Saturday, October 31, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 31 - Sunset

Well, today is the last day of Capture Your Grief for this year.  Of course the topic is Sunset.  I did not get a picture of a sunset here in FL, USA today, although I am sure it was very nice.  

So, for my picture for today, I am using a picture I took not too long ago in this area, so it is still my picture and it is still around sunset at an area close to where I live!

As this project comes to a close this year, I am thankful that I have taken the time to participate.  It has been a great time for me to take time out of my days and to reflect and think about Faith.  I miss her so very much.
Earlier this evening my husband and I were enjoying spending time with Joy.  We dressed her up like an angel for Halloween and she was just beautiful.  As I looked and listened to her, I couldn't help but wonder what Faith would be like if she were here.  

It has only been a year and a half since Faith went to Heaven.  I know as I live my life every day that as long as I am here the sun will rise and the sun will set, however, the sun will never set on my love for Faith.

I love and miss you my darling first daughter.

Capture Your Grief - Day 30 - Reflection

Reflection was yesterday's Capture Your Grief topic.  Today, I will again go question by question on this topic, since there are only a few questions and I think it's the easiest route...

Q: What is your relationship with grief like right now?
A: My relationship with grief now is one of co-existence.  I don't know how to explain it any differently than that.  I live with grief every day.  I do not WALLOW in grief, but it is a part of me now.

Q: Is it still the same?
A: No, it is not the same.  I believe my grief changes on a daily basis.

Q: Has anything changed? 
A: Yes.  My grief is constantly changing.  Most of the time I try to focus on the wonderful time I was able to spend with Faith and my love for her.  

Q: What have you learned about yourself and your grief? 
A: I have learned so much about myself and my grief since Faith died.  I have learned that you can learn to live with grief in your everyday life without it overcoming you.  You control it (most of the time).  A lot of the time I can choose to have a good cry session to get out some needed grief.

Q: Did you love anything about this project? 
A: I love the fact that this project has given me the time out to think about Faith and to think about my relationship with her.  I also love that this project has given me something to give myself as a goal and I have actually done it!

Q: What did you find difficult?
A: Some days I found it difficult to take the time out to do my blog post for this project.  However, the couple times that I didn't do the post I caught it up on the next day, which is great for me!  I found it difficult to sit down and really focus on Faith.  Not that I don't think of her VERY frequently, but since I am so busy I don't often make the time to just focus some much needed time on my relationship with her and my grief for her.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 29 - (WHY?) What Heals You?

I really like today's Capture Your Grief topic.  The topic is What Heals You?.  You can read the history of this topic on Carly's site in the link above.  I have done the Whys and What Ifs many many times since Faith died.  I may still every now and then.  However, Carly's idea of focusing her energy on What Heals You? instead is a great idea!

The bottom line is I can't change that Faith is gone.  THIS is what happened.  So today, in my thinking about this topic, I came up with many things that heal me...

The Lord has been with me through every moment of losing Faith and quite frankly every moment of my life.  He is ALWAYS there for me.  He heals me in every way a person can be healed...mind, body, soul, and spirit.

Owen and Joy heal me.  Spending time with them together has quickly become one of my MOST favorite times of every day!  I love watching them together and how happy each one makes the other.  It is so beautiful to watch my daughter with her daddy!

Blogging and writing heals me.  I enjoy sharing my story and feelings.  I enjoy both blogging and writing in my journals.  Both things are healing to me in different ways.  I feel as though I can share and help others by blogging.  Writing in my journals helps me to talk to Faith and also with Joy.

Making jewelry heals me.  I have been enjoying making jewelry so very much.  I just created my first piece in my new Faith & Joy line the other day and am going to be finishing up my next piece here in a little bit after I finish this blog post!  I am very excited about this bracelet!

So today, instead of asking why, or following up your asking why, focus on What Heals You!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 28 - Reach Out

Reach Out is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  This evening I was planning to go to bed a bit earlier, however, I wanted to get some work done for someone very special, so I am just wrapping up that work for this evening.  

I am not going to mention what work it is that I am doing.  I will just say that I am currently working with someone on a project and needed to get some things done on said project.

It makes me feel very good that this person trusts me with such important tasks that need to be completed.  I feel blessed that I am able to help in the areas I can with this project.  I know that I will be putting in a lot of time and love into this project and will see much success and love in return, since that is just how God works.

