April 29, 2013

Goodbye to Our Gracie-girl

Many of you have already heard that on Friday, April 26th at 30 weeks and 1 day our Gracie-girl was born to us. She was born into our arms but her sweet spirit had already gone to be with the Lord. She was 15 inches long and 5 pounds and already had her Daddy's dark hair.

She was beautiful. Perfect. And I have never loved so intensely in my entire life.

Every day I've wanted to write, to remember her, but I'm learning that Grief leaves no part of your being unscathed. Our first two days home I found that simply existing required all of my energy. And today, three days since we said hello and goodbye, I'm finding that I can't let another day go by without writing about her. I have to remember her.

I used to think that when a person was grieving, they cried all day long. And perhaps for some, that's true. For me, the grief hits in waves. And then it's wave upon wave and I wonder how I will survive the next 30 seconds, much less the rest of my life without her.

Today Matt and I had to meet with the funeral director to discuss her services. Matt parked in front of the building and I suddenly began weeping, gulping breath after gulping breath.

I can't do this! I want her back! She should be here with us, not in there! I want her back!

I want her back. I want her back!

That's the constant refrain through my mind. All day long.

I want my baby girl back more than I want my next breath.

I continually remind myself that other people have survived this but when wave after crushing wave is crashing over me, I find it hard to believe. How do you plan your child's funeral services? How do you actually sit across from someone and have a reasonable conversation about your child's headstone and casket color? How do people do that?

And yet today we did it. We actually did those ridiculous things and yet here I sit. Not dead.

By God's lavish and sustaining grace.

Struck down? Yes. Destroyed? No. 

We will not forget our Gracie-girl. She impacted more people in her 30 weeks than most people do in their 80 years. And I will tell her story.


44 comments:

  1. Oh Sara... This picture is beautiful, and words are speaking loudly through it.
    I am so sorry, so truly sorry that you must walk through this...
    You are right. You are not destroyed, neither is Grace. She is alive with the Lord. She has already attained victory.
    No words can calm your heart, and my meager attempts to comfort you probably are like one silly drop of rain on a vast hurting land, but I send a piece of my heart to you anyway.
    Grace is beautiful, isn't she? Forever beautiful. - Gabie Rodli

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    1. Thank you so much, Gabie. Your words mean so much to me.

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  2. Our hearts are broken with you. Ours and so many others. I know nothing I can say will make your pain any better but we are with you in spirit and lifting you up to The Lord. Gracie will not be forgotten. You are so strong and inspire me every day. Gracie is loved and will always be remembered!
    Kelsie & Luke

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  3. Sara I am so sorry, you are very strong to share your grief with us. I will continue to pray for you. My mom suffered a loss - though not as significant as yours, I know it was a blur for her for a while but God was able to bring hope and healing, it just took time. I wept when I read this, and I will continue to lift you and your family up to our Father.
    Love and blessings, Traci

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    1. Every loss is significant. You lose a part of yourself. Thank you for praying, we need it so much.

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  4. Beautiful picture Sara. Little Gracie is alive in us all because of how much she has impacted us. You, Matt and the boys are an inspiration to us all. God is with Gracie and waiting for you all when its the right time. God bless you all.

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  5. I have been following your blog for a while now, since many of my friends have posted updates on facebook. It is hard to imagine ever feeling complete or happy again after losing a little one. When our friends lost their baby boy I couldn't imagine how they could even continue living for another day, yet they seemed to manage somehow. Little did I know that my husband and I would soon be experiencing the same thing and I came to realize that you manage because there is no other option. The waves of grief that come over you will eventually lessen in frequency and intensity. You will forever be changed, but you will not be forever in pain. I pray that God brings healing to you and your family just as He has done for us. We can be so thankful that we have the assurance of eternal life after the pains we experience here on earth. My little boy has now met Gracie and they are enjoying an existence with no pain, no fear, no heartache. Blessings on you, Sarah. Thanks for sharing your journey and especially this last picture which is a very personal and poignant look into what you were feeling as you held your precious baby. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Laurie

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  6. The waves of grief are terrible. I'm so sorry that Grace couldn't stay, and that you must now endure the pain of mourning her absence. My heart has been aching for you and your family since I heard your sad news. I am praying for you, for endurance and faith and hope in the darkness.

