January 31, 2014
In situations like what Darren and I have just gone through, there truly are "no words" as many people have written. NOTHING can bring J and B back. NOTHING can explain WHY? However, certain responses have brought comfort-women that have been through similar losses and promise the pain gets easier. Nurses who cried while I cried at the hospital. There is a principal at my school who simply just gives me a little hug every time she sees me-she doesn't "bring up the topic" but she is showing that she knows I'm still hurting. So kind.
I guess I thought I would write this post to give people ideas of how to reach out to people in tragic situations. Of course we are all different, but here are some ideas of how to show you care in a personalized way if someone close to you faces similar circumstances. In regards to losing a child/children our greatest fears are that the babies will be forgotten. The majority of us WANT to talk about our babies instead of brush it under the rug like nothing happened. Here is a list of amazing/creative gifts given to Darren and I in love that are outside the box and so kind, again, the idea is to help you maybe reach out to a sister suffering a miscarriage or a friend going through a bad 20 week ultrasound, etc.:
1. The necklace I wear every single day. It's from Etsy but appeared on my door step with the letters of each child's name that I lost. Who ever gave it to me didn't put their name on it which made it feel that much more powerful and loving. J, B, J, I. This was so amazing as it showed this person really values all my losses.
2. A charm for a necklace I also got in the mail. It has Jude and Brinley's name on the front and "too beautiful for earth" on the inside. It is beautiful. Also a random act of kindness from a stranger.
3. My mom bought me a ring that says "too beautiful for earth JB" for Christmas. I love this as I can wear it everyday. My favorite part of this is mom got herself a ring too that says "I carry your hearts in my heart" My mom also got special Christmas ornaments to put on the tree each year to remember the twins. She gets it.
4. Stephanie @ http://wannabe-mama.blogspot.com is a co-worker (due in just a couple weeks) and for Christmas she got me this awesome present from a company called "A Heart to Hold." It's incredibly intimate, and can be found at http://ahearttohold.com/. This company makes a stuffed heart that weighs the exact amount of the baby at birth. Stephanie got me 2 hearts. 1 for brinly at 13 oz and 1 for Jude at 1 pound 3 ounces. It was so amazing to hold those (and emotional). I put them in the memory box to hopefully tell my rainbow babies someday about their older siblings. Beautiful.
5. Stephanie and follower blogger Meg @ http://www.skinnymeg.com set up a 2 week fundraiser to help with hospital bills. They shared the link and raised over $2000 towards our $3000 bill. It was so humbling and touching. Paying a huge hospital bill to leave the labor and delivery ward empty handed and broken hearted is one of life's cruelest things.
6. Fellow Blogger Lost Stork @ http://whereisthatbird.blogspot.com recently purchased me a massage. So thoughtful. She also made a very kind image and put it on her blog in memory of J and B. We have never met in person. She became pregnant with twins while I was losing Jude and has been so understanding, sensitive, and supportive.
7. My mother/father in law took care of the funeral costs/cremation and picked up Jude's ashes for me and are storing them till I am ready to move forward with spreading them. I love this too because it's not like we don't have $200 to pay for this, BUT, this is one of the saddest things to EVER swipe your own debit card for. If you have someone who has lost, helping with the funeral is so thoughtful to take off that burden. It is the most nauseating action to ever have to complete seeing your child's name on a death certificate in an ugly funeral home and signing off permission forms.
8. This Picture. A woman who lost her own child at 39 weeks makes these for mommy's who lost their babies too soon. She doesn't even know us but sent it to a mutual friend who sent us the pictures. I LOVE them. I just developed a couple for me and my family.
These are just the beginning of kind things. Willow tree angels (I have 1 for each loss), journals, cards, meals, books, etc are all virtual hugs. I got tons of cards from blog followers that would say something as simple as "this is from a random person from a random place who prays for you daily." One of my old students hand-made me a baby blanket for the future she is so eagerly looking forward to. The comments on this blog and the many prayers have also been so touching and a reminder that we are not alone. Thank you.
Darren and I are moving forward and trying to grasp the hope that is left that we will someday bring home a live baby from the labor and delivery ward. I love the Bible verse that says "We are pressed down but not destroyed." That sums up where we are at. I have never been so "pressed down" in my life, but I am alive, therefore not destroyed.
*I have to add something so sad it's actually funny. Yesterday at my massage the woman asked about my thyroid meds. I told her my thyroid was normal but since we are trying to conceive I have to make sure its just a bit lower. She looked at me with a huge smile and said "So you are actively trying to get pregnant??" (in a super happy tone). I smiled and say yes. "Fun!!!!!"She replied in an even happier tone. Oh man. I had to laugh about it afterwards. I spared her the details and said "yep!" ha ha.
