caption - title

The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Today is International Bereaved Mother's Day

“A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the love that she holds in her heart.” - Franchesca Cox

International Bereaved Mother's Day?  No - this isn't another money making Hallmark holiday.  Because the original intent of Mother's Day has been forgotten and no longer seems to include all mothers, CarlyMarie (of Project Heal) has started a movement back in 2010 to also recognize mother's who have dealt with the loss of a child.  CarlyMarie writes about Mother's Day:  "If you have experienced the death of one or more of your children, struggle to conceive a child or are unable to fall pregnant at all, this day can often bring up feelings of isolation, unworthiness, pain and sadness."

The history of Mother's Day is very interesting.  CarlyMarie wrote in a blogpost:

American, Anna Jarvis, founded the official Mother’s Day in 1908 to honour her own mother, Ann. Ann Jarvis gave birth to around a dozen children. Only 4 survived to grow into adults. Most of her children who died, passed away from diseases such as the measles and typhoid fever. The history of this Mother’s Day is fascinating. With such heartfelt and meaningful roots, it is devastating to see how through the years, the true meaning of mother’s day has been some what lost and is now what some would describe as a commercialized mess that large companies make millions of dollars from. The worst thing is that bereaved mothers are usually completely forgotten.

Mother’s Day was created in honour of a bereaved mother. It’s time to take this day back to its roots. For us to educate the rest of society on the true meaning of Mother’s Day, we must use our voices. We become mothers the very moment that we open our hearts to the idea of conceiving a child. Let us remind people of this truth.

 CarlyMarie has tips on how to help bereaved mothers and ways to celebrate Mother's Day, rather than just survive it.  See her blogpost here. 

This past winter, I came across an image of this sculpture and it was entitled the "Child That Was Never Born."  I found the image so touching that I printed it out and have it hanging near my desk.  It makes me think of my own children in heaven.

Yesterday I googled the sculpture to learn a little more about it.  It ended up being different than I expected.  I found out that it was created by a young Slovakian art student named Martin Hudáček and that the real title is "Memorial to the Unborn Children."  The purpose: "to draw attention to the devastation abortion can bring to the woman, and to the fact that through the love and mercy of God, reconciliation and healing are possible."  The author of the article I read noted about the sculpture "Praised by many as an extremely effective representation of post-abortion trauma, the work sensitively communicates this reality, and draws out many emotions and interpretations."  Hudáček said his sculpture “expresses hope which is given to believers by the One who died on the cross for us, and showed how much He cares about all of us.”  You can read more about the artist and sculpture in this article:

In my google search I also stumbled upon an Etsy artist ("The Midnight Orange") that sculpts baby and child memorials.  She makes quite a variety - including for the loss of multiple babies.  The images are beautiful to look at.  Here is the direct link to those little sculptures. 

I suppose this post has taken a sober tone.  Child loss, at any stage, is sad and painful.  But there are still blessings in it.  Some people think it would have been best for me if Lilly had died before birth.  I strongly disagree.   I am thankful for every minute I got to be Lilly's mama on earth.  Yes it hurts, and yes it affects many others including fathers and siblings.  We all have to cope with death in our own ways.  But most of us would still take every moment we had again.  And if we lean on the Lord, we will come out stronger in the end.

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Revelation 21:4

snuggles at the park

me speaking at Lilly's graveside

photo by CarlyMarie


  1. It is unimaginable to those of us who have not gone through it. But I see so much good that came through Lilly's life.

    1. Thank you Nikki! I continue to be amazed by what Lilly accomplished in her 17 months. :)