Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Motherhood and Tears

The only motherhood I've ever known is mothering a grave. A legacy. It makes me as a mom feel quite out of place, especially on Mother's Day.

I hold my daughter in my heart, rather than my arms.

I have no other living children on Earth with me to help ease the pain. The ache.

My "parenting decisions" are things like what sort of headstone will I pick out for Lily? Do I want it flat or upright? What do I want it to say? What words do I want permanently etched in stone?

What special things should I take to the cemetery where she's buried when I go up to visit this summer?

I have containers of clothes for a little girl that will never wear them. Clothes that go up to about age 2 because mom and I loved shopping for her. Now she'd be outgrowing those clothes. But, there is no need to purchase more. Her "coming home from the hospital outfit" actually turned out to be her "going home to Jesus outfit." Her true home. Her forever home.

I must imagine what my own child might be like. How she might look. Who she might have become in these past 26 months.

What is it even like to look at your child in their eyes? Blue eyes. That's what I truly believe she had. Blue eyes like her mama. She looked just like a mini-me. Can't you tell by this picture? It's one of my favorites.

Oh, she was beautiful.

My daily reality consists of grief. Consists of loving a precious princess that I never got to know past 40 weeks 2 days. Those were the most glorious months of my life. Because they were spent with her.

Instead of thinking what can I do for my daughter, I think of how I can honor her memory. I think of how I can be a mom to her, without her here....I want to make this blog a special tribute to her life and all God has done. I want to share her story with as many people as possible.

Instead of knowing the different stages of babyhood and toddlerhood, I know the different stages of grief. I have to ask my mom how Lily might act now, at the age she'd be.

So often it feels like just a cycle of joy and sorrow. Shedding tears of thankfulness and then tears of sadness. How many tears can be cried for one life? I feel so often like I am simply repeating myself on this blog. On this journey of grief.

How many different ways can I say, I miss her. I miss who she would have become. I miss who she might've been in the future. How many different ways can I say, this is hard. How many different ways can I say, I am thankful still. And the Lord is good, always.

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book." ~Psalm 56:8

My God sees me. All of me. My tears, my dreams, my grief, my everything. And those tears are precious to Him. So precious that every tear I cry is collected and held in an account! He knows how much I ache to hold my little girl and does not tell me to "get over it" or "move on." He picks me up in His strong, loving arms and tells me I can cry in His shoulder. I can rest in Him. He tells me to pour out my heart, my sorrows, to Him. To share my life.

My pain, and your pain, touch His heart.

Listen to His call today. He is beckoning each of us away, to the secret place, to rest in His sweet embrace. Let the tears flow. No matter what your hurt is...Give it all to Him for He is worthy. He holds each of your tears in a bottle. Not a single one goes unnoticed.

Matthew Henry, a theologian living in the late 1600s and early 1700s, wrote, "God has a bottle and a book for His people's tears, both those for their sins and those for their afflictions. He observes them with compassion and tender concern; He is afflicted in their afflictions, and knows their souls in adversity. Paul was mindful of Timothy's tears (2 Timothy 1:4), and God will not forget the sorrows of His people. God will comfort His people according to the time wherein He has afflicted them, and give to those to reap in joy who sowed in tears. What was sown a tear will come up a pearl."

He is with us always, to the ends of the Earth. Go to Him, He's all you need. 



  1. Just lovely, and exactly right. Lily is beautiful. Big hugs.

  2. Oh Gosh my heart just hurts for you. You are doing such a good job at mothering lily and keeping her memory alive! I am so very sorry she is not here with you. I am saying a prayer for you now my friend. I love the picture, she is a beautiful little flower:)((HUGS))

  3. It isn't easy to mother a child not here but you do a beautiful job mothering Lily xo

  4. Hannah, I am so very sorry. I can only imagine the constant pain those cycles of Joy and grief keep you in. I know the horrible pain of wondering what your baby would be doing now, and feeling the need to mother a headstone... instead of your baby. I decided on a Rocking Horse headstone for Jacob, but oh how I wish he could be here and have a real rocking horse instead. ((many hugs)) I read a great verse last night that sort of applies to what you were saying about the Lord picking you up into his arms and holding you in your pain.

    It is 1 Peter 5:6-10
    Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all Grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

    That verse brought me great peace and I think it is very fitting for parents of babies who have passed away.

    Hope you have a good Wednesday. :)

  5. If you have not read this, please do. Very beautiful Hannah Rose. You touched my heart.

  6. Beautiful, Hannah ♥

  7. Thanks for sharing Hannah! I know Lily is looking down and is so proud of her mommy and all of the ways you carry on your baby girl's legacy and inspire others.


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