Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Birth Healing Blessing

Blessed sister, beautiful one
with broken wings.
Your journey is a difficult one
that no mother should have to endure.
Your path is steep, rocky and slippery
and your tender heart is in need of gentle healing.

Breathe deeply and know that you are loved.
You are not alone,
though at times, you will feel like a
desolate island of grief
Close your eyes.
Seek the wisdom of women who have walked this well-worn path before you,
and before,
and before you yourself were born.
These beautiful ones
with eyes like yours
have shared your pain, and
weathered the storms of loss.

You are not alone (breathe in)
You will go on (breathe out)
Your wings will mend (breathe in)
You are loved (breathe out)

~ Mary Burgess

Author, Mending Invisible Wings, a healing journal for mothers following the loss of their baby through late-term miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Waterbugs and Dragonflies

Written by Doris Stickney 

A wonderful story to help explain to death Angel Siblings and/or young children.

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

'Look!' said one of the water bugs to another, 'One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going?' Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return. 'That's funny!' said one water bug to another. 'Wasn't she happy here?' asked a second water bug. 'Were do you suppose she went?' wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the water bugs, the leader of the colony, gathered its friends together. 'I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where she went and why.' 'We promise', they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broken through the surface of the water, and had fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings. The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly.

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by, the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chanced to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs!. There they were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before. Then the dragonfly remembered his promise: 'The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why'.

Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly he could no longer go into the water. 'I can't return!' he said in dismay. 'At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what happened to me, and where I went'.

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.

The Colours of Grief

How hard it is to fathom,
The sadness in the soul,
How that pain and heartache,
Leave us feeling less than whole,
If grief it were a colour,
It would like it to be known,
That there are so many facets,
Each emotion is a colour on its own.
Black would hold the terror,
Gold the love so true,
Red the fiery anger,
Missing you is blue.
Yellow when a memory,
Flies in to make you smile,
Green is for the calmness,
We feel once in a while,
Violet soothes the torment,
Orange the occasional laugh,
We allow ourselves so rarely,
Grief is not an easy path.
Then pink it draws you to me,
Your colour it is so,
Many colours to remind me,
The pain of letting go.
Then purple is the colour,
Of healing I’ve been told before,
So purple wrap around me,
My heart is truly sore.
So many colours I’ve discovered,
Make up the grievers soul,
So many emotions to encounter,
In an attempt to make us whole.

Christine Bevington 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Just Say I'm Sorry

- author unknown

You don’t know how I feel; please don’t tell me that you do. 
There’s just one way to know--have you lost a child too?
“You’ll have another child” – must I hear this every day?
Can I get another mother, too, if mine should pass away?
Don’t say it was “God’s will” – that’s not the God I know.
Would God, on purpose, break my heart,
then watch as my tears flow?
You have an angel in heaven – a precious child above.
But tell me, to whom here on earth shall I give this love?
“Aren’t you better yet?” Is that what I heard you say?
No! A part of my heart aches and I’ll always feel some pain.
You think that silence is kind, but it hurts me even more.
I want to talk about my child who has gone through death’s door.
Don’t say these things to me, although you do mean well.
They do not take my pain away; I must go through this hell.
I will get better, slow but sure – and it helps to have you near.
But a simple “I’m sorry you lost your child” is all I need to hear.

