I decided to put these two days together for a reason.  Day 6 is sharing about what not to say and Day 7 is sharing about what to say.  Honestly, I was glad we went on a mini vacation that has led me to catch up on the photos, because I wasn’t sure how to capture either of these with a camera.  After some time and thought I have figured out how to share this.  I can say that when you find out someone lost their child, be kind with your words…even many months down the road.  Don’t tell the person how they should or should not grieve, as it is a process we all must go through in our own time in our own way.  Be encouraging, offer an ear to just listen, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

 

What not to say

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What to say

 

 

 

Today’s photo is entitled “Memorial”.  A little over a week after Samantha was born, we attended a memorial service.  On February 5, 2011 we sang songs, read some scripture, and received a memorial candle.  It was a beautiful service.  We don’t have any pictures from that day, but we have a special candle from then.  The candle sits on our fireplace along side our unity candle.

 

 

A Treasured Item…hmmm, I have a whole keepsake box filled with items that mean a lot to me.  But the most important item that I have is Samantha’s hand print in clay.  She may have only been 17 weeks, but we were able to get an amazing print of her perfect little hand.  I put the clay piece in a frame with a photo of the peace lily we received.  It hangs with her name written in sand and photos of Raun & I, above our unity candle and her candle.

 

Today’s photo challenge is after loss portrait.  This is a tough one for me because the only right after loss photo I have is us still at the hospital holding Samantha.  So, I have included that photo, as well as few others from over the past year or so.  It is interesting because I don’t think it was until more recently that I was able to truly smile in a photo and have it show happy in my eyes as well.  So, here is the collection.

 

Raun and I holding Samantha the day she was delivered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are holding the candle we received at the memorial service. This photo was used in the Catholic Charities Newsletter and taken in March.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My sister in law offered to do a photo session of us. This was taken in January...nearly a year later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I took this one in the middle of this past summer. So much has changed.

 

October begins a season of change.  It is now Fall, with oranges, reds, and yellows in full swing.  This time of year is one of my favorite times, because of the cool crisp evenings perfect for sitting by the fire and days that are still warm enough I can wear flip flops.  I love the colors outside, so vibrant, and the chance to watch leaves twist to the ground in the light breezes.  I enjoy the chance to decorate my house with these colors on the inside and the chance to head to the apple orchard.

This year is no different.  Still a favorite time of year for me.  However there is a deeper meaning to this time of year.  Two years ago…right around October 15 we got pregnant for the first time.  Our baby girl only made it 17 weeks, but has left a lasting legacy on our lives and our hearts.  Interestingly enough, October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.  On this day hundreds gather in memory of their children across the world.  There is also a wave of light that is passed on…a lighted candle lit in memory started at the same time all around the world creating a continuous light.

The whole month of October is slowly being recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Month…a chance to break the silence.  A chance to tell the world that some of your children are here on earth, as well as angels in heaven.  Slowly we are moving away from a taboo subject and taking the chance to share with others.  More and more those who have walked this path are coming together .

I am taking the chance to put into photographs the opportunity to “capture my grief”.  Carly Marie has put together an opportunity to capture 31 photographs in 31 days.  You can find out more at Carly Marie Project Heal.  I am filled with a mix of emotions at the start of this month.  It has been a year & a half since we said our goodbyes to Samantha.  What most people don’t realize is that while time has passed, I still grieve.  The grieving is different, but it is still something that is with me.  And from what I understand, it will still be there…it just changes over time.  This October we are pregnant again, our rainbow so to speak.  So while thinking about Samantha, I am thinking about our little miracle.  Growing day by day and hoping everything is going alright.  In the following days I will share with you my 31 photographs as I walk through this month.  This week we celebrate week 12 of our pregnancy.  Not only will you see the grieving side and what has gone on with that, but also the joyous side of being pregnant throughout this month.  The photo in this post is from day 1 of the 31 photographs in 31 days…Sunrise.  It started out as a cool, cloudy day but ended as a beautiful warm day.

 

Self Portrait..before being pregnant

 

 

Self Portrait...while pregnant with Samantha

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