We Still Have Work

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{Take a peek at what we are doing for the 2013 Remembrance}

 

 

A carefully handwritten list of nearly 400 babies, a scarf, and my “rainbow” baby (who isn’t my rainbow) came along with me to stillbirthday’s first ever balloon release.

I arrived, gasping, more nervous than ever before – the sight of other cars – oh, dear Lord, I really am not alone.

Kevo the Klown blew funny balloons for the kiddos, Carol the balloon lady worked hard putting lights into and blowing up 100 balloons, while the rest of us met and mingled.

A news reporter arrived.

I worked through my total overwhelm as I tried to send the simple message into the camera

 “if you are out there, and if you have endured loss, you are not alone.”

One stillbirthday mother was presented with a very honoring gift from her husband.  She had endured a miscarriage alone, before marrying him.  He told her, “You’ve endured the lonliness of this experience for far too long.”  He then presented her with a certificate of spiritual adoption, in which he commited to carrying forth the legacy of her child as his own.

Then, we gathered in a circle, and it was time.  Time to speak our children’s names, time to voice our realities, time to honor and remember.

Jesus wept.

It’s the shortest verse in the Bible, but I want to look at the setting in which, Jesus wept.

Lazarus, His friend, had died.

Lazarus, Mary and Martha were all siblings, and each were friends with Jesus.  And yet, when Lazarus died, Jesus wasn’t there.  In fact, scripture tells us that Jesus the person didn’t show up until several days later (this was to ensure the indesputible miracle which was to take place).

When Martha saw Him in the distance, she ran to Him.

She ran to Him, and she cried, “Where have You been?”

“If You had been here, this wouldn’t have happened!”

Haven’t we felt that way?

Mary ran to Him.

“Jesus – can’t You?  Can’t You – bring him back?”

Jesus wept.

I want to challenge you, to consider that Jesus saw His friend, in the only place that is safe.  The only place that is all love.  And as He called Lazarus back from that place, through the veil of tears, back into our world of darkness, confusion and sadness, Jesus wept.

Our life is hard.  Jesus knows, our work is hard.

I’ve recieved many platitudes and cliches through my experience.  Things like

“Now you have your own personal guardian angel.”

As if he’s sitting on my shoulder now, somehow sprinkling good luck throughout my day.

As if his life isn’t valuable enough.

No, his work is done.

He is in the only place that is safe.  The only place that is all love.

I am the one still here.  I am the one still with work to do.

And, Jesus knows, this life is hard.  This work is hard.

When God called the three men from the firey furnace, do you know?  They didn’t even smell of smoke.

But when Jesus called Lazarus from the grave, scripture tells us, he probably stunk.

Wearing his burial cloths, he stepped out of his dark, cold, lonely tomb.  And he stunk.

Jesus then instructed those around Lazarus to help remove his burial cloths.

Maybe you feel as though a piece of you died, right along with your child?

Jesus brought Lazarus out of his dark place, but He instructed those around him to remove the burial cloths.

We are still here.  We still have work to do.

And, Jesus knows, our work is hard.

 

Using a scarf as a representation of that burial cloth, we each wrapped it around our neck.  We wore this cloth, and then spoke our truth.  Spoke what we’ve endured.  Spoke who we represent.  Spoke who we remember.

Spoke of the darkest of places we’ve been.

Then, the person next to us, entered into our story.  Entered into our life.

Saw our tears.

Touched us.

Removed the burial cloth.

Validated.

Honored.

Then, wrapped it around their own neck, and told their own story.

 

After we each took our turn, it was time to let our light shine.

Of course, it’s hard to see in the photos, but each balloon had a lightbulb inside, glowing.

As long as we are still here, we still have this work to do.

We still have to find our little light, and let it rise above, to be a beacon of hope and healing to others who are in that darkest, coldest, loneliest place.

It’s hard work.  Jesus knows, it’s hard work.

But we are validated.

Jesus wept.

You aren’t alone.

Have you felt as though a piece of you died, right along with your child?

Come, step forward.  Let us here at stillbirthday help you remove your burial cloth.

Because, if you are here, you still have work to do, too.

 

The stillbirthday families who attended, helped to honor nearly 400 more families who couldn’t attend.  This is from the handwritten list I brought with me:

Christian Gaskin

Baby Townsend

Mary Beth

Aquila

Baby Miller

Baby Stolc

Shahzad

Bujji

Eric

Tia

Christopher

Orion

C.M.