I will continue to reach out to others in kindness and love and am blessed to be able to do so.  The picture I have chosen to use for today is of Faith's hand prints.  These little hands will continue to reach out to others in love through me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 27 - Self Portrait

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Self Portrait.  This is an interesting topic I think.  It forces us to search ourselves and who we are today; looking through the experience of losing our child.  Today, I am taking this topic question by question...just to change it up a bit.  Here I go!

Q: Who am I now in this present moment?
A: I can honestly say that I am Sara Bryant, happy wife, happy mom, happy daughter, happy sister, happy niece, happy cousin...I guess I can truly say that I am happy again.  I didn't think I would be able to be happy again after losing Faith, but I am.  I know that she wants me to be happy and enjoy my life, so I do.  I love making jewelry.  I love raising Joy.  I love my husband.  I really like living in the sun.  God has given me so much and I am so thankful.  

Q: Have you been irrevocably changed by the death of my child?
A: Absolutely, yes.  I have been forever changed by Faith's death.  I will miss her until the day we meet again in Heaven.  I will grieve her until the same moment.  However, although I have been irrevocably changed negatively from Faith's death, I have also been positively changed.  I cherish life and moments and people so much more than I did before.  I understand that so much stuff simply does NOT matter.  I try to help others as much as I can.  I am trying to actually DO the things I have wanted to do in my life instead of just talking about doing them.  I don't want to wake up years from now and wonder what I did with my life.  I do my best to live to love others; the God-kind of love.  I believe this is the best way I can honor Faith's memory and keep her alive in my heart.

Q:  How am I different now?
A: Please refer to the last question and answer.

Q: Do I love anything about the new me?
A: Absolutely!  I love how much I love now.  In some strange way, losing Faith has given me such a great capacity to love.  I think it is because I now have a true revelation of how precious and short life is that I try to love others as much as I can.  I also have a new found motivation to do the things I truly want to do in my life.  I have talked about doing some things for a long time instead of doing them.  I am more motivated to do these things now and I love that.

Q: What part of me do I want back?
A: Hmmm...the obvious answer here would be Faith.  However, I know that is not what this question is asking.  I guess I would have to say my rose-colored glasses through which I used to view the world.  I would like my ability to view pregnancy as purely a wonderful time versus having a lingering fear.  I think that is what I want back the most.  Although, when I was pregnant with Joy, most of the time I really did just enjoy her and being pregnant, there were times I was terrified.

I am using 2 pictures of myself to make my self portrait.  I believe these 2 pictures capture who I am today very well.  One is a picture of me happy smelling Faith's hibiscus flower in our backyard, symbolizing how she is always with me.  The other is with me, Owen, and Joy.  These 2 pictures combine to show who I am today.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 26 - Gratitude

Gratitude is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  This is a wonderful idea!  I am grateful for so many things!  I am grateful to be alive, to have a wonderful husband, for having 2 wonderful daughters, Faith in Heaven and Joy here with us, for a wonderful family and great friends, new ideas, new business ideas, a roof over my head, food to eat, my health, the list goes on and on...

I believe Carly is very accurate here when she talks about practicing being grateful daily.  At first, when you experience the loss of your child, you are doing good to get out of bed.  However, gradually, as time goes by, you can begin to live again and see how blessed you truly are in life.  Losing Faith has caused me an unimaginable amount of pain, however, it has also brought me to realize how important and beautiful ALL life is and has given me such a different perspective of life.

I am grateful for Faith: the time we shared together while she was growing, the time we shared at the hospital, the time we shared together at the funeral home, and the time we share together now, every day as she is in Heaven and I am here...somehow...we are together in our hearts.  I know that she is waiting for me just on the other side of the pearly gates, and for that, I am GRATEFUL!

Capture Your Grief - Day 25 - Earth Remembrance

Earth Remembrance, that is yesterday's Capture Your Grief topic.  I got a day behind, so I am catching up!!  Gotta stick with it!  

Last year, my husband and I planted this beautiful red hibiscus plant in our backyard in honor and memory of Faith.  It is now very tall and beautiful.  I will have to post a more recent picture of it soon, but wanted to share this picture with this particular post.  I really like this picture a lot.  I look at myself in this picture and remember that through all the pain of losing Faith, I am still mostly a happy person.  Faith still brings happiness to me, even though she lives in Heaven.  I look at this plant daily and think of my beautiful daughter.  It grows and blooms, just as my love for Faith does. 

