Today marks a whole year that weʼve lived and breathed since watching our son slip from this world. A year of firsts. A year of unpredictable heartache. A year of tears and relearning how to live. A year of life without Zachary. Something I never imagined my heart would survive. Iʼm not sure it has, but somehow, although very changed, Iʼm still breathing. Yet quietly behind every moment, thereʼs a deep ache that is longing for him. No matter what Iʼve tried, nothing can dull it.
In the months following our loss, I read blog after blog, desperately looking for the “recipe” or “formula” for survival. Searching for a story like ours, a woman like me, basically how on earth to process this. Perhaps, partially trying to convince myself itʼs even possible to endure this type of loss.
It wasnʼt until I took on a few personal projects with my own business, which forced me to incorporate my son into my work that I felt a bit of healing. Finding creative outlets for my grief and love have been paramount for my survival this past year.
All it takes is a quick trip onto pinterest to see that this is another area in life which can cause so much pain. The nursery projects, birthday themes, rainy day ideas… all the things we should be doing too. So why canʼt we? I want to carve a small place for the lost community and offer some suggestions how to bring very loved and missed children into our now. My hope is that it will bring comfort and offer an outlet to channel all that incredible mama love!
A few rules before we begin:
1) Creativity is scary. Trust me, I get it. But just let yourself have fun! Donʼt worry about how artistic you are, just allow yourself to go through the process.
2) These projects are open to everyone. One of the most surprising misconceptions is that us baby lost parents donʼt want to be reminded of our babies. Wrong! We want to hear their names, see evidence of their lives and experience them in personal ways. We love seeing expressions of them. Although these DIYʼs will be geared towards moms, they are open to anyone (friends or family) who is searching for a way to express love over a missed baby.
What youʼll need:
*Clay (I used Sculpey brand)
*Something smooth to roll the clay
*alphabet rubber stamps
*sharpie – any color
1) Make your shape out of tinfoil.
2) Roll your clay flat.
3) Preheat your oven to the designated heat it says your clay package
4) Begin to wrap the flat clay over your shape. I found this step to take the longest. Rub out finger prints. Add more clay if you see tinfoil showing through.
5) Let your clay cool slightly, then lightly stamp your clay. Feel free to use your babies name, your family name, an encouraging word, your favorite bible verse… anything youʼd like. Tip: slightly dampen your stamp so that it doesnʼt stick to the clay.
6) Cover a cookie sheet with tinfoil and put them in the oven for 20 minutes.
7) After grabbing them from the oven, let them cool. Then carefully use your sharpie to fill in your letters. If you make a mistake, you can use sandpaper to gently sand it away.
Optional– after filling in the letters with your sharpie, add glitter, acrylic paint or anything else to personalize.
Uses: Add them to your garden, send to friends, place around your home for decoration… the options are limitless.
If people want to connect with me, hereʼs how:
***** If you take on this project, please share with us and post a pic on our facebook page! *****