I am so glad you are surrounded with such love!ReplyDelete
It's incredible what a thoughtful gift can do for the soul! I'm so glad that the arms of this community have reached out to embrace you over the last few months. Just know, if ever the gifts and cards stop arriving, you are still so far from forgotten! We're all hoping that your bring home baby is just around the corner!ReplyDelete
you too Amanda!!!Delete
What sweet, precious gifts! Continuing to lift up your family in prayer.ReplyDelete
wow! You are so loved and those are such wonderful gestures and gifts from people who love you so much. Some don't even "know" you, which goes to show how much you touch people through your blog. Hugs to you girlie!!ReplyDelete
I was given Willow Tree Angels by my Special Friend (she lost her son at five months due to heart defect) after my son Miller died and they were so special to me.. little gifts and simple measures mean so much. This is a great post and I'm so glad that you are able to share these things because people that haven't walked a mile in our shoes just don't know what to do to help us. And time does ease our pain-- I can say that honestly, being that I just survived my son's 9th birthday in Heaven on Jan 23rd. I was going to email you the other day but wanted to finish the post I was working on first and then I got caught up in my own grief-- here's the link. I hope you read it :)ReplyDelete
So many people are holding you guys in their hearts. Such love!ReplyDelete
What sweet, sweet gifts!!! The true meaning of sisters in Christ!!!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad that we have gotten to know each other, you have been a great friend.
These are all wonderful ideas. I know it meant the world to me when people sent or had things made for me in memory of my twins. Its hard enough to get through on your own without feeling like your kids are forgotten. I am keeping you in my heart as you move forward toward your rainbow.ReplyDelete
This community is kind beyond words. I'm so glad you've felt so loved.ReplyDelete
I'm so happy you received so much love and support from everyone. Your journey has been unspeakably hard.ReplyDelete
Holly, these are very beautiful gifts to have recieved. I recently got the words "too beautiful for this place" tattooed on my rib cage, with two little birds flying above the wording. One of your recent posts said that instead of people saying how sorry they were for you guys, that you appreciate when people send you song lyrics, passages or quotes, so I thought I would tell you one of the songs that I listened to on repeat for about a month after my second D&C last August, it's the song "Rain" by Creed. and it still gives me chills when I hear it. If you listen to it, I hope it gives you the same little bit of comfort that it gives me. I understood so well when you spoke about being strong and doing what you have to do in the moment, isn't it crazy how strong you can be when being strong is your only option left? Sending my prayers your wayReplyDelete
Thanks Michelle! I will check out the song. You are soo right-strong is sometimes our only option.Delete
I'm glad you are receiving such support right now. Many of us are still thinking of you and praying for you and Darren daily. Hugs!ReplyDelete
I am so teary just reading this post! You really are very loved and I hope you feel that everyday. You are amazing, Holly.ReplyDelete
I am crying so many tears for you.ReplyDelete
It is so beautiful to be surrounded by such love and understanding. Thank you for sharing these kindnesses with us.
My family had a tragic situation that happened a few years ago. The one thing I still hang onto, and I am so grateful for were the kind and loving gestures and the feeling the love and support from the people around us. It was truly one of the most beautiful things in humanity that I have ever seen.
My hope and prayer for you is that you continue to feel this support be wrapped in this powerful love.
Since I found you and your husbands' story, I have been praying and hoping for you both. I am so happy there are those wonderful gifts and thoughts to help you where they can. Please know I am sending hugs and prayers, dear heart.ReplyDelete
These are so meaningful. Thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
I am in college to be a Child Life Specialist (they help kids cope with hospitalization). As I have to share a therapeutic activity about bereavement in one of the classes I have, I think I am going to adapt the Heart to Hold pillows into a project to do with kids who have lost a prematurely born or stillborn sibling. I would love to share the rest of your list as well, if that's OK. You'll be helping to equip future Child Life Specialists in their work with lots of kids and families dealing with loss.
Yes! I think the heart to hold is so amazing and will help younger children cope/understand :)Delete
Beautiful. I'm so glad you've had such an outpouring of love. You have a lot of people thinking about you and praying for you, including me.ReplyDelete
You both are so precious. I love your heart, Holly. I know God loves it too. I am so proud of you! xoxoxoReplyDelete
It's so wonderful that so many people have come forward to support you. And you are amazing for already paying it forward - thanks again for the sweet package you sent!ReplyDelete
Wow. I am in awe of all these little gifts you received. The outpouring of love is just amazing. I think about you often and I know many others in my life who are still thinking and praying for you guys.ReplyDelete