Sunshine After The Storm – Support for Grieving Parents

Mother's Day Giveaway 2014

On July 1, 2012, my infant daughter was born silently into the world, and when that happened, a whole new world of grieving parents opened up to me. Faces of loss, stories of grief, but most importantly, stories of survival, which have encouraged me and propelled me forward.

One of the common themes we share, whether our loss was an early miscarriages, late pregnancy, infant loss, or an older child, is that desire to make known that we will always be that child’s mother. Whether we are mothering them in our arms or in our hearts.

To the grieving moms out there: you are always their mother and you are not alone in this sentiment.

Last year, over thirty parents came together to try to deliver our message and survival tips to grieving parents through the book Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother. When we talked about our goals for the book, we wanted the overarching theme to be hope and encouragement. We want all grieving parents to know that they are not alone, and that it is okay to grieve, to miss that baby, and to let them know you are their mother.

After we published the book, we wanted to go one step further. We want to raise money to donate this book to as many hospitals, bereavement groups, and bereavement support groups as I possibly can.

So… we created a non profit organization: Sunshine After the Storm, Inc. Through this organization we have already donated more than 50 books.

But we want to go one step further.

Introducing the Mother’s Day Campaign

This very special campaign is to raise enough money to donate 100 or more books to hospitals and bereavement groups for Mother’s Day. You are always their mother.

In addition, 10% of all funds raised will be donated by Sunshine After the Storm, Inc. to Donna’s Good Things, the March for Babies (March of Dimes), Mommy to Mommy outreach, Fetal Hope, the TTTS Foundation, Molly Bears, Teeny Tears, and Mikayla’s Grace. (Yes, we need to raise a LOT of money!)

And we wanted to do one more thing.

In honor of International Bereaved Mother’s Day, which is May 4th, the Sunday before Mother’s Day, we will draw winners for some amazing prizes that have been graciously donated for this cause.

We invite everyone to participate in the Giveaway – you do not have to be a grieving parent, we just ask that you make a donation to the Campaign.

Mother's Day Campaign

(If you have something you’d like to add to the donation list, it’s not too late to join us! Just email Alexa at and we will get your donation added!)

There’s only one thing you have to do to be entered into the drawing.

Go and donate at least $5 to our fundraising campaign. (It costs us roughly $8 for each book donated)

That’s it.

Because after all, this is our Mother’s Day Campaign, but we can’t do it without your help!

Clara’s Name Project #WW

This month, David and I participated in a Mother’s Day Name Project, creating the names of babies who have died through miscarriage, pregnancy loss and stillbirth, and infant loss. You can view those special images in last week’s Wordless/Wordful Wednesday post, or on the blog’s Facebook page. If you have experienced pregnancy or infant loss, and would like us to create your child’s name, please fill out our Google form. It would be our honor, truly.

This week, I am sharing the wonderful images that I have received of Clara’s name. Each image is so special, and each time a new one pops up in my inbox, I call David and the girls over to show them the latest beautiful name drawing or photograph. We are so touched by this project, and have had many friends and family members join in and send us their version of Clara’s name as well.

If you would like to participate in writing or drawing or photographing Clara’s name for our family, we would absolutely love and appreciate it. I would like to collect as many as possible before her 1st birthday on July 1st. There’s something special that I just can’t explain in each image… I really love seeing her name written in so many different ways and places by so many loving people.

Clara's Name Project | The Destiny Manifest Continue reading “Clara’s Name Project #WW”

Mother’s Day Name Project 2013 #WW

Mother's Day Name Project 2013 | The Destiny Manifest #grief #stillbirth #infantloss

David and I have been honored to participate in the Twinkle of Light Mother’s Day Name Project. We were given the names of babies who have died through miscarriage, pregnancy loss and stillbirth, and infant loss. We created a special image for each family, writing, drawing, photographing and knitting these babies’ names to remember and honor them. In return, each family created Clara’s name for us. (I will share Clara’s beautiful name pictures in a later post.)

Mother's Day Name Project 2013 | The Destiny Manifest #grief #stillbirth #infantloss

I have included all of the completed names from this project, and I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed creating them. I have also posted them in full-resolution in an album on my Facebook fan page as well.

Continue reading “Mother’s Day Name Project 2013 #WW”

Mother’s Day 2013

I have been a mother for almost a dozen years, and this is the first Mother’s Day that doesn’t feel completely happy.

I am grateful, of course, so grateful for my daughters, Lakin and Addah. They make me smile. They make me cry. They make me angry, and they make me laugh like a crazy person. They are wonderful spitfires, and they make me a better person than I ever could have been, every day of my life.

I would be nothing without them, and I know this completely.

They are beautiful, and I love them so very much.

I have been showered with a breakfast in bed, handmade cards, and a sweet little potted flower. They are trying very hard to be good to each other, and I am grateful for their deliberate kindness.

I would change only one thing about this Sunday, that our baby girl could be here today. I have no idea what she would look like now, but I imagine she would be a lovely amalgam of her big sisters. She might have Addah’s elfin chin, Lakin’s big bright eyes, and David’s handsome nose. She could have slept late with me today, waking up to nurse while I enjoyed my breakfast of eggs, bacon, and buttered toast. Maybe I would have had to pry her sister’s handmade card from her pudgy fingers, so she wouldn’t teethe on it.

I will never know. She will never be here in my arms on a Mother’s Day, and this will never fail to make me sad. Her sisters are here though, always ready to hug me, kiss my face and tell me they love me, and this will never fail to make me happy.

I have been a mother for almost a dozen years, and it is the best thing I have ever done.

Mother's Day Collage

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers – those with their arms full of their children’s hugs, and those with their hearts full of children they cannot hug, and those, like myself, whose hearts and arms feel both full and empty. You are all in my heart today.


Still Standing {International Bereaved Mother’s Day}

I am still standing, though the ground feels very shaky at times, and putting one foot in front of the other is more than I can manage on some days.

I am still standing, while a part of my heart is held forever in a ceramic and copper urn on my bedroom shelf.

I am still standing, while I am selling the cloth diapers that I lovingly purchased for my stillborn daughter, because I need rent money more than a box of diapers that I may never use, and it feels like it’s ripping a hole in the already fraying fabric of the peace I have managed to gather close to me.

I am still standing, while our excitement over a positive pregnancy test turns into that familiar ache of cramping and blood that means we will not be adding another child to our home in 2013.

I am still standing, though this is the first year since I became a mama in 2001 that I have not thought of Mother’s Day with joy and happiness. Instead, I feel sad, and a little lost, and more than a little guilty for feeling this way. I keep asking myself if I have the right to be sad, even though I believe that I have earned that right, and that it does not diminish my gratitude and love for my older children.

I am still standing, because I have two beautiful daughters here who will shower me with handmade cards and hugs and love. I know that I am so lucky to have them, the loves of my life.

I am still standing, but I miss my baby, more than words can say.

It has been 10 months since my youngest daughter died, but I am still standing.

Mothers Day CarlyMarie

Sunday May 5th is International Bereaved Mother’s Day. This is a day to honor the mothers who are not able to celebrate with one or more of their children, but still deserve to be honored. Let’s #BreaktheSilence

For more about International Bereaved Mother’s Day, please be sure to visit the CarlyMarie Project.

To honor the bereaved mothers, including myself, several bloggers have joined together to host a linkup. We encourage anyone who has suffered a loss of a baby or a child to link your story. Share your grief. Or how you have healed. You can share successes and how you have moved on or dealt with your loss. It can be an old post or a new post, or several posts if you have more than one you’d like to contribute.

This is our opportunity to share what is on our hearts. Our day to share with other mothers who understand and for those who may not have experienced this to read a little more into our hearts. #BreaktheSilence

Please be sure to visit the co-hosts!

DestinyManifest15x150 after Photobucket

Beautiful Mothers
The link-up has {unfortunately} expired and can no longer be viewed. Thank you to those who linked up… your stories are beautiful!