    Also, I wanted to pass along the link to my friend's nonprofit. They cover funeral and burial expenses for Montana babies gone too soon: http://www.kisses2heaven.com/request-funds/

    Thank you for sharing your story, and Grace's. There is power and healing in that. Praying that you may feel God close by in this heartbreaking time.

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  7. She has touched my heart and my life! I love you in Christ and pray you would never stop feeling the love that is all around you!

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  8. Thank you for sharing. You are an incredible woman of God! I pray His strength over you each moment. She will always be a part of you. I pray you would tangibly feel God's love right now! She is precious.

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  9. Oh Sara, there are no words that I can say right now because they seem so inadequate. I can't imagine the pain, grief and loss you must feel. The only thing that I know to do is to continue to pray for you, Matt and your family. I pray that our Gracious God will make His presence known to you in a special, personal way like never before. My heart is so heavy for your loss and I send my love and hugs to all of you.

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  10. He weeps when you weep and He will uphold you. And you will hold your baby girl again one day. I'm so, so sorry.

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  11. Sara - We are praying for you. For strength to make it through the days. God is glorified in your testimony. You are shinning for Him in a beautiful way.

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  12. I am so sorry for your loss Sara. I will continue to pray for you and your family as you grieve the loss of little Gracie.

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  13. Sara, I'm so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your precious family.

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  14. Sara: My dear friend Kelsie Frazier gave me your blog info awhile ago and I had been following your journey with Gracie. I am so sorry for your loss of sweet Gracie. I too have an angel watching over me. My angel Michael was born sleeping at 31 wks 2 days. This will never make sense and the grief journey of a parent is not one anybody can ever explain. These are not feelings, experiences or a journey that is is easy by any means. My heart sinks and breaks when I hear of another woman becoming a bereaved mother or BLM (BabyLoss Mother) as we, that now fall into this group, refer to ourselves as. If there is anything you need at all support wise please please get in touch with me. support in loss of a child is the biggest help but not always easy to find. I have a vast amount of information I can pass on to you, I have a phone that is turned on 24 hrs a day and I have talked to others at all all times and phases of this grief journey I am on, as well as others who find themselves in this journey. I am here for you as a mom who has been there and continues through my journey of loss daily as we will continue to do until the day we meet our sweet angels again. There are no guidelines to this we just have to allow ourselves to feel every single feeling we have when we have them as they are our feelings and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
    You and your family are in my prayers and I will continue praying for you all in the coming hours, weeks, months as it all seems so unreal and impossible to get through.
    Thinking of you Sara and I will be lighting a candle in Gracie's honor next to my boy's angel candle.
    Wishing you strength at this time,
    Jennifer Rockman

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  15. Dear Sara, No words are enough, but I have cried with you and I hurt for your family. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. -Jennifer

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  16. What a beautiful baby girl... im so sorry you had to experience the feeling none of us kothers shud never EVER have to, but we do some of us this hit close to home for me i felt every word u said i pictured all cuz i went through it & yes 9 years later still feel the waves my daughter went home to Heaven after being born 4-19-04 went home now may 15 will be 9 yrs. So i feel u.. and i can say we mite feel destroyed but its our feeling cuz u r ryte were not destroyed. U sound like such an awsome loving strong person you will continue to survive & head foward no worrys about forgetn ur baby u cud never forget her she lived inside u and now withn u... the ones we hold in our arms sucha short time we hold in our hearts FOREVER!!! God bless U..i dont no if i saw U wer related to the Bentons, Michelle?? But if so im a friend if u ever need talk to sum1 who has been though it , i no how it feels iv had so much loss but the loss of my daughter was like none other.. i will pray for u & ur family!!

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  17. Sara, I had been praying so hard for baby Grace and now I am praying hard for your family. May god bring you peace and understanding in this hard time. I have been in your shoes, 5 1/2 years ago my son passed away from a genetic blood disorder at the age of 2 1/2. I was so angry at God and I just could not understand why my sweet boy was needed more in Heaven then he was here with me. Take it one day at a time and know that baby Grace will live on through you forever. She touched so many lives in her short time with you and she will never be forgotten. Prayers to you.

