Sunday, August 21, 2011

Her Name

I've written before about how much I love Eliza's name.

I came across Carly Marie's website in the early days after our loss.  I'd shut down facebook (before going back six months later and then shutting it down again) so when I read the directions about submitting a name, I wasn't sure if I could do it without a facebook account and it all seemed confusing and overwhelming and I just wanted to die.

That fog has cleared (at least, most of the time) so a couple of weeks ago, I found myself revisiting Carly Marie's website and I saw that she was taking requests for baby names to be written in the sand and also posted on the part of her website she calls Christian's Beach.

Carly Marie is a photographer and a bereaved mother of a little boy named Christian.  She lives in Australia.  She's gone on to have three more beautiful living kids but one of the many ways she keeps Christian's memory alive is by doing this service for other parents who are missing their babies.  She has taken on a lot of other amazing projects, but what really blows me away is that she goes to the beach at sunset almost every evening--six days a week--and writes their name in the sand, and then takes a beautiful photo to capture the moment before the tide sweeps it away. 

So I filled out the form, welcoming the chance to type Eliza's name.  I made a donation.  And this morning I received this JPEG file and it took my breath away.

It's perfect, isn't it?  Just like our baby girl...

I know things are easier.  But damn.  Missing her is still so hard.

I watched Eat, Pray, Love this morning.  It did not change my life, although it did make me think that I could probably put more of an effort into a daily practice of meditation if I were living in a lovely screened-in hut in Bali.

Still, there was one point in the movie when Julia Roberts was crying about missing someone (a boyfriend) and someone said to her, "So miss him.  And every time you think of him, send him love and light."

No, I'm not packing up and heading to Bali to find myself or to India to find a guru (although I would totally take Julia up on a trip to Naples for some of that pizza Margherita that she ate in the movie).

But this is me taking a deep breath.  Looking at the sunset.  Recognizing that my sorrow is so deep because my love for her is so great.  Or, as I just wrote to another bereaved parent, I wouldn't take away the grief even at its worst, because I know it's a corollary of my love.  And I wouldn't do away with that love just to be relieved of the pain.

But omg, folks.  My heart.  It hurts.

I miss her.

And so I'm sending Eliza love and light.  In those beautiful shades of pink and gold.  Every moment of every day.  And even in those dark moments when I don't know what I believe anymore, I believe that she can feel that.  I really do.


  1. She most definitely can feel your love and light. Just as my Aiden can feel the love and light I send to him every second of every day.

    Eliza is a beautiful name for a beautiful baby girl♥

  2. It's lovely. I absolutely love the one Carly did for me.

  3. So lovely. I will have to get Hayes' name.

    I was at the movie theater watching EPL when halfway thru, it hit me that i had not felt Hayes move. All day. Of course, i do not remember one scene from that movie. And i wil never watch it again. Sure did change my life but not for the better. Glad to know of a good message that came from it tho.

  4. it is breathtaking. and this pain is deep because our love runs so deep. i guess it's true, there's nothing else for us to do except to send our little ones all of the love and light we can muster, and tell them how much we love and miss them. it's hard though.

  5. Carly has blessed so many of us with this incredible service. Eliza's name is beautiful and so is the picture.

  6. Eliza is such a pretty name and that picture is beautiful!

  7. Her name is beautiful- gorgeous- and her name in the sand picture is just as lovely!

    I believe that she can feel your love and light and she's sending it right back to you.....xoxo.

  8. I'm amazed by the things Carly Marie does for our community, too. I love the photo of our Elizabeth's name on Christian's Beach. Yesterday was the Day of Hope that Carly Marie organizes, and on facebook (I left it for a while, too, but I'm back on it sometimes now...) her event site had photos with text that we could use as profile photos. Mine said "My daughter died. Today and every day I remember her." It feels good to make that public statement so boldly. Then, I was so moved when my dad's profile photo became "My granddaughter died. Today and every day I remember her" and my brother did the same with "neice." I hadn't realized that it's not just Elizabeth's name but also her other family titles that I need to see used by others.

  9. It hurts, but it's because the love is so deep. I get that and I also love the idea of our grief being a corollary for our love to those precious babies of ours.

    It's breathtaking and there is no doubt Eliza knows her mom loves her deeply.

    Is the photo printed? Where will it go? I know you have all that new art you've been working with... so what about E's print?

  10. Beautiful work Carly has done in Eliza's memory...
    and yes, some days I think I could possibly find healing if I were to meditate alone in that hut in Bali. But then I realize it is just a hut in a foreign place, and no matter how far I go I will never outrun grief. It just is. Sending you and Eliza lots of light...

  11. Perfect. Just like your daughter. I'm sorry. The missing is so hard. Love and light to you and your Eliza. xo

  12. Brookie, the picture is beautiful and perfect. So glad you are getting it printed and framed.
    Love, Peggy

  13. I love this. I love the name Eliza. But what can I say, as a mommy to Elias, I may be a little biased toward "E" names and ones that contain "Eli". : ) Your photograph is gorgeous. I was lucky enough to win a sunset giveaway via FB from Carly (you can see it at the top of my blog if you'd like!). That's one of the things I love about still being on FB post-loss - the exposure to all the stuff from Carly and Francesca and the other lovely ladies who do such amazing art in honor of their babies and for the loss community.
    I know you will find the perfect spot for this. I have one hanging under Elias's memorial shelf. It's such a lovely keepsake and a reminder to all that our babies brought so much more than pain and grief - they brought beauty and love and light. XO

  14. I've been so "lucky" to connect with Carly since I joined this shitty community. She's the first babyloss mum I came in touch with and we've developed a close bond. She has even been to visit me twice, though we live a four hour flight away from each other!
    I'm so glad you found her work and got Eliza's name written. One of the prettiest sunsets I've seen for a very pretty girl with a pretty name to match.
    Love to you, Brooke.

  15. That photo is gorgeous. Carly does an amazing job. : )

  16. I think that's one of the most beautiful pictures that Carly has created. Hugs to you.

  17. Just gorgeous. You can feel love is every color, letter and grain of sand. With love and remembering Eliza.

  18. Eliza is SUCH a beautiful name! When I was in school I would doodle my favorite girl names on my notebook waiting for time to pass. Believe it or not Eliza was one of them :) And yes, only girl names, I always knew I wanted a girl. I love your girl's name :)