Friday, October 31, 2014

Capture Your Grief. Day 31.

Capture Your Grief. Day 31. Sunset.

That's the funny thing about grief...  It has a definite beginning.  You can certainly, although it's faint, remember before...and then it happened.  YOUR "thing" - your grief happened and now, no matter how hard you try....  It won't end.  It doesn't have an ending.  It may change & you may grow, but it's always there.  Like a scar or a limp.  Reminding you...reminding the world... 
You survived.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Capture Your Grief, Days 28, 29 & 30

Capture Your Grief.  Day 28: WISDOM.


Today's prompt asks, "Do you have any words that you would like to share about grief that might help others that are on this journey as well? Maybe it is something wise that someone once said to you or maybe it is something you read by someone else."

This is a picture of Levi's hand/foot print. So tiny. So perfectly amazing. 

Words I'd like to share about grief. First this, EVERYTHING comes from the Father. We are nothing apart from Him. This verse - some days, when I couldn't breath...just couldn't catch my breath from underneath the heavy blanket of sadness....this verse... I would say it aloud over & over. It was on our message board at home, posted to the fridge...written on my hand. Isaiah 49:15(c)-16 "I will not forget you. See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. Your walls are ever before me." He is honest & He KEEPS His promises. He is ALWAYS good. Because He too lost a son, I knew that He could truly grasp & understand & FEEL my grief.

And, the second thing is this... Life. Goes. On. It sucks. It's a hard truth to swallow, but life does indeed go on... Sometimes it feels meaningless, but a lot of times it just feels like ... life. Just going on. I have determined to "live well" as a way of honoring our children. At first I just couldn't move, I was paralyzed by grief, and then it hit me. What honor does it bring to their tiny existence if I give up living too, if I just decide that my life will not go on? So, I became intentional about sharing our story. Their story. Their lives. Our lives. Life, it seems, does go on.

Capture Your Grief.  Day 29: REFLECT.  
 Take today to reflect on this past month. 
What is your relationship with grief like right now?  Is it still the same? Has anything changed? What have you learned about yourself and your grief?
 It is always with me.  I carry it with me like a security blanket....  Not because I need it, but it's something very important to me...  My grief reminds me of how BIG my  Savior is, how kind & merciful.  It reminds me that I am nothing outside of Christ.  The days are not so heavy, as they were in the beginning.  Having our miracle boy here helps pull me from the grief days.  I used to be stuck, like in quick sand, and I was sinking deeper and deeper as I struggled to get a breath, to get a handle on something....anything...  Nowadays I can keep those feelings far away by reminding myself of the tremendous blessings that came from each pregnancy, each life, each death. 

Capture Your Grief.  Day 30: INTENTION.

We are prayerfully considering starting a local SHARE group (hopefully/prayerfully through my church), in honor of Rowan & Levi.  You can learn more about SHARE, here.

What is "Capture Your Grief"?  Read about it here.
Or, just join in the photo project by following these prompts:

Monday, October 27, 2014

Capture Your Grief. Day 27. Express.

Day 27: EXPRESS. This is the day in month where you can say whatever it is on your heart that you would like. Find your voice. What is it that you want to express Is there anything that you want the world to know about your grief or children?

Capture Your Grief. Day 27.  Express. 
I copied this segment from another blogger almost 2 years's been sitting "saved" on my blog in an empty, title-less, blog just waiting....  It fits so perfectly with today's photo prompt.  I wish I could give credit to the writer, but I cannot find her page anymore...  Alas, here are her words, written as if from my own heart...

"But a tiny fraction of my heart is also paralyzed with fear that Monday is right around the corner and I am soon to realize everyone else has moved on from this…leaving me to continue in this desert. Its not that I fear being alone in it – its that I fear, partly, the someday I WILL move on too and somehow that will symbolize it doesn’t hurt so bad, it wasn’t as bad as I remember, etc. One day I will be a visitor to these emotions and this experience and not the resident I am currently." 

 Rowan, 08-17-09, miscarried 13w2d

 Levi Matthew, 06/28/10-06/29/10
born at 19 week gestation, passed away after 1hr 19min

What is "Capture Your Grief"?  Read about it here.
Or, just join in the photo project by following these prompts:

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Capture Your Grief. Days 21-26

Capture Your Grief.  Day 21.  Relationship.
Sister friends!! Love these ladies so very much. 
Many hours of laughter, dance parties & various shenanigans... Much healing!!

Capture Your Grief. Day 22.  Self-Care.
Self-care is extremely important when it comes to healing. So slow down and be gentle with yourself today. Do something that brings you joy, something that feeds your soul and allows you to re-charge. See where your thoughts take you.

