Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Every Heart is a Memory

Shawn and I left Calgary on Monday afternoon with Sadie and flew to Maui.  In many ways we were running away from our return to 'normal' life.  I'm not saying that is a bad thing, I am absolutely dreading the return to Calgary.  No one sits in Maui and wants to go home, but I wouldn't care if Calgary was more beautiful than Maui, going home means facing the loss of Hope after the shock has worn off.  I've come to realize that a major breakdown is waiting just around the corner and the exhaustion of the last 13 months is a weight that is waiting to fall on top of me.  I feel as though we're living in a dream at the moment, able to enjoy life and smile, but fear the moment that disappears.  I know we will feel joy again, but I fear the breakdown.

Sadie has been incredible.  Finally being able to spend quality time with her again and seeing her thrive with both parents in her life has been amazing.  I am the most biased person in the world, but she is an amazing little girl.  I love the way she talks about Hope constantly with no hesitation.  She told a complete stranger in the airport on the playground that her sister Hope died.  To which the little girl responded, "you hope your sister dies?"  Sadie proceeded to drag the girl over to Shawn so he could explain that her sister DID die.  She later informed me on the plane that I would have a new baby in my belly soon.  It was the first thing she asked me this morning, "do you have a new baby yet?"  Apparently she was unaware that with the time change, we went to bed at 3am Calgary time, no time for new babies!

Shawn and I are in the process of praying through what we want to do.  Many people have asked us and I can say that we both would like to have another child.  Not to replace Hope, but to give Sadie a sibling and to hopefully experience the joy of bringing home a healthy baby once again.  I was thinking today about whether or not I would have had Hope if I knew she would have been taken away at 13 months of age.  I decided I would have, every day was a gift, even if there were only 412 of them.  We need to pray about when we'll be ready to think about doing this, our wounds are so fresh.

I'm reading a book about another Mother's journey with grief.  In it, she talks about how when they went to the beach for a vacation with friends, she found that she would feel better while she was there.  She describes how returning home from these vacations from her pain was always more difficult than she expected.  I dread it.

We already know that coming here was the right thing to do.  I am praying that for this week, time moves incredibly slowly and each day lingers on.  I miss Hope desperately and picture her everywhere we go.  I can't stop scrolling through her pictures on my phone.  Oh what I would give to see a glimpse of her smiling in Heaven.  Everything I see that has a heart catches my eye.  Every heart makes me think of her.  I'm so thankful we have Sadie through this time.  I could not even imagine going through this without laughter in our home.  Please continue to pray for us, especially when we return to Calgary to face reality.


  1. Dianne Ducheno Johnson5 June 2013 at 03:58

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Shawn & Sadie daily. Enjoy yourself don't feel guilty, Hope is with you all the way with a big smile and a whole heart while in God's Heavenly home. May you have a safe & wonderful vacation & a great flight home. Calgary will be blossomed because of you all & the love all have for Hope. Have a great day Amy. Big Hugs to you all.

  2. Dear Amy, Shawn and Sadie;
    I have two scriptures I would like to pray over you this morning...
    May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with ONE heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord JEsus Christ. (Rom 15:5,6)
    May teh God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the HOly Spirit. (Rom 15:13)
    The Holy Word of God has power when spoken. God created with world with his spoken words and we are created in His image. Our words have power too... There are promises in these verses that I have prayed for you. Our God is pouring into you encouragement, endurance, joy, peace and unity. And best of all... you will be overflowing with HOPE. I know you will never forget that little precious girl, even if you go on to have a dozen chidlren. Part of your heart went with her to heaven that day. But you will be reunited with Jesus on the same day you reunite with Hope and that missing part of your heart. I dare say, that as much as you ache to hold Hope again, that Jesus himself feels the same way about you. He is acheing to hold you in His arms and reveal to you the "why" of your journey without your little girl. THere is an eternal purpose in this, I know that you know that. I believe that is the prize waiting for all of us at teh end of this race... the eternal glory. We are told that if our troubles on earth are put on a scale one day against the eternal glory we will expereince in heaven...the scales would tip far over. We are told the eternal glory will FAR OUTWEIGH the troubles we had to endure. That is a promise from God.Stand on Gods word... it is truth.
    May the Lord bless you and keep you, may teh Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you...may He give you His peace. Father God, please put eternal hope deep into this family's hearts. Give them an early portion of the glory they will expereince upon reuinting with You one glorious day. Use the body of Christ to be a support and strength for them as they prepare to return to a new chapter of life. Give them visions Lord, promises of what there is ahead of them. Help them to take their eyes and hearts off of what they see today, but to live by what is yet to come. Let them walk on the water of the ocean of grief...don't let them be as PEter and take their eyes off you...NO, let them, in unity, walk over the waters of grief with their eyes fixed on you. Give them unity as they do this Lord. With you all things are possible. IN Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

    1. Karen Richardson5 June 2013 at 07:39

      AMEN! Yes, Lord!!

  3. Grief is such a strange thing, and I am thankful for the moments that one can have some brief moments of it lifting to enjoy your daughter or something else that get's your mind off it even for a few minutes. For me, grief has always been like ocean waves, a wave comes at you looming filled with the feeling of the wave overwhelming you, it crashes down and then you have a brief period of relief before the next one.

    The key for me at least is in the "knowing", I know they are coming but I also know I will weather them, get through them and I need to experience them in order for the waves to calm down. And they will calm someday, knowing that is important too.

    The great thing for us is that we also know we don't go through these waves alone. Jesus is right next to you as you sometimes are able to stay afloat on top of the wave and sometimes it drags you right under and your whole body is twisting around underneath.

