Friday, August 29, 2014

Thunder & Rain - Peace During the Storm

Well, it is thundering and raining here right now.  I just made myself a tasty lunch and now I wanted to take a few moments for a break before I get back to housework.

I am really enjoying listening to the thunder and rain.  It is so calming to me for some reason.  I am reminded of God's promise to bring us peace, even in the midst of the storms of life.  He is doing that for me today.

I miss my daughter so very much, but the Lord is bringing me peace through my storm.  I know He still has great plans in store for me, but I must decide to get up and walk them out every day.  I simply cannot lay in bed.  I cannot pretend to be productive.  I cannot stay where I am emotionally, physically, or spiritually.  I have to move forward in the life He has given to me.

As I continue to listen to the thunder and rain this afternoon I will remember that He is carrying me through this storm and helping me to become who He wants me to be.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Today's Mail

Today has been a so, so day for me.  Overall it was pretty good I guess.  I didn't have any breakdowns (so far), but I was just sort of down quite a bit.  

I got some shopping done, which made me feel good and productive.  I did some things around the house, which also made me feel good.  Cooking dinner was also very nice.  I have been cooking quite a bit and really enjoying it.  I think my motherly instincts are really coming out more and more since Faith was born.  

Late this afternoon when I went to get the mail, there was a box that was a formula and dietary supplement for nursing mothers sample from Similac.  I must say, I didn't react as badly as I thought I would.  I think my reaction was sort of numb.  I pulled up their website to find the unsubscribe phone number.  I called and explained my situation to the gentleman, who was very kind and helpful in unsubscribing me from their mailings and e-mails.  

I have had to do a lot of unsubscribing from e-mails that I had signed up for when I was pregnant.  At first, I ignored all of the e-mails, as it was too painful to even look at them.  I finally started going through and unsubscribing, as they came through, as I realized they were not going to go away on their own.  

As I have mentioned before, it is interesting to me how some things can trigger breakdowns/tears, while other times nothing...I think we are built that way so we can cope with things.  At any rate, that was an unexpected sample, and yet again, another reminder that my baby girl is not with me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sufficient Grace

Yesterday marked 11 years that my husband and I have known each other.  It was also the day that 2 gifts showed up in the mail for us.  One of these gifts was from Sufficient Grace Ministries.  When I found them on Facebook and read the founders' story, I felt very touched, as one of the daughters that she lost was named Faith.

I am certain that our Faiths are friends in Heaven today.  Here is a picture of what was included in the gift box, as well as a book for my husband (not in this pic).


I know that I will start adding to the Dreams of You book, which is very nice.  I also know that holding this bear will bring me much comfort.  I am already so blessed by this ministry, as I know many others who have lost children are.  

If you have lost a child, please reach out to this ministry.  They are wonderful and a huge blessing for those grieving a child who has gone to Heaven too soon.

There are so many great organizations and people out there available and willing to help in a lot of different ways.  I encourage you to take advantage of this ministry and any other helpful group with any tools they may offer.  We all grieve differently, and there is no wrong way to grieve.  I personally find a lot of help in tangible things.  The teddy bear that laid with Faith in the hospital will always be very special to me.  I also now have many other tangible things that aide me in my grief journey, some of which I will blog about later...

To read more about Sufficient Grace Ministries, please check them out here: www.sufficientgraceministries.org

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Another Day on My Journey

Today overall has been a good day.  I have opened some moving boxes in my office (Faith's room) and have started putting things away.  Thank goodness it seems that my Cricut and sewing machine are found and functional.

I have been thinking of how I want to decorate my office and I think I may put up Faith and girly stuff to remind me of her.  I came across some beautiful bright sparkly butterflies last night and I may put them on a wall with Faith's name in vinyl letters...just a passing thought.

Although I miss Faith SO VERY much and think about her all the time, I am slowly beginning to enjoy some of the little things in life again.  Although I have moments that I break down and things that trigger these moments, these emotions do not control my life.  I know these moments will always come when I allow them or when I see or hear a trigger.

I love and miss my baby girl with all my heart.  She is and will always be the light of my life.  My love grows stronger for her every day, which makes me miss her every day.

This makes me realize that while every day in my journey of life will be different, they will each be the same in that I will always hold Faith in my heart until we meet again in Heaven on that joyous day.

Friday, August 15, 2014

4 Months - Numb

4 months ago today my baby girl, Faith Melody, went to Heaven.  I still cannot believe she is gone.  I don't know if I ever will.  It is so strange every day that life just keeps going on without her.

I feel like I am having a pretty good day, but as I sit staring at her picture, I realize that I am numb.  I haven't been like this since she's been gone, but I have moments where numb is the only way to describe how I feel. It seems like only yesterday that she left.

I think this feeling of numbness is built into us for a reason.  Although I have been having a pretty good day, when I think of Faith today, I am sad and have an ache in my heart, but in a strange way I am just plain numb.

It is cloudy and rainy today, which doesn't really help my mood at this point of the day.  However, I think I will let you all go for this time and go enjoy some time with friends.

It's ok not to be ok...it's ok to be numb for a season...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Peace & Joy

Yesterday and today I have had a lot of peace and joy from The Lord.  That's not to say that I am not still grieving and missing Faith, because I always will.  However, it does give me hope and encouragement to know that I can wake up in the morning and feel the peace and joy of The Lord.  For awhile, I really did believe that I wouldn't enjoy anything in life anymore.

It still hurts to see babies, and I am sure it will for quite awhile.  But I also am thankful for babies when I see them.  Also, I am so thankful to be alive, knowing how many things can go wrong in pregnancy it makes me see how blessed I am to be here.

Through all the pain and suffering I am enduring, I am also really beginning to understand the peace and joy of The Lord, as I have been able to begin enjoying the little things in life again.  I am not the same person that I once was, nor will I ever be the same.  I wouldn't want to be the same.  I want to take my experience and loss and help others.

If you are experiencing the loss of a child or any other loss, please know that you are not alone.  Also, please know that you can have peace and joy from The Lord if you ask Him.  You will still be in pain and go through the grieving process.  But know that the joy of The Lord is your strength and that He will give you peace.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grief VS Depression

I've been asked by people if I am seeing a therapist or if I am taking medication for my depression.  I sincerely appreciate that I have friends and family that care enough to be concerned and are brave enough to speak out to me.

In light of these peoples' concern, I have done a lot of thinking, searching, and education for myself.  Here is a list of the stages people go through when they are GRIEVING.

  • Denial, numbness, and shock: Numbness is a normal reaction to a death or loss and should never be confused with "not caring." This stage of grief helps protect us from experiencing the intensity of the loss. It can be useful when we have to take some action, such as planning a funeral, notifying relatives, or reviewing important papers. As we move through the experience and slowly acknowledges its impact, the initial denial and disbelief fades.
  • Bargaining: This stage of grief may be marked by persistent thoughts about what "could have been done" to prevent the death or loss. Some people become obsessed with thinking about specific ways things could have been done differently to save the person's life or prevent the loss. If this stage of grief isn't dealt with and resolved, the person may live with intense feelings of guilt or anger that can interfere with the healing process.
  • Depression: In this stage, we begin to realize and feel the true extent of the death or loss. Common signs of depression in this stage include trouble sleeping, poor appetite, fatigue, lack of energy, and crying spells. We may also have self-pity and feel lonely, isolated, empty, lost, and anxious.
  • Anger: This stage is common. It usually happens when we feel helpless and powerless. Anger can stem from a feeling of abandonment because of a death or loss. Sometimes we're angry at a higher power, at the doctors who cared for a lost loved one, or toward life in general.
  • Acceptance: In time, we can come to terms with all the emotions and feelings we experienced when the death or loss happened. Healing can begin once the loss becomes integrated into our set of life experiences

All of these stages are normal in the grieving process.  I have a great support system and most importantly, have the Peace, Comfort, and Joy of The Lord.  

As I look through each of these stages, I actually can see that I have gone through some of these stages already, which is good to know.  It also brings me hope to know that I am not alone and that what I am experiencing is normal.  

I know that there are people who have depression and need to get professional help.  If you are experiencing depression, PLEASE get professional help.  If you are grieving, as I am, know that it is normal as long as you continue to go through the process.

My daughter died almost 4 months ago.  I am grieving her.  It is normal.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

This Pain

This pain that I feel in my heart will never go away.  There are times that I am able to push it to the back of my mind and do my best to focus on other things.  However, in everyday life, as I do everyday tasks, or as I relax and try to enjoy the day or evening, something triggers my heart and the pain is back and the tears begin to fall.

