Welcome Mothers, Fathers, Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends and anyone else who needs an ear...Please come with an open heart.

This is a place for anyone who has felt the loss of a child. Treat this as a communication haven regardless of how or when you felt your loss. My definition of loss: miscarriage at any stage, still birth regardless of week gestation, infant death at any month, and loss of a child even if your child was all grown up. For me they all hold the same root of devestation. None are more profound or more "easily" dealt with than another.

Please cry if you need to.
Please connect with others who are in your same space.
Please email me if you feel led to
Please comment so we know what you need
Please tell your story

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Gentle Reminders

A post about Emma's unwaivering presence in my life this time of year.

I work mornings this year. I homeschool our 2nd grader in the afternoons. The goal is a calm, supportive environment to explore the 'other' parts of learning that seem not to happen at school: the social /emotional education all young kids need.

Hence, it would behoove me to arrive calm, prepared and ready to dish out lots of love even as we are learning.

The issue? I have 30 minutes to drive what is really a 4o-45 minute commute to pick her up on time. And, inevitably, I get behind a big truck or a sight seer or someone who thinks that 5 miles below the speed limit is lovely speed.

The result? I get frustrated, very frustrated. And, try as I might to stay calm (seriously, I have a mantra) by the time I am 'so close but so far away' and late, yet again, I am sputtering.

And that is when Emma's song comes on the radio. A gentle reminder of what really matters. A 'take a deep breath mom - minutes don't change your experience unless you let them' reminder that I really need.

Sometimes I wonder (and you won't get this if you don't have an angel of your own) if I'm not just the tiniest bit lucky to have her where she is. Don't get me wrong, like all of you, I'd give anything to rewind the clock and have her here, from the beginning, but if this is how it has to be then how astounding that she is always there for me.

How humbled I feel to know that her focus, her priority, is me.

That there is always a song to pick me up when I lose perspective and a red leaf on a burning bush to say I love you.

Emma - I've got to say I hope you've got something else ready to permeate this sadness I feel this year. Your birthday is Wednesday and try as I might to plan a day that feels right, I just keep feeling like I'm getting it wrong.

Monday, August 30, 2010

So much

There is so much inside these days

Memories of babies
My baby - going to Kindergarten
A new baby, of the canine variety, in our family - who, for some inexplicable reason has an attachement to me, the self-professed non-animal-gene-recipient of the family.

A search for self, through yoga, through the gym, through quiet moments
An attempt to help my 7 year old begin the search for herself - through long talks, deep breathing, more quiet moments, more yoga

Our year begins tomorrow - the first day of school. It's design has been much researched and hard won. Our purpose this year as part school / part homeschoolers is so out of the public school box that it should be scary, but all it is - is - exciting.

And yet, that first day of school gets me every year.

Emma, another year older, 10 years old entering another grade, discovering more amazing things about herself that only time, only the gift of growth would have revealed.

As I watch her sister grow, evolve, and find those things that are all 'her'. The focuses that drive her forward to a love of learning, I am opressed by the next set of unanswerable questions. Although I know their road is cyclical, it is a hard carasel not to ride this time of year.

Rambling mental much. Time will sort it all out - again, for another year, at least.

Tomorrow, I'll glow with memory, pride and love as we walk to school, a Kindergartener in one hand, a second grader in the other, and an angelic force bigger than all of us in my heart.

Walk with us Emma. I'll feel you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Great Divide


It sure has been a long while since I've been here. I'm not sure exactly when my world imploded but it was just about the time when Share Southern Vermont exploded, grew - that is, into a real deal charity needing a full time leader.

Changes, they are a coming. Heck, who am I kidding, you would be startled to hear the bulleted list of things that have happened since I went silent. But that can wait.

About a week ago the air quality began to change. My heart began to hurt. My movements became slower. The world appeared tinged by an invisible outline. And I knew it, my grief season had begun.

It has been a loooong week.

