Tag Archives: Holding hands

Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #27

Family is Forever

Nothing can change the fact that our family will always feel incomplete.  We will always have a school picture that won’t change when everyone else’s does.  People will always notice our large age gap between the big boys and the little boys.  What we can change is how we acknowledge our gap.

For our family, our favorite way to acknowledge Clara’s place in our family is by taking our yearly family picture at the Walk, Run, Race for Their Live’s event. Although we started creating a team in Clara’s memory in 2009, we didn’t take our first family photo with her banner until 2010.  It has been both healing and a way to make new, meaningful memories together.  This year a professional photographer shared her talent to help all the families take a picture with their little one’s image.

With each picture, these images remind us of the good times we dedicate to making new memories with Clara.  It isn’t the way I ever imagined it to be but I am thankful for the opportunity to create new traditions with the kids.  The time the kids spend talking to family and friends and hearing stories of their sister make it a meaningful way to knit our family a little tighter.



#CaptureYourGrief – Day #28

Reach Out


Reaching out applies to grievers and everyone else.  I have been in the position where “let us know what you need” doesn’t get answered. I honestly didn’t know what I needed or what I needed that person couldn’t provide.  I was thankful for those who just brought food and paper plates and plastic spoons.  Someone even brought us toilet paper.  Others took the time to spend evenings with us.  I especially appreciated those who remembered us months after our loss. Those are the ways of reaching out, that were helpful to me.

Sometimes reaching out is simply reaching to your partner.  There were many times when the two of us connected and felt comfort.  I also remember reaching out to my husband and not feeling his hand hold mine (and vise versa). We were at places where we couldn’t be there for each other.  For me that was when I decided I needed to reach outside my comfort zone.

Social media has opened the doors for finding others who can help.  I liked the anonymousness.  The women I met never appeared to judge me and we grew together.  We leaned on each other in our difficult times.  Those moments are what sustained me when friends, family, and my husband couldn’t help me in the ways I needed.

The journey is long and along the path isn’t straight. As grievers we can get so lost in our sorrow that we can’t or won’t reach out.  This is especially true in the very beginning and, then again, when the world thinks we “should be healed”.  Remind yourself that it is okay to take a timeout in the trees but if you get stuck in mud, call out for help.  And friends, family, and outsiders… take the time to reach out when you are called to.  Sometimes it takes every ounce of courage we have to call to you.


If you have some free time listen to this song that reminds me of reaching out.
I won’t let go – Rascal Flatts




#CaptureYourGrief – Day #23

Love Letter


I woke up to a lovely little text from my husband.  As the morning has passed we have exchanged many I love you’s.  It was a nice way to engage in the love letter’s theme although I am not sure he knows that was todays topic.  We have a date night planned with dinner and a theater production too.

We had only been married 7 months when we lost Clara.  We quickly found date nights to be helpful ways to reconnect each month.  We dedicate that time to less kid talking and more future planning.  Before Clara we didn’t do this much.  We worked opposite hours often and weekends were busy with work as well.  It didn’t take long to know we needed each other, to hold hands, to be a couple.  We needed to be united as we walked through the downpours of life.

Today we will take the time to celebrate making it to the other side and being there for the next storm.  Today we won’t write our love letter on paper, we will experience it together.  As I look outside, I see that we will be walking together and holding hands in the rain.  This time it won’t be a sad rain with tears and pain but one with love in our hearts and smiles on our faces.

“We can’t stop the downpour but I am thankful to hold your hand, walking through the rain.”



#CaptureYourGrief – Day #9



Each year when the topic of family comes up I share our family photo from the Run for Their Lives 5k run.  I love that image as it captures the growth of our family and the honor of seeing Clara with us.  I will always cherish those pictures.  Today I want to share something that weighs on my heart as I watch our family interact with each other.

You can see in the picture I chose today, Lincoln is holding hands with the angel.  In many ways our family is split.  We have big boys – little kids, boys – girls, and we have pairs.  Well, we should have pairs.  I often see how well my kids interact while in pairs.  Damon and Mason are best friends and Haleigh and Preston are too.  Along the way Lincoln is missing his partner.  He journeys through so much and yet he can’t physically hold his parter in crime’s hand.

He talks of Clara often though.  He can pick her smiling face out of a group of pictures.  He asks about her life and passing.  He says, “I can’t have that.  I am allergic to peanuts and I am not ready to visit my sister in Heaven yet.  My mom and dad would be sad.”.

He was the first one of the kids to want to hold the angels hand at the park.  He said that it reminded him of his sister.  It reminds me that while we aren’t holding her hand in real life, she is there, in our hearts, forever.  Our family will never feel complete on earth.  People will forget she was here.  Our favorite family images will always be the ones that happen to show Clara’s life whether capturing it was planned or unplanned.

Visit my previous blog post about feeling someone in Heaven.



Lincoln holding his partner’s hands.


Cousins showing our missing little lady.

Family photo 2015

Family photo 2015

Day 30 Intention

Family Photo 2014

Family photo 2013

Day 18 Family Portrait 2012

Family Photo 2012

Day 18 Family Portrait 2011

Family photo 2011


Holding Hands

For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Isaiah 41:13

Most of us have cared for young children. Maybe you have cared for one with strong fears.  I can tell you from experience it can be tough for both the child and the parents.  Children naturally lean to us when they are fearful.  We have spent many days holding our children’s hands through blood draws, tests, surgeries, loss, or the anxiety of watching others suffer.  Each time they reach out their hand for reassurance that everything is going to be okay.  Often times they don’t want to let go and tears flow.  The grip of a young child in fear is one that pulls at the heart.  We want nothing more than to show them everything will be okay.  God wants to do the same for them and for us too.

As adults our fears are far more reaching that just our children’s health.  Many of us fear the ramifications of day to day decisions like moving, finances, jobs, stress, relationships, ect.  We need His help to overcome our own fears.  Just like our sweet children run to us, we should run to God.  But how many times do we really remember that He is there holding out His hand to us.  How many of us try to take our hand away and hold onto that fear?   We try to maintain control of a situation, thus holding onto the fear that goes with it.   That fear can leave us feeling alone, empty, and our life at a standstill.  It can blind us to the path God has in front of us.  All too often it causes us to focus on the bad instead of seeing any good in our situation.  When we hold onto fear, our children see that and they learn to do the same.

Chris and I have lived through the biggest fear of any parent.  Our daughter, Clara, passed away from SIDS in 2009.  Shortly after Clara’s passing we found out I was pregnant.  After a healthy pregnancy Lincoln was born with what was classified as a “cosmetic birth defect”.  Five months later we would learn differently.  As the doctor listed off issues they found on the MRI our heads spun and our hearts ached.  Nothing had prepared us for the fear that gripped us.  When our older boys came to us in fear of losing another sibling, we held their hands.  We questioned how we were to comfort them when we ourselves needed relief from fear?  We soon realized it was an opportunity to show our children how we rely on our Father for comfort from our fears just like they rely on us.

This week I challenge you to look at how you react when you are fearful.  Are you holding your Father’s hand like your children hold yours or do you pull it away? Are you taking opportunities to show your children that you seek God’s help with fears, just like they seek yours?  Take time to share a fear with your children and show them how you hold God’s hand.  Through facing fears together as a family you will see a change in your children as well.  They will learn to not only hold your hand but God’s hand too.  It is a gift that will forever change them.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. Psalm 56:3