Hailey’s 3 Month Heavenly Birthday, Finding Healing In the Midst of Grief

April 6, 2010 at 1:48 PM 2 comments

Three months ago today was probably the most devastating day of my entire life. Before it felt like time was speeding by and it didn’t feel real when 1 month passed, then 2 months… but now at 3 months… I really feel like it’s been a very long time since I last held Hailey in my arms… It feels so long ago. I feel like I’ve literally been to the end of the world and back. This journey has taken its toll on me. I feel aged beyond my 25 years. I once referenced someone referring to their journey through grief as a journey of expansion…an expansion of the soul…and boy do I feel that now. But it’s a good expansion.

I wrote one post about the day Hailey passed away and that is probably all I will ever write about it. I can remember the day, but I don’t like spending much time in that memory and dwelling on the details and feelings. Today is not a day of remembering what it was like the day she passed away.

Again, I choose to focus on the joy Hailey’s life brought to us and celebrate her. And I focus on the truth that on January 6, 2010 Hailey slipped from our care into the arms of her Heavenly Father – truly the best place for her to be. I know she is having a blast in heaven, and I have great comfort in knowing that she is thriving in the place Jesus prepared especially her in His big, big House.

So today, I’m sure there will be moments in my day where tears will come to my eyes briefly. But I am still doing okay, only thanks to God. Prayer still carries me through my days. And even if you know me and have seen the healing God is working in me, I just ask that you continue to lift up myself and Josh in prayer… we still need it, today and every day.

So 3 months have passed…

How have I been handling my grief so well? How have I found healing and joy?

1. God. God. God. -99% God. I have leaned on Him, depended upon Him, trusted in Him, rededicated my life to serving Him, prayed to Him (others prayers for me), spent time with Him, worshiped Him, clung to His promises, and He is faithful.

2. My husband -my best friend. his love, support, understanding, comfort, prayer, encouragement…

3. Taking care of myself physically – I gained 35 lbs with Hailey and I wanted to lose my pregnancy weight – so having that goal to get back to my normal weight was a great excuse for me to eat right and exercise. Eating right and exercising every day has felt sooo good – not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Not to mention, it got me out of the house so I didn’t isolate myself. It got me feeling better about myself. And those endorphins really help combat feelings of depression.

4. My blog – writing down and expressing my thoughts, feelings, memories, and so on have been so awesome for me. I needed a way to tell others about my daughter, because her short life matters. I needed a way for me to release my emotions and my grief and not hide them away in a dark place. My writing is very therapeutic for me.

5. Reading – If you visit my Turn Mourning into Dancing page, you will see a list of resources from books to song lyrics to articles, etc. Reading about grief, reading stories of parents who have experienced loss in a similar way, reading blogs of other Christian women who have lost a child, reading inspirational stories, and I could go on and on. I find reading to be comforting, reassuring, inspiring, and hopeful when I find others who have experienced a similar tragedy, have seen God use it for good, and seeing how those people remember their children and continue on with their lives.

6. Opie – Our dog has been a great companion to us, especially me, since Hailey passed (and always). There’s nothing better than a puppy who licks your tears away, makes you laugh when all you want to do is cry, and gives you hugs and cuddles when you need it. No words need to be spoken – “He knows.” Opie is a source of joy in my life and sometimes I feel as though, even though his behavior is not always angelic, that he is an angel in disguise that God gave to me (I know that’s probably not Biblical, but that’s the best way I can describe his impact on me).

7. Finding other ways to remember Hailey and serve others Again, things like my blog, Hailey’s scrapbook I’m making, etc. Keep your eyes peeled for a post that I will be writing soon. I have something new I’m working on! If you can’t take the suspense, here’s a hint: visit Project Sweet Pea.

What about the support of family and friends?

Everyone supports us, but it’s hard to feel a lot of their support right now – mostly because the majority of them live in IL and we live in AL which makes it difficult. Plus, my family is also dealing with their own grief over Hailey and my dad. When we had Hailey’s memorial service and burial, the support we had then was overwhelming, but now as life is going on, it’s not really there. The things that mean the most to me that friends and family are doing now are praying for us, letting us know they’re praying for us or thinking of us by sending a card or a note on facebook or whatever – but those come few and far between now…. The best form of support we have had since we buried Hailey and continued on with our lives has probably been our OCF small group – their friendship, their prayers, etc.

Have I joined a grief support group?

No. I personally don’t feel like I need to. I am finding support in other ways, and I’m honestly not sure I could handle other people’s grief right now.

Have I sought grief counseling?

Sort of. We had a meeting with a local pastor once, but honestly, it didn’t really help all that much. He was not exactly prepared for grief counseling, and most of what we discussed were things Josh and I already knew and were doing.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

So really, with all that said, I am in a good place right now with my grief. I am feeling God’s healing. I can still find hope and peace and joy and I thank God for that. But I just have to add a little disclaimer, if you are grieving or know someone who is and there is no healing going on and you feel poor in spirit and whether you’re a Christian or not – I am not saying I am better than you, or this is what you should be like 3 months after losing someone, or that you’re ‘less of a Christian’ for not being in the place that I am … I am not trying to say any of that… but what I do want to make clear, for anyone who has or is grieving over the loss of anyone, God will heal you if you let him and He really can turn mourning into dancing. I am living proof of those miracles.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Hailey – Momma loves you! And daddy loves you! And Opie loves you! Happy 3 month Birthday in Heaven! I can’t even imagine what Jesus has in store for you today! Wish we were there to celebrate with you, we will one day. Sending all of our love and kisses to you!


Entry filed under: Me. Tags: , , , , .

What’s in a name? My book-loving soul rejoices over these books!

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Grandma Cetty  |  April 6, 2010 at 10:34 PM

    Today I was asked how Josh was doing, and didnt he have a baby? I was able to smile and tell them a lot about Hailey with barely one tear. This is a milestone for me. 🙂 I walked past the baby clothes today with a smile on my face for all of the cute babies that will wear them. 🙂 And then as I looked at the picture of me kissing Hailey, I could feel her soft skin on my lips and feel her soft skin that I caressed so many times. It was wonderful. How God gives us instant love for someone. She really liked when we kissed her. 🙂 And yes, it will be such fun to kiss her again in heaven.

  • 2. ileamarie  |  April 9, 2010 at 7:59 PM

    Ok, I have to tell you this…you know the LOLcatz and the dog pictures with the silly captions? Well, I LOVE them. And I found one one day of a big dog with his front paws in a bassinet and it almost looks like he was bowing at the baby, and the caption was “I guard you forever, I promise” (only spelled out like a dog would spell it, haha), and whenever I see it I think of Opie and Hailey, haha 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

Pick a day, read a post!

April 2010
« Mar   May »

Your love O Lord Reaches To The Heavens Pslam 36:5


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Email me

If you have a private comment, a story, or a question, I'd love to hear from you! Please feel free to email me at k.vanderlip@gmail.com. I will do my best to reply in a timely manner.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 13 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 31,230 hits

%d bloggers like this: