’ll tell you what he was doing. He was loving me in one of the most profound ways I’ve experienced from a friend since Felicity died.

This was no quick-fix, at-arms-length gift from someone who didn’t know how to handle someone like me. He had decided very consciously to enter into our pain, into our hell, even just for 184 pages. But that decision meant more to me than almost anything. It was a decision to love.

Too often we panic when we don’t understand how to interact with someone who’s going through tremendous pain. I think one motivation for simply buying a book and giving it is to say, “Wow, I don’t know what all this is about, but this person [who wrote the book] must know something. I mean, they have a book about it.”

Another thing it can communicate is a desire to keep things neat and tidy. If we’re really honest with ourselves we might find something a few layers deeper that’s saying, “I don’t understand this. I’m not very good at all this stuff. So here, here’s a book! That’ll help them, right?”

And neither of those is wrong, necessarily. Buying a book for a hurting person is not unkind; I don’t mean to imply that at all.

But what if we said, “Wow, I have no idea what they’re going through. Here’s a book about it. That’ll help me understand them better, hopefully.” You can equip yourselves to love hurting people! This will give you mileage in communicating and relating with the brokenhearted if you can join them in their brokenheartedness. It’ll help you cry a few more tears for the one who hasn’t stopped crying.

I don’t know if any of you will take this advice. Maybe a few of you will. If you do, I want to thank you in advance on behalf of grieving people everywhere. It will be a transforming step of blessing for them… and you.

October 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm 49 comments

We light a candle…

Last night we lit candles. On the eve of our daughter Felicity’s 2-year homegoing anniversary, our dear friend Barbie read us a beautiful piece she had written. She adapted it from something written for her on the 2-year anniversary of her son’s death back in August.

We lit candles for love, joy, memories, tears, hope, peace, and strength.

I wasn’t expecting this at all, but the stanza about joy was the one that touched me the deepest. I don’t feel like I connect with the word joy very much in my grief. So I was surprised by joy, even as the tears ran down my face.

Here’s what she wrote:

We light a candle for JOY:

For the joy of a wedding;
For the joy of Orison’s birth;
For the joy of Morrow’s sweet life;
For the joy of Felicity’s name;
For the joy in hearts that waited for her;
For her joy in the presence of our God;
For the joy, for the Felicity of our risen Lord.

Happy birthday, Felicity Margaret.

September 22, 2009 at 10:32 am 48 comments

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 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.

July 23, 2009 at 12:15 am 111 comments

Mother’s Day 2009

In my post about Mother’s Day, I made quick reference to some of the sweet moments of Mother’s Day. I thought I’d let you all in on a couple of them. There really were many, all things considered.

First of all, we had Morrow’s dedication at church. When I think back to last Mother’s Day, when I couldn’t even bring myself to go to church, knowing it would be too painful, and compare it to this year (being able to not only go, but stand up in front of people and participate in a dedication service), I realize that God has done a lot of healing work in my heart.

Morrow dedication

Of course I cried. That’s part of what I do. And that’s Morrow’s Granddaddy doing the dedication—another sweet moment of the day.

The words of dedication go like this:

Morrow, together with your parents who love you dearly, and this people who care about the outcome of your faith, I dedicate you to God. Surrending together with them, all worldly claims upon your life, in the hope that you will belong wholly to God forever.

One of the things our church does to recognize the heaviness of a holiday like Mother’s Day is distribute white roses. They have vases of them at the front of the church for people to take to commemorate their losses—whether it’s your mother, your children, your desire for children….

Doing it this way means that no one is singled out or told their pain isn’t significant compared to another person’s pain. Anyone can take one—I love that.

Here we are with our red rose (given for the dedication) and our white rose (to remember our Felicity).

Morrow dedication

Ater a Mother’s Day lunch and hanging out with Abraham’s mother, we went to the cemetery as a family.

Mother's Day Look at Morrow

I even laughed and had some fun on Mother’s Day this year.

silly cemetery

It’s not abandoning her to smile and laugh. It doesn’t mean I’m over her death if I enjoy certain aspects of motherhood.

I hate that she’s dead. I hate posing by a gravestone for Mother’s Day pictures. But I love her. And I think it honors her to laugh sometimes, just as it does to cry sometimes.

Mother’s Day, all in all, was better this year. Of course it had it’s tearful moments and heartaches. Of course it had laughter and enjoyment. All of it mingles together for a mother who loves her dead and living children.

May 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm 25 comments

Do you want to die this Mother’s Day?

For most of you who read this blog, Mother’s Day is a happy day, full of celebration and laughter as you behold the faces of your children—all your children.

For some of you who read here, Mother’s Day is part-celebration and part-torture. There’s sweetness in the faces of the husband and children who are here. But just about a millimeter away from those joys, a deep and bitter pain resides.

For some of you, there seems to be only torture and (what feels like) everlasting pain. Maybe you’ve miscarried all your children. Or maybe your only child is dead. Or maybe you long for children like nothing else on this earth and you still don’t have any. You probably feel like you’re not a mother. You probably feel like half a woman.

