Translate this blog into another language

Monday, October 14, 2013

Capture Your Grief : A Healing Photography Challenge-Part 3


Day 16: Seasons

Spring is the season that really makes me think of Zion & Selah together. Their special day was April 2nd. It was the day we buried Zion and also Selah's due date the following year. The first signs of Spring always bring in bittersweet feelings. Our desire is to celebrate their new life with Jesus.

                                                                                                        

Day 17 : Time


It's been 2 yrs., 6months, 18 days, 5 hrs, and 37 minutes since I saw his sweet face for the first time. In those first few moments time stood still, death was put aside, and I wondered at my little baby boy. I even stole his first kiss.... as he stole my heart. Death couldn't steal my love for him away! My womb will never forget nurturing him and bringing him to me peacefully sleeping. He will forever be a part of who I am.

"There's a gentle comfort in knowing that on his way to heaven his soul had to pass through mine."
- Erika Medichian






It's been 1 yr, 11 months,4 hrs ,and 56 minutes since I saw her precious face for the first time. Her tiny body was born right into her daddy's arms and he felt what it was like to hold a real sleeping beauty. That day I was so broken to know that this was my story and that I was going to bury my second child in one year. Even so, her name was proclaimed and we praised God and rejoiced for His blessing to us. I was so in love as I held her tiny hand and thought of her holding her Creator's. She will forever be a part of who I am . I am blessed!

" She will forever be the turning point in my life. Who I was before she was silently born and who I was after her short life changed me, taught me, inspired me, blessed me."
Kristen Bailey


                                                                                                    



 Day 18: Release


We were asked to share the one thing that we would desire to let go of on this journey of grief. If I were transparent and honest I would have to say anxiety. Like most mothers, I was a little nervous after giving birth to my little Ellie but I still wouldn't have considered myself "anxious". However, for me, there was something that the unexpected and sudden death of my child did to shake me to the core that day in March, 2011. I was forever changed. I was no longer that naive mother who was blind to death and only saw a perfectly healthy child and seemingly 100 more years to live. I became one who could no longer say "That will never happen to me." Sadly....that girl died that day too! Scrapes on Ellie's knees and her eating food that had made it's way to the bacteria infested floor was the least of my worries! I had been introduced to death in the most intimate way. They called me the 1%, since 1% of pregnancies end in stillbirth. That in itself made me anxious when I thought about it. I remember having anxiety to the max the week Zion died. I remember thinking each night that I would literally die in my sleep from a heart attack caused by severe anxiety and grief. Every night that I would live through I would praise God for it. Since then my anxiety has been like a roller coaster. About the the time I got it under control after losing Zion, I was hit again with losing Selah. Then I felt the same fearful emotions as I did when I lost him all over again! I was desperate and full of fears. A lot of people said to "Just get over it!" or "You're not trusting the Lord!" or the most common one, " Don't think bad thoughts , just think on the good!" To be honest , it's not that easy and that's not reality! The reality is... I have looked death in the face twice when I held my two sweet children. Death is one cold reality that will happen to all of us, even children, at our appointed time. Nevertheless, I never imagined my children dying. It's just hard to digest sometimes. Although we know they rest in perfect peace and we'll see them again, those of us left behind do mourn ,grieve, and go through all kinds of emotions. Every time I hear of someone's child dying I get a gut wrenching ,sick feeling and I know the pain that lies ahead for them.

Lately my anxiety seems much better. However, I did have some unrealistic thoughts of how I would be after having Evaelia. I thought if I could just have a live baby then my fears and anxieties would die. Not so ! There are times when I worry over Evaelia's out of character cries or even her severe quietness in her sleep. Every morning I pray before I look to see if she is warm with life. And this week when Ellie had a 105.1 temperature my mind wondered to that dark place where death is. Yes... death does something to you! It shakes you to the core and forever changes you. Thankfully, most of my days are good and the anxiety is at bay! I feel that the old saying "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" has a lot of truth in it! I have learned that these trials are a blessing and that through them we are made strong in Him. I know that all through these hardships and times of tribulation that God is in total control. He has an expected end to my story and it is glorious and beautiful in His eyes. I have no sad story to claim and I pray that no one ever feel sorry for what God has allowed in my life. I pray that I will continue to run to Him as His child when I am afraid of what tomorrow holds!

