Thursday, December 21, 2017

Hope in the Dark

Recently, our church had a service of hope and talked about having hope in the darkest of times, as we approach not only Christmas but also the winter solstice and the longest, darkest night of the year.

It happened to be the same Sunday we'd arranged to dedicate flowers for the service in memory of Eliza.

I generally associate pink flowers with Eliza (particularly pink magnolia blossoms), but obviously TJ's had more of the Christmas-theme going, so I just bought whatever looked best and attempted to create my own arrangement--red and white and green.

I carried it in and one of the ladies who was a greeter led me up to the flower stand at the front of the sanctuary. She told me the flowers were beautiful and said, "Are they in memory of someone?"

I nodded. "Our daughter Eliza. She would be seven this month, so there are seven red roses." And then my throat closed up and I couldn't talk any more.

After church, we were picking up the girls at their Sunday school room and another mom smiled at me. "Beautiful flowers," she said. I thanked her, and my eyes filled up with tears.

Having people know about Eliza, know that I had a baby who died, makes me feel vulnerable. But if they don't know, I feel a little bit like a fraud, or at least like I'm only connected to them in the most superficial way possible.

On Sunday, I felt open and vulnerable and emotional all day.

And even though that was hard and I cried off and on all day, I have no regrets about that.

That same mom who mentioned the flowers sent me an e-mail after church. She said her life has been touched by child and infant loss, and she just wanted to let me know that she's thinking of my family and our Eliza.

Seven years ago, December was so dark and hopeless.

This year, it still feels dark at times. But hope shows up. It shows up in the form of flowers and e-mails and ornaments and snuggles with the girls I love so much.

December will never not be sad for me, but seven years in, I'm also grateful that I can find the hope in the dark.


  1. December will never not be sad for me either. <3 Love you friend. Love your Eliza.

  2. Even though our loss was in September, December is always a little sadder then it "should" be. Very bittersweet. I totally get the part about telling people makes you feel vulnerable, I definitely feel that way too, it's a hard balance. <3