Category Archives: CarlyMarie Project 2017

{Capture Your Grief – 2017} Day #5

Day #5: Soul Therapy

It is no surprise that cakes are my soul therapy. They give me a creative outlet and they allow me to give other children something Clara never got.  Each week I am afforded an opportunity to celebrate milestones with families. There is not a word in the English language that is strong enough to describe the “love” I feel when each birthday cake leaves my home.

I have often said you can tell how stressful of a week I had by the awesomeness of the cake. Today I am not sure that is the case but I do appreciate that creating cakes is still a stress reliever. Each week I melt, kneed, measure, cut, and wrap up my stress and transform it into pieces of art.

Our special days are never guaranteed. Today, as I work on a new batch of cakes for the week, I am reminded of the real reason I create. I am reminded that it is an honor and privilege to be part of the memories these families set out to make. Each cake symbolizes a little stress, grief, and anxiety transformed into the perfect dessert wrapped in love and hope. <3

#WhatHealsYou #CaptureYourGrief


{Capture Your Grief – 2017} Day #4

Day #4: Belonging

I have never been good at maintaining close friendships.  I have almost always been transient and fluid, belonging to a wide variety of groups.  I have carried that into adulthood.  I find that I belong to a group for a while and then another comes along.  We all grow differently and I feel like that change is necessary to my own growth.  The one thing I have learned through my grief is that I connect with anyone who recognizes that my grief journey is not a problem that needs to be solved.

All too often people share words of comfort that veer toward solving the heartache rather than comforting the griever. It is like someone is trying to solve the problem by placing the puzzle piece in sideways.  Usually, they give up, put the piece back down, and move on.

Sometimes people don’t like the puzzle you have become.  They tend to walk away without a word. It’s not because they are mean or don’t care, but because they don’t know what to do.

Once-in-a-while you meet someone who not only places the piece down incorrectly, they jam it in and attempt to hammer in just so they can solve the problem their way. For me, this group of people was often those closest to my heart.  They also were the most upset/hurt when I shared how their problem solving was hurting me.

The people I try to surround myself with are those who care. They stop and listen and learn what is I need rather than telling me what is needed. I appreciate when people recognize that while my puzzle is almost complete, it will never be 100%. They don’t search me for that last piece nor try to craft a replacement one.  They acknowledge that Clara took a single piece with her.  They can stand back and appreciate the rest of the puzzle without thinking it is worthless.

I am forever grateful for my ever-changing tribe.  They are always the most amazing, caring, loving people.  Whether they are still with me today or have moved on, their lives touched mine at a time when I needed it most. For that I must say, thank you!

#CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou


{Capture Your Grief – 2017} Day #3

Day #3: Meaningful Mantra

Mantras change just as our grief changes. I started with “She knew she could, so she did.”.  Then I moved to “share the comfort you have been given.”.  Today “I am enough” fits the year.

Strangers, friends, and even loved ones will say things about your loss that will make you question yourself.  I doubted so much about myself and my loss for so long.  Could I have done this differently or that differently?  Could I have handled this situation better? Could I have started an organization or done more to promote SIDS awareness?  Who knows.

Maybe I should have saved more things of Clara’s.  Maybe I should have given more away.  Maybe we should have waited to have another child.  Maybe we should have moved out of our home. Maybe we should have stayed longer.  Maybe I should have told people their words were hurtful.  Maybe I was too sensitive.  Maybe I didn’t cry enough.  Maybe I cried too much.  The list goes on and on.

I have hit the point in my life and grief journey where I feel the understanding the I am enough.  Who I am as a mother and a bereaved mother is enough. What I do to honor Clara is enough.  The remaining items I have of Clara’s is enough.

I know there may be a day when I lose everything we have left of Clara’s belongings.  While I know that will be a sad day for me, I also know that my heart will continue to share her life with others.  I know that she may not live on after I am gone.  I know that thinking that is okay.

I know that the cakes I create are enough to share my baby girl.  I know that I would be overwhelmed with a non-profit organization in her honor.  I know that cakes are the perfect remembrance and enough.

Lastly, I am enough.  I don’t need answers to all those questions on if I am good enough or did the right things.  I know it was enough for me.  I don’t need to be compared to anyone else.  You see, much like these traffic cones, we all have bumps, bruises, and scars yet we all get back up and do the job we were intended to do.  We stand together.  We are not the same. Our scars are not the same. We continue to love our kids, love ourselves, and hold on to hope that the scars won’t wear us down nor hold us back.

Move over guilt and grief…I am enough.

#CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou


{Capture Your Grief – 2017} Day #2

Day #2: Rise + Shine Mourning Ritual

Never been truer words.  In the early days, in your weakest moments, it takes work to get out of bed. You don’t feel strong enough to face the day. In those moments, I needed a routine, a ritual to help me build up the strength to get through each day.

Every morning, I got up and I ached. I ached because everything was new to my body, my mind, my heart. It hurt to move, to think, to love. The weight of my grief reminded me of the days when you first start working out. Each day I got stronger, my body able to carry the weight of grief.  There were days when I still felt weak. Then there were days when I thought I could handle more weight than I could.  I cried those days. My tears like a shower that washed the sweat off my body.  The next day I would start over and remind myself, it isn’t a race. There is no finish line.

As the years have passed, my strength has been built up. Rituals don’t always include tears. I often talk about Clara with a bold passion I never knew possible.  I still have moments of weakness, moments of guilt and fear. In those times, it is the reminder of our established rituals that keep me going and remind me of the strength that is deep within my heart.

#CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou


{Capture Your Grief – 2017} Day #1

Day 1 Sunrise:

Today is the beginning of a month-long grief project to fill October’s infant loss awareness month. I have participated in the project for many years and just like our grief changes, so has this project. This year is less about sharing our children and more about honoring them in our journey to heal. I know that there are days I plan to change a bit to meet the needs of my heart but I love the guidance the CarlyMarie Project Heal (#CaptureYourGrief) gives. I hope you join me each day as I share my journey through my own grief and hope.

Today I have chosen to quote, “They say time heals all wounds, but that presumes the source of the grief is finite.” because even after eight years, there are still wounds in my heart. There is no time limit on grief. It stays with you every day of the rest of your life. Grief does change though. As the years go on, it morphs into different things. You feel differently, you deal with things differently. I continue to do this project to express how things change from year to year. It also gives me dedicated time to focus on the many blessings of Clara’s short life, my loss, and my growth/healing.

Good morning sunrise! Good morning Miss Clara! Today we begin a new chapter. #CaptureYourGrief #WhatHealsYou