Light…

ImageThis last year has been a pretty dark time in my life. There may have been darker times, but at the moment, I can’t think of any. In this time, I’ve doubted many things. I’ve doubted myself, my husband, the rest of humanity, and at times (while they were few and far between), I doubted God. This is not something I’m proud of, yet something that I had to walk through in order to come out stronger on the other side.

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I knew all along that the light of God was still there, that it was still inside me, but there were so many clouds hiding it from me. Clouds of doubt, clouds of loneliness, clouds of listening to the lies of the deceiver. I wasn’t able to journal, didn’t feel like talking to others, and couldn’t even read my Bible in this time. I felt very low.

Loss is something that is not only hard to go through in itself, but the taboo surrounding it makes it that much harder. Other major life changes allow you to talk to others about your feelings, allow you to wear your heart on your sleeve. But when you loose a child, you’re supposed to just move on? If it was your parent, your spouse, your sibling, you wouldn’t be expected to just get over it. How much more so should we be compassionate on those who have lost a piece of their heart, of their flesh? All of these clouds that cover the brightness of God’s love sometimes make it impossible to see the light.

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Sometimes we see glimmers of that light. That brings me to my next quote.

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Through the last year, there have been many people, to many to mention, that have prayed for both Grant & I, encouraged us, and been there for us to cry with. When I first became a “baby loss mom”, while I knew there were others out there, it was very lonely. As I walked this path, I slowly found others who were also on this journey. Through blogs, Facebook support groups, and the United Through Pregnancy and Infant Loss Secret Sister program, I found that I truly was not alone. That I was not the only one fighting to break the taboo, that I was not the only one shouting out my baby’s name, so that she wouldn’t be forgotten.

ImageAs long as I live, you will be loved. As long as I live, you will be remembered. I love you baby girl. You will not be forgotten.

Both Sides Now

I’d never heard this song before, but as I listened to it, I couldn’t help compare it with a person’s journey through baby loss. I just had to share it here.

Both Sides Now

by Joni Mitchell

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev’ry fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all
I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all

© 1969; Siquomb Publishing Company

The Smallest Gift

When you loose a baby, all you want to do is hold and hug that child, among other things. Since I lost Tzeitel so early, around 8 weeks, she never really had anything bought specifically for her, never had a shower. I didn’t have any of these things that I could hang on to when I was missing her. Through online support groups, I heard about “The Smallest Gift”.

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From the “The Smallest Gift” website:

 “We are a 501c3 nonprofit. Through the loss of our own infants we will reach out to other families and provide a blanket and weighted heart. We will also supply local hospitals with comfort gifts that can be given to families after a loss. We will provide education to the community and healthcare professionals on infant loss. We will be the voice for the subject that no one wants to talk about.”

 “One out of every four pregnancies will end in a loss. No one thinks it will happen to them, but our families lost this innocence when our babies Abigail and Aaron Thawley and McKinley Gill were taken too soon. All three were very much loved and wanted, but God had other plans for them. Infant loss carries with it a very taboo stigma and isn’t talked about. Being a baby loss parent can be a lonely place and the fear that your child will be forgotten is very real. We hope that by reaching out to other families we can help them to know that they are not alone and there is support. We also hope to provide education to both the community and the medical profession to increase the awareness of infant loss. We will not be able to watch our children grow or hit their milestones, but they did exist. Our love for them will provide us the strength to do something good in their memory.”

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I am so thankful for this sweet little blankie that they sent me! I had received another blankie that’s in Tzeitel’s memory box, that’s her first blankie (I’ll share about that one later), but it’s very small (as she was), and so it’s not really cuddling size. This one from The Smallest Gift is about baby blanket size. Just big enough to cuddle with when I’m missing my girl. I love the saying that is embroidered on it as well. “Sometimes love lasts a moment, sometimes love lasts a lifetime, sometimes a moment is a lifetime.”

You can find The Smallest Gift on their website, or on Facebook.

Their comfort items are available for free, however, at this time they are only able to fulfill requests for losses within the last year and to people within the US. They also take donations, and are looking for volunteers, through their website.

Reminders…

Every day there are little reminders of you. We went to visit Grandma & Grandpa in Indiana this last weekend, and there were butterflies, simply everywhere! All different colors too! And the baby lambs were out running around. Baby goats too. It seems like everywhere I turn, there are things that remind me of you.

Yesterday I got an email from Babies R Us, one of the places we’d registered when we found out we were pregnant with you. It said that my baby should be crawling by now. It was sad to think of these milestones you’ll never reach. But then I had to remind myself of what you are doing instead. You are in Heaven! You are with Jesus! You are with our family members who have died in Jesus before you, and after. How could I be sad that you are there??? I am sad that I don’t have you with me, but how could I be sad that you’re in Heaven?

I got on Facebook today, just to check in, like I do everyday. I was just getting ready to go and crochet, after I’d put TJ down for nap, and a friend of mine that I hadn’t talked to in years popped up. Amazingly enough, she’d found me on her first day back to work after she’d lost a baby a couple months ago! I’m amazed at how our God works. How he places people in my path, just when I need them, just when I’m missing you. ❤

Love,
Mama