Clayton

Sophie

Julia

Hope

Skywalker

Baby Sims

Elijah

Nathan John

Baby Hall #2

Baby Hall #3

Baby Hall #4

Baby JC

Joy Comes

Maxwell aunt/uncle

Maxwell friend

Noelle

Gabriel

Lily Katherine

Luke Shiloh

Presley Brooklyn

Casper David

Logan Graham

Kamryn Olivia

Dejuva Bearlys

Baby Forbes #1

Baby Forbes #2

Aria

Alana Grace

Kelly Marie

Tristan Alexander

Ava Juliette

Ayden Simon

Lyla Annilie

Samantha Lynn

Everett John

Ethan James

Kelli’s Baby #1

Kelli’s Baby #2

Kelli’s Baby #3

Kelli’s Baby #4

Kelli’s Baby #5

Lucas Henry

William Joseph

Emily’s Baby

Madilynn Isabell

Landon Michael

Audriana Hope

Noah Bradlee

Angel Demers

Emma Grace

Brylee Catherine

Bryce Thomas

Keiran William

Cheyenne Elizabeth

Avery Morgan

Holden Keppel

Finley Jay

Angelica G.

Jonathon M.

Charlie B.

Serenity B.

Peanut B.

Aiden Joshua

Emily Rose – friends, family

Marcos Morales

Baby Angel

Preston Arthur

Erum Brown – Larson

Jade Marie

Hazel Grace

Laylah Ariela

Madison Lucianna

Ayden

Myles

Charlie

Andy

AJ

Baby Culbertson #1

Baby Culbertson #2

Brody Max

Gabriella Lynn

Angelita Kaylee

Alexander Michael

Silas Benjamin

Gabriel David

Xzaren

Xzaylin

J

Morgyn Marie

Prestyn Alan

Andrew Muirhead Orr, III

Kai Sarah Christine

Kylea Kae

Lia Joy

Teresia’s Baby #1

Teresia’s Baby #2

Teresia’s Baby #3

Michael Robert

Carlos Ademer Ponce Jr.

Peyton Leonard

Lacy Belle

Sadie Mae

Grace Victoria

Levi Joel

Uriah Dalton

Emalynn Angel

Briana Lynn

Sweet Pea

Laura Elizabeth

Charlie

Gunner Troy

Peyton Rockwell

Silas Max

Nicolette Suzanne

Jonas P.

Kylee Nicole

Dylan R.

Andrew

Anna Elizabeth

Stella B.

Baby Cook

Ian Daniel

Baby Avelar #1

Baby Avelar #2

Willow

Ruby

Darla Elena

Ophelia Rose

Cora Edith – Grace

Baby Boy Nichols

Georgia Kairi

Baby Sanchez #1

Baby Sanchez #2

Baby Sanchez #3

Baby Sanchez #4

Baby Sanchez #5

Baby Sanchez #6

Baby Martin #1

Baby Martin #2

Celina Jade

Baby Jones #1

Baby Jones #2

Baby Jones #3

Baby McCormick

Jaemi

Baby Daly

Baby Daly

Andrew

Kai

Baby Hiltz

Addison Lucille

Baby Bice

Heather Rose

Muchow Boy #1

Muchow Boy #2

Muchow Boy #3

Jessica Shafer

Robert Edward

Baby Tad

Dominic

Nash Austin

Baby Hale #1

Baby Hale #2

Baby Hale #3

Saniya Jazmine

Mabel Joy

Isaiah Michael

Hannah Hope

Marcus Levi

Emily Elizabeth

Baby Boy Owens

Baby Owens

Jaxon M.

Colin M.

Courtney M.

Baby Bishop

Baby Arnold

Moses Williams

Azriel Aiden

Lewis Duryea

Wyatt Paul

Baby Hall #1

Baby Hall #2

Charity

Will

Baby Weiss #1

Baby Weiss #2

Sophie Faith

Alexander Michael

Samantha Marie

Jacob Ryan

Bentley Ryan

Aubree Lee

Zoe Elizabeth

Addie Kate

Finley

Poppet

Baby Manke

Joy

Jason

Hope H.

Joseph H.

Leah H.

Hope G.

