One of the Hardest Posts I’ll Ever Write. 

I wish what I’m writing right now would be the good news I hoped it would be. What it should be. 

Truthfully, I had been keeping a little secret from you guys. Hiding my hope and (yes) excitement for the future. You see, the Wednesday before Mother’s Day the word ‘positive’ boldly presented itself right in front of me. I was blessed with another baby, another pregnancy. Jensen had handpicked his little brother or sister for me. There the fire of having a living child was reignited. 

The past weeks were full of anxiety and guilt and joy for this new life inside of me. I’ve been sick to my stomach and craving avacados. Eleven days ago I even saw his or her’s strong heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. Ten perfect weeks of pregnancy. 

Late last night, I noticed light, brown spotting. Of course I was concerned. I read through all the baby blogs and boards. My mind kept telling me, it’s just old blood. Everything has went so smoothly. Then this morning, it was back. The spotting went off and on, I thought about going to the doctor first thing, but figured I’d just rest unless it got worse. 

Then it did. 

My mom and I went to the hospital. Still, I was so confident nothing was wrong. There was no pain or any other symptoms. They took my blood and urine. It said I was pregnant, but we needed to scan just to see. 

I should’ve known when she didn’t let me see the screen. Part of me did know, but I was holding onto hope. 

Loss had already struck, it wouldn’t hit me again. 

We waited in our room for what it seemed like forever. Today there was a ton of trauma patients. There were so many people being wheeled to the rooms beside me. I told my mom that I wasn’t high priority, they were just getting to everyone first. There’s nothing wrong. I really didn’t think it could happen again. 

He came into the room, muttered some words, but all I got out of that cacophony was ‘there wasn’t a heartbeat.’

I don’t know what’s going to happen now. In the blur of the conversations after those words, I know I’ll either miscarry naturally or have a D&C Monday. This weekend was supposed to be happy, I was going to announce to the rest of my family. Show them the baby’s ultrasound, have hope for the future. 

Mentally and emotionally, I know I’m in a sort of shock. Different from what I was with Jensen, but still shock. I am angry and feel as if having a living child is not in my cards. 

There’s nothing that’s going to make this ‘better.’ This baby is not in a better place and I don’t want to hear about God’s plan for me. I’m in pain. Losing this child hurts like hell. I loved and wanted him or her so much. It wasn’t just a few cells, it was my baby. Just like Jensen is my son. 

This is my child. He or she was here and so real. I miss them already and hope Jensen will take care of his little sibling. 


Although I don’t know when this will be posted (I’m writing this on my couch after just leaving the hospital), I will probably be MIA for the next couple weeks. If I do post, it’s not going to be ‘happy,’ my second child just died. 

I do appreciate all of your support through my journey of loss and love. It’s not one I’d ever wish on anyone. 

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To Anyone with a Fragile Heart:

I want you to know you’re not alone.

Since my son, Jensen, was stillborn last April, I’ve found myself living with a heart that has been hastily taped together. There have been so many moments I didn’t believe I would be able to make it to the next. My heart felt like it was going to collapse and it still does to this day.

Lately, I’ve collectively felt what has been happening around the world. This could be you reading right now whose baby has tragically died. I know this journey you’re facing because I’m living it every second. This past few months I’ve seen so much loss. From the tragedy that happened in Manchester earlier this week to the person in school that doesn’t think their life is worth living. Even the people who are being mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexual abused. I feel like I’ve been extremely empathetic to every story I hear.

I’m sorry to each person this has happened or is continuing to happen to. I see you. It breaks my heart that you’re feeling this pain.

I will never be able to take your pain away, but if talking helps ease it, I’m right here. There have been times I’ve felt lost, but knowing there was someone who listened, that wanted to help strengthen my heart made me feel less afraid. Less fragile. It is terribly vulnerable to talk about your demons, but opening up and releasing those feelings can let someone know how to be there for you.

Please don’t ever feel alone in this world.

Here’s a little secret. To some, I’m a fellow loss mom or a substitute teacher or the girl down the street. In each of these roles, I’ve heard your story and feel everything that’s going on in your  life. When I see you struggling with your relationship, loss, or even yourself, I want to run up and comfort you. The worst is or has happened and left you broken. Each time I see you I want you to know you can come to me because ultimately we have lost part of the same thing.