I believe planting a plant or tree in honor of a loved one is a great idea, especially if you can see it often.  It does something wonderful for your soul.  I am not sure why, but it does.  It's as if you watch yourself growing right along with the plant in your grief journey.  

I will continue to look at this beautiful plant every day and think of Faith...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 24 - Choose Your Breath

Choose Your Breath is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  Most days I would say that I have a pretty good handle on where I am in my grief journey.  I certainly do believe that grief and healing can co-exist.  I believe I am living proof of that fact.

While I don't believe I will ever completely "heal" from losing Faith, I do believe that I am going through a healing process.  The Lord has restored so much back to me.  He has blessed us with another daughter, Joy, who truly does bring joy to my life every day.  She is so wonderful.  

By NO means does one child ever replace another.  However, I do believe that The Lord blessing us with Joy has helped me on my grief journey with Faith.  I am loving every moment I share with Joy.  At the same time, there are moments when I wonder what these "firsts" moments would have been like with Faith.

Joy is three months old today.  If Faith were here, she would be one year and six months old.  As strange as it is for me, I have a very strong, yet very different bond with both of my daughters.  I am blessed to hold and love Joy physically every day.  Faith I hold and love in my heart.  I've never known that so much love and so much pain could co-exist in a person's life, but it does...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 23 - Love Letter

My darling daughter, Faith,
I am taking part in the Capture Your Grief project again this year.  I miss you so very much.  Right now I am having a cup of coffee while your younger sister, Joy is sleeping.  I have so much to tell you, as I am sure you know.  Your daddy and I are doing well, though we both love and miss you so much.  

The business I created in your honor, Faith Melody Memories, is doing well.  I need to put some more time, effort, and money into it, but for now it is going pretty steady.  I will be debuting a new line called "Faith & Joy" soon and I am so thrilled.  The first items I am going to create for this new line will be honoring Pregnancy & Infant loss to spread education.  They will be bracelets.  I know you will really like them.  

I have a lot of things to get done today, so I guess I will let you go for this time.  I am sending you a long distance hug and kiss...until I can give them to you personally, I look to the clouds...

My love always,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 22 - Dreams + Rituals

Dreams + Rituals, that is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  Do I have any dreams for my future?  The simple answer to this question is yes.  I have many dreams for my future.  I would love to see my jewelry business in honor of Faith continue to grow and grow.  I also look forward to continuing to see Joy grow and one day to tell her about her older sister, Faith.

I also believe that when the time is right, I will be able to help others going through this tremendous loss in some way.  I have thought about volunteering for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.  I have also thought about reaching out to local hospitals and other organizations to do presentations to educate people regarding pregnancy and infant loss.  I believe that The Lord will open the doors for me to do something like this when I am ready emotionally to do so.

I don't really have any rituals regarding Faith's birthday or other special days.  This past year, we had a birthday cake for her on her first birthday.  On her due date we released balloons for her.  I believe moving forward we'll probably go out to eat on her birthday to "celebrate".  I imagine I will wear the shirt that I had made for myself with her footprints, name and birthday...

Mommy misses and loves you so much Faith.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 21 - Sacred Space

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Sacred Space.  I currently have some items that remind me of Faith on top of my dresser in my bedroom.  I need to rearrange and move these items to a different place and add to them.  I now also have her beautiful urn on the dresser as well.  This picture was taken prior to getting her urn.  

Along with this place, I also feel close to Faith when I write in our journal.  I just feel as though we are able to "meet" there and share. At least I can share with her anyway.  

The beach also makes me feel close to Faith.  I am in total awe when I go to the beach at how big and beautiful the ocean is and it makes me feel strangely closer to Faith.  I guess because it makes me think of how amazing God is and she is with Him...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 20 - Forgiveness + Humanity

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Forgiveness + Humanity.  Relating this to losing, Faith, first and foremost I had to forgive myself.  Although I know that I didn't do or not do anything that caused her death, I feel as though I failed her, which I did.

I remember so vividly on the day she was born, holding, her and telling her how sorry I was.  I don't believe that I will ever feel any differently.  I don't know how I could.  I suppose I may never forgive myself in a way...always feeling as though I should have known something sooner...done something sooner...