Monday, March 28, 2011

20 Things Angel Mommies Wish You Knew

1. I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby. The truth is just because you never saw my baby doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve your recognition.
2. I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn’t think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning my baby. The truth is I need to cry and talk about my baby with you.
3. I wish that you could talk about my baby more than once. The truth is if you do, it reassures me that you haven’t forgotten him and that you do care and understand.
4. I wish you wouldn’t think that I don’t want to talk about my baby. The truth is I love my baby and need to talk about him.
5. I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby died and that you are thinking of me. The truth is that it tells me you care.
6. I wish you wouldn’t think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The truth is the memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby, the dreams I had and the memories I have created for my baby are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too but please understand that it’s not all like that.
7. I wish you wouldn’t pretend that my baby never existed. The truth is we both know I had a baby growing inside me.
8. I wish you wouldn’t judge me because I am not acting the way you think I should be. The truth is grief is a very personal thing and we are all different people who deal with things differently.
9. I wish you wouldn’t think if I have a good day I’m “over it” or if I have a bad day I am being unreasonable because you think I should be over it. The truth is there is no “normal” way for me to act.
10. I wish you wouldn’t stay away from me. The truth is losing my baby doesn’t mean I’m contagious. By staying away you make me feel isolated, confused and like it is my fault.
11. I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be “over and done with” in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. The truth is it may get easier with time but I will never be “over” this.
12. I wish you wouldn’t think that my baby wasnt’t really a baby and he was just blood and tissue or a fetus. The truth is my baby had a life. My baby had a soul, heart, body, legs, arms and a face. I have seen my baby’s body and face. My baby was real person – and he was alive.
13. My babies due date, Mothers Day, celebration times, the day my baby was born and the day I lost him are all important and sad days for me. The truth is I wish you could tell me by words or by letter you are thinking of me on these days.
14. I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. The truth is I am not the same person I was before and will never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to “”normal” you will stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the real me-maybe you’ll still like me.
15. I wish you wouldn’t tell me I could have another baby. The truth is I want the baby I lost and no other baby can replace him. Babies aren’t interchangeable.
16. I wish you wouldn’t feel awkward or uncomfortable talking about my baby or being near me. When you do, I can see it. The truth is it’s not fair to make me feel uncomfortable just because you are.
17. I wish you wouldn’t think that you’ll keep away because all my friends and family will be there for me. The truth is, everyone thinks the same thing and I am often left with no one.
18. I wish you would understand that being around pregnant women is uncomfortable for me. The truth is I feel jealous.
19. I wish you wouldn’t say that it’s natures way of telling me something was wrong with my baby. The truth is my baby was perfect no matter what you think nature is saying.
20. I wish you would understand what you are really saying when you say “next time things will be okay”. The truth is how do you know? What will you say if it happens to me again?
-Author Unknown

Lifetime Wish

- author unknown

If we could have a lifetime wish 
A dream that would come true, 
We'd pray to God with all our hearts 
For yesterday and You. 
A thousand words can't bring you back 
We know because we've tried...
Neither will a thousand tears 
We know because we've cried... 
You left behind our broken hearts 
And happy memories too... 
But we never wanted memories 
We only wanted You

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dads Hurt Too

- author unknown

People don't always see the tears
a dad cries,
His heart is broken too
when his child dies.
He tries to hold it together and be strong,
Even though his world's gone wrong.
He holds his wife as her tears fall,
Comforts her through it all,
He goes through his day doing
what he's supposed to do,
But a piece of his heart has been
ripped away too.
So when he's alone he lets out his pain,
And his tears come like falling rain,
His world has crashed in around him,
And a world that was once bright
has gone dim.
He feels he has to be strong for others,
But Dads hurt too, not just the Mothers,
He searches for answers but none are to be found,
He hides behind a mask when he is feeling down.
He smiles through his tears,
He struggles and holds in his fears,
But what you see on the outside is not always real,
Men don't always show how
they really feel.
So I'd like to ask a favor of you,
The next time you see a mother hurting
over the loss of her child,
please remember.....a Dad hurts too

Wind Beneath My Wings

"Wind Beneath My Wings"
by: Bette Midler
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

Did you ever know that you're my hero?
You're everything I wish I could be.
I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
so high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

