Show Me a Miracle Today

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This weekend I spent the most beautiful time with fellow allied healthcare professionals: doulas, midwives, friends.

On the flight home, I was overwhelmed with appreciation for their receptivity, participation, and our shared sacred space.

And, I was flat tired.

So I rested my head against the plane window and shut my eyes, preparing to sleep the entire flight home.

Then, I felt movement in the seat next to me.

As the person was getting settled in, I kept my eyes closed, and I was relaxing and enjoying the sense of fullness I had from my time in the workshop.  Such amazing women, such a sacred circle.  Feeling deeply humbled.  And tired.  I mentioned that.

As the plane began its slow first movements, I began to feel a cool trickle splash onto my right shoulder.

I thought, perhaps, that the person seated behind me might have dribbled soda over the back of my seat as they were getting settled into their chair.  I imagined an apologetic person, with bags and a soft drink, awkwardly fumbling and squeezing into their seat.  I remained still, in exhaustion and in forgiveness.  I didn’t care that it was spilled on me.  I was tired.

The trickle continued.

The trickle continued and interrupted these warm, wonderful thoughts and my foggy, sleepy brain with its cool wetness.

As my thoughts shifted to bring more attention to this splashing, I realized that I might need to say something in order for it to stop.  I finally opened my eyes and said “What is that?” as I turned to see, still expecting to see someone fumbling and apologetic.

In turning, I quickly noted that the person seated next to me was a very tall older gentleman, dressed formally, perhaps traveling on business.

My abrupt break of the silence startled this man.

When I looked up to see the figure I imagined would be there above me, with their dripping soda, I found nothing.

For a moment, I was totally confused.  Where was the cool splashing coming from?

The air conditioner was blasting just overhead and behind me, spilling cool condensation.

The man next to me asked the flight attendant for a paper towel for the water.  And that is how our conversation began.

“What were you traveling to Dulles for?”

As much as I am virtually always prepared and eager to talk about pregnancy and infant loss awareness and support, I hesitated before engaging in conversation – remember, I was tired.

He was visiting family for his nephew’s wedding, I learned, and, I told him about the workshop.

I began slowly, trying to even explain the magnitude of the workshop, but the awe and the beauty of it entered into the words and I began to awaken, feeling a fresh sense of rejuvenation and excitement.  Shifting in my seat away from the window, I could feel a vibrancy as I explained the importance of pregnancy and infant loss awareness and support.

He listened, sitting quietly.  Deliberating.  Can he trust this woman with his experiences?  Then he spoke.

“My wife and I lost a child.  It was many years ago.”

He choked the words out, tears filling his eyes.  I saw such softness, such unexpected and genuine sadness.

Slowly, respectfully, carefully, he and I began to unpack pieces of his story.

This precious mother, his beloved wife, gave birth to her first child via late miscarriage, all alone.  She didn’t have subsequent children.  And she didn’t talk about her loss.

I shared with him, how I felt so deeply shamed when I learned that my child was not alive.  How so much of my pain was because I would have to tell my beloved husband that his child was not alive.  How terribly guilty I felt, that my husband would endure so much pain.

We talked about the importance of being honored and validated, and the importance of our loved ones allowing us to learn how to be parents to children who are no longer alive.

I felt drawn to talk more about some of the reasons we are silenced in our grief.  Mothers and the weight of shame: that if our child gets hit by a car, for example, it seems easy for us to point our finger at the driver and blame them for the death of our child.  As a pregnant mother, we don’t always really have that.  We blame ourselves – deeply.  The blame, while it holds anger and isn’t necessarily productive, it comes from a place of love.  A place of wanting to protect our child but not being able to.

And then this older, tall, well dressed man, for a moment was unable to stop his tears from spilling over onto his long face.  With difficulty, he spoke.

“My first wife, was pregnant with twins.  She got in a car accident.  The twins died, and so did she.”

Pausing to compose himself, he continued, softly,

“I was so angry with her.”

