Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Three months

Three months ago today, at 9am, I got to meet the sweetest little girl. Yes I had to say goodbye before I wanted to, but I'm so grateful I got to meet her.

Three months ago today, I saw the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. 

Monday, April 29, 2013


One of my favourite verses in the Bible is Philippians 4:6-7:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I love that. As Christians, we don't have to be anxious. Instead, we can have God's peace to guard our hearts. In a perfect world, that would be easy. But the world isn't perfect, and Satan does all he can to stop us presenting our requests to God and having the peace of God guard our hearts. I have to confess that I haven't been doing a good job of letting God's peace guard my heart. Overall, I do feel God's peace, but at times I don't. In fact, I got rather worked up and anxious about something the other day that my stomach was in knots; I was so anxious I could barely eat! (What I was anxious about isn't important, so please don't ask what it was.) And was it worth being anxious? Nope - what I was worried about didn't eventuate!!

It was as though I could feel God tapping me on the shoulder, saying gently "I told you, you can trust Me." As horrible as it felt to be so anxious, I'm grateful that I can look back now and see it as an example for next time I start to become anxious. GOD IS FAITHFUL. His peace is real. If only I can remember that.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Butterfly kisses, bad news and banana bread

There's a famous song called Butterfly Kisses. I used to like it, but now I don't. They lyrics say:

After all that I've done wrong
I must have done something right
To deserve a hug every morning
And butterfly kisses at night

I heard it played at a wedding on the weekend, and my heart just broke. It's hard enough going to weddings: seeing the dad walk his daughter down the aisle, hearing him give a speech about his girl, and maybe watching them dance. I see all of these happen, and know that's another thing we lost when our daughter died. It's all I can do not to run out to my car and sob. And then Butterfly Kisses is played. Sure it's a lovely song, but if the lyrics I underlined are true, does that mean my husband and I did too much wrong, because we won't get those things? Is a living daughter who gives hugs and kisses really a result of doing something right? No.  It's not dependent on how good we are, or even how bad we are. Life happens. Death happens. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. God is still sovereign. 

I hate giving people bad news. Telling family and friends that Ariella had died was one of the most heartbreaking things I've ever had to do. I'm thankful for things like Facebook, which enables us to spread the news and try to make sure everyone knows. But not everyone does know...yet they knew I was pregnant. On the weekend I bumped into someone who knew I was pregnant. The last time I'd seen them was three days before Ariella died. She looked at me and said "you had a baby, didn't you?" And I hated having to tell her that yes, I did, but she was stillborn. The look in her eyes was heartbreaking. She had asked an innocent question, one that I would have joyfully answered if Ariella was alive. Instead I had bad news to give her; it feels like I ruin people's day when I tell them what happened. I don't like making other people sad.

The other day I made banana bread. It may not seem like a big deal, but it was. Before I was pregnant, I loved baking and would bake at least once a week. Then I got morning sickness and couldn't even go into a kitchen without feeling sick, yet alone do any baking. Once the morning sickness left, I was often too tired to bake, and honestly forgot it was an option (as I hadn't done any baking for months). After Ariella was born, I hated the idea of baking. It was another reminder that Ariella wasn't with me - I didn't want to do something that I hadn't been able to do while she was alive. But last week I made banana bread. And I made some muffins too. To me, that's a big deal. Celebrating the small stuff.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Anzac Day

I have all sorts of things on my mind that I could write about, but I won't. Today is Anzac Day, the day Australians and New Zealanders remember the thousands of lives lost at Gallipoli in 1914, as well as all those who have served in our defence forces.

I've always been touched that so many men (in those days) gave up their lives for their countries. And today while remembering them, I am also thinking of the families who lost loved ones. My loss might be different to yours, but a loss is a loss.

To those who have served, thank you.
To those whose family members served, thank you for your sacrifices too.

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Adelaide Baby Wearers

Long before I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to "wear" my baby. I remember trying a Baby Bjorn once, and it was SO uncomfortable (I have since found out that they aren't the best for babies either). My sister bought an Ergo and a friend bought a Manduca, so I knew there were better options out there. While I was pregnant, I bought a Manduca from the lovely Rachel at Owl Baby. I also found and joined a lovely group on Facebook: Adelaide Baby Wearers (ABW).

