So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

To the one who held me close as my heart broke, 

It hasn’t been easy lately. My heart has been cracked and splintered, and my body aches from loss. I feel bruised and beaten down, weary with grief and exhausted by the act of living without the child we created together.

I know that this hasn’t been easy for you either. You, too, feel the weight of this pain. From the moment I first showed you that pink-lined pregnancy test, your world changed, too. You wondered if you would be a good father, if you were ready for the responsibility of a little life held in your arms. You dreamed of the things you’d teach this little one, and of the ways you’d protect and defend him. You built a crib and bantered about baby names. You drove me to ultrasounds and doctors appointments, proudly showing off those blurry black and white photos. You took on extra work to help cover new-baby costs.

And then, when it all ended, you sat with me in the hospital. You held my hand as we cried together, clinging to one another.

Our voyage to parenthood ended quickly but right now, these tears of mine seem endless. I cry over the vegetables at dinner, and break down as we pass the baby aisle at the grocery store. I know it’s confusing at times. You don’t always know what’s wrong, or what triggers my sorrow; for the time being, this is just how I need to grieve. Let me bury my head in your shoulder and sob for what could have been, even when it garners odd looks from fellow shoppers. Even when you don’t understand.

We’re wired differently and because of that, we mourn differently. Our grief doesn’t always make sense to one another and sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that you’re grieving too. My grief is vocal and verbal, loud and messy. My bookshelf is full of books and journals on grief, my online presence flooded with fellow mourning mothers. This is what I need right now: validation that my baby’s life had meaning, and acceptance of the depth my grief has carried me.

Your grief sometimes seems quieter. Quicker. But I know it’s there. I see it in your eyes and feel it in the way you wrap your arms so tightly around me.

Whenever a casserole arrives at our doorstep, I hear that well-intentioned parade of neighbors ask you how I’m doing. You shelter me from questions too difficult for me to yet answer on my own, and your instinct to protect is fierce. But my heart aches over the fact that no one ever asks how you’re doing. It’s as if the world has forgotten that fathers grieve too and I worry that you’re not getting the support you need.

I know that the burden you carry is extra heavy. You see how this loss has devastated me, and it hurts you all the more to know that there is nothing you can do to fix this wound. You want to help shoulder these burdens, to pull me into your arms and alleviate the heartache. You want to carry my heartache as well as your own.

But I want you to know that you can’t fix this. I don’t want you to fix this. I just want you to sit with me and hold me close. To whisper that you love me and that you love the child we will never meet. To tell me that life was important and significant and had immeasurable value. To tell me that we will never forget that life.

Sometimes the emotions and hurt we carry gets in our way. There are days when I snap without reason, when I blame you for things that are simply extensions of my own bruised heart. We fumble around our loss, each trying to navigate our own pain without wounding one another further. Our marriage has been marked and creased by many things over the years, but this spot is heavy. This spot has the potential to either break us or draw us ever closer to each other.

So thank you for continuing to fight on our behalf. Thank you for giving me the gracious space to mourn for as long as I need to, in whatever way I need to. I promise to return that grace to you. I promise to keep choosing us—every day, no matter the pain. The days are long and dark but this road is easier with you by my side. We will face these fears and battles together, clinging to one another for support, and reminding and pointing each other to our eternal hope in Christ. Throughout the messiness of this grief, I will always chose you.

This journey is a difficult one but there is no one I’d rather do it with than you.

Love,
Your grieving but hopeful wife

Liz Mannegren

Liz lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two littles. She is the mother of seven beautiful babies: carrying two in her arms but an extra five in her heart. You can read more of her writing at MommyMannegren.com or follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

My Baby Was Stillborn, But Still Born

In: Child Loss, Grief
My Baby Was Stillborn, But Still Born www.herviewfromhome.com

My baby was stillborn, but still born. In a cool white hospital room where so many had been born before. My body trembled and shook as his body worked its way out of my womb and into the hands of a doctor. He was void of breath, of sound, of movement, but he was still born. My baby was stillborn, but still lived. In the darkness of my womb. The outline of his body was visible against the darkness of the screen, his presence undeniable. The sound of his heartbeat drowned out the sound of mine as I watched his...

Keep Reading

I Am Not My Child’s Death

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Faith, Grief
I Am Not My Child's Death www.herviewfromhome.com

We are NOT what has happened to us or what this world says we are. That is not what defines us. While we are grieving parents, that is not what our whole story has to be about. Although, at times, we feel that our story is over. We ask, how do we go on and live full lives without our sweet Sophie with us? I’m still not 100 percent sure I know the answer to that. BUT the Lord says I am beloved. I am redeemed and accepted. I am holy and chosen. I am righteous and complete. I am...