Noah

Jack

Patrick Wells

Baby Amack

Sam Joseph

Joshie

Lainey Grace

Evelyn Juliet

Catelyn

Baby McMullen #1

Baby McMullen #2

Baby McMullan #3

Baby McMullen #4

Baby McMullen #5

Jesse Flores

Baby Carlos

Baby Hartman

Harper

Evan Christopher

Baby Stephan – Quinlan

Mary Grace

Baby Stevens #1

Baby Stevens #2

Baby Stevens #3

Harper Kathleen

Calan

Anduril

Alexandra Butler

Baby Mitchell

Emily

Xander

Baby Garoffolo #1

Baby Garoffolo #2

Baby Garoffolo #3

Baby Garoffolo #4

Baby Garoffolo #5

Baby Leppo #1

Baby Leppo #2

Baby Leppo #3

Baby Bee

Baby Walther

Britton Reiley

Baby Harris #1

Baby Harris #2

Baby Harris #3

Baby Harris #6

Baby Thomas #1

Baby Thomas #2

Baby Thomas #3

Aleah J.

Sousuke

Caitlin Marie

Keaton Alexander

Baby Jaxon

Baby Williams #1

Baby Williams #2

Zyon Alay

Abdul

Maxwell Isaiah

Malichai Issacc

Grace

Mini Cooper #1

Mini Cooper #2

Mini Cooper #3

Mini Cooper #4

Mini Cooper #5

Daniel Ray

Baby Bruffett

Lisa Irwin

Fowler friend

Sydney

Tristan

Riley

Autumn Humphrey

Zadon William

Andrea Robyn

Billy James

Baby Bean

Baby Pebble

Babb Twin A

Babb Twin B

Daniel Ray Morrow Jr.

Baby Bruffett

Jack Raymond

Sean Connor

Pruitt Siblings

Baby Charlie

Baby Krocker #1

Baby Krocker #2

Baby Krocker #3

Luna Gefion

Gideon Y.

Deborah Y.

Iaasac Y.

Naomi Y.

Jeremiah Y.

Hope Y.

Caleb Y.

Joseph Y.

Gabriel Y.

Iasaiah Y.

Baby Belcher

Baby Matsumoto

Baby Himes

Little One

Baby Mickells

Jacob Matthew

Baby Oransky #1

Baby Oransky #2

Baby Oransky #3

Baby Oransky #4

Baby Oransky #5

Baby Oransky #6

Jeremiah Lee

Lucas Charles

Nathaniel Sierra

Catherine Agnes

Patricia Marie

Taya

Heaven Leigh

Baby B

Baby C

Baby Valentine

Baby Michael #1

Baby Michael #2

Aria

Baby Harshe

Baby Guggie

Baby Guggie

Baby Eoff #1

Baby Eoff #2

Baby Eoff #3

Shelomith

Kelso friend

Y’hoshua Samuel

Kaden Friedly

Mikel Wayne

Eldon

Kaleigh

Dallas Edwin

Cooper David

Sydney Alexis

Jenna

Baby McConnell

Baby MaGee

Jesslyn Nicole Paige

Baby BeShears

Elizabeth Ashley Anne

William Gaines

Jaydyn Kellen

Hope Marie

Jordan

Shiloh

Jacob

Baby Grote #2

Baby Carter

Victoria

Baby Larson

Baby Casteneda

Braedon

McKenzie

Cameron

Kyler

Jackson

Baby Gordon

Amanda Renae

TBA Jenkins

Twinkie Jenkins

Zane Alexander

Jocelyn Lynn

Nellia

Baby Rocha

Lindley grandchildren

Baby Vazquez

Joshua Michael

Baby Whitten

Vanessa Jade

Nesiah

Christian

Elijah

Jacob

Zoe

Zoen

Josiah

Lily

Zoey Ryane

Alister

Baby Kline

Michael “Mikey”

Zoey Charlene

Baby Ross

Devin Michael

Wanda Christine

Elijah Kent

Baby Young #1

Baby Young #2

Baby Young #3

Baby Cannell

Baby Myers

Barbara Ann

Cooperrider Baby #1

Cooperrider Twin A

Cooperrider Twin B

Presley Lyn

Bump

Kip

Jack Davis

Alister Pierce

Baby Tavi

Baby Joyce

Baby Sue

Jordan R.

Gabrielle R.

Barnabus

Kevo the Klown Baby #1

Kevo the Klown Baby #2

Kevo the Klown Baby #3

 

 

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Comments

  1. Oh Heidi!!! As I scrolled through the names I just began weeping. Weeping for all the lives touched! God bless you~~Nancy

  2. Thank you for honoring our five angels last night. Its such a blessing knowing that even a stranger can honor their memory.

  3. Doula Brandi says:

    Heidi, words cannot express how special this event, honoring these young ones, acknowledge their parent’s grief, remembering, healing… how very special. Thank you!

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