Hopeful Grief

hopeful grief series header

If I were a tree, and the years of my life were measured by rings, this year’s ring would be dark and jagged, betraying a fire in my life that has left an undeniable scar. I don’t yet have all the words to describe the pain and sorrow that has beaten me like waves on a small pebble, throwing me to the left and right. I may never have accurate words, but what I have, I choose to share. 

Even as a pebble is thrown around by waves, it is smoothed. The rough edges are removed, and the pebble becomes a treasure for a small child combing the beach. When a tree goes through a fire, unhealthy growth is burnt off, and the tree is able to put its strength into growing up instead of maintaining useless growth. The dark ring gets covered by new growth, and eventually becomes a point of beauty and interest in the tree’s history. 

On August 5th, my heart was broken and will never be the same. Husbandman and I found out that our baby, Cora Lorraine, had died in my womb before she got a chance to take a breath on her own. I was seven months pregnant.

This month, I am joining a host of fabulous writers who are writing every day in the month of October. (To see my posts from last year, click here.) As we approach what was supposed to be her due date, I will share her story, process my grief “out loud” with you, and offer encouragement that there is hope, even through the loss of a child. Although it is my prayer that you, my precious reader, never have to know the feeling of stillness in a full womb, you may experience this pain through your own loss or the loss of a loved one. According to the American Pregnancy Association, anywhere between 10% and 25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. One in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth. I am no expert in dealing with grief, and I am not far removed from my grief. But, I am committed to sharing this pain with you, in hopes that my baby girl’s life will continue to honor God. My prayer is that your heart would be moved to worship God because of her life, and that you would be encouraged to speak about your own loss or fear of loss if you feel so moved. My prayer is also that those who surround a family going through loss would feel the freedom to support them, and would recognize that grief for a loss of life at any stage is just as true and as real as grief for a person who walked the earth on their own.

Come back to this post every day this month for a link to a new post. You can also sign up to receive notifications when I post something new, using the link to the right. If you’d like, you can sign up for extras too, newsletters and personal updates exclusively for those who sign up, by using the “Click Here” button to the right. You can also connect with me on social media, using the buttons to the right.

Day 1- A (brief) Introduction to a Birth Story

Day 2- A Story of Stillbirth-Too Soon

Day 3- A Story of Stillbirth-Induction

Day 4- A Story of Stillbirth-Rest

Day 5- A Story of Stillbirth-Birth

Day 6-  A Story of Stillbirth- Hello/Goodbye

Day 7- A Story of Stillbirth- One Less than Planned

Day 8- In Praise of Nurses

Day 9- A Story of Stillbirth- Home

Day 10- A Story of Stillbirth- Hope

Day 11- It is Well

Day 12- I Need Thee Every Hour

Day 13- When My Feet Fail

Day 14- Deep Love

Day 15- Pregnancy Loss

Day 16- Torn Asunder

Day 17- Why worship?

Day 18- I am 1 in 4

Day 19- Share Your Joy

Day 20- Watch Your Words

Day 21- Say Her Name

Day 22- Cry

Day 23- Tired 

Day 24- Offer 

Day 25- Pray

Day 26- Don’t be Afraid

Day 27- Move

Day 28- Emotions Lie

Day 29- He is 1 in 4

May you be encouraged in your own grief. May we all see God as good, even when we are in pain. May we praise God all the days of life, because one day in His presence is better than thousands elsewhere.

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9 thoughts on “Hopeful Grief

  1. alliemay89 says:

    Which writing prompts are you using? I’m also doing a month of writing about our loss– which is really fresh actually. We lost our Claire Joy at 18 weeks September 7th. She was born alive and died in our arms. I didn’t even know October was pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I’ve never had something that I’ve felt so strongly about– we all need to take a stand together, and prove that we don’t have to suffer in silence. So sorry we belong to the same club. Even still, Praising God in this storm. Thank you for sharing.

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    • Carla says:

      I’m actually not using a set of prompts. I’m planning on working through the story of her birth, and then several posts about what’s been like to go through a loss like this and how someone else might help someone who has experienced a loss. Looking at your blog, I’m planning on covering a lot of the prompts that you posted.
      I didn’t know that October was pregnancy and infant loss awareness loss month until about a week ago, but since it’s just been a little less than 8 weeks since losing her, I’m very, very new to all of this. I agree about feeling so strongly about giving voice to people experiencing a loss.
      I’m so sorry that loss is what connects us, but thankful that we both have the opportunity to speak truth about God’s love to people that experience loss or know someone who does. Praying for you as you write, and looking forward to writing through October with you.

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      • alliemay89 says:

        I know what you mean. It’s so fresh. I didn’t know about it, either. I don’t think it makes a huge impact on you, until it happens. Hoping you find comfort, and peace through your writing. It has been great to get it all out.

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  2. jennifermclucas says:

    So sorry for your loss. I lost two pregnancies this year. Our daughter, Cadence, would have been born last week. It was a tough milestone and I’m still struggling. I’ll be following your story. I really appreciate the title, Hopeful Grief, that’s what I want it to feel like.

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    • Carla says:

      Jennifer, I’m so sorry to hear about your losses this year. Our daughter Cora was due on the 4th of November, and as that date comes, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like for it to pass without her here. I pray that as you grieve Cadence’s loss, that God would be obviously ever-present.
      As I’m working on writing this series, I’m preaching to myself. I’m working every day to hopefully grieve instead of just grieving without hope. Because of my faith, I have to choose to trust God daily with my pain. Making that choice has never been so hard, or so necessary.
      I pray that we both are able to grieve hopefully as we move through life after loss.

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    • Carla says:

      Senadoll, thank you so much. I appreciate your prayers greatly.
      Loss, I’ve found through this process, is impossible to address with words. I visited your blog, and appreciate that you shared your loss and are encouraging women to speak when they feel the need.

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  3. Heidi says:

    Oh my goodness – I’m so very sorry for your loss! We lost a little girl (earlier – at the beginning of the second trimester) after a long ordeal with infertility, and the whole experience has definitely been a stake in the ground. I’m not the same person I used to be, but I consider some of the changes produced by our loss to be a beautiful gift our baby, Mara, gave to me. It takes courage to process and share your story openly, but I found it to be so healing. I hope you will, too!

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    • Carla says:

      Thank you, Heidi! I’m so sorry that you lost your Mara, but I’m encouraged to hear that the growth that came from knowing her has been a blessing to you. I am not the same person, and am figuring out what that means day by day.
      When I started writing for this series, I wasn’t sure if I’d be ready to share by October for the Write31Days challenge, but I’ve been finding it healing too. Painful, but the kind of pain that happens when you take a bandaid off to let a wound heal properly.
      Thank you so much for your comment.

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