Sharing Jensen in Class. 

One of the scariest things about starting up school again is that dreaded question: do you have any kids? I’ll never not share Jensen to someone who asks. So my answer is always yes, I have a son. I am so proud of him and his life, I’ll share more about him if they press on. The part that scares me is their look of helplessness when I say he died. 

Admittedly, I’m just doing online classes right now, but it still gets brought up. Instead of not mentioning him, I tell our story. It’s shaped me into the person who I am today and he has inspired me to go back to school. 

I wanted to share with you all how I introduced Jensen to my classes. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words to say, but maybe this will help someone else. 



Honestly, I was nervous that I would get negative responses. I didn’t really think I would, but there’s always a fear of hurtful words after you share something so vulnerable. Instead, I was welcomed with supportive comments. I was so thankful and happy I could share Jensen with others who don’t know his story. 

Somehow, I wonder how I’m strong enough to keep sharing and going on. I think of Jensen and what he’d want for me, but also being able to share here with you all. You’ve given me the strength to keep telling my story and advocating for all our children. Everyday I live hoping to change the world into a more sympathetic and understanding one. It starts with all of us sharing and letting others know it’s okay to grieve. Just like it’s okay to talk about our children (and family members) gone too soon. 

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Learning to Give Into My Grief. 

I find moments full of him.

In the darkest of days, your colors shine through. I remember the strength of your kicks while music plays. You’re the first and last thought in my mind. With each step I take, I think of whom I keep going on for. 

Today someone noticed your footprint. They didn’t know about you, but I was so proud to tell them it was my son’s. I showed you off with pride and felt my heart swell. Your whole story wasn’t told, but you impacted someone’s life today. These are the moments full of you that I wish I had all the time. 

I’ve purposely been wearing blue and orange and my Jensen jewelry a lot lately. It’s been sort of a crazy two/three weeks. Sometimes, it feels like I haven’t even taken a breath. All I have been doing is studying, assignments, subbing, and working. It’s so draining. My grief is on overdrive and I know it’s because I haven’t been spending time with my heart lately. In those busy moments though, I find him. 


Today, I kept thinking how I haven’t blogged in awhile. Some part of me is trying to gear up for next month, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.  The other part is so tired from being busy, my mind just has no more words. I’ve been looking forward to this September. The two books I contributed come out this month, one day where you can find, here. I’m excited to be able to share Jensen and I’s story and to help other loss parents out. It’s huge. I wish my body and mind could let me be more excited. 

My energy is just so spent. 

Life after loss is give and take. Tonight, this Tuesday, Jensen’s day, I’m giving in and letting myself feel. We all need days like today and moments full of our little loves. 

Seventeen Months Without Jensen.


It’s almost two in the morning.

I’m in bed, under my warm blankets. Outside, the rain is falling, hard. I can smell it through my open windows and hear it syncing up with the song I have on repeat. During their breaks, the sound of my keyboard rhythmically tapping catches my ear. The light in my bedroom is broken, so the only light that brightens this dark room is from my screen and lightning escaping through my curtains.

Deep down, I know I should be asleep. I have to be up early tomorrow morning and will be busy most of the day. Yet, somehow my body is revolting against me and wants me to take in every moment of today. It’s the fifth and a Tuesday: a combination that I don’t take lightly. That’s why my mind won’t shut off. The words keep flowing even through the piano playing and the thunder rumbling my house.

I feel like I’m apart of the storm raging outside.

Jensen would be seventeen months old today. I miss him. My brain is overworking and focusing on everything else going on in my life because losing him and battling my grief is an unending battle I haven’t learned how to win. I know it’ll never be one that I can be victorious. Grief is so exhausting. You’d think I’d be in a constant slumber and wouldn’t have this surprise insomnia.

The fear of falling apart.

Nights like these, I think about how time has moved like sand through my hands and at the same time how it feels to watch paint dry. I wonder if time would feel the same if he was here or if the thunder would scare him? I always said I wouldn’t let him sleep in my bed, but maybe I would have bent if he was scared and wanted to be close. If I could have him in my arms right now, I’d never let go.

I don’t know if I’m writing to actually say something meaningful or to just… get it all out. In the grand scheme, do these grief and loss ramblings amount to anything? I hate when I question myself. It makes me go back further and further to the weeks leading up to his birth.

Whoever said grief was linear obviously never lived with it.

Oh, this is the beat of my heart; this is the beat of my heart.

How many tears does a person get in their lifetime? I wonder if they’re allocated differently or maybe they just run up. Eventually, my tear ducts will go on strike and decide their job is too much, especially tonight. I’ll have to look that up one day.

Seventeen months ago I had a baby. I felt him enter this world and that was it. How the hell is this my life? Who signed me up for this? I would never wish this feeling of falling into the deepest, darkest pit on the most evil person in the universe.

No one deserves to know what it’s like to bury their child or choose to have their perfect little body turned to ashes. Another decision I had to make seventeen months ago that still haunts me.

There are so many things I don’t talk about here, which sounds absolutely insane since I’m fairly open about my journey. I know I’ve said this frequently though. Some parts of the story never come to light. They’re too hard to process and write for everyone to know. I hate talking about the decision to cremate Jensen or to never see him. More recently, I’ve been so backward talking about my miscarriage. The most common type of loss and I’m afraid to talk about it. It’s a shame. If I’m afraid to talk about it, how many other women are in the same place? Then I think about women from the past, having to stay quiet and for people to act like their child never existed. I know they carried the love for their children all their lives, but to be shamed by something that had no control over…

Why do I feel like that sometimes?

How is it in 2017 we’re still afraid to talk about ‘sad things.’ I cannot tell you how many people have came into my house, looked straight at Jensen’s pictures, and never say one word. They see a baby in the pictures, but there’s no baby home. No sign of one anywhere, besides on the walls. Yeah, I know it’s uncomfortable. I’m so damn sick of hearing that.

Let me shove his picture in your face. I’m so proud of that little human I made. A little over seventeen months ago, you’d be asking all about him when you saw my big belly…

I shouldn’t complain. I’m sorry.

‘Cause I won’t give up without a fight.

It’s after two now. The storm has settled outside and inside my mind. Each month Jensen has been gone, I try to think of something/anything I learned from another month of grieving. I’d like to believe they’re all deep and meaningful lessons, but in truth, most of the time they’re just reminders of how I survived the previous month. They’re all probably extremely similar to one another too. It’s just how it goes.

This month, with seventeen under my belt, I’ve learned my child, this journey, and I am significant. There’s been so many times (even in this post alone) where I question my worth or think I don’t matter. Jensen, he matters the most to me. No matter if no one person reads my crazy, after midnight scribbles, I wrote it for him and I. I wrote to help me because I matter. My mental health is important and to do my best to keep Jensen’s memory alive, I have to do what is right for me. Not everyone is going to ‘get’ this journey or my process. In seventeen months, I’ve seen the such opposite ends of how people ‘deal’ with you after your child dies, that all that matter is Jensen, this community of beautiful parents and their children gone too soon, and me.

If you made it to the end, thank you. The sound of the crickets chirping and the piano playing will guide me to my dreams. Hopefully he’ll be there to meet me.

September Wishes.


I wish you were back in my arms.

I wish for protection in the near future. 

I wish I didn’t need to wish for these things. 

September is the first month I ever saw Jensen. I was terrified in the days before my appointment. Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. He was an upside down little peanut, but I fell even deeper in love with him as I watched his heartbeat gallop on the screen. I’ll never forget how my heart skipped a beat (or ten) while my eyes were peeled on the ultrasound screen. When I left, all I could wish was for April to get here quick.

Somehow two years ago feels like a lifetime. I’ve lived so much in these twenty-four months that most people will never understand unless they’ve lived it too. The world I wished for was right in my grasps, then stolen away from me. It’s so much easier to type that in short, than to live it. Last September… was difficult. Jensen’s dad had left and I felt like everything in the world was against me. I didn’t deserve love and why would Jensen have chosen me. At this point, I had felt the depression and grief of losing my son, but I fell deeper into the rabbit hole.

Depression is always talked about loosely by those who’ve never battled with it every. single. second. It’s not something you can just snap out of or wish for it to be gone. I can remember hearing that depression was ‘fake’ and just a cry for attention, but it sure didn’t feel fake.