I know that I am human, but I have found it so much easier to forgive others than to forgive myself.  I don't know why that is, it just is.  Please don't take this the wrong way.  I do not sit around feeling depressed or anything (anymore), it's just a small part of me that holds me responsible.  After all, I am Faith's mother.  It is my job to keep her safe and I failed.  It's as simple as that.  

Day by day I will probably forgive myself a little more than the day before...however, knowing this, still will never change the fact that my baby girl, Faith Melody is not here with me...

Monday, October 19, 2015

Capture Your Greif - Day 19 - Music

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Music.  There have be a handful of songs that remind me of Faith since she went to Heaven. Two in particular are I Will Carry You by Selah and Homesick by Mercy Me.  While a HUGE part of my heart is certainly here with my husband, living daughter, and other family and friends.  There is a part of my heart that is with Faith.  Homesick expresses my feelings in that regard quite well.  I Will Carry You is the perfect expression of my love for Faith, but also Christ's love for her.  In my heart, I know that He is raising her and that she is waiting for me to come to be with her.  As much as my heart longs for her, I know she is with Him...

As the days go by, this ache in my heart for Faith still remains.  I believe it will remain there until the day we meet again in Heaven.  Until that day, I will live my life to the fullest here being the best wife and mommy that I can and looking to the clouds to see my other baby girl.

Mommy loves and misses you so very much Faith.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 18 - Seasons + Symbols

Seasons + Symbols, that is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  Thanksgiving and the holiday season will always remind me of Faith.  We found out I was pregnant with her the day before Thanksgiving, 2013.  That Christmas Owen gave me some stuffed animals for her and also a bracelet with a baby carriage charm.  I will forever hold these times in my heart with Faith.  I was in love with her from the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test.

I do not dread the holiday seasons, but I suppose there is something inside me that has a bit of sadness as that time of year approaches.  I have always loved Christmas, and will continue to, but there will always be a bitter-sweetness associated with the holiday season for me now.

I think of Faith when I see a cross or a star or when I see her name...all of which of course I see during the holiday season.

This picture was taken on a ferry during the Thanksgiving season of 2013 in the Seattle area.  We were traveling to see a show from our home into Seattle.  It is so beautiful.  I think of Faith a LOT when I see nature.  I somehow feel closer to her especially around water.  I guess I think of how awesome God is when I am around the sea or ocean and that just makes me think of Faith.

Capture Your Grief - Day 17 - Secondary Losses

Yesterday's Capture Your Grief topic is Secondary Losses.  I can honestly say that I believe the secondary loss I had when Faith died was her life as a whole.  In this I include her relationship, her love, seeing her "firsts", watching her grow, seeing her walk, talk, drive, graduate, marry, have children of her own, etc...

I guess there are countless secondary losses I feel when describing losing Faith.  When you think of what a person's life encompasses throughout their entire life, this is a huge loss.  Every moment of the rest of my life, I have lost something that I should be sharing with Faith.  

There is no healing from this "secondary" loss.  It is something you simply have to live with for the rest of  your life.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 16 - Creative Grief

 Creative Grief is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  This topic really hits home for me.  After we lost Faith I started making jewelry as a hobby.  I have always enjoyed crafty things, but for some reason, just happened to really throw myself into making jewelry at that time.  I decided to start my jewelry business, Faith Melody Memories, not too long after that.  It is something that has given me such a great creative outlet since Faith went to Heaven.  It also gives me the great opportunity to share my creations with others and also to share her story.  I create all of my jewelry in her honor.  Very soon, I am going to be launching a new jewelry line in my store called Faith & Joy.  I am also working on some new infinity pieces that will be available soon.

I am very excited about my new line, Faith & Joy.  I believe I will be able to offer quite a number of pieces that will focus on Faith & Joy.  As I am writing, I am just now brainstorming and thinking I will add a special write up about both Faith & Joy to include with each piece of jewelry in this new line.  I believe this will be a great tribute to Faith and a special way to share Joy.

I am so glad Creative Grief is today's topic, as it has been an inspiration for me to come up with adding a special write up to include in my new line!  Perhaps I need to come up with special packaging of some sort for this line as well...hmmm...

You can see my offerings in my Etsy store here.