I've heard of others' pain that cuts like a knife.  This is not accurate to describe the pain I feel in my heart. This pain is as if someone is digging my heart out with a spoon.  The ache is constant.  I put on a mask during the day to appear normal and complete what must be done.  But it is only a mask.  I fear I will wear this mask until the day that I go to Heaven.

Please do not get me wrong.  I do enjoy things in life again.  For awhile after losing Faith I did not think I would, nor did I want to.  But I do feel joy/happiness and enjoy things.  It is just so much different than before.  It is as though this pain co-inhabits my joy.  Although I have fun in life, this pain is always here.

I never got to see my daughter's beautiful eyes or hear her cry or coo.  I don't know what her favorite color is or her favorite food.  I never got to brush and do her hair, show her how to put on makeup and jewelry, or pick out her dress for the prom.  I never got to teach her the alphabet, to count, to cook, to clean, to make her bed, how to pray, etc, etc, etc...

I have a physical pain that I can only describe as the need to be holding my baby girl, yet I cannot.  My arms actually ache for her.  Something created inside me needs to hold her in my arms next to my heart.

As I sit here in tears wondering what we would be doing if Faith were here, I understand the love that a mother has for her child.  I have never felt such pain in my heart, but mixed with this pain, is also the most love I have ever felt in my heart.  I know I will continue to love Faith more with each passing day.  Along with this growing love, there will forever be...

...this pain...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Angels

Do our loved ones turn into angels when they die?  I ask this question from a Biblical standpoint.

From a Biblical standpoint, my answer to the question, of course, is no, humans do not turn into angels.  A lot of  people refer to their loved ones who have passed away as angels.  I have no issue with that at all. While I know that it is inaccurate, whatever brings someone comfort, is fine by me.

Angels, however, were created when the Heavens and Earth were created.  When satan fell, some of the angels fell along with him.  When humans pass away from earth, I believe they are waiting for the second coming of Christ.

I base this belief on a couple of things.  1) When the thief on the cross spoke to Jesus prior to dying, Jesus told him "today you will be with me in Paradise".  To me, this clearly shows that the thief is where Jesus is.  2) To be absent from the body is to be present with The Lord. (II Corinthians 5:8).  To me, again, this clearly tells us that when our spirit leaves our body, we are present with The Lord.

Sometimes you hear of people being "asleep" when they die, waiting for the second coming.  I believe this is also true.  Let's break it down simply.  When we die, our spirit leaves our body and goes to be with The Lord.  Our body is waiting until the second coming of Christ so that then we can have our glorified body.

That is what I glean from The Word regarding angels.  We actually get to judge our angels.  Angels were created.  They are not human.  We are above angels.

Is there any harm in referring to our loved ones as angels?  No.  While we certainly can refer to our loved ones who have passed on before us as angels if that brings us some comfort.  I sometimes use this verbiage, as it is a widely used phrase and people understand what you mean by saying your child is an angel.

I also try to keep this perspective, as I know not everyone has the same beliefs:

Just because I believe something doesn't make is so.  Just the same, just because I don't believe something doesn't make it not so.  Whatever the truth is, that is what it is, regardless of what we believe.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Momentos Coming Soon

Today I am getting excited because I am working on an idea that I will be launching soon.  It will be a product that I will be making and selling to anyone, but especially focusing on those who have lost children.  I will be able to customize it so that it will be a special momento.

I should be receiving mine to make for myself (& to use as examples) on Saturday.  I have seen a lot of beautiful items that can be purchased in honor of lost children, but a lot of of them can be pretty costly.  I have purchased some of these items myself and they are indeed wonderful.  However, I have been focusing on trying to create something that I can make for minimal cost, in minimal time, and therefore sell for a minimal amount of money, but still be a highly sentimental item.  I believe I have found this product.

I am still brainstorming a name for this business, but it will of course incorporate Faith's name in some way.  I believe this is something that I can do to help others who have lost children (or for anyone who would like a customized item).

More to come...stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

...Fonder...

I've come across so many posts of pictures and sayings regarding grief since Faith went to Heaven.  Most of them have been very helpful to me in some way.  Reading of others experiences seems to help me as well.  I came across this saying today and it struck a cord with me.