I’ve grown and made countless wishes for Jensen to be back with me and for me to heal in the best possible way I could. Wishes always were ones that seemed impossible, you know like being a princess or finding a briefcase with a million dollars in it. Not wishing for my dead child to be back in my arms and help to struggle with my depression. Maybe these are my impossible things now.

Stillbirth has changed everything. 

This September is much better than last. I’ve started back to college, with my Master’s Degree. Let me tell you, its way harder than I thought it was three years ago. I know it’s only the second day in the month, but yesterday when I was doing my coursework I felt Jensen cheering me on with every word I wrote for my tasks. I’m always back subbing, which has brought me more joy than I thought I could ever have before. That sounds sad. I love being in the school and I know I have a tiny insignificant role, but I wish I could be there everyday.

And now I’m all emotional and crying.

It’s so difficult to find something to be genuinely happy about when you think all your happiness is stolen from you. Then when you really think about it makes you sad. I used to be so happy and thankful. Every dandelion I’d see, I would pull and wish for whatever popped in my mind. Now, I only do it when they call out to me because I know wishes don’t normally come true.

But I had hope yesterday when I saw this one. Hope that I will see Jensen again and hope that he will guide me to where I need to be.

I know I’m rambling on and I haven’t blogged in a while. There’s just so much happening behind the screen that I’m processing and afraid to share. Bereaved parents don’t get a guidebook of how to journey through life after loss, but I’m just doing my best.

On Turning Twenty-Four.


Yesterday I turned twenty-four years old. It marks the third year I knew about Jensen’s existence. I can remember being so excited when I turned twenty-two, just waiting for this huge change to happen. Last year, I hated turning another year older. This year, I’m sort of embracing the change. I don’t like getting older and knowing Jensen will never age, but I know it needs to be special. These big days will forever be bittersweet. His absence is deafening, but I’m to a point where I need to celebrate these victories. 

That’s what he’d want me to do too. 

I wanted to give you all a big recap of my day. To be honest, it was boring to most. A lot of much needed self care and a big dinner with my family. The day was just what I needed it to be and I felt Jensen all around me. 

In my twenty-four years, I’ve realized what is most important in my life. I wanted to share my ‘wisdom’ that I’ve gained in old age with you all…

  • Love Yourself 
  • Family Over Everything 
  • Live in the Moment
  • Breathe 
  • You’re Only Human 
  • Smile When You Can
  • Be Authentically You 
  • Don’t Take Anything for Granted 

I feel like they’re all mantras you see on a bumper sticker, but, for me, it’s what keeps my world turning. Losing Jensen and life after loss has showed me what’s important. I hate thinking that just because he died I realized these things, but in tragedy eyes are opened. 


The one thing I’ll always miss on my birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas is cards and gifts from Jensen. I looked forward to having handmade crafts from school or my parents taking him to the store to get a card. There would be a collection of cards from him and seeing how time effected his handwriting. It would be like a time capsule. 

Last night, my parents presented me with a gift. I knew they had bought me clothes (they had me pick them out) and a candle. When I reached in the bag though, I discovered not one, but two cards. Danielle on the first and Mommy on the other. Although I have never told my mom and dad my longing to get something from Jensen, they gave me a gift that touched my heart. 


Thank you to everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week. It was filled with peace and hope for this coming year. 

Day of HOPE Prayer Flag Project 2017

hope – a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen

During pregnancy mothers and fathers hope for so many moments. They want to make sure everything goes smoothly and that they’re child has everything they would ever need. When a child dies, it feels like there is no more hope left. A person’s worst nightmare has happened. Nothing would ever feel as sweet as the before.

I have been in that place. Hope had been completely drained from my soul and darkness took its place. I’ve also survived life after loss for over sixteen months. Each day, I have felt the hope build back inside of me. Maybe it doesn’t feel as grand as it did before, but the promise of a new day to share Jensen’s story and for me to keep moving forward with his memory gives me hope. I have to celebrate the little victories. That’s what they would want me to do.