The pictures I have included in this post are bracelets that I made in memory of Faith.  The black and white one has her footprints, name, birth date, time, weight, and length.  The pink one has her heartbeat.  I am so very happy with how these turned out and thrilled that I have them.  It is always an honor to create such lovely memories like these for others who've lost a precious child.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 15 - Wave of Light

Today's topic for Capture Your Grief is Wave of Light.  I am so thankful for the community of others who've experienced the loss of a child.  Not that I want anyone to have to go through that, of course, but for those of us forced to be in this group, it is great that we are here to support each other.  I lit and burned this candle almost a year ago.  Since I didn't light a candle at 7:00pm tonight, I thought it fitting for me to use this picture again, as it represents the light that will forever shine in my heart for Faith.

I would like to continue to see members of this child loss community speak out to educate others on what can happen and ways it can be prevented.  I would also like to see more movies and books made and written by this community to share as much as possible.

As you light your candles of remembrance, I encourage you to always be a light for the one(s) you have lost for the rest of the world to see.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 14 - Express Your Heart

Express Your Heart...that is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  I was doing some other work and what I am going to blog about came to me.  

I am reaching out to others who have just recently lost a child.  First and foremost, you have my most sincere sorrow for your loss.  But I am now going to express my heart to you in the most loving way possible...

...I know that right now you are going through hell and you do not feel as though you will be able to go on.  You may not even want to live.  I know.  I was there and felt precisely that way.  In the days right after we lost Faith, I didn't even want to get out of bed.  Some days it was all I could do to get enough energy or drive to shower.  I simply did not want to go on.

But guess what, I did go on.  PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE hear me...I did not say, nor will I ever say "I moved on".  I will never "move on", "get over it", etc...I do not believe those things are even possible when you lose a child.  

After the shock wears off and you realize what has happened and what you have been through, you also begin to realize that life does go on.  Even though your world, in a way, has ended, it does go on.  I pray you are blessed with supportive family and friends, as I am, who will be there for you whenever you need them.  This has been such a blessing to me, as I continue to go through my grief.  Another thing you realize after the initial shock wears off, is that you are not the only one effected by the loss of your child.  Your entire family has experienced a loss of a grandchild, niece, nephew, sister, brother, cousin, etc...

I know, it is difficult to take all of this in, but please know that others have gone through this and came out on the other side.  There are brighter days.  The darkness will lift, the sun will shine again, and you will be happy time.  My heart hurts every day for Faith, but it also loves her beyond measure.  The pain is, and will always be in my heart, but the love grows daily.

If you are experiencing a recent loss of a child, please feel free to reach out to me or others who've experienced similar.  We are unfortunately all part of a "family" of sorts and we are here to support each other.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 13 - Regrets + Triggers

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Regrets + Triggers.  I don't know of any regrets that I have as far as my grief journey.  

The one major regret that I do have, however, is that I did not insist on having some of Faith's hair cut off for us to keep.  When I asked the nurse, she responded that babies at that gestation don't really have very much hair.  Of course, I didn't go beyond that at the time.  Although, I truly wish I would have insisted and asked for scissors to do it myself.

As far as triggers go, what isn't a trigger?  Looking at my husband and living daughter are triggers.  Seeing other baby girls or young girls is a trigger.  

The Thanksgiving season/holiday will always remind me of Faith.  We found out I was pregnant the day before Thanksgiving and it was so very special.  I don't think I will ever forget how happy I was when I took the test and saw that it was positive.  This picture of me was taken over Thanksgiving after we found out.  I love how happy I am in this picture!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 12 - Normalizing Grief

Normalizing Grief...that is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  As I take a look at my grief journey, I suppose the thing that I look at as "strange" is that I slept with the teddy bear that was with Faith in the hospital for the entire year after she died.  I still find enormous comfort in holding this bear, although I no longer sleep with it every night.  It is strange to me that I slept with it every night for so long, and yet, it is not strange.  I don't know if that even makes sense, but it does to me.  

With every passing day, I read about others' grief journeys and realize more and more that there is no "normal" way to go through loss.  It is normal to grieve, but we all do it in so many different ways.  I am also learning that like everything else in life, my grief changes sometimes by the minute, hour, and of course by the day.  Sometimes I choose to look back, remember, cry, and grieve.  Other times, it sneaks up on me in an uncontrollable wave of emotions.  Each time is different and yet special.

