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.

Creative Heartwork.

“I need to have a part of Jensen on my forever. Everyone needs to see him on me.”

A few weeks after Jensen was born, I kept repeating those words. My heart hurt that no one could see my baby in my arms and I wanted to somehow prove to the world that I was his mother. That and I wanted to feel physical pain, there was so much emotional pain that I needed to focus it somewhere else.

So we got tattoos.

Even though the one I got wasn’t the one I originally planned, I’m so happy it worked out that way. The celtic knot for motherhood is forever on the back of my neck. It’s beautiful and to me, represents that Jensen will always be with me. The pain I expected it to bring wasn’t there. Instead, the humming of the machine relaxed every muscle in my body. After it was all done, I was so proud Jensen was honored there for the rest of my life. I loved that I was able to find the design and put his birthday underneath it.

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As much as I love sharing my first Jensen tattoo with everyone, I think a lot of creative heartwork happens behind the scenes. It’s sharing your story online and at in-person support groups. Or it can be the connection you make with other loss mamas and doing anything you can to be there for them. Maybe it’s writing your baby’s name hundreds of times in every font you know how to do. It could be framing your favorite outfit of their’s in your favorite spot, so you can see it everyday. If a baby is buried, you can be creative during all the holidays and anniversaries and decorate their spot. SO many things that is creative and comes from the heart.

For me, it seems like I share all the creative heartwork that I do for Jensen. I love showing how much he means to me and my creative side. Today i’m going to share something a little more personal. As I’ve said before, when people walk into my house, Jensen is everywhere. Most people wouldn’t even notice the stack of notebooks of letter, filled with love, that I have written to Jensen. It started when I was pregnant, I would write a verse and then tell Jensen all about my day. When he was born, I started drawing him pictures and adding color to every letter. It was my way to be creative with him while I let all my emotions out on the paper. Every single word filled with love and appreciation to him. These letters have became my favorite part of the day and are a huge part of my healing. It’s my favorite heartwork I do for Jensen.

In between all those love letters, are drawings and letterings of his name or anything that reminds me of him. Today, I keep writing his name over and over again. If you’ve been following along, you all know Tuesdays are hard for me. They’re even harder when I can’t be creative and do things for him. All I’ve been able to do is writing his name. Even finding the words to this Capture Your Grief prompt has been difficult. This Tuesday marks twenty-seven weeks since Jensen was born sleeping. All those weeks ago, I bought my first remembrance bracelet to remember him by. It was Aries constellation bracelet, that I wear everyday. I never imagined then, that six months from that moment my favorite heartwork would be the letters I wrote to him just two days before his birth.

Tonight, as I continue my private, creative heartwork for Jensen,  I’ll be thinking of the love we show to all our babies everyday. Even in our deepest pits of pain, we continue creating beautiful things to honor our angels; out of these dark pits, blossoms the loveliest flower.

Happy twenty-seventh week in heaven, Jensen. When you look down on me from heaven, I hope you see all the creative heartwork that I do all for you. I miss you. I love you.

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