Raun and I are coming up on a year since Samantha came into our lives. I have learned a fair number of things. One of those things I learned is the importance of support. No matter what life dishes out a person needs support. When you loose someone close to you due death, that support becomes even more important. When you loose a child, support becomes a necessity.

Nearly a year after, there are things I am finally doing to work through the grief. There are also things coming out because people feel that I am ready to hear it. I found out recently that some of the support I thought was there really isn’t truly there. I also found out that people were being told one thing about our loss and we were led to believe something else.

On the flip side we have been blessed with having a very supportive family.  They all seem to have an understanding of what we are going through.  Some because of their own life experiences and other’s because she is a part of our family.  I also have a few friends who are there to turn to when ever I need to.  I am also blessed to have Raun.  He is truly a wonderful husband.  He helps to provide encouragement, strength, comfort, and different perspectives.

You need to have a variety of support as well.  My husband has been great and is great, however it wouldn’t be fair to only rely on him for support.  He to is grieving as well.  Each of us grieves differently, so what each of us needs may or may not be the same.  We all face the different stages of grief, but in our own time and in our own way.

I encourage you to find support from some one who has been down this path before.  For me, I have two people.  I have my mother and a friend from work.  Though it was many years ago, both have walked this path and they understand.  It gives me hope to see, that despite the loss, they were still able to grow their families.

I want to let you know that it is okay to seek out resources and groups that focus on this type of loss. You need to do what helps you. You may choose to seek outside help in a group setting or in a one on one setting. It will take some strength and courage to make this step, but once you do you will begin to feel a sense of relief.

I was able to find a group and I was also able to come up with a million and one reasons I couldn’t make the meeting.  I wasn’t ready.  My outlet had been this blog and a few groups on facebook.  The thought of sharing face to face scared me.  In October I was ready and went to my first meeting.  I won’t lie, it was tough.  When that first meeting was over I began to feel a little bit better.  With each time I go I get more of a voice, share more of my thoughts, and I am surrounded by people who understand.  I feel normal.

I have also found creative outlets. It is through these outlets that I have strengthened relationships and built new ones. I have been journaling/blogging since this all happened. I recently went through an Illuminate course where it combined journaling and photography. I have had a passion for photography for years, but taking this course gave me the opportunity to really combine two things I enjoy, as well as share a different perspective on the loss of a child. There are many opportunities out there to use creative talents. If there is something you enjoy doing I encourage you to continue and use it to help in the healing process. If there isn’t something that you do creatively, now could be just the right time to try something.

Over time, what you need for support will change. Whatever way you decide to go, I encourage you to continue to surround yourself with the people and things that truly bring you support.


My grandfather turned 95 years old this year.  Our family and a small group of friends helped to celebrate his birthday with a small party, good food, and lots of stories. 

95 years!  Can you imagine all that has been done, seen, and changed in the last 95 years?  Through it all, my grandfather has remained strong in his beliefs and values.  He has a zest for life, never misses a beat, and always has a story to share.  After 95 years, he also has a lot of advice and wisdom to share.  Not to mention a joke or two.  He has done so much throughout his life and hasn’t been afraid to step out of the box to try something new.  He has been a lawyer, to a World War II gunfighter, to being in the House of Represntatives, to starting his own business that is still running today.

Over the years I have learned a lot from my grandfather and I always look forward to my talks with him.   I have great memories from when I was little when we would have family dinners from Arby’s at their house, we would get to have sleep overs where we would play games into the night, and so many more.

Some of the most important things that I have learned I still carry with me today and try to keep them with me where ever my path leads.  First and foremost family comes first.  Even though I live in Minnesota now, my grandfather still checks in on me.  A smile goes a long ways, even towards a total stranger.  Passing a long a smile can make someone’s day, not to mention show a little bit of who you are.  Be a part of your community. It gives you an opportunity to expand your horizons, while providing a sense of accomplishment and value.

I am nearly 30 now, I can’t begin to imagine what the next 65 years will bring in my life.  What I do know is that…as long as I can carry God, my family, my friends, and things that bring true happiness with me always while holding strong to my values I will be headed in the right direction.  I also need to learn from my mistakes and the curve balls that life throws (sometimes hurls) at me, while also being honest with myself and admitting when I can’t go at it alone. 
What words of adivce are keeping you going?  Share your memories and stories below.  I look forward to hearing your story.



The weekend of the Fourth of July this year Raun and I decided to take a camping trip.  We didn’t have to drive far to get to a slice rest, retreat, and perspectives.  The area was aboslutely beautiful filled with trails, deer, dragonflies, waterfall, and brightly colored birds.  Each morning the deer passed by our campsite while we enjoyed breakfast.  From day to day we lost track of time.  We woke to the sun as it rose and went to bed when the moon came up.  We spent time hiking the trails and taking in all the insects, wildlife, and birds.  At the waterall we watched, soaked up the sun, and played in the water.  There were moments of silence and just taking in the surroundings and there were moments of creating.  We had time to talk, listen, and be us.  Changes happened, things opened up, and perpectives have surfaced.

This little froggie, as well as many others, we hoping from one side of the path to the other.  The path was probably about 5 feet across.  No big deal for us, two steps across and we are done.  But for this little frog, it can seem like miles, especially with feet coming your way, as well as a vehcile.  This little guy taught me, that no matter how big the task or challenge, you can make it through one step at a time.  Your steps may be small, some times you may jump backwards, or retrace some of your steps, but with strenght and persaverance you can make it to where you are going.  You don’t have to know your final desitnation, as long as you have direction, guidance, and leave yourself room to grow.



Even though life seems to spin by you faster and faster each day, try to slow down every now and then to look at whats around you.  Especially if you are out in nature, there are so many things to see if you look all ways and slow down.  I was walking back to our sight when I looked ahead down the path and this is what I saw.  I stopped for a moment to look at and take it in.  It was beautiful.  While standing there looking at it a sense of calm and peace enveloped me.  I continued my walk back, grabbed the camera and returned.  Took it all in once more, then went and shared the photos with Raun.





 Take chances and live by the moment.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to plan things out some of the time.  But sometimes you need to throw the schedule, hesitation, routine, fear, or whatever might be holding you back away and just fly. 




Remember to take time to rest, relax, and take care of yourself.  This is most important on your toughest days.  Things take time to process, understand, and fully open up. 



Remember to

Cherish Life’s Simple Treasures

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