And then, I got this email today from Once A Mother. "I just wanted you to know that I referenced an amazing post you wrote last year about grief season. It impacted me greatly when I read it last year, and has always stayed with me. I thought others should read it too."

The universe always knows. Just when I thought it was my job to walk this years haze alone, you, this group I have been disconnected from for so long, reached out.

It's nice to know there is always a home to come back to. A 'you' that gets-it, forever. Thanks. I'm going back to read my own post and see if it brings me a little peace, just a little would be nice.

10 years.


Monday, April 26, 2010

So, you want a t shirt?

I've had a number of people email me about how to get one of our fab shirts this year! I love the idea of our yellowness all over the country, and the lavender words spreading our message one person at a time!

So, if you are NEAR - email me at with the number of shirts you need and sizes. You can pay by cash or check when you pick them up.

Kids: XS (2-4) S(6-8) M(10-12) L(14-16)

Adults: S, M, L, XL and XXL

They are $5 each thanks to a loving family who donated every single last one making every cent pure profit that will go towards board member training and serving hurting families!

If you are FAR you can email then send a check to SSV PO Box 22 Proctorsville, VT. 05153 OR us the DONATE button on our website and note how many shirts and what sizes. Shipped shirts are $8 each.

And remember, Memory Bands are available too! Throw in a few of those and your shipping won't change!

All this info and more are at the blog:

Thanks again to all how have watched this mission grow from a mere idea to a reality. As it blossoms before me, even I find myself standing back, eyes wide with all that has been accomplished in just over a year.

Here's to 2010!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Walk a mile in their shoes

It's hard to believe that Share Southern Vermont's 2nd Annual Walk for Hope and Remembrance is only two weeks away. As the date approaches I am struck by the surreal feeling of details mixed with memory. I wrote about this for the Spring 2010 publication of Exhale, and since writing those words memories have been flooding back.

With it, a longing so deep to be back in this world. I am firm believer that the body's muscle memory is wholisitic. Last year, I was limber, calm and flexible - from the cognitive realm to my lower back muscles. I was purging emotion and negative energy here. Lately, my body has been knotted up, head to toe - literally, and as each wave of discomfort hits or pain shoots I find myself wondering which sadness it was, cycling through again, unable to fine the way out.
I've been bottling, unintentionally of course, but holding emotion none-the-less. I can only imagine my inner workings are begging for me to fold back into a pattern of meditation, yoga, exercise, and blogging. For the latter is as much a form of of body wellness as any.
The image above is a partial of our walk t-shirt this year. By printing, we added the word fragile: so it reads: Every life, no matter how fragile or brief, forever changes the world. We are all fragile. We all need love and care from the inside out.
In this last year, I have met so many more families living through baby loss. They have shaped my life. Their angel babies have been the architects who mold, chip, and design my new realities. Today, I walk with Mark and Jill, proud parents of Emma and Chase born too soon in the the March of Dimes - March for Babies event.

The fact that my daughter's name is also somehow represented on this shirt is not lost on me. I picture the two girls, Chase in the middle, looking down on us as we walk.
We are so sad you're here ~ We are so glad you came

This has become the constant phrase of our group, putting so perfectly into words how we would regain our autonomy in a second if it meant we could have our babies back. But in leu of that, our bond, our unbreakable connection feeds us, soothes us, heals us.

I will begin posting more frequently again. I have to. You are part of that connection and without it I have been tangibly unfed, unsoothed, and my healing space has grown much smaller.

Here's to taking steps, to going back to go forward. Walk with us...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Broken Plank

I wrote the post below a couple weeks ago. It was easy enough to write, true emotion always is, but I couldn't hit publish. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because I haven't been able to hold your emotion lately so why would you want to read mine? But then, I got an email from Parenthood for Me saying, amazingly, unbelievebly, that she was hoping to win Lori's limerick chick contest again and if she did her plan was to amazingly, unbelievebly -- donate money to Share Southern Vermont.

