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Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remembering During the Holidays...

The holidays can be such a tough time for us who have experienced loss. Thus, the reason for the slight delay in posting anything of late. To be honest, my heart has been heavy this Christmas season and I just couldn't bring myself to write anything. All that I could see flowing from my heart through my fingertips onto any computer screen were laments and woes, amidst the joy and cheer of Christmastime. Maybe you were right there with me this Christmas. How did you handle it?

While there were days when I wanted to stay in the warmth of my bed and sleep away the hurt of my losses this Christmas. There was one night in particular that I curled up with my babies' blankies in my favorite chair and just sat and cried as Justin knelt beside me, holding me, rubbing my back. Yet there were also times of amazing worship and awe at the birth of my Savior, Jesus, without whom there would be no hope of heaven.

We continued our family traditions of baking goodies and ordering pizza. We made a fire in the fireplace and read the biblical account of Jesus' birth in our living room, which was illuminated only by the fire, Christmas tree lights, and the light of what we call "Chloe's shelf." Chloe's shelf, in fact, is our most treasured piece of furniture. It is a corner curio cabinet that houses all of the precious mementos, pictures, cards, etc. that remind us of our sweet Chloe. This past year, it has become more than "Chloe's shelf," as it has acquired more cards and more mementos, in remembrance of the two babies we lost this year to miscarriage: one whom we lost in late July at 6 weeks gestation, and the other our baby girl, Riyah, in early November at nearly 14 weeks.

"Chloe's shelf" is pictured above, just to the left of our fireplace, which as you can see we ordained with stockings for all of our children, and poinsettias in each baby's remembrance.

Despite the difficulty of the holidays and feeling an even greater sense of missing our babies, we wanted to do something deliberate and meaningful to honor and remember our babies. Since Chloe died in 2006, we have always put one single candle in our front window (it's actually an electric one). This year, we had three. Another thing we did to honor and remember was purchase three poinsettias for our Christmas services at church, which we were able to bring home and place in front of our festively decorated fireplace, where we also hung a small stocking for each of the babies ~ another tradition we started the Christmas after Chloe died. A new tradition we started this year as a way to honor our babies was by creating a centerpiece for our kitchen table that encouraged each of us to write a special message or thought to our babies, which were then placed in a small gift box. The box was surrounded with three tea light candles, which we lit in the evenings, in remembrance of our children and also ordained with a stone that had an etched butterfly with the word "Remember." I won't go into the details of what the messages said, but the common themes we missed and loved the babies, that we wondered about heaven, and that we would see them again. One message, in particular, had the following verses on it...

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!"
(Revelation: 21:4-5)

So what did you do this Christmas? How did you honor or remember your child(ren)? Please share!

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