I took this photo in Spring, just after I placed the stone & planted the flowers.

My week 2 assignment for my Illuminate class is “Finding Your Light”

It has been nearly 10 months since Samantha joined our world and quickly left it.  In the early days, the light and the hope were dim.  It didn’t help that at that time we were on pace to have one of the snowiest winters in a long time.  Plus, we were headed into the coldest time of the year, my husband and I had just gotten over the flu, our furnace had gone out, and I was having to face going back to work.  So, glimpses of hope and light just didn’t seem near.

As the days went by and we slowly got to move into Spring (which didn’t arrive until nearly the end of April) I was ready for the new growth and the freshness that the season would bring.  The warmth, the green, and the flowers.  Little bits of light began to filter through my every day.  Sure, there were still some darker days, but most of the days were becoming more gray than dark with hints of brightness.

As Summer drew in, I was surrounded by warmth.  Warmth from the sun, warmth from friends, and warmth from family.  Each month from Christmas 2010 until this point we had seen our family.  Whether it was a road trip home to celebrate Easter, a wedding shower and wedding, and birthdays or it was family visiting us we got a lot of family time in.  Raun and I surrounded ourselves with our own little road trips, each other, family, and the things that we hold most dear to us.  Life is to short to just sit back and let the days pass you by.  So, we decided to begin doing the things we truly wanted to do and mixed them in with the things we had to do or responsibilities that we had.  I began to realign and look at the things I truly wanted to be a part of my life and what things needed to change.  By the end of the Summer I was seeing things with more color and brightness.  I found myself more and more thankful for the beautiful things around me.

I took this photo the weekend of Samantha's original due date

As Fall began to roll in so did some changes.  One of the biggest change was my job.  I began to realize that my light had mostly gone out and I knew I needed to make a change.  I gave up my classroom and became a building substitute.  This allowed me time, flexibility, and the ability to take care of what I needed (my family, myself, my photography, and myinfantloss.com).  Giving up my classroom lifted a ton of stress and worry off of my shoulders.  The light outside and inside began to shine brighter.  And when my husband began to see the change, we both realized that I had made the right choice.  Fall is one of my favorite times of years and the colors this year were absolutely beautiful.  The changes in the air and the changes in me led me to spend some quiet time at the memorial wall where Samantha’s name is written.  It was there that colors and brightness really began to pop.  It was there that I got the photos that I submitted to Illuminate and allowed me to get this opportunity to expand on ways to help heal.

Shortly, we will be heading into Winter.  We’ve been lucky this Fall, it has last quite some time.  Last year at this time we already were piled up by snow around us.  The daylight is shorter and the days are getting colder.  So, I am going to have to find other ways to bring light and brightness, as well as color into my life.  Fortunately, Christmas time is one of my favorite times of the year to decorate my house.  It is one of the times of year I go all out.  And aside from the Christmas tree & stockings, most of it I am able to leave up through the Winter.  I am looking forward to warmly lit, wonderful smelling candles that will be glowing throughout the house.  I am looking forward to the twinkling of the tree lights.  I am looking forward to the frost on the trees sparkling in the sun.  I will be spending time with family, continuing on with traditions, and adding in a few new ones of our own.

I took this on October 15, 2011 to continue the "Wave of Light"

I know there will still be some tough days ahead, but I also know that with God, my husband, my family, and my friends I will be able to see more light and make it through those tough days a little easier.  And someday, hopefully those tough and dark days will turn into just mere moments.  And the light and happiness will not just be in moments, but in days instead.


Liz Lauterbach

Wife, Mom, Photographer, and Writer walking the path of healing by sharing my story. http://www.myinfantloss.com
  • Beryl Ayn Young

    Thank you for taking us through the seasons of your light. It is incredible to me how the light does indeed change with each season and almost brings on it’s own mood or tone. I also love that your photos from this week are surround in light. The stone bearing Samantha’s name, the butterfly, the plants. are all bathed in light. My wish is that you do continue to find healing and are able to be washed in more and more light and happiness as time continues. xo.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616156917 Liz Lauterbach

      Thank you Beryl and thank you for the wish.

  • Melissa

    Love the wave of light photo!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616156917 Liz Lauterbach

      Thank you Melissa!

  • Kristie Weichel

    I love the Wave of Light photo also! I have the same candle holder and I never light it (mostly b/c it’s high above my mantle and I can’t reach it). I loved seeing you take us through each season. I too felt the same feelings as spring approached. Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616156917 Liz Lauterbach

      I am with you on that Krisite. I generally don’t light it, especially ever since we moved the couch and I didn’t have much to stand on, so now it’s above the tv. But I felt that it was the perfect thing to light because while lying on the couch you could look up at it and just watch the flames dance. Thank you for commenting!

  • LauraBeck12

    I love what you wrote Liz!
    You are a strong mother, i can sense that through your writing.
    I am in love with the photo that you took on your Samantha’s original due date!
    It’s gorgeous.
    Sending you lots of love, Liz.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616156917 Liz Lauterbach

      Thank you Laura! You are the first person to call me a strong mother. Thank you, those words do my heart good. I have something special in mind in the future that I am planning on using that photo for. Sending extra thoughts and prayers, as well as strenghty your way for the holidays.

  • Kurly21j

    I really like what you wrote and feel the same way about change and needing more light in you life. I am getting to that point too. I feel like it’s time to let more light in. I’m a little anxious about the upcoming holidays and winter. Hopefully it won’t be a long dreary winter! I love your picture taken on Samantha’s due date, it’s amazing!xo

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616156917 Liz Lauterbach

      Thank you! I, too, am hoping for a winter that doesn’t drag out. Last year we already had several feet of snow at this point and it didn’t go away until middle of April. So, my plan this year is to be lighting more candles around the house when we are home and I am definately putting up Christmas lights. I am hoping this will bring in the much needed light that seems to lack during the winter months. I also understand the anxiousness. We’ve been through one year of holidays & celebrations, but this is the first Christmas. I think this will be a big step, especially because shortly after last Christmas we began to head down the path of becoming loss parents. So, here’s hoping to extra strength, lots of light, and courage this holiday season.

  • Holly

    I love the photo of the light in the woods. I love it when you can actually see the rays of light streaming down. Such beauty!!!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Holly! This is one of my most favorite photos that I have ever taken. There is so much meaning behind it.

  • Jamie moore

    I love the photo in the woods with the light streaming through the trees. It looks full of hope to me. I too quit my job after our son died and felt like it was an incredible weight of my shoulders as well. I hope the winter is kind to you and you are able to see a lot of light and color.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=616156917 Liz Lauterbach

      Thank you Jamie! I was amazed when I changed my position at work. Everything I had read and what people said, they said not to make any big changes after the loss of a child. But, I had to do something and it felt right. So many signs told me I was going the right way. I hope the winter is kind to you as well, and filled with light and color.

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