26 July 2010

Shock - The Collision of Two Worlds

"God has so made us that we can somehow bear pain and sorrow and even tragedy.
However, when the sorrow is overwhelming, we are sometimes temporarily anaesthetised in response to a tragic experience. We are grateful for the temporary anaesthesia, for it keeps us from having to face grim reality all at once."      
Good Grief - Granger E. Westberg


                             The Collision of Two Worlds                           
I'm living in a world of disbelief,
A thick fog hinders my view.

My body is numb, time stands still,
But life goes on around me.

This is a new and different world,
Everything has forever changed.

I think, but I can't make sense of anything,
I read and it is meaningless.

I'm living in a world of disbelief,
I wonder when I will be leaving -

For I know there is another world waiting for me
The world of reality and pain.

"The valley of the shadow of death is a solitary place, a wilderness, a desert, full of pits, a land of drought." Christian was worse put to it here than in any other place. He said, "I would rather walk in the dark with God, than alone in the light." Here he walked by faith, not by sight. -Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress-

25 July 2010

Children's Memories

15th April

Charlotte at the Hospital - by Mikayla
A man talked to us about Charlotte and told us that she had died. He then showed us Charlotte. We got to hold her and a lady video taped us. I thought, "This is Charlotte, she looks like a dolly and she is so small." I felt sad because she had died and I had always wanted a sister. The hospital keepers gave us Charlotte's teddy bears and love hearts and we got to keep them. The man prayed for Charlotte. It was so special that we got to see her.

Mikayla and Charlotte

 -by Ethan
Mummy was pregnant and had a baby. I saw Charlotte and the doctor talked to me about how she had died. I sat on a chair and I held her.

Ethan and Charlotte with Mummy in bed.

21 July 2010

Creating Memories

Thurs April 15

I wake up... a new day. A thick fog covers my mind - everything feels surreal. I am exhausted... I haven't even got the energy to open my box of cereal. 
Oh... I need to let people know about the birth of our baby...
Many people are walking in and out of my room this morning - tea ladies, midwives, social worker, chaplain, doctor... but the most important visitors are yet to come - Charlotte's brothers and sister.
Must get up and make myself presentable for the children, presentable for the memories that we are going to create, for the photos and the video.
The children arrive - expectant - looking around - Where is she?
The chaplain comes to prepare the children to meet their sister. He prepares them to meet a baby born early and a baby that is not living. He is gentle, truthful, yet inviting.
Here she comes... the midwife brings her into the room. They look inside the bassinet.
"I want to hold her," they say. Daddy gently lays our baby in their arms. They look at her and hold her quietly, taking it all in. Photos are taken. The chaplain conducts a short blessing service in our room. It is a fairly quiet and peaceful time. He prays for us.
I am now physically and emotionally depleted. The children leave for home and I am finally able to tear off that painful mask that I have been wearing all morning... what a relief...

17 July 2010

Charlotte's Birthday

Wed April 14

On Wednesday 14th April
Grant and Julie's precious little girl
was born quietly into the arms of Jesus
at 28 weeks.
A sister to Mikayla, Ethan and Caleb

Dear God,

We thank you for April 14 2010, for the day our little girl Charlotte Rose was born.
Thank you for creating our daughter, for the gift of her and for the 7 months of life that You gave. We thank you for her life and for the significance of it. Because of her, You have changed us and grown us. 
Thank you for surrounding us with people who cared for us during this time. Through them, we have felt Your love and care. Thank you too, for placing us in the hands of a Christian doctor who shared our faith and understood our heart. 
We are comforted with the assurance that Charlotte is now in heaven with Jesus her Saviour, and that Your love for her is perfect. She is blessed to never feel pain or sorrow but only pure love and joy. Because of You, we know that we will someday be reunited with our daughter for eternity.
Thank you that Charlotte matters to You, that her life was planned by You and was significant.
We are honoured to have been part of Your plan for Charlotte's life and we thank you wholeheartly for it. 
Through her life and because of it - may You receive great glory. 

In Jesus Name

14 July 2010

Reflecting on - 'She's Gone'

~ Remembering our precious Charlotte Rose born 3 months ago today ~

Gone... home to meet The Father,
            her Grandma and Great-Grandparents.

Gone... from this world,
            knowing not - its pain, sorrow or toil.

Gone... from our lives,
             from our home and from our family.

Gone... into eternity
             to bask in God's perfect love and life.

13 July 2010

The Day Continues...

Tues 13th April...

I'm walking in a bubble of disbelief,
Is this really happening?

Waiting for my family to pick me up,
Please come quickly!

"Hello my darlings. Did you have a good time at the park?"
Oh.... my heart is breaking!

Driving home...staring out the window... 
My mind goes blank.

Bag, clothes, toiletries, baby's things, phone calls...
Too much... I can't think.

Gather the children, what do we say?
"Our baby has gone to heaven."

Must lie down, need rest, need solitude.
My mind shuts down... frozen against the reality -

...of what tomorrow will bring...
The birth of my baby girl.