    The biggest thing to know is you will make it Amy...God will see you through this one wave at a time. There is no rushing it, no speed boat to keep you away from it, it just has to play out and it will and you will survive it one day at a time with God's help. You are His child and HE loves you.

    Praying for you today...

  4. For sure Hope is smiling in heaven. She will be the angel holding you when you need it the most in the coming weeks. Thoughts and prayers from Ontario.

  5. Dear Amy,
    As a mom to a heart baby in heaven myself I know what you mean when you say that every heart makes you think of Hope. For me, every heart belongs to Eva. Valentines Day is especially hard.

    From personal experience I found returning to our empty home after vacation, without Eva, was a shock I had not expected. Maybe with preparation it will be less shocking. Although there is always something. Some unexpected something that sends you reeling.

    Please feel welcome to read my blog. You can get to it by clicking on my profile. The name is After Eva. I wrote a post directly after Hopes funeral called True hope. It might be something you would like to read.

  6. Hi Amy,

    I'm so glad you are taking this time as a family, though I know the grief and sadness are always close. I've found that staying in the present as much as possible truly helps with grieving. I'm grateful that right now your present is somewhere peaceful and beautiful. I'm so strengthened by Sadie's honesty in this world--how I wish more adults were like her.

    I'm glad you are finding hearts. Whenever I see a heart in the world, I think of my son. I see him. I wonder if they are from him. I feel a little bit better. I opened my heart search up to others 6 months ago and have now collected over 1,000 hearts in Lorenzo's honor. I share them in case they help you on your journey without Hope: If you would ever like to contribute a heart for Hope, I would be honored to include it.

    Much love from Chile,
    Jenn <3

  7. I love you so much Amy. I will not stop praying for you. I know it's a long haul and my prayers will not cease when the hype is down. I do pray God extends this time to everything you, Shawn and Sadie need. Love you so so very much <3

  8. I picture your grief as wading thru a fog. A dense thick uncertain fog, where the little breaks of light and reality are unknown and unexpected.
    No mother should ever loose her child. It's unthinkable and unimaginable to most of us, and the only thing that keeps resonating inside me is, she's no longer in pain. No more needles, no more fevers & infections. Her little body has been given rest. Being grateful for that doesn't even seem logical or make any sense.
    But it's true. No pain any more for baby girl and I know mother to mother that's something we'd take from our child whenever we can, however possible.
    How I wish she was able to have been given a heart here on earth, I felt so deeply she would.
    Love in both your girls forever Amy, one here, one in heaven and know in your heart she's in a better place.

  9. Hey Amy! One thing I want you to remember once you get home is YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Just because you don't have a child in the hospital anymore doesn't mean you won't still need help, so make sure to ask for it! If you need someone to look after Sadie for the day so you can just have some time to cry by yourself - do it! If you need more meals because you can't think to cook yet, just ask! There are many of us here who would love to help you still, but don't want to overwhelm you either. Remember, God never intended for us to go through life alone. We were designed to share each others' burdens, so make sure to let others help you with yours!

  10. "You never know how strong you are.....until being strong is your only choice."

  11. We are praying for you and remembering Hope. Before Hope died, my 2 year old and I prayed for her every night. We still pray for you, with my daughter regularly saying, "Hope?" when we pray. We pray for comfort, peace, and wisdom as you go through the grieving process. Having grieved the loss of our unborn child recently, we know it's not easy.

  12. "Oh what I would give to see a glimpse of her smiling in Heaven."

    I just asked God that He would give you a vision of your beautiful Hope, completely whole and healed, resting and laughing in the arms of Jesus. My mother-in law lost a brother at a very young age, I think 3, and then when her mother died many years later, she had a vision of her mother entering heaven and a little 3 year old boy running to her. It helped her so much in the grieving process. I think it will help every time you want to break down and cry. You will remember the picture and be filled with joy.

    Whether in a dream or a vision or a picture, I believe God will answer this prayer, as He's the one who put it on my heart to pray. God bless you, love Kathleen.

  13. Amy,

    Write, draw, yell, scream, cry and most of all pray. Even draw a picture of what you think Hope will look like in Heaven. I find drawing my feelings or making collages (pics with cut up magazines) and poetry (none of these have to be professional) very healing. Find a field and yell and scream if you need to. If you get angry go to a thrift store buy some cheap dishes and break them to bits or rip a phone book for me...I can't read the phone book but I keep them to rip to pieces. All feelings even guilt are ok and God our God is big enough to handle all of them. He won't condemn you for feeling whatever you do because he made feelings. He also knows what it is like to have a child, watch him suffer and then die...the difference is He could have stopped it. But He didn't and in some way that allows Him to understand you in a way no one could. He doesn't understand what it is like to loose a baby...but he knew when he gave Jesus birth Jesus would die. He could have choose so many other ways to save the world but He choose a way that would cause Him pain. Know he knows you more then you or Shawn or Sadie. Know he cares for you more then anyone. Know He wants to hear from you...every feeling you have...every feeling Shawn and Sadie have. There is NOTHING that will surprise Him. Please remember that. Ask for help when you need it. God meant us to be interdependent not independent. People will be happy to help...they just might not know what you need. Please ask...please. I wish I was nearer and I would volunteer but I am in Ontario. Thinking of you often and praying when I do. Oh and something a friend said to me when I had my first emergency psychiatric admission (not that I am predicting that for you.) He said "You have to be scared to be brave"...don't be afraid to be scared for it is in that you can have courage and be brave.

    Knuffels to you and your family,

    Naomi in Ontario