ABW is a wonderful community of parents who "wear" their children - either with structured carriers like the Ergo or Manduca, or with wraps that are specially made to be strong enough to carry children safely. Throughout my pregnancy, they kindly answered my questions about different carriers, and one mumma even gave me a stretchy wrap, which is perfect for a newborn. 

After Ariella was born, I let the group know what had happened. I didn't expect anything from them, and I almost didn't even say anything. I only knew these people from online (except for a few people I knew from outside ABW), so I wasn't sure if it would be odd for me to say something. But I thought about their support and advice during pregnancy, and thought that I should tell them. So I did. 

The response was amazing. This wonderful community pulled together to support us, and we were truly blown away by all they did. We had meals dropped at our door, and then received a message to tell us the meals were there. It was so considerate - they wanted to help but not intrude. Someone even collected meals from a number of people and filled a bag for us, so we received a bunch of meals at once - all of which were pre-frozen for us. We also received a package that had a whole range of things in it, and I want to share two of them. I don't know who in the group contributed to the things we received, but I do know two of the women who contributed: 

There are two mums in ABW that make jewellery/clothing from scraps of woven wraps. Amy at Woven Wrap Creations and Courtney at Miss Evie. I received a beautiful necklace from Amy, and some earrings and a ring from Courtney. Aren't they beautiful?

(The 'Ariella Jade' necklace was also an ABW gift. I wear it everyday.)

If you ever want some unique clothing for a little person in your life or some jewellery, please check out Amy and Courtney's Facebook pages. I've never met these two women, and yet they each gave me something to let me know that they were thinking of me. It was very generous of them, and I'd love it if people were to support them too. 

And if you live in or near Adelaide, and are interested in wearing your baby, join ABW on Facebook. They are a lovely bunch of people, and I am very grateful for them.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Funerals and letters

I went to the cemetery today, and was heartbroken to drive up to the Children's section and see that it was set up for another funeral. Knowing what those parents must be going through made me cry. About two weeks after Ariella's burial, she was joined by a little boy named Marco, two spots over from her. Recently there was a tiny grave added, and today there will be another precious baby getting buried. It's awful :(

It made me think back to the day we buried Ariella. Seeing my little girl's white coffin, knowing that I'd laid her in it the day before was hard. I coped so much better than I thought I would, and I believe that's because I had people praying that I would cope ok.

God always knows what we need. I was a bit emotional this morning, realising that it's almost been 3 months without my baby girl. I checked the letterbox, and was so blessed to see a letter that a friend had sent me. It's sitting on the couch next to me and it makes me smile to know that people are still thinking of Ariella. I think part of me is afraid that as time goes on, she will be forgotten. But I'm realising more and more that she won't be. And I'm so grateful.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

A heavy heart

I feel the need to write today, but I don't know what to say. I wrote out a post and then deleted it. My heart is heavy. Today, more than ever, I feel the sadness of life. I'm grieving not only my own child's death, but the losses my friends have faced too. I want to write something that might give someone hope, and the optimistic part of me wants to write something cheerful, and to pretend that I'm ok.

But I'm not. I hate seeing friends go through the worst kind of loss. I hate knowing I can't make it better. I hate that so many parents have to say goodbye to their precious children before they can say hello, or too soon afterwards. 

I looked through my photos, trying to find one to post, and God brought this one to my attention. It's a photo my husband took at Port Arthur, Tasmania. Port Arthur was a convict prison, but now it's one of the biggest tourist attractions in Tasmaina. What was a place of misery, grief and pain is now a picturesque location that people flock to visit. It is truly a beautiful place, even though it has a history of pain. 

Baby loss mummas, I think God brought this photo to my attention so that you could see it too. Just like Port Arthur, the ex-prison, is now a place of beauty, He wants you to know that He can bring beauty out of your pain. You just have to let Him. It's not easy, and it will never remove, replace or negate your (my) pain; your baby left too soon, and that is tragic. But maybe one day, we'll see beauty.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Excitement and tears

On Thursday night, my husband and I went to a Josh Groban concert. He's my favourite singer, and I was so excited that it was almost ridiculous! It felt like finally there was something good to look forward to this year. And the concert did not disappoint...it was phenomenal. We had awesome seats, and there was no support act to have to sit through impatiently! :P 

I only had one concern: that I would be a blubbering mess when he sung Brave, because of the role that song played in my life the week of Ariella's birth (read my explanation here). Thankfully, he opened the show with that song, so I was too excited to be blubbering. But I'll admit that there were some tears. That's what I expected. 

