Hey strangers! Well, technically I am the stranger here.

First off… sorry that I didn’t finish my Capture Your Grief project. I had big plans. Then Hallelujah ended up in the hospital with croup. Then for surgery for hip dysplasia. It’s been an eventful 6 months around this house!

I have been thinking long and hard about what to do with this blog and I think I have finally come to a decision about it. I want to expand it.

I have a desire to continue the grief and loss area but I also have other things I’d like to express and explore. So… coming “soon” (who knows how long it will take) my site will take on new life.

Which is good.

So, thanks to those of you who still think of me and my little spot of the webiverse. I am coming back!

capture your grief – day 10

Day 10: Symbol.

I don’t have a symbol for the boys. Some people have a butterfly or the trinity symbol. Since I don’t have anything I thought I would share some scripture.

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4

Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the LORD your God. I will be with you everywhere you go. Joshua 1:9

capture your grief – day 9

Day 9: Special Place

The Smoky Mountains. We have taken many, many trips there over the years. It holds a lot of special memories for us. It also is a great place to escape. Even though it isn’t around the corner or a quick get away it is the place I think to go when I want to get out of here. We went to the Smokies after Felix died. We went to the Smokies the day after we got Gabe’s diagnosis. We went to the Smokies before I went back to work after Gabe died.

There is something calm and comforting about those mountains. I can just sit and be still and listen. I can see and hear God telling me it will all be okay; even when I don’t want to hear it. Sometimes I feel like the boys can see me from there. I know, it’s weird, but sometimes it feels that way.

It is a special place to me.

capture your grief – day 8

Day 8: Jewelry

This is a bracelet that my sweet sister made for my after Felix died. She had made one for me after each of the kids was born. She made this and gave it to me so I could wear it at his funeral. She chose the beads because they look like tears. I love it. So thoughtful and so representative of how we all felt.

capture your grief – day 7

Day 7: What TO Say

The most important… “I’m so sorry.” Or even “I’m sorry” will do.

The second most important… say their names. Talk about them. I always think and speak of them so you don’t have to be afraid to do it. You won’t drudge up hurts or anything – I wear those everyday. They are always on my mind. You won’t “ruin” my day. In fact, that is the best thing you can do for me.

Don’t forget them. They are my children. I carried them, dreamed about them and their futures and gave birth to them just like my other 4 little ones. They just didn’t get to stay.

capture your grief – day 6

Day 6: What NOT to say!

I almost can’t believe some of this but all these statements have been made to me at some point over the last 4 1/2 years. One of the most hurtful is comparing my son’s death to that of a dog. So wrong I can’t even express it.

The other is about loving her baby. This person doesn’t know I know about that comment. I had the same due date as another girl and declined going to her baby shower. I had learned my lesson after going to a baby shower on Mother’s Day weekend only 4-5 weeks after Felix’s death. I wanted to crawl under a rock and die that day so I thought I’d save myself that anguish this time around. Unfortunately it provoked the comment that I would learn to love her baby. Like somehow I was punishing this other baby for living, or something. I don’t know. What I do know is that it hurt and made me very angry.

I find that even the most loving people can say some of the most ignorant and hurtful things during times like this. Mostly it is because they feel the need to say something and the situation is just so unnatural that they don’t really know what to say and end up doing more harm than good. Then some people just don’t think.

I could come up with a longer list but I thought this was good enough. This was a good theme today. Pass it on!

And if I have ever said something hurtful to you I apologize from the bottom of my heart.

What have people said to you in times of grief that they shouldn’t have?

capture your grief – day 5

Day 5: Memorial

Pretty self explanatory. This marks the boys’ place at the cemetery. Other than the temporary marker we have at home this is the only “memorializing” we’ve done. I plan to put in some flowers and have a memory garden for them in the spring now that we are settled in our new house. Seeing this in person for the first time was extremely difficult. It made it feel very final. But it also brought some comfort knowing that people will see their names for years to come when they walk through that cemetery and they will know that my sons existed.

capture your grief – day 4

Day 4: Most treasured item(s)
Pictures of Felix

We only have 12 pictures of Felix. We don’t have any hand molds or locks of his hair. We were so stunned and didn’t know what to do. These photos are my treasure.

Gabe’s hospital hat and blanket

These two things are the only things that touched Gabe while he was alive (except for us). I treasure his pictures very, very much but having these things as a reminder that HE DID LIVE are a little more precious. It is easy for people to forget that he lived and breathed but these are a visual reminder that he really was here.

capture your grief – day 3

Day 3: Self Portrait After Loss

I chose this one because I did something I never thought I would. I rode along in an IndyCar with Mario Andretti.

Part of what I am striving for since my loss is to do things I probably wouldn’t have before. Like zip-lining and riding in a race car going 170 mph. I don’t have anything to be afraid of anymore except losing another child. There’s nothing scarier than that so there’s no reason for me to be afraid anything else. I won’t be afraid of spiders or dancing in public or haunted houses or of what people think of me. I might even go sky diving with Brian – something I told him he would do alone if he ever went.

That’s Day 3 for me.

To learn more about the Capture Your Grief project, click here.

capture your grief – days 1 and 2

Day 1: Sunrise. Well, in traditional style I forgot to take a pic of the sunrise. So, I just took a picture of the grey sky as soon as I remembered. It was a relatively fitting start to the project, though. I have started to feel more down as Gabriel’s birthday approaches. Reliving the last days I was pregnant with him as I have the previous 2 years.

Day 2: Self Portrait Before Loss. I found a picture of me from the first time Brian and I went to Las Vegas. No kids yet, not a care in the world. Just him and me. Little did we know where our life would go in the coming years. What I noticed about this picture is my eyes. Happiness with nothing hiding behind it.

Those are the photos to start. We’ll see where we go from here.