This day, the Day of Hope – They Prayer Flag Project, brings our community of bereaved parents together. It helps show all of us there is hope after loss. We are able to celebrate the lives of our children and share little parts of them. I cannot think of a more perfect way to spread hope.


Now, I’ve been extremely excited to share this year’s prayer flag with you all. My flag represents both Jensen and Huxley in different ways that I am happy to explain to you all.

Colors

There are three main colors: blue, orange, and grey. Of course, right? Blue and orange are forever Jensen’s colors. When I see them, I instantly smile and it brings me back to when I was pregnant and all the hope I had decorating and planning his nursery. The other color, grey, is his middle name. It felt like a strong color to use for the background. It’s what holds the flag together and his name felt so strong while we were choosing.

Buttons

When I was pregnant with Huxley, I started collecting buttons; a little fun fact. I had this craft I was so set on doing for him for his nursery. The mason chair in my closet is a quarter of the way full with different sizes and colors of buttons. When I was decided on how I was going to make this year’s prayer flag, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I went into the craft store and was lead straight to the button aisle. Then it all fit together.

Initials

Last year, Jensen’s flag had a huge J on it. I knew I wanted to include Jensen and Huxley’s initials somewhere this year. They seem like such simple letters, but for some of us, that’s all we have from our babies. I added them close to the heart because they’ll forever be in mine.

The Heart

I could go for the literal translation here and say I’m wearing my heart on my flag, but I promise there’s a little more meaning here. The heart is made of a ton of little buttons (sadly, I didn’t count them to give you an exact number), this resembles the pieces of my broken heart. In the same sense, they are all together, which resembles my healing process and the hope to keep waking up and doing my best every morning.

And yes, there is the literal translation of a heart representing love and my favorite poem from e.e. cummings.

Ribbons and Tassels

Mainly used for decorative purposes, I wanted to bridge a connection from last year’s flag to this year’s. Although I have grown tremendously since this day on year ago, I am still on the same journey of loss and love. What better way to represent this than some pretty ribbon and getting my aggression out by cutting fabric?


Thank you all for allowing me to share this year’s prayer flag with you. It has been such a healing activity and a great day to connect to other loss moms and dads. I hope you enjoyed my flag as much as I enjoyed making it and that you learned something more about Jensen and Huxley.

My Answer to the Most Asked Question I Receive.


Photo from sayinggoodbye.org

I want to write and share about my journey, where do I start?

Out of all the questions I get from other loss parents, this is the one that comes up most often.  As parents, we want our child’s name out there in the world and for them to be remembered. Sharing our experiences is a perfect way to do this.

Now, I’m not an expert, by any means. For me, I began blogging years ago. It was just me talking about my college years and what was going on in my life. Sometimes when I go back and read, I cringe at the topics that were so important then. Seriously, it was so bad, but it did teach me that sharing what is on my heart in mind was a good thing and how to work that particular blogging platform. When Jensen was born, I had so many words clogging my head that I knew I needed to get them out, so I turned to what was familiar.

But where to begin?

There’s a lot to say after loss, but I would suggest everyone to begin at one place: your story.

That might seem a little obvious, but reliving all those events is emotional. There are times I’ve told my story and I haven’t been able to get through without breaking down. It’s okay, this is ‘normal.’

Here’s the first time I shared Jensen’s story publicly: Jensen Grey’s Story.

Honestly, you can tell your pregnancy/birth story a million times and it will always be different. It seems like there are parts you remember that you didn’t before or a certain detail sticks out one time more than others. I’ve written Jensen’s story so many times and I always surprise myself with what comes out. This is a great way to introduce your baby and you as a parent to the entire world.

Of course, you don’t have to delve into certain areas of the story you don’t feel comfortable talking about. You may ease into the more you begin sharing. Just do whatever feels comfortable for you.

Let’s say you have your story ready to share, you go to click post, and then you freeze. Sometimes it just doesn’t feel right and you want to keep your child and their story to yourself. You might never get to a point where you’re comfortable to share, but you have their story all wrote out. It’s a huge accomplishment just to let some of the pressure out of your head. No one is pressuring you to tell your story and will be mad that you didn’t. Most people just want to support you.

If and when you do decide to share with the world, I’m happy for you.

