Tag Archives: Pink

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 #11

Creative Heartwork

Over the past seven years we have been given many gifts in remembrance of Clara.  Angels, jewelry, flowers, tokens at the cemetery.  This year when we were back in South Dakota we were surprised with the beautiful heartwork.  This blanket is absolutely everything Clara from the pink butterflies to the green stripes.  It reminds me of her flower play mat with the crinkly butterfly.  It reminds me of the lovely white dress she work for Easter, our family pictures, and as her last outfit.

We will forever treasure the blanket/quilt.  You know what makes it even more awesome?! It was on display in a South Dakota fabric store for several weeks. Even though it is years later, someone still took the time to share Clara’s memory with the world and then give this gift to us to treasure.  <3




Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #10

Signs & Symbols

When Clara passed away we were given a beautiful crabapple tree.  The following year it bloomed during the week of her passing.  It was absolutely unexpected but it felt like a sign from her.  For the next few years we would watch her tree bloom each May.  One of the hardest things to do was move away from her tree.  It was heart wrenching to know that I wasn’t going to see this tree grow and bloom.  It reminded me of the pain when we lost Clara. We promised each other that we would leave little pink trees everywhere we went.

That next May little pink flowers bloomed on a tree at our rental.  I could hardly believe my eyes!!  They weren’t from a tree we planted but from one that was already there. It felt like a sign that were were right where we were supposed to be and that she was right there with us.

This spring we finally settled into a new home.  We knew that our new place wouldn’t have our favorite pink tree.  On Mother’s Day weekend (the weekend she passed) we went out in search of another crabapple and came home with a beautiful tiny tree already full of blooms.  We look forward to watching another tree grow with us.   Every time I see these lovely pink blooms I am reminded that she is still with us.  Her beauty is in those flowers.  Her life was real and it is still touching ours.  I may not be able to physically touch her but I most certainly feel her.




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 🙂