“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire.”   ― Fran├žois La Rochefoucauld"

This saying reminded me of the quote "Absence makes the heart grow fonder".  I have experienced this feeling and continue to every day with family and friends who live in other states.

I know that as each day passes in my life I will love Faith more and more, as absence indeed increases great loves and makes the heart grow fonder.  In that sense, Faith is teaching me how to love more and better.  She is also teaching me not to take anyone I love for granted, as they can be gone at any moment.

My love for Faith will continue to grow as the days and years go by.  I know that as I continue to ponder these two sayings over time, that I will keep gaining a better knowledge of what they mean...yet another lesson taught to me by my beautiful daughter, Faith Melody.

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Faith" Without Works

Today I have tried to focus my feelings of love that I have for Faith and use them for good.  I had a good workout this morning, got a bit of shopping done, as well as a few other things.  I have some more things I also plan to get done today as well.

While I understand that this hurt in my heart will not go away until I see her in Heaven, I also understand that I must move forward in life and do what I am called to do.  I have to use my love for Faith to help others and complete positive tasks in my life.

Faith would want me to help as many people as I can while I am still here.  I know she loves me and wants me to do my best to enjoy life.  I must use my faith as well as my daughter, Faith, and do the works that are involved in completing my tasks.

Since faith without works is dead, one way that I can keep my baby girl alive is by activating my "Faith" by the works that I do.  This is another way that she lives through me!

Faith with works is ALIVE!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Due Date Retrospect


This is the video of the balloon release we did yesterday in Faith's honor.  Yesterday was her due date.  It was a very difficult day for me.  I pulled out her urn, held her, and of course cried a lot.  I also pulled out cards that we received just after her passing, read them and cried.

I think doing the balloon release later in the afternoon was helpful to me, as I had been very emotional most of the morning.  Doing something such as a balloon release, helped me a lot, as it was a very tangible thing for me and I felt like I was doing something very special for Faith.

Retrospectively, I am extremely glad that we did this in honor of Faith on her due date.

What have you done to honor your loved one(s) that have gong to Heaven?  How has doing these thing(s) helped you in your journey?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Due Date

Today is my due date with Faith.  I am really missing her today.  I figured since I don't know how I'll be emotionally today, that I should blog now while I feel ok to do so. We went and purchased a few balloons that we'll be releasing for Faith later today.


These balloons, to me, represent Faith, my husband and myself.  I guess I really don't have too much more to say here today, except that I miss my baby girl with all my heart.  Mommy & Daddy love you baby girl.

Friday, August 1, 2014

An Empty Chair

As I walk through the house, I look at the table and chairs and can't help but think that there will forever be an empty chair at this table.  No matter what family visits or if we are blessed to have a sibling for Faith, her chair will remain empty.


I am reminded again of the article I recently read regarding cells from babies being found in the brain/body of their mother.  This gives me a better understanding of true love.  What I mean by this is that there is truly a piece of me that is gone.

A common saying "I miss you", when translated into French, means "You are Missing From Me".  I don't think there is a better way to express the love and feeling of missing that I have for Faith.  She is missing from me.

I daily draw strength from The Lord, as I must move forward.  Note that I did not, nor will I ever say "move on".  There is no moving on from losing a child.  Faith will continue to be a part of my life and my heart until I see her again.

I know that I will move forward in this life as long as I am here, but know this, in my home, there will always be...an empty chair...


She Lives

I read an article the other day that new studies are proving that  when women get pregnant cells from their child actually go into the woman's body & brain.  So, not only do we give life to our babies through the umbilical cord, but our children also contribute to us through it as well.  This is amazing to me.

I had never thought about it that way.  Learning this information helps me so much.  I know that in giving Faith life, I also was blessed with some of her cells.  She now lives in Heaven, this I know.  However, part of her not only lives in my heart, but also in my body.  We are forever a part of each other.  This is such a wonderful thing to me.

I love and miss my daughter so much.  I know I will see her when my life on earth is through.  I cannot wait until that day.  What a glorious day it will be.  However, until then, I must live my life to the fullest and help as many people as I can, remembering that as I do, Faith is with me along the way, helping me as I go.  She is a part of me, and I am SO blessed to have her as a part of me.

Faith Melody Bryant now lives in Heaven, but a part of her, now lives in me.  I MUST help others so that she can continue to live and help me to be the best that I can be....

Faith Melody lives...