12 July 2010

'She's Gone'

"Nothing touches me that has not passed through the hands of my Heavenly Father.
Nothing. Whatever occurs, God has sovereignly surveyed and approved.
We may not know why, but we do know our pain is no accident to Him who guides our lives."

Public Holiday - Mon April 12
"I don't think I felt the baby move today," I thought to myself as I hopped into bed that night. It wasn't unusual for me to feel the baby move only a couple of times a day,
as she was so small. I poked and prodded my belly until I finally felt her move - but I couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right...

Tues April 13
I arrived at the hospital the next morning for my regular blood pressure assessment.
Once I was in a cubicle, I asked the midwife if she could check the baby's
heart beat. The doppler picked up a slow beat of 70+. My heart sank, I was right...
there was something to be concerned about.
The midwives took me to a small room where they continued to check the heart beat
and my Dr was called. "Let's take a look on the ultrasound before we jump to any
conclusions," my Dr said as he came into the room. "I already have," I quietly replied.
After a brief moment, the Dr turned off the monitor and held my hand.

"She's gone..."

I knew it was bad but........... NO not this! "I wanted to meet her," was all I could think about and say.
She's gone.... my baby had died....and so had the hopes that I had held for my baby's life and for my pregnancy... it was all gone... just like that!
Even though I had witnessed the gradual decline of my baby's health and had been told that she would not live much longer - I wasn't prepared for actually losing her.
I was in a state of shock...
The heartbeat that the midwives had detected was mine. I rang Grant and asked him to come back to the hospital early. I didn't wait for my blood test results - I couldn't sit in that tiny room alone any longer, knowing what I knew.
On my way out, I found a midwife and simply said, "My baby has died and I just have to go..."

"My whole being felt numb, as though the blood had stopped circulating. I could not function, and like with a limb that has had its blood flow restricted, the recommencement of circulation is a slow and painful process. Some researchers believe a mother grieves mainly because she has bonded deeply with her baby throughout the nine months of the pregnancy... Others believe a mother is deeply affected because she sees the baby as an extension of herself, a part of her very being. So when the baby dies it is akin to a limb being amputated; part of her body missing, and the resulting loss that comes with it causes great sorrow and major adjustments."
Grief and Grace - A. Axelby

05 July 2010

Friendship and Grief

Dedicated to my friends...
Thank you for sharing the journey with me.
Friends are angels
who lift our feet
when our own wings
have trouble remembering
how to fly.





Friend (n.) one joined to another in affection; one who is on the same side
(friend, not foe); sympathizer, supporter.
Oxford Dictionary, 1987

Friends are a necessary part of our lives - we were created for relationship. Friends are never more important, never more needed, than when one is in the depths of sorrow,
suffering and grief. It is a true friend, who gives of themselves to someone who is
grieving, knowing they may not receive anything in return.

"To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend..." Job 6:14

A friend can bring great comfort to a person who is suffering.

"The best way to help people in grief, I have realised, is not to try and pull them out,
not to try and make them better, but just to climb down, take their hands,
and sit with them awhile. Let them cry, and cry some more."*

When feelings are raw and pain is deep, a person is likely to feel the gentle comfort or absence of a friend very keenly. Grief is much deeper than sadness and differs from depression. Grief to me is a deep physical, mental and emotional pain caused by a tearing away of someone or something close to the heart. Grief doesn't necessarily mean that hope is forever gone, but it is a time of intense pain.

"When grief overcomes us, for a period of time a curtain is drawn across our hearts,
and our world is coloured grey... Grief blurs our vision so that
we can't find the sun peeking behind the clouds.."
Clara Hinton from silentgrief.com*

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not
curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend
who cares." (tn)  ~Henri Nouwen~

Remember the chorus of the popular 80's song, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going?"  The words to this song should be, "When the going gets tough, the tough
stay around." The tough stay when things get uncomfortable. Friends don't need to worry about what to say or what not to say, it's their presence that counts. Advice and explanations to why things happened are not necessarily needed, as only God knows these things. Words are often inadequate anyway in times of grief. Being able to share your pain with someone is what is important.

Two are better than one... for if they fall one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to lift him up."
Ecc 4:9-10

What does love look like?
It has hands to help others.
It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy.
It has eyes to see misery and want.
It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men.
That is what love looks like."

A genuine friendship is
a heavenly present.
It blesses our hearts
because God's love is in it.
Evelyn McCurdy


* Grief and Grace - A Journey Through Pregnancy Loss - Amanda Axelby

04 July 2010

Remembering Charlotte


Remembering our precious Charlotte Rose
during 'the sunset'
at Mullalloo Beach - July 2nd 2010
where Carly Dudley 'Writes Their Names in the Sand'

02 July 2010

My Everyday

In memory of my precious girl Charlotte Rose
who would have been 'full term' on

I miss you
I think about you
I remember the day you were born.
I recall the uncertain days leading up to your birth
and the painful days afterwards.
I look at the tiny clothes you wore
spread out next to my bed.
I look at the photo I keep on the fridge
of you in my arms.
I write about our journey together on my blog.
I talk about you regularly.
I feel lost without you here with me, it is unnatural.
I do the things that need to be done
even though my heart is hurting.
For 11 weeks and 2 days
I've missed you

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