Friday, April 8, 2016


Run dedication Evangeline
After an unusually cold spring, I was pleasantly relieved when I opened the door, holding Evangeline tightly in my heart, and warm air brushed over my face.  I left the quiet, sleeping world behind me and was met with excitedly chattering birds that welcomed me into the enchanting forest.  I ran through Mother Nature’s playground of newly budded trees and the colors of early spring.  My feet met the damp path, fresh with morning dew and my heart sang in this warmer, light air. 

This morning’s run was dedicated to sweet baby Evangeline who arrived stillborn on January 11, 2016.  Evangeline’s mother, Caitlin, writes:

“I was startled how similar your story was to mine. I arrived at the hospital 10cm on January 11th, 2016 and felt that same chaos. Evangeline was born 8 lb 9 oz and the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. No reason found. I miss her desperately. She would be two months old today and I would love for you to think of her occasionally, as I will think of Quinn, and especially on February 16th, my wedding anniversary. Big hugs.”

Caitlin reminds us how interconnected we are.  Not that it lessens the pain any, but at least for me, it is a huge comfort to connect with someone who shares a similar story.  We also share dates on the calendar - one person’s anniversary of joy may be another’s anniversary of grief.  May this be a reminder to us all of the power of sharing our story and extending our hand.  In the words of Helen Keller:

When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne, let us think of the great family of the heavy-hearted into which our grief has given us entrance, and inevitably, we will feel about us their arms, their sympathy, their understanding.
-Helen Keller

This quote says it all.  Our healing is deeply personal but we simply can’t do it alone.  We shouldn’t have to do it alone.  By reaching out to each other we can create a community of love, sympathy, and understanding, which is a powerful healer.  How my heart is warmed to be connected to Caitlin and with so many others who have unfortunately been given entrance to the heavy-hearted family. 

I will think of baby Evangeline and her loving family often, especially when I pass the tree in her photo, where at the base I have a Quinn rock, a reminder that we are all in this together.     

When it seems that our sorrow is too great to be borne

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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