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  18. I am so sorry for your loss... 11 years ago i gave birth to my angel (Drake), he was 36 weeks, 6lb 10oz, and still the most beautiful thing i've ever seen. Still to this day something will catch me off guard and i will just cry. Since then i had a beautiful spunky little girl that is 5 and gives me a run for my money, and another little girl (Faith) who decided to join her big brother in heaven.
    It is such a long road but it is one that is possible to travel. You learn to live your life as if God really does have a plan, and all of the sudden Heaven is VERY real, because your baby is there. The other thing that helped... photography! use it to heal, do a project dedicated to just her. There will be lots of tears before during and after, but it does help the process. If you ever want to just go out shooting or even meet a stranger that has been there feel free. You can find me on FB. All my prayers, Jamie (jamie Lynn Photography)

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  19. My heart is aching for you and your family. You are forever in our prayers.

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  20. Hi Sara,

    When my brother was 18 he died in a car accident, I was 17 at the time. Before my brother died I remember being an insensitive idiot. When other person’s loved ones died and they wanted the world to end or felt that they should die from the pain and grief. I thought they were dumb and stupid. Until it happened to me, that’s when I began to understand, I’m telling you this because you are so open and sincere in your blog I feel I can be too.

    I do not understand why little lovely wonderful babies are taken so soon. I am unable to even comprehend. I have 4 children, no complications no issues during pregnancy and none at birth. Due to the fact that everything went so smooth I’ve always felt a strange sort of guilt because so many mothers have different endings. My heart has always had a place for mothers who have miscarriages, pregnancy complications, stillbirths, and all the other horrible endings than can and do occur.

    I began following your blog about Gracie 2 weeks ago due to an update on facebook. I read from Nov 2012 to current to catch up on the details of Gracie. I have been praying for your family. As of Friday the 26th I decided I would start at the beginning and read the whole blog. As of yesterday April 29th I was up to May 2012. I had to know all. This morning I jumped back to April to check for updates on Gracie and my heart broke. I am so very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for You, Matt, your children and your immediate family.

    I am a very avid reader also. I’d like to recommend a book to you; it’s 90 Minutes in Heaven, by Don Piper. It helped heal my heart and I hope it will help you through your healing process also.

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  21. Her little head is beautiful :) I am so sorry Sara. There are no words. Endless prayers and love your way.

    I want to know her story and continue to hear what she taught/is teaching you. We all want to know Grace through the stories you will share.

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  22. Praying for you and your family, again your story is amazing, your faith inspiring! The picture is so precious! Take care if yourself and your family.

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  23. You are right, she has touched so many lives in her short life. I won't forget Grace or her impact! Know my heart breaks for you. Praying for you to be strengthened by Christ.

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  24. Oh Sara. I'm so very, very sorry. I am praying for God's peace, comfort, strength for you all during this difficult time and beyond.

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  25. Dear Sara and family,
    I was introduced to your blog through my Aunt Debbie Veal. As I read the posts with my heart breaking with yours, please know that now it is when your faith matters. That post was incredible, and I encourage you to hang on Jesus with all you have. After the loss of our infant son, my husband and I sunk into those waves of grief and didn't keep our eyes on the Lord. I so equate it to Peter looking away and sinking when the Lord called him to walk on the water. The way you describe the waves is so accurate. It took us a long time before we could come back and say that we were OK with what God had allowed. We too faced incredibly difficult medical decisions. Looking back I can say that how we survived was with the care and comfort of others that had been through it and could cry with us. Know that baby Grace's life is not in vain and that her story through you and all these that love you, will touch eternity. I have had so many opportunities to tell our son's story to teenagers and help them see that LIFE is so valuable. Does that make it worth the pain, NO WAY. I am so sorry that your family had to experience this agony. Lean hard on each other and your church family, and most of all, take Jesus hand and keep your eyes on HIM. Then you will be able to walk on those waves of grief. From a sister in Christ. When one grieves, we all grieve. Know we are praying.
    Michelle

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  26. Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and praying for you. You have described grief so accurately. I have not experienced it at the level that you are feeling, but I relate to the wave upon wave and you feel that it will never stop. I want so much for your story to be different and for you to get your Grace back and my heart aches for you. I admire your strength in writing about Grace and what you're going through right now with her loss so fresh. You are an amazing woman of God and every bit worthy enough to be called Grace's Mommy, and forever you will be.