As we continued to unpack some of these most sacred experiences, we looked together at his memories of him entering into his new marriage, a bereaved father.  How his new wife must have hurt for his losses.  How much she loves him, and didn’t want him to hurt.

And what she may have felt like experiencing the loss of her first and only biological child, knowing she would tell her beloved that his child was not alive.  What she may have felt that would mean for their marriage.

He spoke.
“I know today, that my first wife died of a broken heart.  She died because she couldn’t live without her babies.” 

Through our time together, it had been revealed to him that perhaps his wife has carried the grief silently, of her child who was born and who died via miscarriage, because she loved her husband deeply, and felt guilty.  She didn’t want him to blame her, to be angry with her, as he was with his first wife for getting into a car accident and the loss of his twins.

Right there on the airplane, he forgave his first wife, after holding so many years of anger and blame.  And with a new countenance, he and I chatted about ways he can honor his twins from his first marriage, how he can honor his child from his second wife, and what these things could mean for their marriage, for his beloved wife and for her own release and joy and healing.

We talked about how to learn to be a parent to a child who is not alive – and that it is never too late to start to learn how.

Finally, our flight ending and our conversation closing, this man, unfolded a magazine he had carried on with him.  It was folded at a page with a small prayer written at the bottom of the page:

Dear God, show me a miracle today. 

He spoke.

“I prayed for God to show me a miracle today.  You were part of a miracle.”

Doran, set the date for our workshop so many months ago.

My husband, agreed to the workshop, purchased the flight, and arranged with his work to be with our children during what I knew could be a long and challenging weekend for him.

This man, his family were a part of this, as they planned for their wedding that would bring this man traveling.

I very, very rarely share these precious moments I have with stillbirthday parents.  I’m sharing this today, because I hold hope that this man’s wife might find it.  That she can know that I hold her experience with love and gentleness.  That she is a beautiful mother.  That she is worthy to heal.

I believe that indeed I was part of a miracle – but I believe so many others were as well.  It is my hope that those who were a part of this, will know about it, that we all can be moved by the gentle orchestration of things, that you were a part of something bigger than you knew, and that we can all remember to be mindful and prayerful for every opportunity for healing.

And to consider that getting splashed with cold water just may be the Holy Spirit tapping you on the shoulder so that you can turn to see the healing happen.


The storyline in this video reminds me of this man.  To this man, if you are reading this today, may you be encouraged that you and your wife remain in my prayers.  You are worthy to heal.  It is never too late to learn how to parent your children who are not alive.

Thank you, for blessing me beyond measure, for our shared moment in the clouds as we honored our deceased children.

And to his wife – may you know that you are not alone.   May you find a fresh sense of love splash upon you.


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  1. This is beautiful! I love this so much. So like God to send a miracle to both of you in such an unexpected way, as you are traveling along in your day. So grateful for the perfect timing and your willing heart…and the privilege of being there to witness the miracle right in front of you.

  2. Heidi, What a miraculous series of events. I am so deeply touched by this man’s stories, and so grateful that God placed you in his path to hear him and honor him, and now to pray for him and his dear wife. I will ask for healing for them as well.

  3. This gave me goosebumps. Such a beautiful story of Gods grace. Love this, thank you for sharing!

  4. Maybe this experience the man had with you, was even more important to God. How was he going to heal this man? He would not attend a bereavement workshop.
    But God also had a solution to heal this man’s pain from years ago. In a miracle way.
    Thanks for being the vessel and being willing to help.

  5. it is no coincidence that i read this today. as i was pulling out of my driveway to go to the gym, i was angry at God. angry for our loss, angry that my firstborn had an ear infection after my second just healed from hand, foot and mouth. angry that so many people that don’t deserve babies get lots of them but those that do, don’t. angry that i haven’t conceived since my second trimester loss in march. i said, out loud, “i don’t know if i believe You orchestrate good for anyone anymore.” remember, i was very angry. i’m still reeling from losing our third child at 19 weeks and often, i find myself screaming to the heavens one minute and praising His name the next.

    this story proves to me that He does orchestrate good things for those that love Him. thank you for reminding me that i have so much to be thankful for.


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