Learning and Growing

This is a tree in the cemetery. I don’t know what kind it is.

Dear friends,

I recently learned a phrase that I find beautiful, and really hits the nail on the head.

Have you ever noticed how, in English, we have no real, common word for a parent who has lost a child? We might call them a a loss parent, maybe. I suppose bereaved parent is pretty good.

However, in German, they can be called Verwaiste Eltern. This means orphaned parents. Sometimes I really feel this way – but instead of someone missing who should be caring for me, I feel like the missing person is one I should be caring for.
One of my German aunts told me this word. I’m really glad she did. I am more comfortable expressing myself in English – I have a better grasp of nuance – but every once in a while there is a word or phrase that just encapsulates an idea perfectly.

Edited to add: my mom pointed out there is an English book called “Orphan Mother” and that it’s a phrase. Which is cool! I’d never heard that before. I like it.

The azalea by our front step.
I noticed I have started looking at things differently now. Maybe not majorly, but little things. I notice flowers more, and their details, so I started doing more photography and learning how to capture light and color and texture.
I notice nice phrases of how to say things related to loss. I notice everyday bits of language that I never before noticed could be harsh (Click here for my post about what not to say), and so I blog about them so you can also access my insights if you are interested.

One of the crocuses I planted at Charlie’s grave.

I’m also learning new skills, and coming back to old skills. For instance, since I wanted Charlie’s grave to be beautiful, and the cemetery allows us to plant (within a certain distance from the headstone), I am now learning to garden. I’ve even expanded this: Charlie has the potted garden on our front step as well, and I have a veggie garden out back, too! The beans are going to do well, and maybe the peas, spinach, and kale. Not as sure about the others, yet! I’d helped my mom garden when I was a kid, so I know how to plant, weed, and harvest, but I don’t have a lot of the knowledge about timing or what to do if a plant is poorly.

Anyone know what this is? I planted it at his grave, but threw out the bag. They are bulbs.

After Charlie was born, I took a long break from crafts of all kinds. I’d been excitedly working on a baby blanket for him, and so I put it in a box for several months and didn’t touch anything. However, finishing that blanket brought life back to my hands, and that’s when I started my Etsy store. I knit and crochet a lot now, though I haven’t done as much sewing yet. Some of what I do, I do for the store, some for myself, and some for a local group that donates baby blankets to the local NICU.

A forget-me-not bloom, from his potted garden. On my jeans.

I’m also rediscovering my love of drawing. I took part (am taking part – I’m not actually done) in a creative healing workshop. It was conducted exclusively online, and allowed me to participate at my own pace, though the structure was one creative expression per day. I primarily chose drawing. If you haven’t been seeing my posts on Facebook, search for #MWAH2017 or #MAYWEALLHEAL. If you’re not on Facebook, let me know in the comments if this is something you would like to see me post about, or if you know me personally, ask to see my sketchbook!

A double narcissus, from his grave. Post-rainstorm.

I’ve also picked math tutoring back up, and am generally exploring who I am. I’d planned to be a diaper-changing mama. Being a memory-keeping mama is taking some adjustment and exploration. I still have days where I don’t function well. But I also have days (or moments) when the beauty breaks through the clouds and lights up my world.

Most sincerely yours,
~ Sarah

Infant loss resource document: www.tinyurl.com/infantloss

3 comments on “Learning and Growing

  1. I think the tree at the top is Halesia, also known as Silverbell?

    The flowers look like Glory-of-the-Snow, or Chionodoxa lucilia. I recognized them, but had to look up the names!


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