Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Stillbirth run dedication

What a difference a couple weeks makes.  I feel like it was just yesterday I was running through fields that were gray and lifeless.  And now…the color!  The beauty!  I was honored to dedicate yesterday’s run to baby Ellie.  The scent of flowers – which has been missing during so many dreary months of winter – danced through the air and the color of blooms popped from the landscape.  It was a treasure to hold Ellie tightly in my heart to experience the bold evidence of spring that has finally emerged. 

Sweet baby Ellie was stillborn in July of 2014 and her mom, Melanie, lovingly writes about their story:

My daughter, Eleanor (Ellie), was stillborn on July 25th, 2014, two days after my due date. We arrived at the hospital the day after our due date, only to find out that there was no heartbeat. After 14 hours of labor, our sweet, beautiful, perfect, 8-lb daughter Ellie was born silently into this world. They say it was due to a cord accident. There's not a minute that goes by that we don't miss her and long for her presence, and I know you feel the same way about your sweet Quinn. Thank you for this beautiful gift, in honoring Ellie with us.

I am so inspired by Melanie’s compassion and her desire to help and comfort others.  She writes that she is part of a community of loss sisters that works with nurses, doctors, therapists, and other loss moms, to connect with and mentor newly bereaved parents.  She writes, “In all of our grief, the emotion that hits me the strongest when I meet another loss mom is the overwhelming amount of love - for our babies, and for each other.”

This intense love that connects bereaved parents is eloquently depicted in a quote Melanie shares from the book, Caravan of No Despair: A Memoir of Loss and Transformation by Mirabai Starr:

"Even as I rocked on my knees, howling, I detected soft breathing behind the roaring. I leaned in, listened. It was the murmuring of ten million mothers, backward and forward in time and right now, who had lost children. They were lifting me, holding me. They had woven a net of their broken hearts, and they were keeping me safe there. I realized one day I would take my rightful place as a link in this web, and I would hold my sister-mothers when their children died. For now, my only task was to grieve and be cradled in their love."

The child-loss community is a community that none of us ever wanted or asked to be a part of.  We would certainly trade absolutely anything to disassociate from it.  However, when a bereaved mother falls into the darkness of child-loss, there is a community of passionate, loving, loss-sisters waiting.  They engulf her in their care, thoughts, and help her stand up again and take her first step.  Even in the deep, dark moments of loneliness, let’s remember the loss sisters that have walked this road before us, and now, with us. 

Stillbirth run dedication

About run to heal:
I run to heal.  It’s where I learn to hold my grief in my heart as love.  It’s where I practice putting one foot in front of another.  It’s where I honor Quinn and other babies who are gone too soon from stillbirth, miscarriage, or neonatal death.  In preparation for my first 
Mother’s Day as a parent to both a living and dead child, I asked my friends and community to dedicate a workout to Quinn.  This was a powerful, soulful, and healing experience.  I felt lifted up and loved by the community.  I was humbled that so many people carried Quinn’s spirit with them.  I hope to accompany others on their journey after child loss and hold them and their son or daughter in my heart.  It is an opportunity for me to honor their child and learn their story.  Together, we will learn how to put one foot in front of the other and run to heal.  Dedicate a run here

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