12 Truths about “Coping with the Emotional Aspects of Pregnancy Loss”

12 truths of loosing a child….taken from the article “Coping with the Emotional Aspects of Pregnancy Loss” by Elizabeth Carney
1. The truth isn’t that you will feel “all better” in a couple of days, or weeks, or even months.
The truth is that the days will be filled with an unending ache and the nights will feel one million sad years long for a while. Healing is attained only after the slow necessary progression through the stages of grief and mourning.
2. The truth isn’t that a new pregnancy will help you forget.
The truth is that, while thoughts of a new pregnancy soon may provide hope, a lost infant deserves to be mourned just as you would have with anyone you loved. Grieving takes a lot of energy and can be both emotionally and physically draining. This could have an impact upon your health during another pregnancy. While the decision to try again is a very individualized one, being pregnant while still actively grieving is very difficult.
3. The truth isn’t that pills or alcohol will dull the pain.
The truth is that they will merely postpone the reality you must eventually face in order to begin healing. However, if your doctor feels that medication is necessary to help maintain your health, use it intelligently and according to his/her instructions.
4. The truth isn’t that once this is over your life will be the same.
The truth is that your upside-down world will slowly settle down, hopefully leaving you a more sensitive, compassionate person, better prepared to handle the hard times that everyone must deal with sooner or later. When you consider that you have just experienced one of the worst things that can happen to a family, as you heal you will become aware of how strong you are.
5. The truth isn’t that grieving is morbid, or a sign of weakness or mental instability.
The truth is that grieving is work that must be done. Now is the appropriate time. Allow yourself the time. Feel it, flow with it. Try not to fight it too often. It will get easier if you expect that it is variable, that some days are better than others. Be patient with yourself. There are no short cuts to healing. The active grieving will be over when all the work is done.
6. The truth isn’t that grief is all-consuming.
The truth is that in the midst of the most agonizing time of your life, there will be laughter. Don’t feel guilty. Laugh if you want to. Just as you must allow yourself the time to grieve, you must also allow yourself the time to laugh. Viewing laughter as part of the healing process, just as overwhelming sadness is now, will make the pain more bearable.
7. The truth isn’t that one person can bear this alone.
The truth is that while only you can make the choices necessary to return to the mainstream of life a healed person, others in your life are also grieving and are feeling very helpless. As unfair as it may seem, the burden of remaining in contact with family and friends often falls on you. They are afraid to “butt in,” or they may be fearful of saying or doing the wrong thing. This makes them feel even more helpless. They need to be told honestly what they can do to help. They don’t need to be told, “I’m doing fine” when you’re really NOT doing fine. By allowing others to share in your pain and assist you with your needs, you will be comforted and they will feel less helpless.
8. The truth isn’t that God must be punishing you for something.
The truth is that sometimes these things just happen. They have happened to many people before you, and they will happen to many people after you. This was not an act of any God; it was an act of Nature. It isn’t fair to blame God, or yourself, or anyone else. Try to understand that it is human nature to look for a place to put the blame, especially when there are so few answers to the question, “Why?” Sometimes there are answers. Most times there are not. Believing that you are being punished will only get in the way of your healing.
9. The truth isn’t that you will be unable to make any choices or decisions during this time.
The truth is that while major decisions, such as moving or changing jobs, are better off being postponed for now, life goes on. It will be difficult, but decisions dealing with the death of your baby (seeing and naming the baby, arranging and/or attending a religious ritual, taking care of the nursery items you have acquired) are all choices you can make for yourself. Well-meaning people will try to shelter you from the pain of this. However, many of us who have suffered similar losses agree that these first decisions are very important. They help to make the loss real. Our brains filter out much of the pain early on as a way to protect us. Very soon after that, we find ourselves reliving the events over and over, trying to remember everything. This is another way that we acknowledge the loss. Until the loss is real, grieving cannot begin. Being involved at this early time will be a painful experience, but it will help you deal with your grief better as you progress by providing comforting memories of having performed loving, caring acts for your baby.
10. The truth isn’t that you will be delighted to hear that a friend or other loved one has just given birth to a healthy baby.
The truth is that you may find it very difficult to be around mothers with young babies. You may be hurt, or angry, or jealous. You may wonder why you couldn’t have had that joy. You may be resentful, or refuse to see friends with new babies. You may even secretly wish that the same thing would happen to someone else. You want someone to understand how it feels. You may also feel very ashamed that you could wish such things on people you love or care about, or think that you must be a dreadful person. You aren’t. You’re human, and even the most loving people can react this way when they are actively grieving. If the situations were reversed, your friends would be feeling and thinking the same things you are. Forgive yourself. It’s OK. These feelings will eventually go away.
11. The truth isn’t that all marriages survive this difficult time.
The truth is that sometimes you might blame one another, resent one another, or dislike being with one another. If you find this happening, get help. There are self-help groups available or grief counselors who can help. Don’t ignore it or tuck it away assuming it will get better. It won’t. Actively grieving people cannot help one another. It is unrealistic, like having two people who were blinded at the same time teach each other Braille. Talking it out with others may help. It might even save your marriage.
12. The truth isn’t that eventually you will accept the loss of your baby and forget all about this awful time.
The truth is that acceptance is a word reserved for the understanding you come to when you’ve successfully grieved the loss of a parent, or a grandparent, or a beloved older relative. When you lose a child, your whole future has been affected, not your past. No one can really accept that. But there is resolution in the form of healing and learning how to cope. You will survive. Many of us who have gone through this type of grief are afraid we might forget about our babies once we begin to heal. This won’t happen. You will always remember your precious baby because successful grieving carves a place in your heart where he or she will live forever.
Please be gentle with yourself. Learning to navigate the storm can be a brutal ride but the outcome is so worth it….
In care, concern and in the name of healing,

No Footprints

I've listened to the "footprints" poem
a million times or more
Of how when only one set shows
upon the sandy shore
It is the Lord carrying us
and taking on our load
And His are the only set
of footprints that showed.

But what if when we look
there are no footprints to be found?
All we see is plain and simple
sand upon the ground.
No imprints showing that our Lord
is carrying us through life
Helping us when we feel
we can not handle all this strife.

Where is my Lord now that I've fallen
and can't seem to get back up?
So tired and lonely
trying to deal with what seems
an overflowing cup.
Where are those footprints
in the sand
to tell me He's right there?
Helping me with problems
and showing that He really does care.

Does He have favorites, OH NO,
please tell me that's not so!
By why does life seem easier
for some people that I know?
And sometimes I just scream out loud
although it seems in vain,
but often it gets harder each day
to deal with all this pain.

