CLICK HERE to Light a Candle for Gracie and Any Other Soul in Need
Light as many as you would like - as often as you would like.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feeling Helpless

The hubby has landed in a random baby loss 'funk'.  I think he's been there most of the week, and it's making him miserable.  Eventually these days pass, but it's impossible to know what to do to help him in the meantime, and it makes me feel so helpless.  I hate to see him so sad and out of sorts.  Sigh.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Franchesca @ Small Bird Studio has started a blog hop...if you haven't checked it out, go over and do so!! 

Fran has put this question out there for each of us to answer...What small {or big!} miracles have brought you hope lately? I hope you'll share a piece of your journey by joining the blog hop :)  My post contains possible emotional with caution toward the end. 

I have written several posts over the last 17 months about signs and things that have brought me hope during this journey.  There are times that these little bits of hope seem to creep up on a daily basis, or sometimes several times a day; there are times that is seems weeks will pass without a glimmer of hope to be found.  Sometimes all the hope I need can be found in the little things...a random butterfly or dragonfly, seeing the name Grace or Gracie somewhere unexpectedly, the stars.

Sometimes my hope is found in many larger forms...the unconditional love and support from my husband, a text from my receptionist that says 'Happy Mother's Day', bright sunlight shining through the tiniest opening in the densest of cloud cover. 

I find hope in reading the stories of and/or talking to other women who have survived this incredible journey.  Knowing that it survivable, no matter how painful it is sometimes, makes all the difference.  I often wonder where I would be, or what my frame of mind would be, if I wasn't part of the BLM blogosphere.  Sometimes being able to say to myself "...if I can survive losing a child, I can absolutely survive (fill in the blank)...", and it just would not be this way if I wasn't here.  I don't know if I can call it hope, but there is certainly comfort in being able to come here and purge whatever thoughts and feelings need to be purged in order to get on with my day.  On the other side of the coin, there is hope in knowing that there are others who read my blog and find comfort, hope, support...whatever it is that they need to take away from reading others' blogs. 

For me, there is also much hope in being able to find the positives in our loss.  We attend a support group where we have made friends.  I am trying to get a Face2Face group up and running where we live.  I am working with another BLM on a memory box project for a hospital that does not currently do memory boxes.  (It actually pisses me off that they don't do boxes, but I keep reminding myself that we aren't doing it for the hospital...we are doing it for the families who will, in coming months, find themselves standing in that terrible place that we stood in on August 1, 2009.)  I have been able to contribute something small to the memory boxes that our hospital gives to loss families.  My husband and I started a March for Babies team last year; we were able to raise just over $1500 for last year's walk.  We were asked to be the local Ambassador family for this year's walk; our team goal this year is two-fold: to raise at least $5000 for the March of Dimes and to raise stillbirth awareness.  (Click here if you would like to donate!!)

After listing all of these pieces of hope, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my biggest source of hope...our rainbow baby Jenna, who was born in September.  We are fortunate to not have experienced fertility issues thus far in our journey to start our family; this, in and of itself, brings so much hope for us.  Then, after 39 weeks of waiting for the other shoe to fall, we were blessed with a healthy, beautiful baby girl.  While she doesn't erase the pain of Gracie's absence, she certainly provides us with so much hope for the future.  She is the light of our lives, and most days that light is a fantastic counterbalance to the dark that persisted for many months...


Stars, in your multitudes
Scarce to be counted
Filling the darkness
With order and light
You are the sentinels
Silent and sure
Keeping watch in the night
Keeping watch in the night

You know your place in the sky
You hold your course and your aim
And each in your season
Returns and returns
And is always the same

Although originally written to fit a much different context, these lyrics from a popular Broadway musical run through my head every night as I think of my beautiful little Gracie.  I am lucky enough to live in an area with relatively little light pollution, so as long as the sky isn't clouded over, it's stars aplenty.  But even on cloudy nights, and the nights that my DH takes the dogs outside, there are still plenty of thought provoking stars to see. 

The ceiling in Jenna's room is covered with hundreds of glow in the dark star stickers.  Long story, but it has been this way for about 15 years.  When I turn the light off and sit down to do our bed time snuggle each night, these stars 'shine' so brightly, having been charged by the light.  By the time Jenna is asleep in her crib, most of the bedroom stars have dimmed considerably or 'burned out' all together...almost as if Gracie is showing me that she is also asleep for the night. 

There are so many different things that remind us of our angels...stars have always been at the top of my list, and moved more further toward the top of the list after a wonderful friend had a star named for Gracie.  Even though the bedroom stars aren't 'real', it's nice to think that she is here with us each night at bedtime, and that she is, perhaps, really watching over her baby sister...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

25 Days of Giveaways Prize

I was lucky enough to win two giveaways during this year's 25 Days of Giveaways.  After that, I quit entering!  I received the second prize this week, and I absolutely LOVE it!  When Tina contacted me to see what I wanted, I told her that I don't wear a lot of jewelry, and that she should just use her best judgment.  I think that frightened her a little bit!  :-)

But she did a fabulous job of selecting a beautiful prize for me.  Thank you so, so much, Tina!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Still Life 365

I almost's a good thing it popped up on my Google Reader!  For those who do not regularly follow, or have never been over to Still Life 365, go check it out today.  Today's 'art' is mine!!  It's kind of ironic that Angie posted my photo today...since Gracie was born 18 months ago today...

I Carry Your Heart With Me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
- e. e. cummings ~

Perhaps I'm in a bit of a slump.  I don't know.  I think about Gracie all the time, but the last few days I've been thinking about Gracie ALL the time.  And then I think about my thoughts.  

I think about where I really am in the 5 step grieving process that we all know so well... 
Denial and Isolation

Or perhaps the more comprehensive and thorough seven stages of grief.....the five stages outlined above plus Pain/Guilt and Testing/Reconstruction...

Pain and Guilt

At this stage, the grieving person realizes that the loss that has happened is true. This is the most chaotic and scary stage of grief. Many people succumb to alcohol and drugs at this stage of grief. Intense feelings of guilt and compunction are experienced due to the wrong things done which led to this irreversible loss. Sometimes, in grief, people blame themselves and consider themselves responsible for the loss.

Testing and Reconstruction

This is the testing stage in which the depressed person starts to indulge in other activities so as to escape the disturbing sorrow. In fact this is the beginning of the next and last stage, i.e. acceptance of and coming to terms with the reality. It is also a stage of reconstruction as in this stage, he starts the process reconstruction of his life by searching for solutions and ways to come out of his grief.

I read the definition of all of these, and can't find where my thoughts fit.  I guess if I had to assign myself to a stage, it would be acceptance.  I have accepted Gracie's death for what it is.  Death.  Permanence.  So the wondering that goes on constantly in my mind...the wondering about all of the things we missed with Gracie...wondering about what she would look like, what she would sound like, what kind of personality she would part of my grief/acceptance or is that part of my healing?  Certainly, every parent who has lost a child, at any age and under any circumstances, has wondered these things.  Certainly it is normal, but what is it?  Grief or healing? 

These thoughts have been playing at full volume in my mind over the last few days.  I don't like full volume.  I don't necessarily want them to go away; one of my greatest fears is forgetting, and the first step in forgetting is the clearing of thoughts, but a much lower volume would be much better.  Regardless of the volume, I will always carry Gracie's heart with me.  It will forever beat within mine.