Keep Reading

The Hardest Moments After Losing a Child

In: Child Loss, Grief, Motherhood
The Hardest Moments After Losing a Child www.herviewfromhome.com

Within the first three months following the death of my newborn daughter, I participated in one baby shower, attended two first birthday parties, had multiple infants in and around my home, and watched not one, not two, but five of my closest friends take happy, healthy babies home from the hospital. And in the midst of my own life-altering experience, I purchased, wrapped, and mailed a gift to every one of those new babies, because they deserved one. In the days and months after my daughter died, I didn’t run away or hide from babies at all. And this seemed...

Keep Reading

6 Commitments I Made to Myself After Child Loss

In: Child Loss, Grief, Kids, Motherhood
6 Commitments I Made to Myself After Child Loss www.herviewfromhome.com

Following the death of our infant daughter, I found myself facing an opportunity to activate the immense power of personal choice. Time and time again. Hour after hour, day after day. It felt as if every moment that passed provided me with a choice: to let the grief consume me, or not. In the midst of the most emotionally complex experience of my life, my ability to survive felt as simple as that. Will grief consume me, or not? Once I began believing that Olivia had lived out her life’s plan completely—that she had come, she had loved, she had...

Keep Reading

To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone

In: Child Loss, Grief, Infertility, Motherhood
To the Moms and Dads Who Suffer Loss: You Are Not Alone www.herviewfromhome.com

You are walking the hardest path anyone will ever walk—living this life without your children. Your losses have come in many shapes and sizes. You’ve lost tiny heartbeats early in the womb. You’ve screamed and sobbed through labor to deliver a silent but perfect little bundle. You’ve held a fragile infant for hours, days, weeks, or months, only to give him back to Heaven. You’ve watched your little one grow into a curious toddler and then held her a final time as disease or an accident took her away. You’ve lived a full childhood with your baby and even watched...

Keep Reading

A Letter to My Mama, From Your Baby in Heaven

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief, Miscarriage
A Letter to My Mama, From Your Baby in Heaven www.herviewfromhome.com

Dear Mama, I know you miss me and wish you could watch me grow up. But instead, you sit in that rocking chair, tears streaming down your face, arms wrapped around the blanket that was supposed to be mine. I see you crying, Mama, wishing you could hold me. Wishing you could look into my eyes. Wishing you could hear me cry or call you “Mama”. I want you to know Jesus rocks me to sleep every night and while He does it, He tells me all about you. I know tulips are your favorite flower and that every spring...

Keep Reading

God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

In: Child Loss, Faith, Grief
God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle www.herviewfromhome.com

I used to be someone who said, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” That was before I had faced any hardships in my life. I didn’t know who God truly is. When people are going through something hard and decide to share it, it makes people uncomfortable. It’s hard to watch others who are hurting, and it’s hard not knowing how to help when it’s someone you love. “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is a very well-meaning encouragement that I know is meant in love. I’ve said it before! But it’s not really...

Keep Reading

Why I Got a Tattoo With My Teenage Daughters

In: Child Loss, Grown Children, Motherhood, Teen
Why I Got a Tattoo With My Teenage Daughters www.herviewfromhome.com

“We should get a tattoo, Mom.” I laughed. I knew it was just my younger daughter, Sarah’s way of getting herself a tattoo—to go along with her nose ring, and six ear piercings. She didn’t really want me to get one. Did she? “Truth!” My oldest, more conservative daughter, Elle, chimed in. “We should all go.” What? Home from college just five minutes, maybe she was bored. I heard tattoos really hurt and she hates pain, like I do. I glared at my two daughters, now 17 and 19. They can read my mind. I knew it! There was something...

Keep Reading

I’m Not Sure How Long I’ll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal…and That’s OK

In: Cancer, Child Loss, Grief, Mental Health
I'm Not Sure How Long I'll Need an Antidepressant to Feel Normal...and That's OK www.herviewfromhome.com

I tried to wean off of Zoloft and couldn’t. And that’s OK. I had never really been aware of the world of antidepressants. My life has been relatively uneventful—with the normal ups and downs that most of us go through. I knew people on medication for depression but never understood. How can you be THAT sad that you can’t just be positive and make the best of your circumstances? How can someone be THAT unhappy ALL the time to need medication? I didn’t get it. I felt bad for people going through it. Then my 2-year-old was diagnosed with Stage...

Keep Reading

To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes

In: Cancer, Child, Child Loss, Health
To the Young Warriors Fighting Cancer, You Are Superheroes www.herviewfromhome.com

Most people never get to meet their heroes. I have, in fact—I have met many heroes. These heroes didn’t set out for greatness; they fell victim to a terrible disease and faced it with courage, might and bravery like I have never seen before. And when we talk about this type of battle, there is no such thing as losing. whether the battle ended in death, life, or debility, each of these heroes defeated. My heroes are the innocent children who battle cancer. I high-fived, hugged, wept over, laughed and played with my heroes for 10 years as a nurse. And you better believe I...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime