International Bereaved Mother’s Day: Honoring our Birth Stories

International Bereaved Mother’s Day: Honoring our Birth Stories

Today we celebrate International Bereaved Mother’s Day. We honor precious children that have died and their Mothers whose love and bravery are to be respected and commended. The loss of a child is one of the most painful experiences a person can endure. At the same time, speaking for myself, I would never erase my pain. It is evidence of love. It speaks to the short but meaningful life of my first son, Zachary. Yes, my memories are tinged with sadness, but more so they are shrouded with love. Do you notice my theme here? LOVE Love is what binds us. Love sustains us. Love is the answer to the heart’s longings. Love is what keeps our loved ones alive.  My Mom is a wise lady. I respect and admire her, as much as we butt heads many days. Mom always tells...

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Five Lessons: Expecting Sunshine 1st Birthday

Five Lessons: Expecting Sunshine 1st Birthday

One thing I have noticed since losing my son, Zachary, is how I appreciate milestones more deeply. I love celebrating the birthdays, and other special days, of my two rainbow babies and my daughter, who was one-year-old when Zach passed away. So too am I grateful to wish my “book baby” a very happy birthday. One year ago today, I published my memoir, called Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss (She Writes Press, April 18, 2017).   When I look back on this past year, I realize there are many important lessons that I have learned. These revelations grew out of my challenging season of grief, the newness of slow-earned healing, and the process of writing, editing, and publishing my story.     Five Lessons on the Birthday...

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Father’s Day for the Bereaved Dad

Father’s Day for the Bereaved Dad

Father’s Day can be challenging for the bereaved dad, just like Mother’s Day is for the bereaved mom. It only adds to the problem when fathers who have lost a child do not receive the support they need (but may not ask for) after their loss. This is not a fact I recognized around the time of Zachary’s passing, which I am sorry for. I was very introspective and self-focused back then, which is okay when you are trying to hold it together yourself. I still attempted to be there for my husband, though I’m not sure if I did a good job of it. My husband Aaron resumed life quickly after our loss, which at the time hurt me deeply. I felt abandoned by my partner and couldn’t see that he was grieving. Boy, was I wrong! I did not appreciate...

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Mother’s Day for the Bereaved Mom

Mother’s Day for the Bereaved Mom

Mother’s Day is a mix of emotions for the bereaved mom. It can be full of highs and also lows. I do want to encourage all mom’s to take heart this Mother’s Day: However you hold your baby, in your arms or in your heart… … Remember these things: You are MOM You are strong Love never dies You are brave for all you’ve endured Sunshine comes after the storm The rawness of grief will not last forever Mother’s Day is a chance to remember Your baby will never be forgotten   If you are looking for a way to celebrate Mother’s Day as a bereaved Mom – or for a bereaved Mom you know – here are a few ideas: Plant a memory garden Meditate in nature Create a symbolic painting Start a new journal Write your...

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The Male Perspective on Grief

The Male Perspective on Grief

I have people ask me all the time: How did your husband cope with his grief? My first reaction for MANY YEARS was: I have no idea It seemed like he wasn’t really grieving And he never really talked about it I assumed he was doing okay   I have since had all four of those reactions turned on their head. I learned: I had no idea how my husband, Aaron, was grieving because he often tried to be strong for me, therefore didn’t always show his feelings. Aaron was grieving, deeply; his grief just looked different from mine and so I didn’t recognize it or understand it the same way as my own. Men are not encouraged to share their feelings as much as women, and sometimes when they do they are made to feel less manly or in control. We can never...

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Remember your Child in Expecting Sunshine Memoir

Remember your Child in Expecting Sunshine Memoir

About a year ago I asked if anyone wants their child’s name commemorated in my memoir, Expecting Sunshine: A heartwarming journey of grief, healing and pregnancy after loss. This is the final call for names! I am just finalizing the contract for publishing my book and soon the manuscript will be off with the publisher! It has been such a long process to get to this point, but I am so excited!   Just to show how long the publishing process really is on a book:   I wrote my memoir about my pregnancy after loss in 2011-2012. Editing it ever since, both on my own and with professional editors. Searched for an agent. Found an agent. Agent pitched my book to the big publishers. Big publishers replied: wonderfully written book BUT the subject matter is too...

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