Tag Archives: Flowers

Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #31


Halloween is always such a busy night in our home.  I often miss the sunset or opt to take a picture the day before.  This year I decided that I would finish the month with an image of the very same plant I started it with.  If you remember, day 1 was Clara’s last remaining funeral plant with it’s very first bloom in almost two years. As the month has progressed I have watched in awe as that bloom has grown and another has grown too.

I feel like it is so symbolic of this month’s journey and writings.  So much growth can happen in the right conditions.  Thank you to everyone who helped create those right conditions for my growth. Thank you for allowing me to share my wounds with you. Thank you for all the words of encouragement each day. This project always allows me to search my soul and find comfort.  Tonight I close this book and enjoy the pink sweetheart-shaped flowers that have experienced as much growth in this month as I have.  I will smile, sigh, and know that sometimes things like this are the best reminders that Clara’s spirit is still touching us when we need it most. <3



Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #23

Sounds, Season, Scents

It is no surprise that my favorite season is spring.  It is the season of rebirth and beauty.  It is the season that Clara saw in her short life.  Spring reminds me of pink and everything we love about her.  Spring isn’t always perfect.  It can be unpredictable but one thing that is always true is that spring means new growth.  It means I will be seeing my favorite flowers and making a trip to South Dakota.  The years that these lovely flowers have been blown off by the wind way too early remind me of the little life we lost too soon.

As the birds begin to chirp it reminds me of the dove in the cemetery the day of the funeral. One of our favorite parts of spring is the return of the ducks to the river.  The kids and I enjoy visiting and feeding them.  We visit the Statue of Hope at City Park in Iowa City.  We walk the area and watch as the river rises.  A reminder that not everything will go according to plan.  We will have unexpected losses but there is always rebuilding afterward.  With rebuilding comes so many new friendships and new doors to open.  Life isn’t the same but we return and continue to grow.

The smell of the warmer air and lovely smell of light rain are always welcome.  Winter is bare and empty.  No sounds but the howling wind. Nothing to look at but bare trees and frozen ground. Spring means the beginning of warmth. It reminds me of the warmth I felt when Clara arrived.  Spring reminds me of her smiles and the love she radiated. The rain softly falls reminding me of the days we stayed in our pj’s all day, cuddling by the window.  Spring just reminds me of all the best things of Clara. It is absolutely my favorite and no other season will ever compare. <3



A Piece of My Heart Smiles

Seven years ago I held you for the last time.  Your body perfect, your eyes closed, your heart no longer beating.  I will be forever grateful for the nurse who called to seek permission to remove your breathing tube and the staff that wrapped you snuggly in a warm blanket.  It left me with the memory that you were simply napping rather than the limp body that I held.

May 12, 2009 is a day burned into memory.  One with many tears and lots of questions.  It was a day we got the call, not to receive an organ but to give one.  We later learned that your heart valves went to two children.  More tears.  That day it took courage to get up and go on.

Today it takes courage to say, I don’t always cry when I think of you.  I didn’t cry today on the anniversary of your passing. My grief isn’t always expressed with tears anymore.

Grief is so different seven years later.  I used to feel ashamed that I don’t cry as often as I once did.  Ashamed that while I do think of you, it isn’t every single day.  Does it mean I love you less?  Am I forgetting you?  Never.

Instead of crying, I smile when I see pictures of your smiling face.  I smile when I get to talk to others about you. I don’t dread people asking me about the number of kids I have.  I don’t worry about upsetting someone by sharing you are gone.  I know that others will simply share their sympathy and sometimes, when I am lucky, they will ask more about you.  Not about your passing but about you.  Things like which sibling looks more like you or if we got to see your smile.  Today people even ask to see you in pictures.  They want to know know more about this little life that made such an impact on our lives.

I find my heart filled when I meet children who were born in January 2009.  I find myself watching them with a smile knowing you probably would be doing those same things.  Rather than remind me of what I am missing, I find they give me a glimpse into the eyes of a seven-year-old.  Their play, their hugs, they make me smile.

I will forever watch your tree grow in our yard.  Watch as the pretty pink flowers bloom each May reminding me of you. I will always feel a little pang of sadness as the flowers change to white and blow away in the wind.  A simple reminder of the shortness of your life in our arms.

It takes courage to admit that today, I am okay, happy even. I am so fortunate to have held you. I am thankful that your life has helped others. You were loved and you are still very loved.

We miss you baby girl!



#CaptureYourGrief – Day #18

Seasons & Symbols


It is no secret that spring is my season of comfort.  I once did a bible study about the desert times in our life. It reminded me of my time in deep grief, my winter.  Spring comes after winter, rains come after the dry seasons.  It brings new beginnings and new birth.  It reminds me of all the beautiful things that came from Clara’s passing.  Springs helps me focus on the little life we held for an entire season.  Spring is filled with newness and pink and yellow and Clara.

My symbol of Clara?  The pink flowers that bloom every spring near the time of her passing.  After Clara’s funeral we were given a tree to plant in memory of her.  The person who gave the gift was particular about this tree.  He wanted it to have pink flowers for our little girl.

We brought home an ornamental crab apple tree that blooms that most beautiful pink blossoms.  The delicate blooms are brief, lasting just a few days to a week. Several years the wind has blown like a lion. Some of the flowers fly away quickly while others firmly hold on. It reminds me of the brief time we held Clara and how firmly we hold onto our memories.

Last year when I did this project I wrote about the sadness I felt with moving from South Dakota to Iowa and having to leave her tree behind.  This May I was pleasantly surprised while doing dishes.  I looked out the window and saw those lovely little pink buds on the tree in our backyard.  In a matter of days pretty pink graced the tree. It wasn’t planned.  We didn’t know. It was a simple reminder that Clara is with us no matter where we go.  It touched us in a way that said, “I am here and you are meant to be here.”




The CarlyMarie Project – Day 13


"The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring."  Bern Williams

“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day He created spring.”
Bern Williams

Spring!  The season of new birth.  Everything about spring reminds me of Clara.  The new flowers on the rose bushes, the pink blossoms on her tree, the sun shining, the green grass, and celebration of Easter.  Even the rain reminds me of her.  The way it comes and goes reminds me of the waves of tears I shed, then and now, for her.  If I could live in a single season, it would be spring 🙂