I know this teddy bear will always be one of my most prized possessions.  This bear and the outfit I dressed Faith in on the day she was born, are the only items I have that touched her.

I love and miss you so much Faith.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 11 - Glow In The Woods

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Glow In The Woods. many people have been a light for me on my grief journey since losing, friends, etc...

My husband has been a great light for me in my journey.  He is so loving and supportive.  I don't know where I would be or what I would have done without his love and support.  I have read of so many marriages that fail after such a tragedy as losing a child.  I am so thankful that God blessed me with Owen.

The most important light for me on my grief journey has been The Lord.  I have had so many days when grief has overtaken me and I felt alone.  No matter the time of day or night, I have always found comfort in The Lord and He has held my hand and guided me through.  His unconditional love has gotten me through some very sad and lonely times since Faith has passed.  I believe part of what makes Him my greatest light is knowing that He is raising Faith.  I couldn't ask for a better teacher for her, that is for sure.  I know that Jesus is the first person Faith saw when she opened her eyes for the first time and that makes me smile.  

"He is my Light & Salvation"

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 10 - Words

Words are the topic of today's Capture Your Grief project.  There are no words to express how much I love and miss Faith.  As soon as I read the topic for today, I immediately knew how I would do my blog post for today.  I haven't written in my Faith journal since her birthday and this gave me the perfect opportunity to do so.  I will be writing more often to her and will also be writing in a matching journal that I have for Joy.

I wrote to Faith in our journal and told her how much I love and miss her.  I also told her about her sister and how she is doing.  Writing in this Faith journal has been a great healing tool for me and has given me a new creative outlet as well.

While I know I can never really truly express in words what I feel for Faith, writing is a great way to at least begin to get my feelings out for her.  My Faith journal is a place I feel like we come to meet when I write.

So today, I urge you to write something down...your thoughts for the day, an idea you have, a note to a friend, a to do list, anything at all...expressing your thoughts using words is very helpful in many ways.  If you are going through a grief journey, like myself, or if you are simply planning your day.  God gave us words to use in a positive way.  Words are very powerful.  I challenge you today to write something down that has special meaning to you, as I did to Faith in our journal.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 9 - Family

Family is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  For the sake of time and length, I will focus this blog post to my spouse and children, as I come from a large family and have many cousins, aunts, uncles, etc...  

I also have a number of close friends that I consider family...

Faith is and always will be a special part of our family.  She is our first daughter.  However, since she now resides in Heaven, my earthly family consists of my husband and our daughter, Joy.  They are my loves and mean the world to me.

My husband, Owen, is my true love and my best friend.  You know that old saying "who would you call if your goldfish died?"... my husband is that man to me.  He is my partner, my love, my companion, my rock.

Joy is the light that brightens my days.  She is such a beautiful little girl and is so happy.  I thank God for blessing us with her.  She is 11 weeks old today!  I am truly enjoying being her mommy and watching her grow.

When you look at my family, you only see three of us.  In reality, there are 4, Faith lives in our hearts.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 8 - Wish List

Wish List is today's Capture Your Grief topic.  Where do I begin with my wish list for my grief journey?  I suppose I want others to remember Faith, first and foremost.  I also sincerely want to speak out and educate others about what happened to me and Faith in hopes that we can save other precious babies so that her death will not be in vain.

I wish that with every passing day my love and relationship with Faith will continue to grow.  I wish to teach our second daughter, Joy, about her big sister when she is old enough to understand.

I think I have so many wishes it is difficult to decide what all to write about...

I wish that as time passes, my heart will continue to heal.  Although I know the pain I feel will never go away, with time, I believe the pain will continue to grow into more love.  I know losing Faith will always be gut wrenching for me, but I would like to think that someday my love for her will be stronger than the pain.  Although, it may never be, because when you love someone so much, that is why there is so much pain...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 7 - Memory

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Memory.  I have so many wonderful memories of Faith that I could share; finding out that I was pregnant with her, seeing her first ultrasound, hearing her heartbeat for the first time, feeling her move for the first time, talking to her, singing to her...

However, today, I have decided to share a little more of a private memory that I have with Faith; one of the most cherished memories I have, spending time with her in the hospital the day she was born into Heaven.