What I didn't expect was that FOUR other songs would make me cry too.

Don't Give Up (You Are Loved)
Don't give up, it's just the weight of the world
Don't give up, it's just the hurt that you hide
You are loved, don't give up

To Where You Are
Deep in the stillness I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration,
Can it be that you are mine, forever love
And you are watching over me from up above
As my hear holds you just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my forever love

A beautiful and blinding morning
The world outside begins to breathe
See clouds arriving without warning
I need you hear to shelter me
And I know that only time will tell us how
To carry on without each other
So keep me awake to memorise you
Give me more time to feel this way
We can't stay like this forever
But I can have you next to me today
If I could make these moments endless
If I could stop the winds of change
If we just keep our eyes wide open
Then everything would stay the same
And I will remember, oh I will remember
Remember all the love we shared today

You Raise Me Up
When I am down and oh my soul so weary
When troubles come and my heart burdened be
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit a while with me

Don't Give Up and You Raise Me Up made me teary because they remind me of just how wonderful my husband is, and how I couldn't get through any of this without him. I hadn't listened to To Where You Are for a long time, and I hadn't thought about it in relation to Ariella. But I certainly did during the concert!

But the one that really got me was Awake. I'll always be glad that Ariella was born at 9am, because it meant I got a whole day with her before needing to go to sleep. I didn't want to go to sleep at all...I knew my time with her was limited, and I just wanted to stay awake to memorise her, and to postpone having to say goodbye. I don't think I'd be exaggerating if I said that throughout the entire song, I was picturing my sweet Ariella...how I miss her!

But despite the tears, it was such a good night. Maybe even because of the tears, it was a good night. It's nice to be able to enjoy something, even when I'm sad. And it's always nice to be reminded of our precious girl, even if I do get emotional.

And so, Josh Groban, (not that you will ever read this), thank you for an amazing concert. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to and for reminding me of my darling Ariella.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What to say: I don't know what to say

People have said they find it hard to know what to say when a baby dies. So these posts are my effort to help. I have written a short list of what not to say after baby loss as well as another idea of what you can say.

I understand when people haven't got a clue what to say to me after Ariella's death. I do. A dear friend of mine had a stillbirth the week before I had Ariella, so I can relate to the feeling of helplessness and the desire not to cause more pain by saying the wrong thing. I've been on both sides of this horrible fence.

So if you haven't got a clue what to say to me, don't feel bad, just tell me that! One of the best encounters I had with someone in the weeks following Ariella's birth was when my friend hugged me and said "Larissa, I don't know what to say." I wasn't at all offended that he didn't know what to say, in fact the opposite was true. I walked away feeling loved and cared for, as well as happy that he'd acknowledged what had happened with my daughter.

It's as simple as that - if you don't know what to say, just say that. It's better than silence, trust me. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Signs of God's love

A friend asked me the following question on Facebook:
Has God given you any special signs or spoken to you in a special way to assure you of His love that you would feel able to share?
I thought it was a good question, and so I've been trying to think of my answer. I have definitely felt God's love during the past 11 weeks. But I had to stop and think about why or how I've felt it. Here are my conclusions:

*God's love in giving me such a wonderful husband. I was amazed when we were discussing plans for Ariella's birth, funeral, grave site and plaque...Hubby and I had the same ideas for all of it. Even down to what song we wanted to play at her service, and what flowers we wanted there! I can't think of a single time when our desires regarding our daughter were different. I know God brought us together a while ago (in fact, today marks 500 days of marriage!), but I still say that Hubby has been a sign of God's love for me over the past 11 weeks.

*One night I was concerned about money. The next day we were given gifts from two people - enough to cover a week of rent. I hadn't even prayed about it that day, all I'd thought was "it would be amazing if someone were to give us money right now, I feel like it's what I need as a pick-me-up." God took that thought, and graciously, lovingly responded. I could almost hear God saying to me "Larissa, there is no need to worry. I've got you."

*I really struggled one weekend, for reasons I won't to go into here. A pastor at church noticed, then called me during the week to see how I was and to offer to chat. That chat seriously turned my week around. Experiencing the pastor's love and care for me (which has been constant, not just that once) is another thing that assures me of God's love. 