I’m in the second category. For me it’s because one of my children is missing. I have two precious boys, but my only daughter is missing. My little girl is missing.

I suppose “missing” implies that I don’t know where she is. But I do know where she is, I just can’t get to her.

Unless I died this Mother’s Day.

There have been many times when the pain has felt so intense that I was sure that it was going to kill me. And most of those times I thought I would’ve been happier if it had.

But I’m still here. And she’s still there.

So what’s a grieving woman to do on Mother’s Day?

  • Does she just end it now?
  • Does she hole up with her pain and steel herself against love?
  • Does she receive comfort from the Lord as she laments before him?

I want to live in #3. I want you to live in #3. I don’t want to miss one thing that he has for me through this pain.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really hard, long road. I have no idea how many twists and turns and bumps there will be. But I see him transforming me along this road of suffering. I know I haven’t been perfect in the transformation—I still fight anger, bitterness, hatred, fear, and jealousy all the time. I still rail against his plan for me.

Paul said this in Philippians 1:

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two.

Was Paul suicidal? No. He was giving words to the paradox that we live in as Christians. It would be “far better” to be with Jesus today. It would mean the end of the pain, the end of the tears, the end of the loneliness. It would mean beholding my precious baby girl.

But what did Paul conclude? He knew his presence in the flesh was necessary. He knew that God had plans for his life on earth. If God were finished with him, he would depart.

For probably all of us, today is not the day that God will fulfill all of his work in our lives and take us to be with him. As much as we might long for it, it’s probably not happening today.

What convincing do you need that your presence here is necessary?

  • Will a living baby do it?
  • Will a daughter (or son) do it?
  • Will the love of family and friends do it?

I think those things can certainly help, but even those amazing realities will never be what you and I truly need.

In the deepest part of me, I need Christ. I need his presence in my pain with me. I need his strength to carry my burden. I need his forgiveness for my constant distrust of his plan for my life. I need his peace to rest in, all the days I will live on earth, separated from my daughter.

I guess I want to encourage all of the mourners today to press into the pain with Jesus. Just go ahead and let it flow. Not only can he handle it, he’s the only one who can truly handle it and even heal it.

So as I live through another Mother’s Day without my Felicity, I’m going to laugh at the funny parts, cry at the sad parts, and let my love for her flow through all of it. That’s where I have to live this Mother’s Day.

May 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm 137 comments

30til30: My favorite blog series from one of my favorite people.

My best friend, Danielle, has been counting down on her blog to a very important milestone: her 30th birthday. She’s been writing a post each day for a month about a significant person/event/experience in her life that has shaped her. It’s sheer genius.

I’ve been meaning to link to this series for weeks now, but yesterday’s post about Felicity was especially powerful for Abraham and me, as we watched the 18-month mark of her death pass by. We spent time crying, talking, processing, reminiscing (as much as a bereaved brain can), and wondering about the future.

Danielle has loved me for as long as I can remember, and as the years have marched on, she’s just widened and expanded her love to include every new member of my family. She’s a sister, sister-in-law, and aunt around here. Her specific love for my daughter continually blesses me. She’s honored the life that Felicity lived, even if it was only in my womb. For this, I thank God. And I thank her.

Danielle, I love you more than I could ever express. Happy early birthday.

March 23, 2009 at 11:22 am 12 comments

What does grief look like at 17 months?

Since September I’ve been wading through some really difficult, ugly, deeply painful aspects of the grieving process.

Mostly I’ve just felt dry, uninspired, inert.

I decided I could just post a silly, frivolous post (which have their place—I need some frivolity in my life), or I could really be vulnerable and spill my proverbial guts.

I’m taking my lead from a new blogging friend, Ebe, who also lost her son Owen to stillbirth right after we lost Felicity. She has since lost two more to miscarriage. Most of the time I read her posts with my heart pounding out of my chest, saying, “YES! That’s totally me. She just read my mind.” So thank you, Ebe. I needed this push into transparency.

What grief looks like for me at 17 months

I like to shut off.

The desire to shut off emotionally is a huge temptation. Almost like if I don’t think about it, then I don’t have to feel how horribly painful this loss is for me. Sometimes that detachment is necessary, just to survive. But I have to choose to go to the painful places and deal with the emotions there, or I will end up an ugly, poisoned person, unable to connect with my emotions and see the beauty of Jesus there.

I’m angry.

At God, at others, at life in general. Another escape mechanism. If I’m angry then I don’t have to let the pain get close.

I’m a hermit.

Aside from the few close friends who are really in this pain with me, I’m kind of a loner. Very different from the Molly of a couple years ago. I used to love large group functions, chattin’ it up with all kinds of people, etc. Now, the thought of it just drains me. Other times I feel panicked about being in a large group, even at places like church. I feel alien, alone, un-understood.

Part of that is my own doing. And part of me likes it.

What I’m doing about it

Talking

I have a counselor. I go see her once a week. I feel like I could go every day. She is direct, loving, compassionate, yet detached enough from the situation to be able to speak into it in ways that others can’t. Her trust in the Lord for me and with me is so reassuring.