And then she did.

And I was shocked to realize that much like a high-school exchange student you connect intimately with your junior year, then don't see again for many more -- the connection we made last year couldn't be severed by afternoon appointments, evenings spent pouring over power-point presentations, or even going back to work.

You are still there. I am still here. Our paths cross far less but our bonds are strong. Thank you Erika. Thank you Lori. You reminded me that friendship is a give and take relationship. Sometimes, you have a lot to give. Sometimes, you have to take a bit more.

So, hold my raw emotion please....for I am drowing here in over-committed land, even when huge, prayed-for things are happening. Hoping to come up for air soon.

(two weeks ago)

Sleep is elusive, at best, lately.

I have long nights to ponder this. I am, as I have so elequently put recently, "wildly over-committed, but fine". To this obvious contradiction in terms a friend, speaking of himself, spoke my acutal truth. "Ha!" he said just a hint of whimsy in his voice, I'm wildly over-commited and not fine. "

On paper it all works. On paper a tutoring session from 9am to 10am puts me in my car by 10:10 and at church by 10:15, allowing just enough time to set up the Sunday School lesson that an indescript number of children will stomp down the stairs for at about 10:30 - give or take.

In reality, it doesn't. It really, really doesn't.

On spreadsheets, the numbers compute. 25 teaching hours + 10 in the car + weekly appointments + time with kids, a clean kitchen after dinner, laundry in drawers, and still there is time: evening hours to run a non-profit, to organize the next big event, to maintain that level of connectedness with the grievers who are brave enough to walk through a heavy library door every month for support.

In reality, the board of directors is worried about me. I can tell. They are finally standing up to me, taking both partial and complete tasks out of my gripped hands. I trust them, explicitly. I'm releasing, a lot.

And still, I fret.

As a youth my need to lead, to control, was about affirmation. To hear my name called, to recieve an award, to know that others took notice of my actions. That is youth for you. Later, the drive came from within, no longer concerned with the world's particular take on my forward progress, but only allowing celebration after reaching my self-imposed goal. What a number I could do on myself if I quit early, if I failed to sink that 8 ball in the corner pocket.

And this is the amazing thing. Currently, it is neither of these admittedly self-serving motivations that plagues me. Everything will get done. Events will be amazing. People will be served. Hospitals will embrace our offer of support. These things always come together. I trust life enough to know that now.

No, what is far more unsettling for me is that I seem to have lost my center. The sense of purpose mixed with peace; the awareness that fueled my forward motion has dimmed.

Our microwave broke this week. My husband, convinced he can lay his contractor hands on anything and tweak them back to life threw those same hands up in utter frustration today. "I just don't get it!" he exclaimed, "Everything works, the fan, the power source, the rotating tray. It just doesn't have any heat!"


Last year, I had nothing but time. I had a strong sense of direction. I had a handle on the many rivers of my life that fed the ocean. I had peace. I had meditation. I had guidance. I had writing. I had this space, almost daily. I had you. I had something so intensely special that people often look their whole lives and never find it: purpose.

Here is what I didn't have: fear. Often I found myself unsure where I was on that path, but never did I doubt that I was on the wrong one.

I am that microwave. All the part of my life are still there, the book, the blog, the support group, the memoralizing events, my kids, my husband, my angelic daughter, the magazine - but the heat is conspiciously absent.

I posed this question to another friend recently. How do you make peace with your daily life when you know what you actually want to do and what it feels like to do it? I mean, I got how young kids, older adults even, who never figured out their life's purpose muddled through a strange variety of test days wondering if tomorrow would be the day when the epiphany struck. When their path would emerge clearly and their journey would offically begin. But how do you go back to milk when you have tasted the cream?

Its a strange sensation really, walking through each day knowing exactly what you want to do, recalling the full-body reaction to the illuminated path then turning 180 degrees and stepping into an over-crowded, rocky opening, squinting to see where it may lead you.