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  27. Sara,
    It is heart-wrenching seeing you have to endure the loss of your precious Grace. You are right about how grief hits wave after wave...the sudden breath-taking harshness of moments in which every fiber of your being cries out to hold your child. I understand. I could have written everything you said this time last year. Grief can be completely overwhelming at first. I hate that you are here. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Lean hard on the Savior who holds your little girl in his arms. In my own experience, leaning hard on the Lord didn't take away the pain, but He gave me great strength and peace in the storm. He will carry you too. We are aching for you and are crushed at your loss. Continuing to pray....

    Heather Henry

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  28. Sara, Praying the waves will begin to recede as God wraps you up in His love and carries you through this. Levi & Jennie Lusko lost their daughter in December & it's been heart-wrenching to see them walk through it; Levi preached a great message last week about death & resurrection & confessed that he's had to preach to himself in order to deal with Lenya's death & to remind himself that what Satan has intended for evil, God will use for good. Your response during this trial & in your loss, like theirs, has touched so many and Grace already has a legacy that will live on! Grieving with you guys & lifting you up.

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  29. Sweet Dreams you Beautiful one, Watch over your family. Sara, The lord has her in his nursery, and she will be waiting for you. I pray the lord eases your pain.

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  31. Sara please know that we are praying for you and your family daily. This is a beautiful picture of Grace and you. Thanks for being so transparent.

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  32. I do not know you! But I happened to read your comment on my Pastor's blog (Levi Lusko). I just want you to know that I am praying for your sweet family! Praying for the peace that passes all understanding!

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  33. I do not know you! But I happened to read your comment on my Pastor's blog (Levi Lusko). I just want you to know that I am praying for your sweet family! Praying for the peace that passes all understanding!

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  35. I am sorry for your loss, and wish I could fix your broken heart, Sara. You can feel the love radiate from the beautiful pictures of your family above. Your family is in our family’s thoughts and prayers. I hope that in time, baby Grace being with the Lord, gets easier for you and your family. She is now surrounded by angles and butterflies.

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  36. Shawn and I are so sorry for your loss. Baby Grace is up in heaven with God and he is watching over her until you two shall meet one day. Keep your eyes up to the Lord. At times it is so painful. To this day 18 years later I still grieve for the two babies I lost. I did not get the opportunity to know what I was having I just know I have two angels looking down at me and I too will see them in heaven. Just know that you are one of the most inspiring ladies of God I know. You are amazing. I could not have done what you did. We are here for you if you ever need anything. We love you guys and our prayers for you are sent your way.

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  37. Sara and family, Your friend Jessica F., in Tennessee, had contacted some of us to pray for you earlier this year. Now she is sharing your loss. So saddened for you all. I pray the Lord will hold you closely during this difficult time and into the future. Rachel in Tennessee

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  38. Sara,

    So many of us who have lost a child or a pregnancy grieve with you. Please know you are being loved by many strangers who read this -- and who would take away your pain if only we could. Sending you loveing thoughts and healing prayers.

    Nancy

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  39. Dear Sara,
    I am writing you from New Zealand. You never know how far your story will reach. God is limitless... I was introduced to you and Grace, by a friend, through your urgent call to prayer. Something about your little girl went straight to my heart. I believe it has something to do with the fact I was born with a congenital heart defect but really I know it's God. I went to your blog, read up on your story and prayed and prayed. I was waiting for the next update... it didn't come. I had forgotten how to find you, all I new was Grace and to pray. Several nights ago I couldn't sleep so at 1am I went on a search. I found you and I am so sad about the darkness you are having to endure. May God wrap you in His loving arms and may those in your church family support you as you walk through each new day. I am praying for your family, for you and Matt and your two delicious boys. I will keep sending prayer after prayer. And I will think of her. I will think of the impact your beautiful girl. She will not be forgotten. I know you will do amazing things with your life and her story. Kerry from New Zealand

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  40. I am so so sorry for your loss. As I just found your blog today and have been reading through it I have been touched, inspired, heartbroken, and encouraged by your honesty in sharing this story. I pray that you will continue to be comforted by our Lord and pray that He will show you His unique love and strength today and in the months and days to come.
    Many Blessings,
    Rebecca
    www.caravansonnet.com

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