And then it dawned on me
as I realize how simple could it be.
I wonder why I was so blind
that I truly did not see.
It must have been a lightning bolt
that one day gave me light,
Cause out of the clear blue sky,
I finally regained my sight.

I saw a fluffy white cloud
shaped like an Angel dear.
That helped me to understand
and see things oh so clear,
That when I saw no footprints
and so often wondered why,
My Son carried me on Angel wings,
when He decided to fly.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tears of An Angel Boy

An Angel boy looked down from heaven, his eyes were full of tears
God asked him why are you so sad son, up here there is no fears
the angel boy, he hesitated and then came his reply
Dear god, heaven is beautiful but why did i have to die?

He then pointed through a break in the clouds down to earth where he could spy his mum
she is empty and so troubled and look what my trip to paradise has done
how can i be happy here when i see her head is aching
How can do my angel duties when i feel her heart is breaking

God replied

Wipe your tears angel boy, you once too have felt that human pain,
but yours a pain much stronger, that's what called me to you, for me to tame
your mothers pain is a human emotion that i cannot control
but i promise you my son, in time it will ease, but never go.

let her know that you are there always in her heart, never far
until you meet again someday, i promise you will, its written in the stars

The Angel boy then smiled a smile that only angels can
and gathered up some teardrops and clutched them in his hand
he gently dripped them down to earth to land softly on his mum
then blew away a passing cloud to dry her with the sun

His mother looked up to the heavens like she already knew
Thank you my Angel boy, i know your always with me, my love is with you too x

by Natasha Wright

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Introducing Trey's Angel Friends

Angel Steps: Trey's Angel Friends: "This page is dedicated to all of our Angel Children. Please comment below with your Angel Child's name, birthday, and Angel Day."

A pleasant surprise

Yesterday was Trey's birthday, a day I have dreaded since his last birthday and since his passing before that.  I guess what some say is true though, the days leading up to a sad anniversary are always the hardest.  On Monday, two days before his birthday, I was not in good spirits.  I was stuck in remembering that Monday was the two year anniversary of the day I had to be admitted into the hospital and the hard journey for my husband and I began.  On the way to work, I had a talk with Trey, as I do quite often.  I asked him for help getting through this week, I needed his strength to help me keep my chin up to get through what I thought would be tough days ahead. A dear friend wrote to me and contradicted my sentiments of the sadness of the day with words of good cheer.  I must be honest, I rolled my eyes when I read her kind words that Monday was indeed the day that started the time in which we would get to meet and get to know our son, for whatever short time.  At that moment, I thought, "who could EVER get themselves in that frame of mind on a day like this", for this day held nothing but the beginnings of suffering and bad memories.

To my surprise, less than 24 hours later, I was trying to figure out what words to say to honor his birthday on Angel Mommy sites and, of course, Facebook and her words were the first that came to mind and they rang so true.  Then I rolled my eyes for a different reason, I rolled them in scolding of myself, for not giving her kind words a chance to sink in.  In that moment of clarity, I remembered EVERY beautiful moment we had with our son, every precious touch, every embrace, every moment, every hope, every photo, and essentially every piece of happiness that he brought us from pregnancy to his passing and the pride, happiness, and love we have been blessed with because of him since his passing.  From that moment onto this very moment, it's those happy memories that kept me tear free and in good spirits.  I showed my colleagues a video made for me by a dear friend, a video of photos of our son that flowed to a beautiful song that I put on his playlist I made him when I was pregnant with him.  You could feel the mood in the room sink to a certain level of somberness, yet while they watched and probably felt sorrow, I could not help but smile and even giggle at the pictures of our son as they passed and the pictures of us releasing his ashes into the sea surrounded by our family.  I felt such pride that he is OUR little boy even from heaven and he is the strongest person I have ever had the pleasure of meeting!

The rest of the day went just as well, my heart and soul were soothed with happiness.  I was so proud to tally up the number of teddy bears we collected in honor of his birthday to help other angel and NICU families!  I knew he would be proud as well.  That night before I went to sleep, I told my husband that I loved him AND our children!  I also thanked him for giving me our children to carry and to love.  I fell fast asleep with a smile in my heart holding onto the charms on my necklace that represent the love I have for my children.

I would like to thank my friend, she knows who she is, for giving me a different point of view, and point of view that stole all unhappiness from the day and helped me remember how beautiful Trey's life was, no matter how short and how his life continues to spread beauty and love to all of my loved ones.  Most of all, I would like to thank my dear son, who kept his promise to me and gave me strength and love making his birthday a bright beautiful day of celebration instead of the day of sadness I dreaded.   I wish that all Angel Families will experience this level of peace and happiness on their angel's birthday.