I also have a few girlfriends who link arms with me and love me in this. It’s been a huge blessing to talk with these friends, being known in all the ugliness and yet still being loved. They’ve been so Christlike to me.

Writing

I journal. I have to make myself do it sometimes, but I do it. I often take assignments from my counselor and then read them to her and we talk from there. It’s been hugely helpful. Reading them aloud to my counselor is so revealing. Often, emotions are unearthed that I had no idea even existed. Confession is a truly powerful thing.

Setting necessary boundaries

I’ve had to ask myself hard questions in this season, exploring the balance between what’s necessary, what’s helpful, what’s beneficial to my soul, etc. I’ve had to make some tough calls to protect myself sometimes, allow myself the freedom and space to heal, and be okay with that.

I’ve had to strategize through situations that used to be completely unconscious. These boundaries help me so that I’m not spending most of my time sobbing on the bathroom floor. They’re necessary for me right now and I feel okay with that.

Where I’m going

Some of you reading this post might be panicking inside: Oh no, is she losing her faith? Is she depressed? How can I fix this?

I want to assure you that I feel really held by the Lord. I feel safe. I feel called into this place. If he didn’t want me here, I wouldn’t be here. If he hadn’t taken Felicity I wouldn’t be here. So there’s got to be something for me in this. There has to be.

I feel like I’ve fought it tooth and nail. But now I’m coming to more of a peace with it. I’m accepting it more. One of my dear friends through this process (who is older and wiser than me, thank God) shared with me recently about a grief she’d been facing in her life. Something she said really stood out to me. She told me, “I’m gonna drink this painful cup all the way down, just drain it. And I’m gonna ask the Lord to make it something beautiful.”

I’m at a point where I want to see the beauty of what God has for me here. It means that some days are really hard. It means that I’m going to places in my soul that I didn’t know existed before this. It means that I’m a different person. But I’m getting more comfortable with the Molly who’s been asked to bear this grief. I’m relaxing into the transformation a little more now.

I wish every day that I would get to hear Felicity’s new words, listen to her post-nap singing, change her stinky diapers. Yet I know that losing her has changed me more than getting to raise her would have. That’s a hard reality, but it’s the reality I live with.

Lord, make it something beautiful.

March 5, 2009 at 12:22 am 99 comments

The Holidays, 15 Months Later

For some reason, the Christmas holidays this year were more difficult for me without Felicity than last Christmas. Mostly because last year I was in total shock—I was 28 years old and had just buried a child.

In the first couple months after she died, Abraham felt antsy and restless. He just wanted to hit the open road and never look back. I wanted to barricade myself in our house and never get out of my pajamas.

But, we went on a massive road trip at this time last year, making stops in Erie, State College, Newport News, Raleigh, Louisville, and Chicago. And during that time we discovered we were expecting our third child.

Reflecting on last year’s Christmas with Abraham the other day, he said something to the effect of, “Well, if you’re already in a tailspin you might as well go all out.”

Last year, I felt cut loose, spinning out of control, unable to focus on anything. This year the pain has had time to soak into my heart. I’m a different person.

She would be fifteen months old now. She’d probably be doing that clumsy, half-drunk walking that you capture with a video camera. And she’d have been scolded endlessly for being all up in the Christmas tree.

In some ways this felt like the first Christmas without her. This is the first year we’d have bought her presents and she’d have learned the joy of ripping wrapping paper and finding the delightful surprises inside. Maybe I’d have bought her her first baby doll.

Losing a child who never lived on earth means all your “memories” really aren’t memories at all—they’re just a bunch of imaginings and what-ifs.

All these imaginings and what-ifs make Christmas a really hard time for me, and probably for all the other mothers in the Living Without Children Club.

Losing a child means you lose more than a child. For me this Christmas it meant I’ve lost a little of the sparkle and delight, a little of the zeal and wonder.

That’s not to say there weren’t joys through these last days. It’s just that there are no more pure joys for me, it seems. There’s a heavy weight that I pull along through all my joys now, like a loaded-down sled through thick, wet snow.

January 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm 73 comments

Books on stillbirth and miscarriage

I just finished reading Cookie Magazine’s article highlighting two books about stillbirth and miscarriage.

The first book is titled An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. I believe this is an autobiographical memoir of her experience with stillbirth. I just ordered it. I’ll let you know what I think.

The other book is an anthology of writings titled About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope by Jessica Berger Gross.

So many women feel isolated in their experiences of losing their child. I believe that reading about the experiences of others gives freedom in your own pain. I’ve had the fortunate blessing of many people knowing about our loss and therefore sharing their stories of loss with me. I’ve been helped by that.

I still remember the first letter I received from another mother who had experienced a late-term stillbirth. I can’t tell you how much it helped me just to hear that this had happened to someone else—that I hadn’t just been stupid or negligent or irresponsible.

Our stories provide solidarity. And most all of the women I’ve come into contact with after losing their children need that.

My favorite line from the article when talking about consolation was this: “What these women consistently yearned for was genuine and brave emotion.”

Our stories—and our genuine and brave emotions in them—console.

November 6, 2008 at 12:22 am 22 comments

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