Through each and every of  our difficult unbearable journeys, we have lost a huge part of our innocence. Nothing will ever change or bring that back. We now see this fragile world for how it actually is: broken.

The glue holding the world together is you and me and our relationships we build to strengthen each other. We’re able to help each other pick up the pieces. We are each others shoulder to cry on. when we are connected we become stronger. We fit in this beautifully, fragile community of survivors.

You are never alone.

You are so wanted

You make an impact on this world.

You are loved.

Remember, I’m always here for you.

Love,
Danielle
Jensen’s mom

May We All Heal | Timeless

It’s early in the morning here. I couldn’t sleep last night and found myself staring at the clock.

4:25

The time that ended all other times flashes across my bright phone screen. My body is telling me to go back to sleep, to get lost in my dreams and push it aside. Of course, I didn’t listen to my body. I woke up, made tea, and looked at today’s prompt. Timeless.

Funny how the universe works right? Or maybe it’s the mind, constantly working and trying to make everything connect.

In the past two days I’ve been in a serious battle with my depression. Nothing I can’t handle, but it hurts. It’s impacted everything I’ve written and drawn for May We All Heal. Today is no different. The pessimism in my drawing taunts me.

Timeless. Any other millennial would have thought of an infinity sign. Just think of all the pretty synonyms: unending, forever, and vastness. This page could have truly been beautiful and filled with positive thoughts.

Instead, a clock flows out of me. Although this clock looks broken, it really isn’t.

Time stopped at 4:25am on April 5, 2016. It was the exact minute Jensen was born into this world. At that same time, he was taken away; breaking our physical connect forever. This very minute, halted my world. It stopped so hard and quick that all the minutes and hours fell from the face of the earth. Just like my world crumbled around me. All I could do was watch and feel the sharpness of the pain. Time felt like it would never go on again.

Then I asked about him.

Just a mother trying to learn all she could about her son. In the same day my son was stillborn and it felt like nothing would ever make me smile or feel anything but gasping for air, I learned he in fact had ten fingers and ten toes. That made me smile and feel a blanket of warmth cover me that I hadn’t felt since I heard he was gone. Hearing about Jensen… feeling the unending love I had for him… somehow it made the sting of everything lessen in that minute.

So the clock’s gears started back, slowly. Some would say barely visible in the first few months. They couldn’t see the littlest one though, its way in the middle working overtime. This gear doesn’t tire or need greased. It keeps moving, even when the others don’t want to budge.

This gear will infinitely turn. It never even stopped when the world did. One day, it’ll almost coax all the others back to as they did before. A part will always be missing and there’s no numbers to even tell how long or judge how long the clock takes to make its way around.

And that’s okay.

Because love is timeless. 

Love does not judge. Love motivates. Love keeps turning, no matter if it’s the only one doing so.

Jensen is my love. He does not judge his mama and only motivates her to do better. The love I have for him and I know he has for me will always be.

This love is timeless.

A List of Five Positive Things in My Post Loss Life.

April, Jensen’s month, has come and went to very quickly. The fact May will be here next week is absolutely crazy. A mix of the lingering sadness of Jensen turning one and the anxiety to what May brings has almost pushed me over the edge; and I only just got back from vacation.

This morning I was super triggered.

A big thought that circled my head was, I didn’t deserve Jensen and he was taken away from me because I was a failure. This was obviously emotionally charged. I don’t believe any of our babies died for a certain negative reason. BUT that didn’t stop my thoughts from making me feel like the worst mom in the entire world. I cried the entire way to therapy and even when I sat down on the couch to tell her about everything this month held.

She calmed me down. Told me my anti-self was in control right now and I knew she was right. After I spilled everything that was weighing on my heart, she gave me a list of suggestions to help my anxiety. It included laughing, reading out loud, and smiling at myself in the mirror. One really jumped out to me today and I wanted to share it with you all.

A list of five positive things in my post loss life to remind me there’s more in this world than grief, anxiety, and depression.

1. Jensen

Obviously, right?

The most love I’ve ever felt in my life revolves around him, even in death. From the moment I found out he was growing inside me and for the rest of my life (and beyond), I knew he would always hold the biggest piece of my heart. He brings me so much happiness and peace when I think of our time together. I literally use his name for grounding techniques during anxiety attacks. He walks with me through my life and I’m so happy he’s mine.

2. Family and Friends

Every family member and friend I have is as unique as they are to my grief journey. No matter if it’s a text to see how I’m doing or a whole day spent with them, they are so important to my life. They make me smile, laugh, and feel so very supported. Even when they don’t know what to say, they’re there for me. To listen and let me know that I’m going to keep moving forward. Most of all, they let me know Jensen will never be forgotten.

3. Leo and Poe

My two little kitties are such a positive light in my life. When I’m sad, they let me hold and pet them. They will find me wherever I’m crying and just sit there until I stop. Both of them are so different, but each know how to make me smile. Let me tell you, pets are such a stress reliever. It’s actually well talked about and proven that when you stroke an animal, your stress decreases.

4. Nature

The sun, wind, flowers make this heavy air feel so much lighter. Maybe being by the beach has this on the top of my head, but even today in my small, Ohio town, I felt so much peace. Seeing the trees and feeling the sun’s warmth on me relaxes me. Every part of nature is positive and healing to me. I’m so ready for summer to be here though!

5. The Loss Community

Without the loss community, I don’t know where I would be right now, besides feeling like a complete crazy person. Support is necessary and when I’m hurting I can reach out. The projects that take place throughout the year are so perfect and really help an aching heart. Through my tears today, I told my therapist how I was able to look forward to next month and it’s challenges, just because I know my tribe of beautiful mothers will be here to help me along.

What Happens Next?

I didn’t know if there would be some kind of epiphany that would happen when Jensen turned one or what? The anxiety driven part of my brain told me this day would be a turning point. For some reason, I felt like I had to decide between these two extremes of how to honor Jensen during year two and beyond: privately or publicly. Which sounds really crazy because I’ve shared almost everything in the past year. Yet, in the lead up, I kept questioning if I should keep going on.

Is this still helping me?

Is this still helping others?

Do I just seem like a crazy person?

Maybe the question I was meaning to ask myself wasn’t if I wanted to keep sharing or not. I think it was more of me questioning if it would be socially acceptable to keep sharing in the way I am. Even though I’m the person that will tell someone else not to worry about what others think, I worry. In our culture, a year is well passed time to ‘heal.’ Although, I can tell you I wept most of the weekend because I missed Jensen so much. Year two is going to hold a lot of hard moments. Ones that will knock me on my feet, just like year one. It will also hold light moments full of love. Just look at his birthday celebration. The notion of me needing to be completely healed is ludicrous. What is completely healed anyways?

Throughout this whole time of sharing, I’ve felt healing with every word I’ve written.

The answer to my let-me-question-everything-I’m-doing to honor Jensen and have me heal seems pretty simple. Just because Jensen turned a year old doesn’t mean everything has to completely change. There wasn’t a sign to tell me to stop sharing or anyone who told me I was crazy for sharing his birthday. It all felt like my new normal.

So, what happens next? 

In short, I keep writing and sharing as to what I see fit. As long as it’s still helping me and other parents who are experiencing loss, I don’t see why not. But what will she write about?

Fortunately, I was numb this time last year. That’s how I was able to get through Jensen’s funeral and Mother’s Day. Easter is coming up this Sunday and it’s the first one I’ll spend without Jensen. There’s going to be a lot of grief that I have never even thought of that will happen and I want to share those moments. In May the May We All Heal Project is happening, which I’ll be sharing everyday (hopefully on here, but definitely on Instagram).  There’s also Bereaved and regular Mother’s Day, which will be interesting to feel and experience past the numbness. SO many sharable moments just in the near future.

I’d also like to talk more about mental health, like I did about PTSD. It was good for me to share my experiences with that and to let others know they’re not alone in those thoughts and feelings. Maybe I could even delve into more about PTSD and bereaved parents. Who knows? Most topics are just going to happen naturally. Nothing in the last year has been forced and neither will this second year of blogging through grief.

Most importantly, I’m going to share more about Jensen. I’d love to share his close up picture and maybe even more. There has been so many memories from my pregnancy that I didn’t share last year, that I may or may not get to this year. I just know that I’d like to be able to share and show him off as much as I can. Obviously I’m one proud mama, so I have a lot to talk about.

No matter what I write about this year, I’m going to keep sharing how Jensen continues to walk with me through my life. There will be a plethora of footprint pictures and ones of his ultrasounds in nature. I’m not done sharing and I don’t see it stopping any time soon. It is my hope that you all keep walking with me through this messy journey of loss and love.

Ten Things I’ve Learned in Ten Months of Grief. 

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The past ten months have been the most challenging in my life. A parents worst nightmare is to have their child die, but the nightmare doesn’t end in that moment. Learning how to live after loss is unnatural and soul splitting. There hasn’t been a day that I haven’t cried or felt like my whole world was going to crash around me. On the other hand, there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t felt an immense amount of love I have for Jensen.

This whole journey is a learning experience and I don’t think there will ever be a day where I stop learning about loss and love. Today, for Jensen’s ten month day, I want to share with you ten things that have gotten me to this point in my grief journey.

Loss

I never knew loss before Jensen died. My grandmother passed away before I was two years old and I knew people and had pets that had died, but never had felt this deep loss. From the second I found out his heart had stopped beating, loss overwhelmed me and I didn’t even know how to process that feeling. Then there was the realization that I would forever live with the loss of Jensen. I mean obviously, right?

But at that second of finding out he was gone, my body would not allow me to understand that I would lose Jensen at all the stages. Sometimes I still don’t think I completely have come to terms with losing Jensen at older ages because I’m not there yet. At ten months, I know what it’s like to have loss from the moment he was supposed to be born until his ten month day. I relive that loss each and every day. The Jensen sized hole in my heart is with me with every step and I can literally see him with each step I take.

Loss isn’t ‘fun’ to learn, but I’ve been forced to do so.

Pain

Immense. Abundant. Heaps. Endless. Masses. Enormous. Infinite. Never-ending.

All those words that could describe the oceans amount of pain I have felt. Even with those words, I would still say there’s more. Then with each wave of pain I get, it stings somehow harder than before. This type of pain is mental, emotional, spiritual, and even physical. It is so exhausting to keep fighting this pain and not just succumb to it. Yeah, there is days where it hurts so much I just lay there and take it.

I almost wish this pain was visual, so others could see it coming on to me. There’s only so many ways to describe it, but if it was my leg bleeding out I feel like others would run over to stop the bleeding. There’s no way for others to really ease this pain.

Longing

Just like with loss, I have never felt longing before. Of course there was times I missed my mom and dad when I was away, but I knew I would see them soon enough. There was never a doubt that I would see them and all that missing them would just fall away. This isn’t the case with my longing for Jensen.

I long to see him smile and to hear his laugh. I long to feel his hand squeeze mine. I long to know what his first word would have been. I long to learn the schedule we would have had. I long to read to him one more time. I long for him every morning when I wake up and every night when I go to sleep.

With each new place I go, knowing he’ll never go there, I long for him to experience it with me. I feel as if I’m just being introduced to longing and it will continue to grow as the years pass.

Grief

Sucks…

Just throwing that out there. It really does though. Grief sucks you in and it decides when to throw you out. It’s like a huge black hole and who knows what you’re going to feel when you’re trapped inside.

Is it depression, anxiety, PTSD, or all of them at once? Will it be me feeling completely numb or feeling everything?

Grieving is hard for anyone in any situation. I hate that I have to be a mother grieving her son. It’s not fair, like most things in our world, but this really isn’t how it should be.

Tears

They sound self-explanatory, but I can tell you all the different tears I’ve encountered in ten months. Heck, I’ll just tell you the tears that I’ve had in the past twelve hours.

Big droplets that form from holding them backs. Hurried sobs because you held them back. Silent ones that flow down your face as you try to sleep. Scattered ones from crying in your sleep and they have no idea where to go. The flood from when you open your eyes when you wake up and they just fall out. Then there’s the nameless ones that just are there and you work/live through them.