*There's also been a few times when I've heard God speak to me, but I don't want to share the details. What I will say is this: prayer isn't just a us talking to God. He talks back. Not necessarily audibly, but He speaks to your heart. And when He does, those words are precious. 

I don't know if those were the sorts of things imagined when my friend asked the question, but they are what spring to mind when I think about the reasons why I feel assured that God loves me, even after this tragedy. And I also know, without a doubt, that God loves you too, dear reader. I don't know your circumstances, but He does. And He loves you.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The effort of socialisation

My friend Sarah wrote a blog post, Imagine, in which she listed different things you could imagine in order to better understand the life of a bereaved mother. While I feel like I could have written so much of the list myself, one in particular stood out:
Imagine a grief so great that the effort of socialisation seems overwhelming. Imagine trying anyway.
That, right there, is my life. And it seems foreign to me, even after 11 weeks. I used to absolutely love being around people, I thrived on it.! If I was home by myself for a few days, with nothing planned, I would go mad! But now I'm the opposite. It's such an effort to make myself go out. Even to places that I love, like my church. It's overwhelming for me to contemplate going places, and I think it's because, most of the time, there is always going to be the 'one person'.

One who doesn't know.
One who tries to make me feel better.
One who doesn't talk to me.
One who looks at me with pity.
One who inadvertently says or does something that hurts.
One who has a baby...

But, even though it's overwhelming, I still try. Because although there is normally 'one person', there is always 'the other one'.

One who gives me a hug.
One who lets me grieve.
One who asks how I am.
One who asks how my hubby is.
One who prays for me.
One who wants to see photos.
One who lets me grieve.
One who mentions Ariella's name.
One who tells me they loved her too.
One who tells me they miss her.

As you can see, the second list is longer. And that's why I force myself to go out, even when it's the last thing I feel like doing. I don't always stay the whole time, nor will I always be actively involved. So if you see me standing off to the side, it's ok. Sometimes just being in a room with others is enough of a challenge, yet alone talking to people! But to everyone who has been 'the other one', thank you. You make socialising a bit easier, and for that, I am grateful.

Friday, April 12, 2013

What to say: Congratulations

I've decided that rather than write one post full of things that are helpful to hear as a bereaved parent, I'm going to focus on one at a time. That way I can go into detail and not make you sit through a thousand word essay!

If someone has a baby, often the first word out of a person's mouth is "congratulations". And it's a word that parents love to hear. They are proud of the child they created, and love to be congratulated on it. Let me tell you a secret: that doesn't change just because the child has died. Ariella was beautiful. I happen to think that Marcus and I did a fairly awesome job, and hearing others say that makes me smile.

I only know what it's like to lose a baby late in pregnancy, but a dear friend of mine had a miscarriage, and she said the same thing - it's wonderful when someone says congratulations on the baby... it means you have recognised their existence. And for that, we are grateful.

It might seem odd to you, to say congratulations for a baby who has passed away. But a baby is still a baby! It doesn't matter at what stage a baby died, whether it was as late in the pregnancy as Ariella, half way through, or even the very early stages - a mother is still a mother, and someone saying congratulations means that they recognise the miracle that is your child.

We were blessed to receive a number of cards after Ariella's birth. I appreciate every single one of them, and have read all of them numerous times. But among all the sympathy cards were something you may not have expected: a few "baby girl" cards. Cards to say "congratulations on your baby girl, she will always be remembered". And I loved them! It wasn't until I received the first one that I realised how sad I was to not have more of them. In a way, people had acknowledged Ariella's death without acknowledging that she had lived. (I should pause here to reiterate that I loved and appreciated every single card we received, and in no way wish to say that a sympathy card was appreciated less. So please do not feel bad if you sent a sympathy card.)

Losing Ariella has been tough. But I feel like I've missed out on more than just having a living child. I've missed out on getting asked how labour and birth went. I've missed out on getting asked questions about my daughter (things like what colour hair and eyes she had). I've missed out on getting congratulated for the miracle that is my daughter.