Capture Your Grief. Day 23.  Inspiration.
Noah came to us after the two most terrible losses that people can imagine. Two babies gone on to Heaven within a year. And then, miracle of miracles... Noah was gifted to us by The Lord. His life inspires me to live mine to the fullest. To never be small. To always embrace & love everything about living. To honor Rowan & Levi by living well.

Capture Your Grief.  Day 24.  Forgiveness.
Forgiving myself after each baby died was a struggle. It was hard to breathe, let alone reason with myself... Coming to grips with the fact that I couldn't have saved them...although slightly defeating, was a relief. Self-forgiveness. Hard. Necessary. Life-giving. 

Capture Your Grief.  Day 25.  Mother Earth.
"then man's dust will go back to the earth, returning to what it was, 
and the spirit will return to the God who gave it."   Ecclesiastes 12:7
Rowan & Levi - ours but for a moment...HIS for eternity.  Were they not ours only to hand over to Him either in life OR death?  Learning to live with believing He knows best...trusting Him with ALL circumstances.  This is the true test of our faith.  If we believe in Him for our eternal salvation, how can we hold back & say, no - but I cannot trust you in this?! We WILL see these children in Glory.  Some days it is that single thought that carries me through from breath to breath.   
God is ALWAYS good...and I am always loved.

Capture Your Grief.  Day 26.  Healing Ritual.
My latest adventure, Trim Healthy Mama.   
On the path to physical & emotional healing.  My body has been ravaged by pregnancy, pregnancy loss, hormone treatments, fertility drugs, child birth, etc...  
On August 25th I took the plunge into a new life style & it's been one amazing day after another.
True healing begins at our core!  I feel like the best way to honor my sons is to live this life well. 

What is "Capture Your Grief"?  Read about it here.
Or, just join in the photo project by following these prompts:

Monday, October 20, 2014

Capture Your Grief Days 14-20

Capture Your Grief.  Day 14. Dark/Light

Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. -MLK

Capture Your Grief. Day 15. Community.

 The community of bereaved parents is not a place I ever imagined I would land. No one thinks that it will be them. No one expects a loss. Let alone two, back to back. We have lived through hell and come out gasping for breath. The community of, & support from, others who have walked these roads has been so inspirational. Not one of us is ever alone & there is comfort in knowing that...

Capture Your Grief. Day 16. Retreat.

"(being) an active member in our community (babyloss moms) and belong(ing) to one or more support groups, caring for others as well as yourself can be very emotionally draining. We find ourselves helping to carry others grief too. Take today to be kind and gentle with your own heart. Do what makes you feel good...By looking after yourself first you become a more mentally strong person and therefore you are much better help to others."

Capture Your Grief.  Day 17.  Explore.

 Through reading I have been able to explore the depths of my grief. I have found more hope, some sorrow and a deeper understanding of my heart's ache!! Exploring your grief helps in finding your way further down the path of healing.

Capture Your Grief. Day 18.  Gratitude.

 #eucharisteo  choosing thankfulness.

"How do I give up resentment for gratitude, gnawing anger for spilling joy? Self-focus for God-communion.  To fully live—to live full of grace and joy and all that is beauty eternal. It is possible, wildly.  I now see and testify.  So this story— my story A dare to an emptier, fuller life.” 
~ A.V.

Capture Your Grief. Day 19. Give.

This blog started as my healing journal. 
My hoping journal.  And, has transformed into my giving journal.

Capture Your Grief. Day 20. Breathe.

"So often we as bereaved parents find ourselves feeling overwhelmed by our grief and we don’t notice it, but we are holding our breath. When you start adding things like anxiety, anger and frustration to your grief you can end up feeling crippled by your emotions. This affects so many areas and relationships in your life. One way to help alleviate this overwhelming surge of emotions is to turn your attention to your breath. 
Simply step outside into some fresh air and focus on breathing in and out."

What is "Capture Your Grief"?  Read about it here.
Or, just join in the photo project by following these prompts:


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated October as Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month – an action that launched the Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Movement. Although over a quarter century has passed, this issue remains prevalent as, each year, approximately a million pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, stillbirth, or the death of the newborn child.
Did you know that:
  • One in four pregnancies ends in the loss of a baby
  • The loss of a child is recognized as the most intense cause of grief
  • Parents never "get over" the loss of a child – no matter the age
  • Parents experiencing grief without supportive care can have debilitating consequences such as PTSD, depression and anxiety that could further result in job loss, divorce, difficulties in daily living, or impediments with parenting of living children 
Wave of Light Celebration:October 15, 2014 is a universal day of remembrance for pregnancy loss and infant death. This day is observed with remembrance ceremonies and candle-lighting vigils, concluding with the International Wave of Light worldwide lighting of candles at 7 p.m. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Capture Your Grief. Day 13. Season.

