Thursday, May 12, 2016


Child loss run dedication

After what felt like weeks of clouds and rain on the East Coast, my run was met with much needed sunshine and it made my heart sing that I could dedicate this delightfully bright and vibrant run to Olive.  Aside from the glorious and healing sunshine, what struck me most about Olive’s run were the new scents that filled the air.  I smelled several flowers before I even saw them, which is one of the many gifts of spring.  One scent in particular stopped me in my tracks.  I ran through the sweet, captivating fragrance, turned around, and located the flower.  These little trumpet-flowers were producing the most wonderfully intoxicating and concentrated smell on the trail.  I was in awe that such a small thing could produce such a wondrous effect.  I was so honored to be holding Olive in my heart when experiencing this collision of the senses. 
Trumpet flower - run dedication

Olive’s mother Lindsey lovingly writes about her daughter and their tragic experience with velamentous cord insertion:

Olive was born full-term on September 16th, 2015.  After a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy I went into labor naturally but the trauma of labor and delivery was too much for my sweet girl.  What we didn't know was I had an undetected velamentous cord insertion which isn't normally an issue but the intensity of labor can cut off oxygen to the placenta which is what happened to Olive and she had too much brain damage.  She lived for a week in the NICU as we tried interventions and we were able to bring her home for 24 hours on hospice where she passed away peacefully in our arms.  Losing our perfect, 8 lb. 12 oz baby girl rocked our world.  Olive has an older sister, Lucy (3.5 years) and we have since had a baby boy, Peter (6 months).  Olive is in our lives every day and we love and miss her dearly.  Lucy and Peter will never forget their special sister.

My heart is broken by Olive’s story…yet another baby who should have lived.  I am touched by the fierce love that Lindsey has for all her children: the ones she can hold in her arms, and for Olive, who is dearly held in her heart.

I thought of not only Olive when I took the below dedication picture, but also of her beautiful mother, Lindsey, who is a fellow runner.  As a runner, seeing the beauty and challenge of the path that lies ahead is powerful, at least for me.  Especially after experiencing a devastating loss, the trail symbolizes the journey ahead.  Sometimes the trail has light, or shadows, or rain, or hills, or mountains.  But as runners, no matter what lies ahead, we tackle the journey by taking one step at a time.  Sometimes there is no end in sight, but we dedicate ourselves to the trail and persevere forward, much like we do in our journey after loss. 

Child loss 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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