So while it may seem strange to congratulate someone after the loss of a baby...consider it. It doesn't have to be the first word out of you mouth, but think about maybe saying it. If it's their first child, congratulate the couple on becoming parents, because that's what they are (even if their child is no longer with them). And be sensitive when you say it. Say something like "congratulations, I'm sorry you didn't have more time with them" or "congratulations, they are a gift from God." Or just say congratulations. It will mean a lot. Trust me.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I was reminded of this song on Tuesday, and I'm so grateful for that reminder...it sums up perfectly how I feel. I know without a doubt that Ariella is in a better place, and while I rejoice over that, I grieve that I'm not with her. I'm homesick.

Homesick - MercyMe
You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you again?

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is, then I'm out of place
Lord won't You give me strength to make it through somehow?
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord because I don't understand Your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But even if You showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here, so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is, then I'm out of place
Lord won't You give me strength to make it through somehow?
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbyes
In Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

I can't wait to see you again Ariella Jade...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just keep swimming

What I'm doing today.

Monday, April 8, 2013

What NOT to say

A lot of people have told me that they just don't know what to say to me or my husband. And that's ok, I understand that. It's a sucky situation that people don't often have to face (although miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death are more common than you'd think - see my post on that here). I thought about writing a list of things that would be helpful to say, but that's going to take a while to get all my thoughts down in a way that would be helpful. It's so much easier to think of things that we have been told that were no help at all. 

So without further ado, here are my top three things NOT to say to bereaved parents (in my opinion).

1. Nothing. Don't stay silent, even if you don't know what to say. If you really are stuck for words, say "I don't know what to say". Even something as simple as 'liking' a post or photo on Facebook lets me know that you have seen or thought about my precious daughter. 

2. Everything happens for a reason. We were told this two days after Ariella's birth, which means it was only four days after we knew she had died. It did NOT help. I believe God can and does cause all things to work for the good of those who love Him, which means He can bring good out of my daughter's death. However, I do not believe that any resulting good is the reason Ariella died. This may or may not be theologically correct (although I think it is). Some parents may like to think their child died for a reason, and that is more than ok. I believe good will come from my child's death, but that doesn't mean I want to hear that it happened for a reason. If you have to say it, please don't say it within the first few weeks.

3. Do not tell a parent who lost their firstborn that it was a practice run. Oh yes, I was told that "although it's hard to think of it that way, treat it as a practice". I wasn't hurt as much as I was offended. Ariella was not a practice run, she was a child. My 39 weeks of pregnancy weren't a pretend time to prepare me for a "proper" pregnancy later (trust me, the morning sickness was real, just ask my ever-patient and caring hubby!). Her birth wasn't some form of training for a "real" birth - I experienced labour and birth just as much as a mother whose child lives. Thankfully I've only heard this once, and it doesn't seem common. But please, do not say anything to parents that will imply their child did not count. Because every child counts.

So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, my top three things that I do not want to hear. I'm sure there are plenty more that other parents could add. And sometime soon I'll let you know what is helpful to hear.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

When people don't respond

Most people have been amazing since Ariella was born. But a few people haven't...it's not a case of them saying the wrong thing, but of them saying nothing at all.
Old friends who used to be close. Newer friends who were so excited about my pregnancy. People in both categories have literally said nothing.
Most days I don't let that bug me. But sometimes, especially after a hard day, it really hurts.
The silence is deafening.
So rather than dwell on those who haven't said anything, tonight I'm going to focus on the good:
*The friend who brings over hot chocolate sachets.
*The friend who takes over a job so I can go home early.
*The friend who asks me how my day was and chooses to comfort me in my grief rather than cheer me up.
*The friends from an online parents group who gave us a few weeks worth of meals and numerous other things to help, even though I'd never met most of them
*The mums I've met through this blog and support groups, who know what to say and when.
*My husband, who is so caring even when he's hurting.
*My God, who comforts me and keeps my little girl safe.

I am blessed.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Every story is different

Before I begin, I want to make it clear that no one has said anything to me regarding this topic that has offended or upset me. So please don't feel bad if you have mentioned something, I promise that I have not been hurt or offended. 

Future children.

As a Mum who has had a child die, let me tell you that this is a topic brings with it perhaps the biggest jumble of emotions possible. I'm so excited at the prospect of having a living child (no, I'm not pregnant)...but I'm terrified that something will go wrong. And please don't try to make me feel better by telling me that it's not likely to happen again...I know that. I know the stats, I've heard the doctors' and midwife's opinion, and I know it's not likely to happen again. But I'm still scared. And that's ok. 