Heck, I could have filled a kiddie pool full of tears in the past twelve hours. Imagine the last ten months.

Support

I’ve had support all throughout my life, but I’ve learned that the best type of people support you through the worst of times. Through this ten months, complete strangers have become best friends and best friends have become complete strangers.

Support isn’t trying to fix what is wrong. It isn’t necessarily making everything better for the person in pain. Support is listening and letting the person know you’re always there for them. It’s being their greatest cheerleader and seeing the progress on a day where it feels like you’ve fallen way off track.

Most of all (with child loss) it’s remembering their son or daughter with them. It’s saying their and writing their names down, listening to the same stories, and never forgetting.

Smiles

Of course I knew what a smile was before Jensen died, but I never felt how good it could be to smile during grief. Just because you smile and feel happiness doesn’t mean the death of your child is forgotten or you’re happy they’re not here. You’re having a good moment and this smile just comes from the soul. It brightens your day and feels so much better on your face than just a frown and tears. Not that those frowns and tears are bad, but the smile does feel good.

On my bad days where I feel strength, I look for what makes me smile. Seeing Jensen’s face and his drawers full of his stuff makes me smile. Knowing his life means so much lights up my day. Leo and Poe’s antics make me laugh. The support I have can cheer me up and I know they love to see me smile. Seeing how far I’ve come and knowing I’m still taking steps towards living brings me a peaceful grin.

A (real) smile there is lightness throughout this black hole of grief.

Growth

This ones a little more difficult.

I long to see Jensen grow. On each of his month days, I wonder how much he would weigh and how long he would be. I’ve wondered when his first hair cut would have been. Honestly, I could go on and on with this. I won’t today, but you get the picture.

The growth I’m talking about here is the growth in myself. It’s how my strength has grown to not only take on the stresses of everyday life, but to also hold the weight in my heart. My voice has grown to be able to shout from the rooftops all about Jensen and the taboo of pregnancy and infant loss. I’ve probably grown in ways I don’t even know yet, but I feel it. There’s apart of me that screams that I could have grown these ways without Jensen dying, but I can’t change that. It’s not a good that has come from Jensen dying, it’s a positive that has grown through the grief I’ve had to endure.

Motherhood

It’s an invisible motherhood, but it’s my mine. I have been a mom since the moment I knew Jensen was inside of me and I’ll be his mother forever. No one will ever be able to take that away from me.

I’m still learning this type of motherhood, which is strange because it’s my only experience. Yet, I’m still here; being the best mom for Jensen I can be. I know it’s not the same as mothering a living child, but I still mother him in ways all moms mother their children. I have sleepless nights and I worry myself sick wondering if I’m doing all I can do for him. He is my motivation and even though I can’t see if he’s proud of me, I know, deep down, he is.

Love

It always comes back to love.

Throughout the good, the bad, and the ugly, love has always been right there. The love I have for Jensen will never cease. The love I have for my motherhood only grows stronger. My love smiling has come back. I love the support and my tribe of loss mamas. There’s a huge hate-love I have for grief, loss, and all the ‘bad’ that was listed above. I hate it because I don’t want it in my life, but I love to see how through these I’ve grown. Through these I’ve learned to love harder and greater. Would I give that all back to have Jensen? In an instant.

But I love this life I have been given. I love the fact that Jensen will always be intertwined in my everyday life. I love that he will forever walk with me. I love that I can share the love I have for him.


Happy ten months in heaven, my sweet boy. I hope you’re smiling down with your (not so) big ten month day sticker. The sun is shining and I know you’ve given me this day of renewal to keep on growing and to keep on loving. Everything I do, I do for you. I miss you. I love you.

Anxiety Adventures: Substitute Teacher Edition.

One of my promises to Jensen was to become a teacher. It was my dream to be able to have a good job and spend the evenings with him after school. Of course I work from home and I’d be with him all the time, but I wanted to become the best version of myself for him (and me).

This past month I was able to make another step towards that dream and received my substitute teaching license. After a friend of mine got me into contact with her principal, I sent my paperwork in, interviewed, and was asked to start as soon as I could. Today was my first day.

At the end of last week, I was genuinely so excited. I couldn’t wait to be able to go into the classroom and help students learn. I know it’s not as impactful as a full blown teacher, but one day could change someone’s life forever. Plus, I was really excited to be able to begin this promise to Jensen. The excitement started slowly swaying to anxiety as Monday started getting closer.

I’m going to do terrible.

The kids are going to hate me.

What am I going to do if I have a mental breakdown?

If I start crying, how do I regain my strength? 

A hundred percent,  you’re going to fail.

Anxiety is not nice to me one bit. These thoughts kept coming to mind and the worst scenarios played out in my head. I could just see myself crying in front of all these children and I storm out of the room to hide away in my car.

Deep down, I know anxiety was the culprit to these thoughts, but I had to do something about it. Being productive helps me fight it off. So I did what any semi-sane person does in this situation: Pinterest ideas about how to be a successful substitute teacher.

Have a goodie bag full of treats for good students. Check.

Bring a clipboard to keep paperwork straight. Check and double checked for Jensen colored washi tape to keep me calm.

Always have pencils ready for you and students. Checked and sharpened.

Pack snacks, lunch, and headache medicine. Check, check, and check.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Outfit planned and laid out, check.

Sounds silly, right?

I also set six alarms, had my makeup set out and in order, repainted my nails, and even had my cats’ food on the counter so I could quickly get it done in the morning. It would be a foolproof morning for me to get ready and have a successful day. I was still so nervous. Anxiety kept telling me that even when things are so perfectly planned that they can go up in flames. Would it be to the effect of losing Jensen? Of course not, but I just wanted it to go perfectly.

My last foolproof way to make the day go better was to go to sleep early, which we all know it a huge feat for me. I wrote my letter to Jensen and asked God to help me sleep well tonight and for strength to have a really good day for tomorrow. Sleep welcomed me right after I said goodnight to my sweet boy and blew his candle out.

What seemed like seconds after I fell asleep, a buzz awoken me.

We’re on a two hour delay. 

I thought, oh good. This short day will be a great first day of subbing for me. Then an hour later I heard another buzz…

Snow day!

The universe has a funny way of letting me know I shouldn’t always listen to my anxiety.

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Nine Months.

In my house there’s a room that remained empty for almost nine whole months. There are white squares on the wallpaper and one navy and orange wood wall. The curtains are drawn and frame a picturesque, snowy backyard. Its grey rug in the middle of the room calls out to be sat on. It yells for you to read all the books packed away in storage. Although it looks like any normal room, there should be a crib, a changing table, and bookshelves full of adventures. Instead, the only signs that it was anyone’s space is his name, weight, and birthdate written on the chalkboard paint right as you walk in.

For all this time I hated its emptiness, but there was no way I could take seeing his empty crib. It stayed waiting for Jensen and all his things. A nasty reminder of how life should have been.

Recently, I’ve gained the courage to actually use his room. The first step in this process has been putting up a big piece of furniture, a futon. In fact, it’s a grey futon with navy and orange pillows. My mom and dad came over to help me put it up. We decided the best place for it to sit was where Jensen’s crib would have welcomed his dreams every night. I truly believed that seeing his room being used would help heal my heart. That it wasn’t just a room that held stillness. As we assembled and centered it on the wall, the room started closing in on me. This just wasn’t how it was supposed to be.

I took a huge deep breath and tried once again to accept my reality.

Yes, I had to accept Jensen wouldn’t be using this room. At nine months old, Jensen isn’t in there standing on his crib mattress, waiting for me to pick him up. Instead of him crying to wake me up, there’s nothing but silence. There would be no bedtime stories or a room full of toys. I wouldn’t hear him jump out of his bed as he grew older. He wouldn’t race to his window to see if the snow had covered the street beside us, hoping school would be canceled. There would be no slamming of his door or sneaking out of it. None of these dreams will ever become memories. The futon in his room would always remind me of that.

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Today when I walked in and seen the image above, I smiled and then cried. No matter how much this futon reminds me of all things I don’t have with him, he is so present in this home. In the navy and orange, I see the color of crayons he would pick. The squares on the wall could only help grow his imagination, maybe he’d even become a better drawer than me. Who knows, maybe when he would have been older, he would have wanted this very futon in his room. He probably would think it was cool to have some place to hang out and play video games. I cried today because I wish I knew him at nine months and everyday of his life. His room would’ve become such a huge part of his childhood and now it’s up to me to use it.

I can’t bear to use see any other colors than the ones I picked out for him. It will always be Jensen’s room. My hope is to use his space to be close to him and do what I can in his honor. It took nine months for me to put a futon in there, so it might take nine more for me to actually sit there for a while. Everyday I’m doing my best for him and for me. Even if that means accepting what shouldn’t be.


Happy nine months in heaven, Jensen Grey. You are loved and missed beyond what words could ever describe. I hope you like the futon that occupies your room. It really is comfortable and I could really see me sitting there and watching you play. I hope you have your big nine month sticker on and sending me a most special snowflake. I miss you. I love you.

Back to December.

The month I’ve been actively avoiding has finally arrived and I’m terrified. I’ve honestly been putting off talking about how it’s here. It’s like if I don’t talk about it, then it’s not really here. It’s just hard. If December goes as quickly as November, I’ll be out of 2016. Out of the year Jensen was born in and into new waters. As hard as this past eight months has been, there was still so much love and happiness.

I just want to stay here forever, or at least on November thirtieth.

As we all know, December holds some pretty big events. We have Christmas, Advent, and the New Year. For me personally, I’m going on vacation, we found out big Jensen news this month, and it’s my first year decorating for the holidays. Jensen will also be apart of at least two Christmas ceremonies that I’m going to. They’ll definitely be sad, but I’m glad I can enjoy those events in remembering him with others. Most of all, it would be Jensen’s very first Christmas. There were so many things that I had planned for us and they just feel lost to me. Kind of like how I feel lost in December. The clash of grief and celebration should be ‘interesting’ to navigate. Such a horrible juxtaposition that no one should experience.

BUT, here I am. Although I’m doing this blindly, I am going to honor Jensen and this month in the best way I know possible. Starting with the Christmas tree.

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This month, I want to share certain ornaments on our tree and tell their meanings. There’s a lot of Jensen incorporated here, along with all Jensen’s friends gone too soon. I’m looking forward to telling you all about them.

I’m also planning something for my trip. We’re going to the beach in the middle of the month, but I want to bring Jensen and his friends with me. On Jensen’s Facebook page and probably on Instagram, I’m going to post to see if anyone would like to have their child’s name written on the beach. Hopefully I can get a lot of sunrise/sunset pictures to make it look beautiful! So, be on the lookout for that. I want to be able to just make an album on his page and tag people there. Or if you have loss mama friends, you can tag them on the post and on the picture when it’s up. Like I said before, I’ll talk about this more Monday or Tuesday.

With all that said, it’s going to be a pretty busy month. As always I love to share with you guys and keep you updated on this journey of loss and love. I’d also love for you guys to share some of your special ornaments or even your Christmas trees with me. It’s so nice to see how other’s honor their babies through grieving while trying to ‘celebrate.’

Just a reminder to everyone who’s having a hard time with the upcoming holidays. You’re NOT alone. Grieving through the holidays is so difficult to process. On the outside it looks like everyone is so excited for the big day, but you feel its eternal doom.

Feel how you need to feel. Cry, in front of everyone if you need to. Decorate or don’t. Recognize Christmas or any holiday you observe, or just act like it doesn’t exist. Do what you need to do to survive the holidays. There’s no right or wrong way. Let your heart lead you. No matter what, you’re not letting yourself, your family/friends, or your child down. They’re so proud that you’re surviving and doing the best you can.

If at anytime you need support, feel free to message me to talk or anything at all. I’m here for you just as I know you’re here for me.

A Letter to My Heart Thirty-Four Weeks Post Loss.

Dear Heart,

I felt you cracking even more as I woke up this morning with my cheeks already wet from crying in my sleep. Quite honestly, I was shocked that you could still be beating after thirty-four weeks of constant heartbreak. Maybe I should have listened to you the second I woke up, but I pushed you to keep going. You’ve surprised me for all this time and today I was going to take charge of my emotions. I made myself feel logically with my brain and ignore you.

