The Sting of Goodbye

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The phone rang at 12:58 a.m. My oldest son, home for a visit from college, was at a local concert with friends. No ability to check caller ID on that particular landline, I was instantly awake, sitting upright in bed...senses heightened. I'm used to the phone ringing in the middle of the night, due to my on call work as a birth and bereavement doula®. … [Read more...]

The Question

There are several basic questions that people ask when they are getting to know you. You may be at the register buying groceries and the cashier strikes up a friendly conversation or you could be at a small gathering with friends where you meet someone new. The small talk begins and you are asked things like What do you do for a living? What … [Read more...]

Still A Mother

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I dedicate this to each and every mother who lives without her precious child(ren), to every mother who has no living children, and to every woman who longs to be a mother. We see you. We remember you. And we honor your motherhood. You are a beautiful, beautiful mother. Mother's Day can be a wonderful day for many women. A day of celebration, honor … [Read more...]

To My Fellow Loss Mom on the First Day of the “After”

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To the beautiful and broken mama on the morning after your heart was torn from your soul, I can tell you that today, you will wake up, even if you don't want to.  The cruel joke of the world is that you are still here and your child is not, on this first day of life now split into the forever proverbial “before” and “after” your child died. You … [Read more...]

We Are All Mothers

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My childless motherhood is not so different from yours, you who have the joy and privilege to raise your children here on earth. On the surface, our motherhoods look very different. Mine is rarely recognized by the larger society or even by many of those close to me. My home is quiet and uncluttered by toys or random scattered clothes and shoes. My … [Read more...]

Grief In the Grocery Store

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It was a typical Saturday morning. Running errands.  Grocery shopping.  Catching up from the chaos of the week. As I ran into Kroger, with my unusually short list, I thought nothing of the items written on my notepad.  Checking them off one by one, I ended at the dairy and frozen foods section. As my hand grasped around the small orange neck of … [Read more...]

Siblings Grieve Too

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This post is an excerpt from the book Sufficient Grace (Comfort Publishing) by Kelly Gerken: Timothy was two years old when we were expecting Faith and Grace. His little life was turned upside down by my extreme illness and constant vomiting. Then there was a long hospital stay and little contact from me. Of course, he was doted on by his … [Read more...]

It Could Never Happen To Me

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Often people will go to great lengths to convince themselves that what happened to you could never happen to them. Unfortunately, a host of comfortless cliches are usually born from the 'it-could-never-happen-to-me mentality.' I get it. It’s a defense mechanism people use to calm their own fears and to preserve their own senses of safety. It also … [Read more...]

What Love Never Leaves Behind

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I remember my first night when I came back home from the hospital after my daughter was stillborn—empty-handed and no longer pregnant. I couldn’t shake the intense feeling of guilt that I had left my child behind. This guilt made it so hard to breathe and cloaked my life with a darkness that I couldn’t shake. When I woke up the next morning I would … [Read more...]

5 Rights of the Bereaved Parent

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1) You have the right to your feelings. No one knows exactly what it is like for you to lose your child. No one has walked the exact same path as you. No one has lost THIS child who was unique in his or her own special way. You have a right to feel how to you feel about your loss. Some days will be better than others. Today might be a good day, moments … [Read more...]