Two events to help you grieve with hope: Tethered online summit and Baby Loss Remembrance Service.
Today is the due date for the first baby we lost—Scarlett. To be honest, it’s simply too hard for me to remember all four due dates and all four anniversaries of our babies’ passing. But Scarlett’s is easy for me because it comes during pregnancy and infant loss awareness week and my inbox and social media feeds are filled with sentiments and memories of babies gone too soon. I couldn’t forget if I tried.
I have a lot to say about all of this—pregnancy loss, grieving with hope, forming a theology of suffering, allowing crisis to be a catalyst for spiritual formation. I wrote a whole book and still have more words. But mostly I just want to say this today: Having living children doesn’t replace having dead ones. Perhaps that’s a fairly crude way to put it, but it’s the truth. Maybe the beautiful boys in our home soften the blow of our miscarriages, but they don’t ‘balance’ the ledger out. Issues of the heart don’t work that way. Love is not a transaction.
Talking about loss makes people uncomfortable.
I’ve seen some pretty harsh stuff online lately—particularly aimed at Chrissy Teigen and John Lennon after they lost their son and shared on social media—where people seem to think it’s their business to judge how others share their grief. It’s ignorant and insulting. Families need to grieve how they need to grieve. Would these same critics be ridiculing them if they shared their grief after losing a toddler? I suppose they might. But still—it’s heartless.
Every little life in our family has mattered to us. Every little life still does. No one gets to decide if this is okay for us or not because love, hope, disappointment, grief—these are personal and our lived experiences, personalities, and beliefs shape them. (No one gets to decide this for Chrissy and John either.)
I have always shared openly about our pregnancy losses I believe normalizing grief is good for everyone, not just the bereaved. Grief and loss are part of the human experience. Everyone suffers when we’re ashamed of being human. Joy and pain must be shared. This is what it means to live life to the full.
Grief changes you. It should.
I’ve grown and changed a lot since our first miscarriage seven years ago. We’re still finding all the ways grief has changed us. And frankly, I’m glad to have changed. While I don’t wish pain on anyone, I do wish all would have the experience of receiving the comfort of the Spirit in their mourning (Matthew 5:4).
This month we’re releasing two (online) events I’m immensely proud of. I have deep conviction they’ll help people both in their grief and in their faith.
One is a remembrance service for babies gone too soon and one is an online summit all around the intersection of grief and loss, faith and doubt, wholeness, and hope that remains. We pray these events help connect people to a God who never leaves them—even in their darkest hours.
These events are not just another work project to me. They are an offering of love and I hope they will be a profound blessing to all who attend.
This is how I honor Scarlett Grace and all of our children—the ones around our dinner table and the ones who never made it: Levi, Judah, Scarlett, Oliver, Ruby, Micah, Eden.
And flowers. I buy myself flowers in honor of my children, too.
Happy would-be birthday Scarlett. You changed our lives. We still love you.
Join us as we gather around grief and hope:
Please note: If you are reading this later, not to worry—replays are available for both. Click on the images to find out more.