Today, I thought I’d share a couple of resources some have shared with me that have been such a huge encouragement to me over the past several months. Some of them may be a source of encouragement to your own hearts or may be a way you can share with others going through the loss of a child. Sometimes goodness can come in the form of a kind word from another who has been there. And in such a rare, but far-too-common experience, these words were so therapeutic for my hurting heart.
The book, I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy, by Angie Smith has been a key part of my heart’s healing. Angie, (who is the wife of one of the lead singers in the Christian group, Selah), went through an experience so mirroring to my own, I felt such a sense of connection with every word she wrote. Her little daughter, Audrey, was diagnosed early on with a similar fatal genetic anomaly that our Kyle was diagnosed with. She talks of the moments of grief and joy of ultrasounds she experienced throughout her pregnancy and even the precious life changing two hours they had with their daughter while she was still alive after birth. The chapters following the details of her birth were especially helpful as I saw a woman struggle with her faith and life experience and still come to a conclusion that I have – my God is always good. While this book is specifically a testimony of her daughter, Audrey’s, story, it would be especially helpful for any woman who has suffered the loss of a child – whether expected or not. I am so thankful for the friend who lovingly sent this book my way.The Kindle Edition is also available.
She also wrote a song that we used at our Memorial Service – another huge part of my healing took place crying through this song several times.
This book was such a huge help to me actually before I even knew I was pregnant with Kyle. I ordered it a week after my Mother’s Day miscarriage. It focuses on a deep but simple thought that joy can come – just from a thankful heart and not from surrounding circumstances. As the author, Ann, shares her story of watching her two year old sister die a tragic farm death when she was just barely a school child herself, I realized I wasn’t floating alone on the deep grief river of losses. The fears she experienced mirrored some of my own never-before-experienced panic attacks. And I started my own List of 1,000 gifts – just in photo format. It’s such a huge encouragement to me to look back on.
#7….baby hair curls
#25….a paper sack
Her daily blog posts are also daily inspiration for me to continue finding moments and people that I can be thankful for. Sometimes sharing a post or two of hers just maybe the gentle encouraging help a friend could use.
Another source of simple practical help, although specifically designed for parents dealing with a fatal prenatal diagnosis, was this book (free pdf download) written by my new friend and Founder of an incredible organization – Perinatal Comfort Care. She is an RN who has years of experience in obstetrics and who now specializes in guiding parents through the difficult but rewarding process of choosing to carry their child despite the almost certain outcome of death. Tammy was singlehandedly the responsible party for getting us unlimited ultrasounds, meetings with NICU doctors, and even met with the entire OB nursing staff at the hospital we chose weeks before we arrived to go over our birth plan with them. In this simple book, she includes short practical ideas for helping other children in the family deal with loss and steps to take to prepare for the months ahead. Also on their website is lots of practical help and stories from other families. (Including Kyle’s!)