Loss

Creative Heartwork #captureyourgrief

Day 11

I originally wrote this and drew my ‘heartwork’ on May 22 for Bereaved Mother’s Day.

To the mother who feels she is not recognized as a mother by society because she carries her baby in her heart rather than her arms – I see you.
To the mother whose heart holds a dream of giving birth to a healthy baby – I see you.
To the mother who smiles and hides how she is really feeling – I see you.
To the mother who had to make a heartbreaking decision – I see you.
To the mother who says “I can’t do this” – I see you.
To the mothers who are raising children who are not biologically hers but loves them as hers- I see you.
To the mothers who lost her baby – I see you.
To the mother with a broken heart – I see you.
Beautiful Mamas, wherever you are, whatever you are going through – I SEE YOU.

#bereavedmothersday #beautifulmother #iseeyou#carlymarie #whathealsyou #mothersheartsalute#mothersheartiseeyou

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Loss

Signs + Symbols #captureyourgrief

Day 10

I’ve been looking forward to this prompt! Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE giraffes, and while most know that giraffes are our symbol for Ezekiel, most don’t know why.

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The above pictures are us with Zeke while he was in his isolette. If you look closely you can see the giraffe logo on it in the first picture and the giraffe cover on it in the second. You see, the boys were both in “giraffe” isolettes and it is one of the very few things Zeke had during his short life and more so, one of the few things both he and Noel shared. I think between that and me just staring at giraffes for months straight it seems like the obvious choice.

We have little giraffe things all over the house now – a painting here, a figure there, some toys in one room, origami in another. It makes me smile. ❤

I swear I see giraffes everywhere now too! We went to the fair and there was someone showcasing their collection of giraffe things, and we saw a huge recycled metal giraffe on our way to the Mt. Rainier to hike. I can spot giraffe on clothes from a mile away too – Noel and I have the wardrobe to prove it. 😉

I also have the sweetest family and friends who share giraffe things with me on facebook, instagram, and text. I love it!

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Our previous local zoo got a family (a father and two sons) of three giraffes the fall after the boys were born. I had a pass and Noel and I went often. I’m not even ashamed to say that I was so overwhelmed with emotion the first time I saw them I cried for about ten minutes. (picture above is proof) I’m sure everyone at the zoo thought I was crazy…

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The boys’ first birthday was giraffe themed as well – it felt like a great way to remember and incorporate Zeke without overwhelming Noel’s day as well.

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I suppose it may sound silly, but its almost like a hug or gentle reminder that it will all be okay and I’m on the right path when I see one.

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Noel and I feeding Alan the giraffe at the San Antonio Zoo. It was fun to check off my bucket list! I swear, you don’t realize just how large these creatures are until you are right next to them.

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Loss

Surrender + Embrace #captureyourgrief

Day 9

I have been learning so much in the past year about myself and how hard I hold on to things. Surrendering is hard for me – especially when it comes to surrendering control. Oh, how I want to control every aspect of my life and get so anxious when I can’t.

Jesus say “Come to Me, all you who are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

This is such a beautiful promise. Rest sounds amazing – it is not something I feel often at this point in life. My soul is still struggling with the loss of Zeke and moving away from my friends and family while my body is exhausted from chasing a toddler around all day. I am realizing I cannot find rest and calm within myself, so I turn to Jesus. I must make it a daily thing to surrender control and all my worries, stress, plans, and dreams and ask forgivness for thinking I could somehow do better than God.

Even when it feels like all my hopes have been crushed (and I’ve honestly felt that a lot these past few years) He has a plan for my life and I must find rest in that embrace.

I don’t know why I didn’t get to keep Zeke…I wish I did. Maybe I will someday, but even if not He is still good.

I suppose that was one of the hardest things – to surrender control and pray “Thy will be done”. This became our daily prayer during his 25 days as things grew bleaker.

Until finally, as we told Ezekiel we loved him and surrendered our dreams for him one final time, he awoke in God’s perfect, eternal embrace.

Oh how glad I am to have the hope of seeing him again!

Loss

Beautiful Mysteries #captureyourgrief

Day 8

I never realized until I had lost a child just how many people have experienced this.

It’s not something you just know – people don’t usually go around just telling the world they lost a baby. It is almost a ‘taboo’ topic in our society – though many are trying to change that.

1 in 4 will loose a child. This means that about a quarter of the people you come across in a day are grieving in one way or another and you’d never know it. All those beautiful children who were lost and are loved and known to only a few.

Since sharing Zeke’s story I have had many people share their own with me. It is always that ones I don’t expect too, and I don’t feel like I go around blurting it out. As I shared yesterday, when people ask how many kids I have I tell them two – one in heaven and one on earth.

I am so glad to that others feel comfortable sharing with me. That they allow me a glimpse into their souls and an opportunity to love their baby too. The look in their eyes as they talk often mirrors the feelings I have.

I haven’t forgotten a single story.

I truly believe there is healing in sharing.

I have prayed many times since April 6, 2015  that God would use me and our story in others’ lives. I’m not sure if listening is it, but I feel it is a big part. People and their stories are a beautiful mystery I never would have glimpse if it weren’t for my own pain. Now I hope to continue to see others and love them. To let them know their story matters too – no matter if, when, or how they decide to share it.

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Loss

Myths #Captureyourgrief

Day 7

I spent some time trying to think of various myths surrounding child loss, for whatever reason this prompt is hard for me, but I thought of two.

  1. Time heals all wounds.
  2. You no longer count/consider/parent the child you lost

We lost Ezekiel a year and a half ago and it still hurts so much .I have talked with many people further along in their grief than I am and they too still have bad days. I miss him daily and wonder constantly what it would have been like to raise both my boys, to see him and Noel play together. Some weeks and months are harder than others. October is hard because that’s when we had our IVF cycle. April and Easter are hard because that is when Zeke passed. I have found its always the milestones and holidays I don’t think will be hard that are… I mean, things get better and it starts to hurt less; Life goes on but I have been changed forever.

As for the second point, I will always consider Zeke my child. I still tell people I have two boys – one here on earth and one in heaven. I know not everyone is comfortable with this, but it is what feels right for me. I have also found you still “parent” a deceased child, just in a very different way. We still celebrate Ezekiel’s birthday and get an ornament in honor of him at Christmas. We give little gifts to people in the NICU on the day he passed. It about trying to find a balance I suppose – a way to honor him and our love for him.

 

October Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness via Luminous Light Studio.com: