Fifteen Months. 

Another month is here without him. One more that I never thought I would survive, yet here I am trying to be strong. The anticipation of each month change has not gotten easier since the very first one. I feel its weight in my bones trying to make me crumble. 

This past month has been one of the hardest. Two weeks ago my second child’s lifeless body was taken straight from my womb. The grief of losing him or her ontop of what I feel for Jensen and his loss has been complex. Most of the time I don’t know how to describe what’s going on in my brain. Maybe this extra weight has made this month change so much worse. 

I went into his room today. Sometimes I have this strong pulling to just sit in there, more than my everyday look. 

Every time I step in there, it’s like I’m transported to another reality. I see his room what it would be like if he was here. Not at infancy, but right now running and testing his limits three months after his birthday. Toys are scattered along his rug and there’s clothes to be put away. There are projects we have done on the wall and all his books are on the shelves. I see this scene and him in there. Somehow I wish I could describe it better than just being transported to another reality, it’s literally like I step through another veil and there he sits. That’s how I picture Jensen and I’s heaven.

After snapping out of the world I want to be living in, I saw things I hadn’t paid attention to in awhile. The little details that I love that wouldn’t be exactly there if he was here. On his changing table lies a little racecar and my favorite sign I bought before he was born. ‘Just be awesome.’ There wasn’t any pressure on him to be something, just as long as he was happy and growing up to be a good boy. Then there’s the books I actually have in his room. Stuffed away with a lot of his things is his whole library, many of those books from the book drive we did during the baby shower. The ones in his room are my favorite though. Sometimes I pull them out on special days and read out loud for him to hear. I know he’s listening and sometimes Leo comes to listen too. 


Yes, I accidentally bought two of the same J’s…. oops. 


Fifteen months have gone by since I last physically felt Jensen. In that time I’ve picked up most of the pieces, dropped them multiple times again, and kept trying to place them back to a new normal. I’ve felt the biggest heartbreak, twice, but I’ve also learned how to love so deeply. 

To feel everything so deeply. 

I wish this wasn’t my reality, but I’m surviving and doing my best to thrive. Even if I knew what was going to happen, I’d still choose my little, blond hair boy born fifteen months ago.

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Pressed Love.

Sometimes the smallest moment can calm the busiest of days.

Today has been high-paced. With only four days to go until I leave, I’ve rushed around my house cleaning and organizing. I’ve been wanting everything just right so I can relax when I get back. To be honest, I got a little off track today. Instead of doing what I had on my list, my books were staring at me. If I had opened them up, all the words written inside of them would have told me to find the right place for them. So embarked my work for today.

I can remember every book I’ve ever bought and read. Usually I can tell you right where they are, but Jensen’s baby books took me by surprise. I had forgotten they were in my bookcase. They’ve just morphed into my normal everyday. Instantly, I put them in his room. Where they should always be, being read and looked through. Surprisingly, I didn’t get triggered seeing them or putting them away in his room. Felt almost like a normal thing to do; picking up Jensen’s things and putting them away. My whole body tensed up when I saw them, but my mind was okay with his books. They still needed to be in their rightful spots.

After getting one of my bookcases done, I had to start on the other one. There were books I read during my pregnancy and that I’ve looked through during my grief. It’s crazy to see how you grow up through certain things, especially with books. Interests change and inside them are underlined or highlighted sentences. I would open them up and flip through just to see what jumped out at me.

That’s when Jensen gave me a moment to slow down my busy day.

Out of a huge, Andy Warhol book fell my little surprise: two perfectly pressed flowers, one orange and one blue. Immediately I knew what they were. They were from the random acts of kindness I did in Jensen’s name over the summer. I didn’t remember pressing any of them, but they instantly brought me to tears. In my mind, I knew it was Jensen picking his mom flowers and bringing them to me. He was telling me to slow down. That it would all get done in time, but to make sure I took time to care for my heart. They not only fell into my hands, but also in my heart. I decided to stop organizing and cleaning for the day and focus on the peacefulness of the snow falling.

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I made Jensen’s favorite drink, just heated up a bit, and framed his gift to me. To me these pressed flowers aren’t just from a bouquet from a random act of kindness, they’re flowers picked from heaven given to me by my angel. He somehow brought me what I had always imagined him doing, just in the middle of winter and through the only ways he knew how. This is what love looks like framed.


The past few days I’ve wanted to share another ornament with you all. As you all know, I haven’t done an amazing job sharing them. I thought this was the perfect one to show today. The little angel in the picture is from Emilia’s mom, Jillian. This little angel shines so bright on the tree. The gold snowflake shimmers and is constantly catching my eye. When I was making hot chocolate, I kept thinking of Jensen. How he shines his light so brightly leading me to what’s best for my day. It was also the first ornament I’ve received from another loss mama. Knowing Jensen was being thought about and how Jillian wanted to comfort me, really warmed my heart. I think of Jensen, Emilia and all their friends watching over us. Some even sending their gifts of pressed love to their parents.

Third from the Top.

Yesterday was the first Tuesday for a very long time that I hadn’t written and shared. It was a busy day for me. I’ve been getting ready for vacation, started writing names for the beach post, and went to a Christmas service for Jensen and his friends last night. On top of all my busyness, I had a horrible headache. When I was sitting at the service, I realized I hadn’t eaten all day. It was already one of those days for me and it hit that I’m back to not eating again. I couldn’t remember the last time I had ate breakfast or lunch for the past few days.

Everything grief related started whirling in my mind. All the names. My longing for Jensen. How his loss has weighed on my heart. The mix of pain and love.

Seeing all those comments on the beach post for babies names to be written, I was so sad. There were too many names on that list, too many families feeling this same grief. Then on the service’s program, there were six full pages of names. Each name was someone’s child and there was Jensen’s, third from the top left on the third page. All those names are more than just names. When I read through them, I couldn’t help wanting to know all their stories and hear their parents beam about them. The names read and pictures shown were only the smallest glimpse into the lives they had and the memories their parents still carry on for them.

When Jensen’s name and picture was shown, my chest instantly felt tight. I couldn’t catch my breath and could only marvel on how beautiful he was and still is. The whole time his picture was up, I didn’t breathe. All I could do was sit there and let every emotion I’ve felt in the past thirty-five weeks flush over me. It was only a few moments, but it felt like an hour sitting there and looking at him. I noticed my hand was tracing my necklace, almost like it was second nature. My body instantly tried making my mind feel better and letting me know I was going to make it through this moment. It’s crazy because I had forgotten I wore a necklace, since I never do when I have a headache. I reached down saw that I was tracing his hand print. That perfect hand and fingers who have touched my heart and life in ways I never knew a person could.

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I know I’ve shown this necklace many times before, but it’s one of my favorite Jensen necklaces I have. It’s been really helpful for grounding during my anxiety attacks, just like I described above. His hand is so near my heart, which is so symbolic. He’s always there, but it just beautifully shows it. Sometimes I wish I could have a tattoo on my face saying I’m Jensen’s mom and I’m grieving. It truly is a mix of emotions. I know in my past few posts I’ve mentioned that I’ve been struggling. December has been really bad for me. Walking into any store is hard. All I want to do is buy children’s Christmas books so I can read to him. So, I can see that hand helping me turn the pages. People don’t get to see this side of grief. They’re not here in my home every night or they don’t see the Christmas book Jensen’s grandma bought him last year during this time. They don’t see that invisible hand pointing to that book or do they hear me reading it out loud to him.

The past week, I’ve longed for every baby to be back in their mothers arms. Grieving Jensen through the holidays is something I never imagined myself doing. I thought I would have to be keeping him quiet or tracing his actual hands during Christmas services. This universe shouldn’t have pages of children’s names written in a program or a list of them to be in the sand. But somehow that list grows longer each and every day.

If I’m being honest, I wish I didn’t know this world. Heck, I wish no one knew this world. Unfortunately, so many of us do. In a crazy, weird way, I’m thankful to be able to be in a position to write those names at the beach. Just like I was thankful to read all those six pages of names and get a glimpse into their lives. This type of grief takes a community to help heal each other. Just as I am so glad to be able to know each of your children, it makes me so very happy you all get to know Jensen.


If you haven’t written your child’s name to be written in the sand yet, please click on Jensen’s Facebook page on the left-hand side or click here. I’m also planning on posting more ornaments in the next few days. There are a handful more that mean a lot to me and Jensen’s story that I think you all will really enjoy.

Six Ways to Honor Your Child this Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, there are a lot of anxious and sad feelings for loss parents. Many of us feel there isn’t much to be thankful for after losing our children. This results to a lot of people not participating in any previous holiday traditions and making their own. No matter what a person chooses, their decision should be welcomed with love and acceptance.

Although this is just a short list, I hope that it will allow me to feel Jensen’s presence and maybe help another mom and dad cope on Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving Day Craft or Graphic

When I was pregnant, I pinned a lot of crafts to do with Jensen on all of his first holidays. For Thanksgiving, I always planned on getting his footprint and making it into a turkey. It makes me sad that I can’t get Jensen’s seven month footprint for this craft, but I’m thankful to have his footprint from when he was born on my laptop. As much as I love free graphics offered in online support groups, I wanted it to be a little more personal. I was able to make a turkey with Jensen’s footprint using PowerPoint and some help from this website. It’s really adorable and I can’t wait to share it on Thanksgiving! (Maybe I’ll post a little sooner so you all can see.) Although you’ll see it then, it’s a clipart turkey with Jensen’s feet as feathers. Really personal and really cute. It’s important to me to still do all the crafts and things I had planned for his first year. Also, it’s a fun way to be creative and take your mind of things for a little bit. I’ll be looking forward to using that feature on PowerPoint to do more crafts for some upcoming holidays as well.

You could also do this craft with printing out their handprints or footprints and drawing/gluing feathers on the paper. There are no right or wrong ways with crafts and there are a ton of ideas on Pinterest.