"But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head." Psalms 3:3


                                                                                                   

 Day 19: Support

Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
Day 19: Support 

I feel  blessed to have been supported by so many special people during this journey of grief. Everyone's support and love toward our family has meant so much and will never be forgotten. Nonetheless, the photo challenge asked us to share a photo of support so I just had to share my most supportive and best friend! He's been so faithful since the loss of our children and has shown his love and devotion to me. His  love  never fails, even when I crumble and fall into an emotional mush. I'll never forget him holding my hand that night when we were told our first born son had died. I remember looking into his eyes filled with compassion and strength ,while I felt so guilty and weak. He cheered me on as I  delivered the son who would never be his shadow, a son that would never carry his name to future generations. He looked at me and told me how strong I was when all I could say was how sorry I was that I couldn't give him a live baby. I felt incompetent. Each day I would ask him if I would ever smile again or did he think I could ever have a live baby again .  His response was always "YES you will !" Even through the death of Selah he was there to steady my heart. That day when we were told she was gone all I could do was scream " I can't do this again! I can't bury another baby!" He held my hand as we walked out of that doctor's office knowing that I would soon deliver his second sleeping child, and yet, he still loved me. He cheered me on again as my body painfully labored to meet our sleeping beauty Selah. I wish I could have had a camera to capture the look on his face the moment she  was born into his hands. He was so amazed and it was if for a second, death was ignored and He saw only beauty when he looked at her for the first time. He smiled as if she had been born breathing and like any proud new father would. That expression  is forever etched in my memory. He tried his best to encourage me and assure me of how strong I was. And once again he held my hand as I walked out of those hospital doors with and empty womb and empty arms. 

Throughout the losses of our children he has never once left them out. No matter how difficult the situation, whenever asked how many children he has, he always says 4. That means so much to me! He has put his grief aside so many times to minister to me in my grief. I feel so safe when my hands are covered by his. He guards my heart! He's my strong hero! He's held my head up and wiped my tears so many times. He never fails to tell me how important I am to him and our little family. He is the epitome of what a Christian husband and father should be. He teaches me daily of the sovereignty of God and that I can trust Him fully. He has built me up and shown me what STRENGTH and  HOPE really looks like.  I feel abundantly blessed to say that I am his beloved!



I feel blessed to have been supported by so many special people during this journey of grief. Everyone's support and love toward our family has meant so much and will never be forgotten. Nonetheless, the photo challenge asked us to share a photo of support so I just had to share my most supportive and best friend! He's been so faithful since the loss of our children and has shown his love and devotion to me. His love never fails, even when I crumble and fall into an emotional mush. I'll never forget him holding my hand that night when we were told our first born son had died. I remember looking into his eyes filled with compassion and strength ,while I felt so guilty and weak. He cheered me on as I delivered the son who would never be his shadow, a son that would never carry his name to future generations. He looked at me and told me how strong I was when all I could say was how sorry I was that I couldn't give him a live baby. I felt incompetent. Each day I would ask him if I would ever smile again or did he think I could ever have a live baby again . His response was always "YES you will !" Even through the death of Selah he was there to steady my heart. That day when we were told she was gone all I could do was scream " I can't do this again! I can't bury another baby!" He held my hand as we walked out of that doctor's office knowing that I would soon deliver his second sleeping child, and yet, he still loved me. He cheered me on again as my body painfully labored to meet our sleeping beauty Selah. I wish I could have had a camera to capture the look on his face the moment she was born into his hands. He was so amazed and it was if for a second, death was ignored and He saw only beauty when he looked at her for the first time. He smiled as if she had been born breathing and like any proud new father would. That expression is forever etched in my memory. He tried his best to encourage me and assure me of how strong I was. And once again he held my hand as I walked out of those hospital doors with and empty womb and empty arms.

Throughout the losses of our children he has never once left them out. No matter how difficult the situation, whenever asked how many children he has, he always says 4. That means so much to me! He has put his grief aside so many times to minister to me in my grief. I feel so safe when my hands are covered by his. He guards my heart! He's my strong hero! He's held my head up and wiped my tears so many times. He never fails to tell me how important I am to him and our little family. He is the epitome of what a Christian husband and father should be. He teaches me daily of the sovereignty of God and that I can trust Him fully. He has built me up and shown me what STRENGTH and HOPE really looks like. I feel abundantly blessed to say that I am his beloved!


                                                                                                  

 Day 20: Hope 

Photo: CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF
Day 20: Hope 

My hope for the future of those that experience the loss of a child would be that more mothers and their families could find healing and hope.  Talking about my children has helped me heal the most in my journey of grief. I pray that more women will feel open and break the silence about their losses, whether they were 4 weeks or 41 weeks pregnant, or whether they lost a child after birth. I feel that women are oppressed by our society to believe that only time or breaths taken  outside the womb merit the rights to be deemed as a baby. It saddens me after  I've had countless mothers tell me that they've never been able to talk about their loss. Unfortunately, they are still not able to fully grieve because they've never felt comfortable or qualified to acknowledge their child, and now feel guilty, even after decades  may have passed. I want to offer HOPE to those women. I want walk with them as they move towards healing. I want them to know that it's ok and may be liberating for them to share their children and their pain without the fear of feeling senseless. 

I also want to extend much love and grace to those women who have chosen abortion at some time ,and now mourn their decision. They need to grieve their baby as well. As Christians , sometimes we may tend to shorten our arm of grace to those who have made such a  decision as abortion. I had one  of my dear friends that had chosen to have an abortion years ago say to me " I have felt so much condemnation without any compassion!" I was moved by that statement and it is my desire to show compassion to these women and pray that they be restored. I want to extend the love of our Lord as I  share the promise of His forgiveness to those who are broken and are truly repentant. These women desire healing and HOPE too.

Another group of women I want to extend my heart to are those who are dealing with "infertility". The term/label infertile seems so harsh and can sometimes make people feel incompetent. I want to offer HOPE to those women, because I can relate to them. I can understand and empathize with them because we share similar pains.  I know what's it's like to want a live baby so badly, and yet, feel like I cannot produce one.  It's devastating and takes a great toll on how a woman perceives herself. 

I guess it's the doula in me that wants to minister to other women in a special way. I feel that every event in my life has brought me to this place. A place in my life where I want to help those that are broken and  share my story of  HOPE and redemption in Christ. There is HOPE for their healing and HOPE for their future. I pray that I may point them to the only ONE who can give this HOPE and healing. I also pray that we may trust in Him alone to bring  us true joy, no matter what our lot in life may be. I wanted to post this pic of my Rainbow Baby Evaelia  because to me ,this is what HOPE looks like!

My hope for the future of those that experience the loss of a child would be that more mothers and their families could find healing and hope. Talking about my children has helped me heal the most in my journey of grief. I pray that more women will feel open and break the silence about their losses, whether they were 4 weeks or 41 weeks pregnant, or whether they lost a child after birth. I feel that women are oppressed by our society to believe that only time or breaths taken outside the womb merit the rights to be deemed as a baby. It saddens me after I've had countless mothers tell me that they've never been able to talk about their loss. Unfortunately, they are still not able to fully grieve because they've never felt comfortable or qualified to acknowledge their child, and now feel guilty, even after decades may have passed. I want to offer HOPE to those women. I want walk with them as they move towards healing. I want them to know that it's ok and may be liberating for them to share their children and their pain without the fear of feeling senseless.

I also want to extend much love and grace to those women who have chosen abortion at some time ,and now mourn their decision. They need to grieve their baby as well. As Christians , sometimes we may tend to shorten our arm of grace to those who have made such a decision as abortion. I had one of my dear friends that had chosen to have an abortion years ago say to me " I have felt so much condemnation without any compassion!" I was moved by that statement and it is my desire to show compassion to these women and pray that they be restored. I want to extend the love of our Lord as I share the promise of His forgiveness to those who are broken and are truly repentant. These women desire healing and HOPE too.

Another group of women I want to extend my heart to are those who are dealing with "infertility". The term/label infertile seems so harsh and can sometimes make people feel incompetent. I want to offer HOPE to those women, because I can relate to them. I can understand and empathize with them because we share similar pains. I know what's it's like to want a live baby so badly, and yet, feel like I cannot produce one. It's devastating and takes a great toll on how a woman perceives herself.

I guess it's the doula in me that wants to minister to other women in a special way. I feel that every event in my life has brought me to this place. A place in my life where I want to help those that are broken and share my story of HOPE and redemption in Christ. There is HOPE for their healing and HOPE for their future. I pray that I may point them to the only ONE who can give this HOPE and healing. I also pray that we may trust in Him alone to bring us true joy, no matter what our lot in life may be. I wanted to post this pic of my Rainbow Baby Evaelia because to me ,this is what HOPE looks like!






 

Capture Your Grief : A Healing Photography Challenge-Part 2

  Day 5: My Memories


The memory that stands out the most of my little Zion is his lips. When "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" came to take pictures of him they were so compassionate and they took many beautiful shots as tears trickled from their face. Nonetheless, I was devastated when I received my disc of photos and they were all in black/white. I lost it! It felt like I had lost him all over again! I couldn't see my little boy with his lips of perfect crimson. I was so desperate to see him as he was that I contacted the photographer and requested them in color. She wanted to warn me and inform me that as an organization they send all the pictures in black/white because of the appearance of the majority of babies that pass. I was ecstatic when she said that she would send me Zion's in color because he actually looked great. I was never so relieved as when the new disc arrived and I could see him again! My beautiful little boy! I could see his beautiful red lips that God gave him.

I wish I could have more memories of Selah than I do. Our time together seemed so short, however, I do have several memories of her that I cherish dearly. The memory that stands out the most of my little Selah is her tiny and wonderfully made hands. Often I post the pic of the hands in memory of her and what her tiny hands looked like. The day she was born we all were in awe at her little body and how it had grown. Her hands and feet were so precious and looking at her made you gasp at the thought that she could ever be considered only a fetus, and not a baby. I held those two tiny hands and two tiny feet and I knew she was walking on streets of gold and her hands were lifted in praise to the God who had created her. My beautiful little girl! That's when her name became Selah!


                                                                                             


 

In October we take the "Walk To Remember" with so many other loss parents. As a family we walk to celebrate Zion & Selah's life, their existence, not just to remember that they are gone from us. Whether we acknowledge it or not, each one that walks this journey of grief are all only able to walk it because God has given us the strength to do so. He is worthy to be praised!

                                                                                            
 Day 7: You Now



It seems like yesterday that I laid their little bodies to rest and grief became a part of my story. I know now why they call it a journey. I've come to a place now that I can truly smile again! That's something satan tried to tell me would never be possible. The good days by far out weigh the bad. However, some days are just bad! I had one last week when I felt so low. It was a day when I had taken Ellie to the park . I was watching her and so many other children run and play so free and full of energy and life .Then it just hit me! I was reminded that there are 4 tiny hands and 4 tiny feet that I will never watch playing and swinging high in the air. I will never hear their laugh or hear them scream for mommy's help. Yeah... that was a bad day! When I came home I just lost myself on Jeremy's big shoulders and all I could squall was " I miss my babies!!“ As always, his tender voice reassured me that missing them was ok! We will never get over what our children have brought into our lives. Now, we love deeper, live more compassionately, and we know more about true HOPE! We pray that we may help encourage others to embrace their children and their children's precious lives whether they be alive or in a heavenly place. They are a gift! We also pray that we may encourage others to see the beauty that God makes out of ashes!

My verse for where I'm at in grief now-"As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." 2 Cor. 6 :10


                                                                                            

 Day 8: Color
 


The color that reminds me of Zion is baby blue. When they brought him back to me after his first bath he was wrapped in this beautiful blue blanket and blue crocheted hat. Deep inside I always wanted a little boy that dressed in blue, played in the dirt, wore his cowboy boots with his jeans tucked in, and always into mischief like his daddy. I got my little boy that day, dressed in blue, however, I hate that I won't get to see him in all the mischief !! You know the kind where all you can say is "That's my boy!" and just shake your head and smirk. LOL! Every single time I see that color I can still see his masculine little body swaddled tightly by the blues. I love my baby boy, Zion Jeremiah Sams!

When I think of Selah, the color is burnt orange. It's my favorite Fall color and oh.... how I love Fall ! She was born in November and the air was chilly and windy the day we laid her to rest . I still remember all my family and loved ones gathered round as we celebrated her life and existence. It was a beautiful sight to see everyone that wanted to honor her. Everyone was wrapped up tightly. Burnt orange stood out that day because it was all around us. The leaves, the pumpkins, and my favorite, my best friend Jennifer 's beautiful crocheted hat. She was so pretty as she sang to my Selah . Burnt orange brings nothing but happiness my way because when I see it I always think of her, my baby girl!

                                                                                            
 Day 9: Music
 My song for Zion. This song stays in my heart and it's my testimony. It was sung at Zion's funeral by special friends of ours. I thought I would make it personal and I tried to sing it the best I could with my phone recording. Forgive my singing and just listen to the words.

http://soundcloud.com/sams-i-am/gods-been-good


A song for my Selah. This song reminds me of Selah because it was sung at her funeral by a dear friend. I tried to sing it here without choking up too much. It's words are so true for both my children in heaven. I will carry them in my heart until the day I can hold them in my arms.


http://soundcloud.com/sams-i-am/i-will-carry-you


                                                                                 


Day 10: Beliefs


This is a picture that Jeremy painted of Ellie when she was only 3 days old. It depicts a baby safe in the arms of Jesus. Little did we know that all of our children would resemble little Ellie, so it has great significance! Ok.. onto my beliefs.The challenge did ask for "our beliefs" so please...I pray that any one who may not share the same beliefs as me doesn't feel disheartened or offended.

* I believe that life is precious no matter what week of gestation and that each life was foreordained before the foundation of the world.
* I believe that all babies are children , not just fetuses or a clump of cells that did or didn't form.
* Because I believe babies are children I hate abortion because it takes a precious life.
*I believe that all men will spend an eternity in heaven or hell.
*I believe that my children both are in heaven and are worshiping their Creator at this present time.
*I believe that as all men do, they had their appointed time to live and die here on Earth, according to scripture.( Hbr 9:27)
*I believe that they only see beauty and perfection before them.
*It doesn't bother me when people say it but I personally don't believe that my Zion & Selah are tiny little babies in heaven.I believe this because in heaven there will be no needs. I'm thinking that they are at a prime age, maybe even 33 like Jesus was when he died IDK.
*I believe that God is totally Sovereign in all things! That means in TOTAL control!
* I believe that everything that has happened or will happen in my story is for my good and for God's glory!
* I believe that one day my faith in all these things will become sight and I will behold Him!


                                                                                         
 Day: 11 -Emotional Triggers 
           


I would have to say that my biggest emotional trigger would be watching my children grow. Seeing Ellie, Evaelia and her cousins grow makes my hear hurt a little sometimes.At times I just burst out into tears when I see family photos and their are two little faces missing. Watching children play just gives me a spiritual picture of how we should be in Christ, carefree and full of life! I see them run and play and think of my Zion and Selah and that they are carefree and full of life in heaven. Today when I saw Zion's best friend Judah running, playing, and being mischievous, it was so bittersweet. I imagined my Zion being by his side being a boy. Today I looked for at all the dark headed 2 yr. old girls and imagined my Selah. She was so beautiful in my eyes! So I guess all little babies /children just steal my heart and remind me of what I have in heaven and earth. I am reminded that I am blessed!

                                                                                                         

Day:12 Article

"Help My Baby Has Died" was a short read given to us by some special friends. It is a short leaflet type book but it was just what I needed at my time of loss. The main theme of the book is "There is indeed a God, and he is faithful and worthy of your trust, even now--especially now. He is the eternal, inextinguishable hope for grieving families."-Reggie Weems

Today we try to give these books out to those who experience the great loss of a precious baby. If you know anyone you would like for us to send one to let us know. We pray that God will grant us words of encouragement and HOPE to other grieving families!