I'll never forget holding my beautiful baby Faith and telling her how sorry I was.  I gave her the only bath she would ever receive and dressed her in the only outfit & diaper she would ever wear (tears streaming down my cheeks now...).  I am so glad that I was able to spend this time with her and able to do those things.  I also helped the nurse get her hand and foot prints.

At first it seemed strange to be asked it I wanted to bathe my daughter, but in retrospect, I am SO VERY glad I did.  It was the only chance I had and I feel for those who didn't get that chance or didn't take it and later wish they had.

All these things that happened the day Faith was born into Heaven combine into one "Memory" of her for me.  She forever lives in my heart and I am honored to be her Mommy.  I look back at this moment in time and remember her.  I truly believe this memory will be one of my most devastating and somehow also one of my most wonderful memories.  

I love you and miss you so much Faith.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 6 - Books

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Books.  I I haven't read a lot of books since Faith passed, but one that my Mom gave me entitled A Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul really touched me.  There are a lot of touching stories in this book and I highly recommend it for any and all mothers.

The stories in this book have helped me to reflect.  Mainly they are of course about moms with living children, so they made me miss Faith so much and dream of what she would be like if she were here.  I believe this is an important in my grieving process.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 5 - Empathy

As Carly states in the information regarding today's topic, Empathy, here, there are so many articles regarding what not to say to a bereaved parent.  Today, we are focusing on what you CAN say to a bereaved parent.

Here are some of my opinions on the matter.  One thing you can say to me if you have not lost a child is that you do not understand, but that you are here for me.  You can ask me how I am doing and be prepared to listen to my honest response.  While you may not have met our daughter, you can share with me a special memory you have of knowing that I was carrying her and what she means to you.

As a little time has passed since Faith went to Heaven, I can reflect enough to say that I am VERY aware that her death affected SO many people besides me and my husband.  Keeping this in mind, I need to express that immediately following her death, I was not concerned with, nor did I want to hear how it affected anyone besides myself and my husband.  I simply didn't care at the time.  What you CAN say/do is tell the parent(s) that you love them, are there for them, and focus on their grief. 

Also, if you have lost a child, please know that while my heart goes out to you, I must express that right after Faith died, I did not care, nor did not want to hear about that either.  I am not saying this to be mean.  I am simply saying that hearing about your loss (immediately after losing a child) does not help.  It is MUCH better to wait for a period of time and then share your story with the bereaved parent(s).

When someone loses a child, the bottom line is this, it is not about you, it is about the parent(s) of the child who has been lost.  While the child's passing certainly may affect you, hold off on expressing this to the parent(s) until some time has passed so the parent(s) can have the time he/she/they need to begin their grieving process first.  Tell the parent(s) how important they are to you and that you love and care for them.  Just be there and hug them if you aren't sure what to say.  This can help tremendously.

If you keep these things in mind when speaking with a bereaved parent, empathy can truly be felt by the parent(s).

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 4 - Dark + Light

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is Dark + Light.  This topic makes perfect sense to me.  I have gone through so many emotions and feelings in the time since Faith died.  Of course, during the immediate time after she passed, my life seemed only Dark.  I did not want to continue living.  Looking back, I suppose this is a natural initial response. 

After some time, I began to see the Light that has come from Faith's brief life with us.  Although, I certainly would prefer for her to be here with us, I have learned so much from her being in Heaven.  I see life as so much more precious than I did before.  Although I knew life was precious before, it just became more so having lost Faith.  

One thing that is certainly Light about Faith is that she is in Heaven.  I wish with all my heart that she were here with us to see the sky, the ocean, the trees, animals, etc...  But, on the other side of that wish, I also know that Faith never knew anything but love on this earth.  She never felt pain, rejection, hurt, or any other negative things.  She opened her eyes for the first time and saw our Lord.  From an eternal standpoint, it really doesn't get better than that.

Another Light in this Dark, is that we now have our daughter, Joy.  While we of course would love to have them both here if we could choose, we cannot.  It is possible that Joy may not have been with us if Faith would have survived...

So, as I continue my grief journey, which I believe I always will, I will continue to have an equal mix of Dark + Light.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Capture Your Grief - Day 3 - In Honor

Today's Capture Your Grief topic is In Honor.  I do so much in honor of Faith.  However, one of the main things I have done and do to honor her is my business, Faith Melody Memories.  I create each piece of jewelry myself with love in her honor.  I started making jewelry as a hobby after she went to Heaven this past April.  I decided it would be a great way to keep her memory alive to offer special pieces of jewelry in her honor.