Not only is writing healing for you, but it can help so many others through their journey. Your story is different from everyone else’s, but there will be similarities that help loss parents reach out and build connections. That’s what is so beautiful about this community.

It might be a one time post or it could grow into writing on a schedule. From there you can decide what to write about. Life after loss is a constant learning experience. Through it, your words may be able to give another a feeling of not being alone or some insight of what they can do if they find themselves in the same situation. No matter what, writing your story first will guide you in what you feel is best to do next.

Write your story. Share your child. Be proud of your motherhood (or fatherhood).

*If you have any other questions or would like to share your story, feel free to comment the link or write it out below.*

Another Lost Moment Death Stole Away. 


I read my son a bedtime story last night.

This particular book I bought after he was gone, well this week last year actually. The sentence pulled at my heartstrings, such as many books I have read in the past…

“Yes, Edgar, I’ll always love you… evermore.”

He’d be sixteen and a half months old now. That seems unbelievable. His day and nighttime routine should be set in stone, which includes me reading to him. Instead of him trying to help me turn the pages, I read and the rest of the house was silent. Besides my voice, the only other noise in the house was the pages turning. You would think I would get used to stillness, but it still makes me uncomfortable. I think it always will.

When I was pregnant with Jensen, I read to him every night. Then I would journal and write a Bible verse. Even the first couple weeks after he was born, I would get out the books he’d kick to and whisper their words so he could hear and no one would think I was crazy. Reading every night turned to only a few times a week to just on big days, like Christmas or his birthday. It got too hard. That sounds like a really weak excuse, but it’s true and the truth is always difficult to swallow. Instead, I kept writing at night, which turned into nightly letter writing. One day my collection of notebooks will be bigger than the amount of books Jensen had in his little library.

After I got done reading to him, I cried on the floor. (I seem to be doing this a lot lately.)

Earlier yesterday, I kept feeling like this was all a dream. It felt like I couldn’t connect back to almost two years ago when I found out he was in my belly. Sometimes I forget how his kicks feel or what it was like being pregnant. When that happens, I have to focus really hard to get them back. But that’s terrifying to me. Those are the only moments I had with him and I won’t get anymore.

I don’t have the words to explain how the aftermath of pregnancy and infant loss feels. There have been days I just go sit in his room and say his name. He was real. The absolute worst happened. It stopped me from all the future moments with him. 

I didn’t just lose a baby, I lost every second I was meant to spend with him. A person died, not an idea of one. 

August not only brings my birthday, it’s when I had my positive pregnancy test. The first month of the rest of my life. I wonder if my brain has been protecting me lately by not letting pregnancy memories flood my consciousness. The cycle of Jensen events will be in full swing in only a few days. I can feel the anxiety slowly building, I wonder if I’m strong enough to hold it all.  

Somehow I know I will be; I have so far. I have surprised myself with being able to stand back up again. Through all the pain and heartbreak I have encountered, I’m still pushing on. Forever tied to Jensen and the love that surrounds him, but also to the lessons loss has taught me. 

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

The Great Gatsby

Five Tips on Making a Prayer Flag for Your Child. 

The Day of Hope – Prayer Flag Project is coming up, in one week (August Nineteenth) to be exact!

This is my second year participating in the project. Last year was definitely a learning process for me in participating with the community and making something that reflected my grief, motherhood, and of course Jensen. I wrote a little post to introduce my flag and explain the meaning behind it, here. This year, I’ve been a little more relaxed with my flag. I had one design in mind, but when I went into the craft store, that idea went out the window and I came up with something so fitting. 

I’m not going to share the whole flag and it’s meaning until next week, but I wanted to show some snippets of the flag while I was creating today. Also, I wanted to give you all some tips if you’ve saw the project, but have been weary of committing. Hopefully this can inspire you to be apart of this great project and day. 


Check Out CarlyMarie’s Page for Information 

CarlyMarie is a beautiful loss mom who has been in the community for ten years now. She does all sorts of projects through the year to helped bereaved parents with their grief and honoring all our children. This page is going to give you the complete background of what the project stands for and how it came to creation. It also gives you a great starting place when it comes to purchasing items for your flag. Such as, the dimensions of the fabric you’ll use and videos of how others have made prayer flags. 

