It feels unreal that another week has came and passed. It’s the fifteenth week since Jensen has been born. One-hundred and five days have passed. On day one-hundred, I felt the biggest pain, triple digits was hard to wrap my mind around. How could it seem like it was yesterday when he was dancing and moving all around? Seriously, I don’t understand how all of this can be possible. But each day I wake up and rediscover my reality.
I feel like I could go on and on and on about all I wanted to do with Jensen or how I feel like my whole entire future was stolen away from me. Today I’m choosing to have a positive day, even though I want to hide in bed. I know he continues to guide me each day and protect me. He dances in the clouds each and every Tuesday, while he celebrates getting bigger in heaven. In my heaven, he grows until I get up there with him. Then we both go back to being twenty-two and him just born. When I reunite with him there, I want him to be screaming as loud as he can be. My heaven does not include silence.
In this world, I don’t want to keep silent either. I will always say Jensen’s name and keep talking about baby and child loss. It’s really unheard of until it happens to you or someone you know. Believe me, there’s a whole community of parents, grandparents, and other families that are effected by losing a child. Stillbirth results in 1 in 160 pregnancies and baby loss ranging from miscarriage to SIDS happens to 1 in 4. I hope to be able to help every single family out there in just a small way and maybe one day I will.
Today, in honor of Jensen’s fifteenth week in heaven, I want to share a beautiful project that my little Jensen helped to inspire.
The Painted Name Project was created by my friend, Jessica, from Restoring the Joy, her Lettered Hope, and cofounder of BurdenBearingBaskets. Unfortunately, she is experience this intense grief since last November. In that time she has been navigating through her grief and helping so many other loss moms. Jessica and her project aims to help honor our babies who were taken far too soon, pray for us, and share our stories. The Painted Name Project takes the time to showcase our babies’ story with their names so beautifully written. It’s another way for someone to say their names and hear their stories. It continues to build and unite this community one name at a time.
The first time I seen Jessica write Jensen’s name, I was in awe; I loved the loopy J and G. It brought me a sense of peace and pride seeing his name wrote with such love. It makes my heart warm knowing she’s thinking about him and taking the time to write his name. Recently, Jessica told me about this project and how she would love to feature Jensen’s name and story. Of course I was more than willing to share and be able to keep this treasure forever. When I saw her post his name last night on The Painted Name Project’s Instagram, I just started crying. The clouds in the background reminded of me and how I know he dances on top of them. I love to see his nursery colors with his name, the two just belong together. Then the fateful date, April 5, 2016: the sweetest and hardest day of my life.
On Jensen’s photo she wrote:
“Sweet Jensen Grey was part of my inspiration in starting#ThePaintedNameProject when his lovely momma, @danii_ridgway told me how much it meant to her when I wrote his name out. That is why I wanted to feature his name and story first.”
In a previous conversation we had she let me know this beforehand and I had the same reaction as I did when I saw it again. I can honestly say Jensen makes me so proud to be his mommy. He can help inspire someone who he’s never met, but it feels like he’s so connected to everyone that speaks his name. I can’t speak for every loss mom and how they work with their grief, but it means the whole entire world to me to see Jensen’s name wrote out. It’s just knowing he’s being thought about by someone other than myself that gives me a second of peace. Jessica, The Painted Name Project, and this photo are each so beautiful and mean so much to me. I feel so blessed that our story could be apart of this.
I hope all my loss mom friends and all the loss moms out there that I haven’t met before are able to be apart of this project. Share as much or as little of your story as you want. See your baby’s name in their colors and written so perfectly. Feel this community of support, so many of us are hear to listen and say their names. Remember, you are never alone. Even when you feel like you’re being swallowed by the darkness, someone will be there to help guide you to the light.
In this post I have links to Jessica’s blog, Etsy shops, and The Painted Name Project’s page and Instagram account. If you don’t want to go back up and look for them, here they are:
- Jessica’s Blog – Restoring the Joy
- Lettered Hope
- The Painted Name Project – Page and Submission Site
- The Painted Name Project Instagram
As I hope for everyday, I hope Jensen’s fifteenth week in heaven has brought someone more support. I hate that people need these types of resources, I would never want this pain and grief to fall on anyone, but this community has been so helpful for me. It’s my hope to share and support other loss moms in their endeavors to help others. Hopefully Jensen and I’s story can help inspire others to talk more about stillbirth and break this horrible taboo. I hope to the mom who feels like there is no way she can get through finds support. Even finds this project to see her child’s name wrote, their story shared, and to know she and her baby is being thought about.
Jensen, my sweet boy, I wish you the happiest day in heaven today. I know you’ll be dancing in the clouds as you always do. You are my guardian angel. You inspire me more than I could have ever imagined. You are loved by me and so many other people. On that day when I am able to hold you in my arms, I will tell you all the ways you’ve helped others and how much love you brought to this earth. If I can teach you anything being so far from you right now, I hope that it’s love and how it conquers everything. I’m loving and missing you so much, Jensen Grey, and today I will choose to be positive just for you.