Donate Food to a Local Food Bank or Food Drive in You Child’s Name

I imagined Jensen being a little gentleman and wanting to help. As I’ve said many times, I wanted him to volunteer his time and be able to help others in need. To honor a value I wanted to instill in my son, I’m going to donate food to the local boy scout food drive in his name, which is actually going on a few days before Thanksgiving. There are a lot of different food drivers going on this time of year and local food banks are always in need of food. So many people are not fortunate enough to be able to eat on Thanksgiving Day and how special would it be to give back in our child’s name. It brings happiness to the receiver, you, and your child’s memory. No matter how big or small your donation is, you’re able to help out at least one person. If you’d like to be able to include your child’s story, you can always add a graphic you did for Thanksgiving and put your story on the back. It’s just another way to talk about stillbirth, miscarriage, infant loss, and child loss in general.

Make Child’s Favorite Food for Thanksgiving Dinner

Thinking ahead to actually getting ready on Thanksgiving brings me a lot of anxiety. I’m not even sure if I’ll be brave enough to go to dinner. To bring Jensen in on the meal, I think it’d be really interesting to make one of his favorite foods. Whether that being macaroni and cheese or just drinking chocolate milk with dinner. It brings Jensen to the table and probably a lot of laughs with the crazy cravings a lot of us have during pregnancy. If you’ve lost an older child, you can make their favorite and talk about the times you made it for them. This idea can be carried out whether you’re going to a big family dinner or just having a small dinner with you and your partner (or for me, Leo and Poe). Also, it brings comfort. Speaking from my experience, whenever I’m feeling a little down I go and make chocolate milk. It reminds me of Jensen kicking and ends up making me smile. I feel like having that little part will bring that experience to everyone else as well.

I can imagine everyone drinking chocolate milk out of wine glasses during my family dinner. It’d definitely be a light moment.

Set an Empty Place Setting

My family doesn’t really have a formal Thanksgiving dinner, but I really like this idea. It actually shows to the people around us what we’re seeing in our minds. I know for me, I always am imagining what Jensen would be doing and although he’d probably just eat off my plate, he would still be there and eating with us all. This is very symbolic and I think like the previous idea, would be able to bring your child into everyone’s hearts that day. I know this one is kind of sad to think about that missing place setting, but it’s just another idea I liked and have heard about before. It’s really hard because it makes it ‘more real’ for everyone else. Just the image of loss is hard to grasp, but I think it would promote family members being supportive. This could also be a plate for all family members that are gone in case there are others that are grieving on this holiday.

Family Picture Including Your Child

Years ago, my family took a big family picture. Since then, there’s been more people to come into the family and obviously we’ve all grown. It’s nice to document those days, especially when everyone’s all together. After child loss, it’s hard to gather everyone when, again, we know there’s a huge part of our family missing. Our child can’t physically be there and have their picture taken, so it’s difficult for a loss mom and dad to want to take these pictures. But, I think it’s important to have them. If this is an option for you family, include your child in the ways you can. Whether it be their Molly bear, a framed picture, or any other remembrance item, include them in this. They’re present right there and I know it’s not the same as them being there, but they’re being remembered in that moment. It’s also another way to open conversation about how you’re doing on your grief journey and to talk about our children. We want them to be included on these big holidays and this one way to document it.

Plus, I love showing off Jensen bear. It would be the first time my family will feel Jensen’s weight. It’s special to be able to share that with everyone.

Start an “I’m Thankful For…” Conversation

Another challenging moment for loss parents on this THANKSgiving, is what we’re thankful for. Yes, I’m so thankful for Jensen and the thirty-eight weeks and two days I had with him, but he died. I mean there’s really no other way to explain. Other than the time and memories I have with him, I haven’t been thankful for much else this year. There’s little things like bluebirds and dancing flames, but it’s hard. I’ve heard it doesn’t really easier during the holidays years out as well. Yet, this is a moment we can honor them. Say out loud we’re thankful for our child and death cannot spoil everything. Death cannot take away the time we had with them and I’m thankful for that. Going along with the theme, this is a way to talk about our child without adding death and grief in, which lets our support people know we still are happy to talk about them. That it’s okay to talk about our children and there’s way more to their lives than death. It could be another way of talking about the community and the others ways you’re honoring your child during the holiday season. I think our families might surprise us and let us know that they’re thankful for our babies too.


I hope you’re able to use some of these ideas or come up with new traditions this Thanksgiving. If you do, please share with me. I’m always looking for ways to honor Jensen and survive the holidays without him.

I’d also just want to let you all know, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and need support this coming week (and anytime really!), that I’m here for you. We’re a strong community that are always supporting each other. Especially when we need it the most.

As much as I’m thankful for Jensen, I’m thankful for all of you too.

Empathy.

Before I begin this post, I want to show the difference between empathy and sympathy. I think a lot of people think they’re the same thing, but they’re very different from each other.

empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

sympathy – feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s misfortune.

The first time I thought I understood what empathy really meant was in college. I remember the professor telling us her sister’s story; I won’t tell her story, but it deals with the loss of a child. My professor said to feel empathy you had to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and somehow understand those feelings.

Then she said, ‘I could never imagine losing a child, therefore I can’t have the full understanding of empathy for her situation.’ Continue reading