This is temporary. That I know for sure, for it is the only way that I can navigate that path everyday when the other shines so brightly, lit up with possibility and promise. I suppose I should be grateful really that I know my future at all, that I found the 'thing' that inspires me.

"You light up whenever you talk about it." This is what my husband says. So, why then, is it so surprising that I shouldn't want to talk about it all day, everyday even? Why then, wouldn't I want to devote all my working hours to developing it?

To be ahead of your time is a cruel affliction indeed. I no idea if anyone famous ever said this but I imagine they did. Hindsight might be ugly, but I believe that foresight can be a source of burning frustration.

"You can't eat an elephant in a day." This was said, by someone very influential in my life. Apparently I took a very big bite. I'll let you know when I'm done chewing on it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

That kind of joy

And still, it seems, I don't have much to say. Of course I do it is just a matter of how to phrase it. For the joy of Emma seems to have transformed. It used to come in a well timed breeze, a knowing look, a song on the radio, a creative moment. She still does, arrive in these intangible ways, yet there is more.

For the longest time I intentionally separated her potential being from the two other vibrant ones skipping through my home. It was a habit, I think, begun over seven years ago when a lab tech said the three words I desparetly didn't want to hear; "It's a girl"! His face radiated good news. My brain immediately began it's training: You will not compare. You will not wonder. You will not saddle this girl with the ghost of her sister. You will not project unknown expectations. You will not. You can not. How could I not?

I spent years fighting mind-spinning urges, like smoke as it entwines with itself, creating yet another stream, another answerless possibility. I beat the ideas away, inwardly chanting She is her own person. She is her own person.

If I went down that road I wouldn't be able to stop. If I allowed the train of thought my journey would cease to be in the present. A single, I wonder if... would have launched me back to a hot summer night when my labor cries failed to produce the same from my baby.

Her nose. Were they the same? Her fingers. Were they long like Emma's? From there, it would only have been a quick and seamless leap to her temprament. Did they share a love of 'aloneness', needing only to be swaddled tightly and placed in her crib to put themselves to sleep? And on, and on, I would have gone.

That road, that dangerous trecherous road was one I knew I could not walk. So I didn't. It was self-preservation. And yet, I did myself a disservice. By setting that roadblock I masked the ability to see that Emma and her sisters may have shared traits while still maintaining their indiviuality. Alive or dead, this is the truth.

Moreover, by refusing walk on paths thay may intersect Bear's joy's were isolated as were Comedian's, as Emma's contined to be etherial, intangible, mine.

As of late this has shifted. Without a conscious effort I've noticed how she lives within them, within their play, their moments of elation, and in their tears of dissapointment. She is not just in the breeze, but in their movements, the manurisims. Of course, I cannot know with any certainty what is 'hers' vs 'theirs', but it seems not to matter. Not anymore.

I suppose this is the integration I speak of so often. Whatever it is, it feels good. My children, all three of them, live in this home. They inspire me. The educate me. They love me. They are all mine, however they exist.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tuesday, January 26 is a special day for us. Our Comedian, our last rainbow, turns five. Please click over for a birthday post if you like. She is featured in a photo...

Tuesday, January 26 is also a special, albeit difficult, day for other families. Two of our angel wall families are remembering their babies tomorrow. The function of the Angel Wall has been expanded slightly. Please click over to read about it and remember.

Sending love to all of you... Cara

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This post is easy - and yet, it's hard.

I find I don't have much to say lately, here. I have pictures galore and stories to match at The Bear and the Comedian, my other blog. I am finding such joy in my growing children, trying to document it all so I can look back someday and know I really lived it.

This space remains vacant, blank. The stark contrast made me stop and think.

After much reflection I seemed to find an answer. BHB was created with a purpose. It is an 'Emma driven' blog, a window where I journal about her presence in our lives. My lack of stories doesn't mean that she isn't here, showing herself in small ways, comforting our hearts in time of struggle, and appearing on the lips of her sister's daily.