Also, it includes event links and social media hashtags to connect you more to the community and see what everyone else made. 

Get Creative 

The possibilities are endless when it comes to creating a prayer flag for your child. Whatever you can think of, you can create. I know it. 

Last year, Jensen’s ‘J’ initial was the highlight of the flag. Incorporating their name or their initials is a perfect way to add a big touch of them. I also used his colors, blue and orange to focus on. These colors were used in his nursery and for my baby shower. You could possibly use a color you identify your child with or any theme. Another item I incorporated last year was flowers. I always picture Jensen sending me flowers and it was so peaceful adding them. If you get signs from your child, such as feathers or butterflies, add them. This is the fun part of seeing how all our babies are different. 

This year, I’m mainly using his colors and buttons… so excited to share what everything means next week. 


Don’t Overthink Your Design 

I was guilty of this last year. Sometimes (most of the time) I can be a perfectionist; I’m a Virgo, enough said. 

You know your child better than everyone else. Whatever you choose to add to your flag will be perfect no matter what. Everyone is in different stages of their grief too, which will be apparent in each and every project. Listen to that creative voice in your head and jump in. 

Here’s something else not to worry about, if you don’t find an item that you had pictured in your mind, don’t compromise, but don’t let it drag you down. You will be surprised of what you can create. For me, it’s always way better when it’s done than what I had originally planned. 

Have Fun 

The hard fact is we never wanted to be in this position of making a prayer flag for our child. There are hundreds of things we should be doing for them instead. Sometimes projects like these can be overwhelming depending on where you are in you’re journey. Believe me, I understand. 

I urge you to try it though. 

It is so heartwarming to be making something for them. This is one way we can still parent them and show our love. Working with your hands is so healing and, for me, it’s fun to actually hold items that remind me of Jensen. I put on some Jensen jams and rocked away with my glue gun in hand. Try to smile and even have fun while creating. 

Embrace the Community Cheering You On

Whether you decide to share you flag publicly or keep it private, we’re all here for you, always. There are times when we don’t feel confident in what we’re doing, especially after loss. There are people, like me, that are here to encourage you to keep going and just to listen. 

As I mentioned above, there’s usually an event page on Facebook that participants can share their flags with each other. It is such a supportive space to share and hear others stories. I would recommend joining in on this; when I find the event page, I will definitely post on Jensen’s Page. Another social media platform I recommend for the Day of Hope and just with grief in general is Instagram. Last year there were hundreds of moms (and dads) posting their flags and everyone had such kind words.  

Just some ending reminders… 

  • The Day of Hope – Prayer Flag Project is on August 19th. 
  • If you want to know more information, check out the event page, here.
  • There’s still time to participate and make a beautiful prayer flag. 
  • Check out some inspiration on social media. 
  • You got this!

Grief Stares Back. 

I broke down in the shower this afternoon. 

There wasn’t any specific trigger, besides just missing him. No one has said his name out loud to me, there hasn’t really been a reason for everyone to mention him today. I was just standing there, letting the hot water pound on my back. Then I realized how long I’d stood there. This wouldn’t have happened if he was still here. 

That’s when I lost it. 

It’s these moments in grieving that people don’t see. Where I’m sitting on the shower floor and I  can’t differentiate the water from my tears. No one sees me trying to stand up and wishing I never had to. Then when there’s enough courage to stand, I feel like there’s so much weight on my shoulders. The tears didn’t do anything but put sadness more in my head. All I keep repeating in my head is why. 

Somehow I get up and look at my mirror. Instead of just wiping off the steam, I write his name. I take it in and say it out loud. 

His name deserves to be said. It’s such a strong, sounding name. He fit it perfectly. Then I look at it all written out.  I take in the curves in each of his letter, then savor this moment. The calm in the storm. 

As it slowly evaporates, I’m faced with myself: a bereaved mother. My eyes are all puffy and there’s some mascara left under my eyes, even with the heavy stream of water I just was under. I wish I could smash it to pieces and never have to look at myself after a breakdown again. It’s painful to see myself in such distress. I feel it constantly, but rarely see it staring back at me. 

This is grief.