Here are a couple of the bracelets I have made for myself and offer in my Etsy store for purchase. The black and white bracelet has Faith's footprints as well as her name, birth height, weight, date, and time.  The pink and black one has her heartbeat.  I cherish these and am so blessed to have the prints and heartbeat as well as the ability and supplies to be able to make them.  

Faith was a beautiful little girl and still is.  She grew inside of me for 24 weeks and 2 days.  I fell in love with her from the moment I found out that I was pregnant.  She will forever live in the hearts of so many people.  She will live in my heart until we meet again in Heaven.  

In the short time that Faith was with me, she taught me so much.  She taught me how to love in ways I never knew that I could.  She taught me what it feels like to be a mother.  She taught me that I need to live life to it's fullest.

Faith continues to teach me on a daily basis.  I miss her more than I can ever express.  I want to hold her so badly that it hurts.  I hurt for me, I hurt for my husband, I hurt for Joy.  I hurt for all the people whose lives that Faith has touched and would have touched.  So many people love her and always will.  I can't help but think of what she would be like if she were here.  She would be 1 1/2 years old this month.  

Faith will always be my oldest daughter, my love, and the light in my heart.

Mommy loves and misses you sweetheart.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Capture Your Grief 2015 - Day 2 - Intention

I do my best to have good intentions.  However, I recently have started focusing on my actions that are following through with those intentions.  I think having good intentions are a great start to getting something good done, but I must follow-through.  Life on this earth is so short.  Before you know it, seconds turn into minutes, minutes to hours, hours to days, days to years and you still haven't DONE anything besides have good intentions.  I don't want to look back on my life and wish I would have done more.

After the initial shock of Faith's death wore off, I decided that I was going to live life to the fullest in honor or her.  Now that we have her little sister, Joy, with us, I will continue to do so with them both honored.

I intend to live as if today is my last chance to tell people I love them.  I intend to begin doing the things I dream of, not just the things I need to do to get by.  I intend to make a positive difference in the lives of as many people as possible...these things I intend to do in honor of my precious child, Faith, and also to be a good example to her sister, Joy.  

It is my intention to actually begin ACTING on my intentions and loving life in honor of Faith and to be the best example to Joy that I can be.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Capture Your Grief 2015 - Day 1 - Sunrise

 As I begin my Capture Your Grief journey for this year, I am reflecting on life.  But not just any life, the life of our daughter, Faith.  While her life was brief, it has had one of the most profound impacts on my life.

So many people have had a great impact on me and have contributed to the person I am today.  Faith is one of those people, perhaps one of the most important...

I did not see the sun coming up this morning, but could see the effects at approx. 7:17 AM in FL/USA.  I took these pictures in our backyard as the sun was coming up.  

The hibiscus flower that we planted in Faith's honor has grown so much over the past year.  It is a beautiful reminder to me of her beautiful life.  I look at it so much and love watching it grow.  

As I was enjoying the early morning sky I caught this little frog close to our back door.  As I watched him I thought of life and how amazing it is.  God has given us so much to be thankful for.  As I reflect on the "sunrise" or beginning of Faith's life, I remember being so in love with her and thrilled that I was pregnant.  She is a constant reminder to me of how brief life on this earth is and that we truly need to walk in the fruit of the Spirit each day that we are blessed with while we are here.  Love one another.  Life is too short to do anything else. 

As the sun "rises" on this project, I reflect back to the beginning and am thankful that God gave me the opportunity to carry Faith.  She made me a mother.  She will always be my baby girl and though I cannot yet hold her in my arms, I will always hold her in my heart.

Capture Your Grief 2015

Last year I did this project called Capture Your Grief and it helped me tremendously.  October is So, I am doing it again this year.  You can see the details here.  It is 6:38 AM here and the sunrise doesn't happen until 7:22 AM, or so the internet told me... so I have a little while to let my coffee soak in...maybe I'll have a second cup!  

I am really looking forward to using this project to reflect on Faith this month.  I have changed so much since we lost her last April in so many ways.  

Please join me as I walk down this path...