What came to me was that I had unintentionally futher defined this space as a place to write about the emotionally challenging times that Emma's presence and past bring to me. The tears, the strife, the worldly conflicts, the righteous indignignation, the anger, the frustration, the love that tears you in two because you can't fullfil it with touch.

Yes, this was the vapory place. The space for all the emotions that only you would understand.

So, what's happened?

Joy, in larger doses than I've ever imagined. The thought of Emma's presence brings my heart joy, swelling it momentarily. Tears still sting my eyes but they are simultaneously accompanied by a wide smile.

I often speak to the SSV support group about 'integrating' their loss. Acceptance is a fallicy, but allowing your child's spirit to live on in your family by integrating them in the way their story allows is a healthy grieving process. As I recently wrote in a grant to create countless more memory boxes for families, "Healthy grief leads to integrated grief, empowering grieving parents to give back, to reach out to the newest families struck down by the tragedy of loss".

Apparently, with the exception of minor annual 'blips' and my downtime during the season of her birthday, I have done that.

This is why I haven't seen fit to write here lately. Not because I don't have things to say, but they are all upbeat, loving, signs of her integration, and - yes, joyful.

Recognizing how I defined this space has allowed me to expand that definition. I want to share these heart-lifting times with you too. I'm just not sure you want to hear them, yet, depending on where you are in your process.

I suppose that is your choice, to read - or not to read. Just know that it is possible you will find uplifting tales of the '9 years after' variety, and if you do choose to read through may they bring you hope that the dark early days do dissipate, that you will choose to re-enter the world, and that the attacks of grief which blindsight you so often in the early years receed, slowly, with time.

Someday, his name - her name - their names, will cause you to tear up and smile simultaneously.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Share Newsletter and Submission Opportunity

I try to keep what's Emma's Emma's and what's Share's Share's, but in this case they are one in the same.

I recently put up a post at SSV's blog about the newsletter that comes out every two months.

I'm re-post it here, primarly for the submission opportunity. I know many of you write about the grief of your losses. Here is an outlet for submission that is SURE to get distributed to others who may share your experience.

Let me know if you do. I'll look for it in coming issues! - Cara

If you are a bereaved parent you may already be sent the Sharing newletter put out by the National Share office.If not, we will link to it here every two months for you to access. Each issue has a topic.

The January/February 2010 Sharing newsletter is now available online at The topic is Meeting Milestones and we hope you enjoy it.

The editors are always looking for sumbissions to match a future topic. If you experience fits the topic, feel free to send in your piece.

The topic for the March/April 2010 issue is Recurrent Loss. If you have experienced recurrent pregnancy losses, we invite you to share your experiences with other readers. We are looking for stories of how you coped, any answerers you received, and how you eventually felt hopeful for the future. The submission deadline for this issue is February 1. Please send your submissions to Rose Carlson.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Construction Plateau

The odd thing about a project is that when completed, you rarely remember how you 'lost steam' midway and it just sat there for a while.
I don't mind, really, we have all been so sick. But, still - it would be nice to get to my part of the transition! Ok, I'll enlist help picking paint colors (I always do), even so getting Bear in her new room will be so nice!

If you need the sorted tale that is: the beginning of the project, click here, if not - say some inspirational, under-the-breath, mutterings in Jer's general direction.

And, to show how much faith I have in all of you -- I'll start consulting my color guides.
Where we currently stand:

The smaller bathroom -- with a wall!

The same wall, from the other side: becoming Bear's closet.

Look, electrical and all!

A new door frame!

Comedian's room, with wall! First paint choice goes here!

Lost Found Connections Abound! It Works - So Let's Use It!

Submit My News Click here to submit my news to the LFCA



Time Is Both My Best Ally and My Worst Enemy: My Meltdown 8 Years Later