So when people say something about me having more children, I don't quite know how to feel. And so I have one thing to ask you: please, please, please think twice before asking a bereaved parent if they're going to have more children.

I'm blessed in that I should be able to have more children. Many mums who have a baby die cannot - because their body was damaged, they are too old, a genetic issue was discovered, etc. Every story is different. 

Maybe a bereaved mum could physically have more children, but doesn't think they will cope emotionally with another pregnancy. Maybe their husband/partner is the one saying 'no' because of the incredible stress that comes with trying again. Maybe they had been trying for months or years to conceive the baby that they lost, and the stress is just too much to try again. Every story is different. 

Perhaps they would like to have more children, but want to wait months or even years to let some of the pain and grief over their child's death settle a little bit. Maybe asking if they are pregnant yet makes them feel guilty over choosing to wait. Every story is different.

Maybe the woman that you jokingly ask if they're pregnant has had a miscarriage, and is suffering in silence because your jokes are unintentionally hurtful. Maybe that woman you think is pregnant has been trying to conceive for months, and isn't pregnant yet. Every story is different.

Even if a woman is pregnant, perhaps they aren't ready to tell everyone. Being asked "are you pregnant" can be a difficult question if you are, but don't want to share that yet.  If they've previously had a baby die (miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death), they might want to wait longer before telling people. Or maybe they will shout it from the rooftop the moment they discover the news. Every story is different.

I'm not saying don't ask me (or other bereaved parents) about future children. I'm just asking that you think twice about what you're saying, and word it carefully. Remember, every story is different...but it's their story to tell. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I can't decide

I can't decide if I want the grass on Ariella's grave to grow back. On one hand, it will look nicer than the dirt. On the other hand, it means she's been gone for too long.

I can't decide whether I'm glad we've ordered the plaque for her. It's just one more thing that is so...final. We had the appointment at Centennial Park today. Currently we have a name marker for her that I printed at home and laminated. It felt wrong to not have anything there, but having the granite plaque on its way just reminds me of how permanent this situation is. At least a laminated peace of yellow card looks slightly cheerful; a granite plaque will look so formal...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The story I don't want

A friend said to me something along the lines of "you'll have an amazing, wise story to share with younger women when you're older." And I, like a sulking child, responded with "but I don't want this story." I'm very glad my friend said this, and I know it's true...but it's a story I don't want. She said she doesn't want it for me either. And yet...here I am.

I can't say to God "why me" - because I've told him numerous times throughout my life that I'd give my all for Him. And I've constantly told Him that I would trust Him, no matter what. Did I anticipate having to trust him after my child died? No. Not really. But just because I didn't anticipate it, I can't go back on my word. I said I would trust Him, so I will trust Him.

It's not easy. What good could possibly come from the death of our sweet baby girl? At first I wondered if any good could come from it. But 9 weeks later, there is already some good that I can see:

*My husband and I have gotten even closer together.
*We feel like we belong in our church more than ever before - we know we are loved.
*I am able to empathise more with my friends who have had a stillbirth and miscarriage.
*The two funeral directors were touched by Ariella's service (first time our pastor had seen a funeral director cry). Our prayer is that our daughter's service might be a help in pointing them to God.

Some days it doesn't feel real, like it couldn't have possibly happened to me. Other days it's all too real. On any day, it's the story I don't want.

Monday, April 1, 2013


After Ariella died, I needed something to do to fill my time this year. I'm not good when I have nothing to do...I get bored, restless, and annoying! But I needed to do something that was familiar to me, because I don't think I would have coped otherwise.

So I decided to go back to study. I've always enjoyed study and find that it comes relatively easy to me. Just one subject though - enough to keep my mind busy, but not so much that the workload stresses me. I'm learning Hebrew, which is something I've wanted to do for a number of years, but hadn't had the chance to do so.

I thought it would be easy to go to lectures. After all, the place was familiar, the lecturer was familiar ,and the people in the class were familiar. And surely if there's one thing I can do, even when things are in turmoil, it'd be study...right?


I can't focus on it during the week. I'm struggling to remember vocab and grammar rules. I'll know it for a week or two, and then I won't. Argh! Things that never used to be a problem now are. I guess I'm doing well enough, but I didn't expect it to be such a struggle. It's getting better though. Slowly but surely. Maybe I'll finally get the hang of it again...in time for the semester to end!!
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