I associate our losses with summer.  In June of 2010 our precious Levi went home to Heaven.  In July of 2011, the miraculous birth of Noah took place.  And, in August of 2009, our beloved Rowan was whisked away to Glory.

All of summer is eaten up with the grief and the miracle and the immense longing for children.

It's still a favorite time of year.  I get to remember and dote on all three babies (just as I would if they were all here).

This is a picture that Matt took in 2010 after Levi passed away.  We  went on a cruise to the Bahamas.  I couldn't bear to be in our home, or even our city.  We needed to be away, to be quiet.  The stillness of the ocean, the beauty of God's creation all around us.  Summer is the perfect time to remember our boys.  #mamalovesyou 


What is "Capture Your Grief"?  Read about it here.

Or, just join in the photo project by following these prompts:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Capture Your Grief. Days 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12

Capture Your Grief.  Day 8.  Resource.

I found hope & strength through this site. Sharing my grief and learning that we were not alone in our losses. ‪#‎community‬ -though not the community I would have chosen, 
it's a community that helps & heals.

Capture Your Grief. Day 9. In Memory.

Noah has his own little block on this necklace now too. It is probably my most prized piece of jewelry. People ask me about it when they see it & I get another chance to spread the word about my boys' lives and about the love of Jesus and the hope that comes just when you think there is absolutely none left. ‪#‎mamalovesyou‬ 

Capture Your Grief. Day 10.  Support.
This guy.  My ‪#‎husband‬. My friend.
My rock when it seemed impossible. A steady hand when when I could not balance out. A soft place to land when all of life was so hard.  He is ‪#‎brave‬ & courageous. Love you. Mean it.

Capture Your Grief. Day 11. Altar.
A place of remembrance. A place to call to mind all that The Lord has done. In our bedroom there are three shelves. One for Rowan, one for Levi Matthew, and one for Noah.  We do not forget how The Lord proved Himself merciful & gracious. We do not forget the days our lives were changed for eternity. We share our losses & our miracles to tell of His great love.

Capture Your Grief. Day 12.  Music.

 Music seems to be a universal language.  Expressing emotions and thoughts that we sometimes cannot identify by just speaking words.  Music can take you deep into the raw parts of your heart that you otherwise could not get to.  Music captures grief and joy and love so perfectly. This song, "I Will Praise You In This Storm" was on repeat for so long in our home.  I just knew that if I kept saying 'amen', just kept my hope in HIM that I would see another sunny day.  You can listen here.

"I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm


Do you have a grief story to share?  Consider practicing by following the photo prompts from Capture Your Grief (see below) and read more about the project ---> here!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Capture Your Grief - Days 5, 6 & 7

Okay, okay - so I can't seem to get on here everyday & blog my pics nice & neat & one at the time.  Well, here is my grouping for days 5, 6 & 7.

Capture Your Grief. Day 5. Journal.

 A safe place to express feelings, dreams & fears. A reference to look back & see where &
how The Lord has moved. #whathealsyourheart

Capture Your Grief. Day 6.  Books. 

Books to heal. Books offering hope. Books to make sense of mind boggling medical issues. 
Books to stir your faith. Books to teach you things. Books!!! Lovely books. #whathealsyourheart

Capture Your Grief. Day 7. Sacred Place.
  Our bed. We made babies here. We lost babies here. I spent months of bed rest here. I prayed here. Cried here. Wanted to die here. Waited to live from this place. Lost myself & found grace here. This is a sacred place. A place of refuge. A place of rest. #whathealsyourheart

What is Capture Your Grief?  Read more here
And join in the photo project by following these prompts:

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Capture Your Grief - 2014. Days 2-4

We were on a camping trip w/o cell reception, so I was unable to post in a timely manner, however, here are my catch ups.  :)

Day 2.

Capture Your Grief. Day 2. Heart. #captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart #day2 The heart can hold so much more than we think possible. More joy. More love. And, more pain. The Lord truly heals the hearts of those who seek Him. He is ever close to the brokenhearted.

Day 3.

 Capture Your Grief. Day 3. Before. #captureyourgrief #whathealsyourheart Before the loss of a child. Before the ache of empty arms. Before the miraculous birth of a living babe. Before pink lines, fertility meds, bed rest, & surgeries. Before death. Before grave sites. Before empty.

Day 4.

Want to join in the #healing process?  Visit here or just blog based on the prompts below: