Complicated Joy

pregnancy complicated joy

For all of the beauty found in celebrating the liturgical year, I find that marking milestones by these holy seasons and rituals has a tendency to make whatever experience that much more intense and emotional for me. Pregnancy announcements during Advent—potent. Witnessing conversion and Baptism at Easter Vigil—stick a fork in me. Gifts of selflessness…

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A Prayer for Miscarriage

a prayer for miscarriage

This prayer for miscarriage is featured in the book Pocket Prayers for Times of Trouble (Twenty-Third Publications, 2014). God of comfort, you who are mother and father of us all, hear my anguish at the loss of my child. My heart and body are broken, wracked with pain and grief. Let me bring you my cries and my confusion, my anger…

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Breaking & Becoming: Your Turn

breaking & becoming

This Week on Mothering Spirit Rakhi’s essay about grieving her parents gives voice to the mystery of love persisting. Rachel’s prayer reminds us there is space for our stories, for all that is breaking and becoming. Resources to keep reflecting To help grieving children in your life, visit the Dougy Center for resources: The National Grief Center…

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The Mystery of Love Persisting

I can still feel the waves of nausea that began to hit my stomach when I heard the news. My whole world was turning upside down, and I had no way to stop it. The voices in my head were swirling around like a plastic bag being blown by a cyclone. I was about to…

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Mystery and Motherhood: Your Turn

mystery of motherhood

This Week on Mothering Spirit Rachael’s essay invited us to look at ordinary moments of motherhood with fresh eyes, to see the beauty within the mystery of God’s love. Rachel’s prayer spoke deep truth to weary bones, that we are always beloved. Resources to keep reflecting For more writing from this week’s essayist, read Courage, Dear Heart and The Quiet…

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come, the still-joys

He laughs now, this rolling plump of a babe. Chortles like a chuckling gentleman when I tickle under his chin. The laughter is intoxicating; we are all addicted. His doting brothers swarm the changing table for a chance to coax out another. In the instant when his round eyes brighten and his soft mouth opens…

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the spiritual side of pregnancy after loss

pregnancy after loss

Pregnancy after the loss of a baby – following miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death – is a daunting prospect.  From a distance I used to think “trying again” or “having another baby” must be a happy, hopeful, healing part of parenthood. (File this away under “Things I Didn’t Really Understand Until They Happened to Me.”)…

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how to talk to parents after their child died

Many readers have asked me how to talk to a friend or relative who lost a baby. What to say? What not to say? How to start? I know it’s daunting. All parties involved – especially the parents – wish the conversation never existed in the first place. But it’s so important to talk about death.…

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you can imagine. let me help you.

parents grief

As newly bereaved parents, we hear this all the time. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling. I can’t imagine what this is like. I can’t imagine. I understand this sentiment completely. People want to be respectful of the terrible loss we have experienced. They don’t want to assume that…

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the empty due date

empty due date

I wrote this on the anniversary of the due date that wasn’t.  I wasn’t going to share it here. Then I was reminded that we all carry our handful of hard days each year: the death of a loved one, the anniversary of an accident, the memory of a loss, the date of a tragedy. If we…

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the trash tells the story

miscarriage story

A month ago I ran into a friend as we were both rushing into church from the whipping winter wind. She held the door for me, and I sprinted inside, breathing steam. As we shivered in the entryway, trying to warm up, she said, “Oh! I meant to tell you – I read your book. I…

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