                                                                                    
 Day 13: Book


This is a great book on the Sovereignty of God in suffering and the purposes of God in suffering. It is a book of comfort and I've found it to be a great help to steady my heart during trials and suffering.


                                                                                      


  Day 14: Family 

 


This is a pic from one of our latest family photo sessions. I think it totally depicts what we were thinking at the time. We are still in awe at the blessings of God. In this pic and the next few that followed I had to brush back the tears as I remembered. I remembered a long, pain filled journey that had brought me to this place of victory and confidence in the ONE who's all I need. My times of doubt were vanquished when she came and I got to hold His promise to me. I hold His blessings every day. I hold a husband who adores me, two babies that need me and will never outgrow my arms , and two babies that I will carry within my heart until I meet eternity. I hold tight to God's blessings and promises. The enemy would desire to sift us as wheat and watch us crumble beneath our sufferings but I have a mighty God who puts all our enemies under His feet. He picks us up from the rubble and dusts off the ashes that the fiery trials have left behind, giving us beauty for ashes. To God alone be the glory!


                                                                                       


Day 15: Wave of Light



This is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. We light this candle in memory of all the babies whose parents are unable to squeeze them tightly and kiss them goodnight because they are in a heavenly place far away from us. This is a candle holder that my Little Ellie made for me and I cherish it dearly. Today's grief challenge was light and so I thought hey..... this little light of mine....I'm gonna let it shine! As I burned it tonight I thought of the light that has illuminated my heart by my little Zion & Selah! It's a light not seen by the eye and not even death can exstinguish it. It is a part of me that will burn forever. Tonight I think of my children and so many others' that have gone on before them.They will forever be in our hearts and could never be forgotten.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Capture Your Grief : A Healing Photography Challenge-Part 1

 Day 1: Sunrise
 
This was a beach trip that my family and I took this summer just to let the children watch the sun rise on the ocean for the first time. I couldn't help but think of four tiny hands and four tiny feet that were not walking down those dusty dunes that morning to celebrate with us. I know their view of the Son is much more beautiful than anything my eyes will ever behold this side of heaven.

                                                                                                                                                                   
Day 2: Identity

Our little Zion Jeremiah Sams was born sleeping on March 29th 2011 at High Point Regional Hospital. He weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 2o in. long. We chose Zion because we love Hebrew names and his name meant way marker or sign. He has shown me that no matter how bleak it may seem, whatever God has written in your story is made beautiful in His eyes. He had a head full of black hair and full red lips and was such a masculine boy. He has made my life beautiful !



My little Selah Sams was born Nov. 17th, 2011 at High Point Regional Hospital. They didn't weigh her but we guessed that she weighed around 1 lb and was about 10 in long. I looked at her and I knew that I was blessed. She was fearfully and wonderfully made. This pic reminds me of her daily because her tiny hands captured my attention. They were so delicate and so intricately sculpted. Her lips were full and her eyes were almond shaped just like her sissy's. I touched her round face and knew that I had touched beauty. She had the same flat feet that I had passed on to her brother and sister. We named her Selah because it means to pause and praise and that's we did the moment we held her! We didn't want to give her a middle name because Selah says it all. She's my baby girl that's made my life beautiful!

Tiny hands that will hold our hearts forever.

                                                                                                                                                                   

Day3 : Myths About Grief  
 


I mentioned several myths about grief but I would have to say that "You'll get over it." is the one that sticks out the most. I actually had a preacher one time tell me to " Just get over it! " after my losses. I still haven't gotten over that heartless statement and I surely haven't gotten over the loss of my children. I know that the pain does differ at times and seems to change like the seasons. However,it's not just a "bump in the the road", also another heartless statement that this same man made to me. They are my children and there is a connection between us that not even death can sever! I understand that people do only believe these myths and can't fully understand grief if they have never been through such a loss, so I try to have mercy on them. I do my best to educate and encourage others to be realistic about death and grief. I pray that God would help me to reach out to the brokenhearted and show them Christ.


                                                                                                                                                                   

  Day 4: Legacy Your Children Left Behind


Follow by Email