Your beats quicken as I rushed around before I left. Tears were still falling down, but I still didn’t want to listen to you. Heart, sometimes feelings have to go to the back burner. My life needs to be compartmentalized to be semi-normal. It seemed like every song on the way to the gym were sad songs. I didn’t think I’d be able to make it there through my sobs. But I did. When I got there, all I did was take a deep breath and continuing pushing on. That’s what has gotten me this far.

While working out, I didn’t feel you beating harder or even quicker. It’s like you had given up on me, like I had you. Somehow we both kept beating on, like old friends talking through a disagreement.

During therapy was the first time all day I realized how hurt you were. Words didn’t seem to come out of my mouth, but tears continued to fall. I hadn’t looked in the mirror all day, but the look in my therapist’s eyes told me all I needed. It was a look I had seen every time someone saw me in the beginning. Your brokenness had carried through my eyes. It even carried through the words I managed to utter out. She helped me recognize you were hurting even when I tried to hide it.

I want to feel like we’re healing together, but the Jensen-sized hole in you is so apparent. On the outside, I’ve gotten better with living with that hole. It’s hard living without him, I know you feel it too. But even after knowing how broken you felt today, I still kept pushing you to the side.

At home, in our safe place, I kept busy. I mindlessly washed, folded and organized my clothes. Your beats quickened more as thoughts crept in my mind. Visions of me reorganizing Jensen’s clothes as he would be getting bigger now. I’d probably be frustrated with the weather changing back and forth, not knowing what I would need to dress him in for the next day. Usually you and I would let these visions play out, but I stopped it. The closet is now color coded in it’s appropriate spot. I thought this would help calm you, knowing that one more thing that had been weighing on my mind was done.

Night spread across the sky and I know we’d have to be settling down. I made dinner and took care of the cats. There was music on in the background, as there always is. I know we both cannot take the silence, even at day two hundred and thirty-eight. You even eased as we danced and though of his rhythmic kicks. I even smiled and my eyes were finally dry. Everything seemed to be going okay.

Until that song played. The one we listened to when we first found out Jensen was growing. It was long before we first heard his heartbeat and we hadn’t heard it since his heart had stopped.

| I want to tell you
How much I love you
I’m drowning in a sea of love |

I knew I had to listen to you then. I couldn’t do anything else but that. The sobs were uncontrollable and even though everything else felt number, the edges of your broken pieces plunged deeper in my soul. Screams were stuck in the back of my throat, but I couldn’t let them go.

The shower helped. It let me feel like I was drowning as I sat in there, letting the hot water sting my back. I hugged my knees and listened to you. Oh heart, I miss him too. There isn’t a second that goes by where I push thinking of him aside, even though you’re the one that doesn’t get my attention. I sat there feeling that hole that you constantly feel. It’s an abyss of emotions and pain and love that demands to be felt. When you dive into it, you have to wait till it spits you back out.

After it spit us both out, I had to take care of you first. You’ve called out to me all day and I’ve ignored you. I’m so sorry for that, heart. If you hadn’t kept beating strong through your brokenness, I wouldn’t be here. We would be talking about Jensen and sharing him to anyone that’ll listen. So, I did what I knew helped string together some of your broken pieces.

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Truth be told, heart, I’m jealous of you at times. As much as Jensen loved the sound of my voice, your steady beating helped him fall asleep. You were the constant and comforting sound he heard at all times. I wish I could’ve sung to him twenty-four hours a day, but you cared for him in that way. You were one of the first and last things he ever heard. Sometimes I don’t care for you or listen enough to you enough as I should. We’re both learning this new life together.

I’m listening to you tonight, my steady companion.

All my love,

Danielle


Happy thirty-four weeks in heaven, my sweet love. I wish I could whisper in your ear how much I love you. With every beat of my heart, I miss you more than words could ever describe. You are the light in my life. You help me heal and are the one thing that makes my heart warm. I promise to take care of myself and be the best mommy I can be to you.

I miss you. I love you.