A Candid Look at Grief

I came to know Franchesca about a year ago.  Someone sent me a link to her online magazine specifically for parents who have experienced infertility, pregnancy or infant loss.  In a word, Fran is an inspiration with a quiet grace about her that emanates in her writing and her art.  She is the founder of Still Standing Magazine, artist at Small Bird Studios, book author, an advocate for parents who experience a pregnancy or infant loss, gifted photographer, mother to beautiful children on Earth and her baby Jenna Belle in Heaven, and just a lovely human being.

When we spoke on the phone last year she asked if I would write a guest post for the magazine about my own grief journey and how I've found hope in the years since Zoe died.  I of course said yes, but then got busy with other things.  And then I started reading the quality of the articles that were posted in the magazine and I got intimidated.  The writers, all mothers who have lost children, are extraordinarily talented.  Sometimes I feel like I'm reading poetry, the writing is that good.  So I thought to myself, whatever I write had to be fantastic!  So I procrastinated.

I went through a period of a few months that were challenging for me personally.  I was really wrestling with my depression, working with a new psychiatrist on my medications and new therapy.  October through February are generally hard months for me as they include Zoe's NICU discharge anniversary, the holidays and her death.  That's five months out of the year that are more difficult than the other seven.  Nearly half a year and I have moments where I feel like my head is barely above water.  I hate that.  I don't like feeling that way, I don't like when I think I'm doing well the anxiety and depression will creep up behind me and gather me up again.  I want to change, I want it to be different and I'm working hard to make some changes.  But surely I could NOT write about that for Still Standing!  That doesn't sound hopeful one bit.  And isn't that what every grieving mother is looking for?  Hope???

I finally sat and wrote my reality.  During the process I uncovered some interesting details about myself...my need to label myself, my need to be a beacon of light, my fear that someone will pull back the curtain one day and find the real me that often feels broken.  I sent my article off to Franchesca with an honest fear that it wouldn't be what she was looking for to share with her readers.  To my delight, I was wrong.  Fran immediately responded she would love to share it and thought it would resonate with many moms struggling in the same ways.

Thank you Fran for encouraging me to share the reality of grief, the reality that healing takes time, it takes work, and it has peaks and valleys along the way.

You can read my article here: Broken, but not Shattered

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All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31