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Archive for January, 2008

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You can listen to this interview that I was delighted to give with Dr Gloria and Dr Heidi by clicking on the “Healing the Grieving Heart” under the Grief Support Catagory.

It wasn’t the easiest interview, but I would never turn down a chance to talk about my heavenly babies, scrapbooking, memory gardens or speading pregnancy and infant loss awareness.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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CandytuftPlants with white flowers are a wonderful addition to memory gardens for a baby or pregnancy loss. Please visit “Pregnancy Loss Gardens Blooming White” on this blog for additional ideas. One plant highly recommended for your child’s memory garden is Candytuft or Iberis, the scientific name. You may want to check the zone chart making sure this plant will thrive in your area http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html.

Plants have more to offer than just the flowers. Candytuft is small in size with a mounded shape, feathery and soft appearance throughtout the year, has no insect or disease problems and is evergreen. It is exceptional in spring when the blooms emerge. 3 to 5 Candytuft plants in a group will create a beautiful display to be enjoyed from a distance. White daffodils 1 foot or greater in height can even be planted under the Candytuft plant creatinig a more dramatic display for you and your angel.

We planted several Candytuft plants around the perimeter of Tanner’s garden to create a soft edge between his garden and the grassy areas. This is a very affordable plant to purchase as a sympathy gift for families grieving pregnancy or baby loss. It can also be placed into a clay or concrete pot. For ideas on how to personalize outdoor containers please visit “Zodiac Signs  for Miscarriage and Pregnancy Losses” on this blog

Additional Memory Gardens ideas are found throughtout the blog and http://justacloudaway.com/kits/index.html. These suggestions are to help you and family members create memorial tributes honoring little angels gone too soon.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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t-garden.jpgThe days following the death of a child, baby or pregnancy are filled with sadness, shock and anger. There are so many overwhelming decisions to make that have never been considered. How will your sweet angel be memorialized? Will we cremate her or have her buried? This decision can be lightened with the support of family and friends by your side.

When our son was stillborn, we asked a friend that was excellent at woodworking to construct a cross for Tanner, http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/garden.html. This beautiful, handmade cedar cross is where his ashes are placed within his memory garden.

If you are planning to designate a place for your child’s memory garden on your own property, you may want to select a beautiful monument or stone as a tribute.

memorial-rock.jpgMemorial stones and boulders can be found at www.valleymonuments.com. If you have a more rustic and woodland garden, these stones will add to the beauty of your surroundings for you and your angel.

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Garden stepping stones can be found at http://www.theremembrancecenter.com/sunshop/index.php/action/category/id/5/ These stones can be incorporated into the garden with other stone pavers and planted with a small creeping plant, softening its edges. There are different sayings on the stones that are truly touching.

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Infant and Pregnancy Loss Stone Memorials can be found at www.collinsmonument.com. They will also customize granite, marble or bronze stones for you, creating a special tribute for your angel.

Memory garden tutorials are found here http://justacloudaway.com/kits/index.html. More memory garden ideas are located under the catagory “Comforting Memory Gardens” on the Just a Cloud Away “Love Talk” blog.

We can’t do anything to bring them back, but we can do everything to keep their memories alive.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Sympathy Card “Love Memorials™” are very personalized sympathy gifts given to comfort bereaved families grieving the death of someone significant. This gift comes straight from the heart without the possibility of ever being repeated. A “Love Memorial™” can be sent immediately after the death, on death anniversaries, angelversaries, birthdays, approximate pregnancy due dates or holidays. There is no timeline for a gift honoring an adult or baby who is very much missed. 

At least three people are involved in the creation of a “Love Memorial™”; the person grieving, the deceased individual and you. There are no rules to compose a “Love Memorial™”, only the depth of thought for its conception. When you take the time to understand the relationship of the bereaved and loved one passed, a precious and unique keepsake can be composed. 

“Love Memorials™” can be a simple handmade card, poems, journal entries, or scrapbook pages. Other forms of “Love Memorials™” are virtual memorials, memory gardens http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/garden.html  or drawings. 

A handmade card is a wonderful and considerate way to send a heartfelt “Love Memorial™”. The card located above was created for a couple who lost their daughter Abby at 22 weeks gestation due to miscarriage. The photograph of a golden sunrise, the yellow butterfly and lemony cloud the angel is resting on, symbolizes the gemstone citrine. Abby’s approximate due date was December second, providing the information needed to help create a card reflecting the color of her gemstone. To find your baby’s zodiac sign, symbol and gemstone select the category “Scrapbooking for Bereaved Families” on this blog and scroll down. The flower and butterfly stickers and angel baby on the cloud are included in the Just a Cloud Away Remembrance Kit for pregnancy and infant loss, available here http://justacloudaway.com/kits/index.html 

If you have a talent for writing, compose a “Love Memorial™” in the form of a letter or poem. This type of gift would be highly treasured because of the amount of thought required for its creation. My girlfriend created a “Love Memorial™” for us after the stillbirth of our son Tanner. A poem called, “If he could tell you…” http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-personal/ifhecould.html. At my request, I had her also read the poem at our Memory Garden Dedication for Tanner. My girlfriend was also a new mother of a 3 month old when she composed this comforting poem that touched my heart. Her words also reflected a very real pain for her too. 

If you are creative and have either an organic or symmetrical style, try designing a “Love Memorial™” in the form of scrapbook pages. This “Love Memorial™” created from your perspective could comfort bereaved families while providing a memorial keepsake  reflecting  hope and love. My sister-in-law created a beautiful “Love Memorial™” for us honoring little Tanner, http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/basket.html. One could even create scrapbook pages from the perspective of the loved one that passed, reassuring the bereaved that they are doing just fine and love them deeply. 

Decoupage is another medium to use in creating “Love Memorials™”. Decoupage usually comes in a plastic container and has a consistency of glue. I created a “Love Memorial™” for myself. 2 years after my son was stillborn my dear uncle was diagnosed with cancer. He fought a tough battle until the end. Before he passed, with his eyes closed, holding my hand whispered, “I am going to teach Tanner how to fish”. I am crying even now while typing. This vision was created and memorialized http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/other.html on a decorative plate and charger plate to hang on my wall. 

Virtual memorials are another way to express your support for bereaved families. By working through the logistics and set up of an online memorial, unnecessary stress for bereaved family members are alleviated. These “Love Memorials™” allow you to write short stories, poems or anything else about the deceased or those grieving the loss. Memorials can be personalized by background colors, music, and significant photos, making this online tribute unique http://www.catholicmemorials.com/default.asp. 

Typical sympathy gifts usually involve you and the individual grieving the loss, such as a sympathy card. Sending such gifts would be fine if it is distressing or uncomfortable to send a “Love Memorial™”. After some time passes, ideas and thoughts may emanate helping to compose a “Love Memorial™” for your friend or family member. These types of sympathy gifts will be truly cherished because you haven taken time to think about their special relationship with the deceased and the undying love within their hearts.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Pretty Lady RoseRoses are a wonderful addition to memory gardens and other gardens desiring an explosion of intricate and impressive blooms. They come in a range of colors, scents, size and add a cottage feel to the garden. An individual rose can be pressed and adhered to your scrapbook pages or cut and brought indoors to be enjoyed.

The variety of rose used in Tanner’s memory garden http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/garden.html is called “Pretty Lady” Floribunda Rose. The name was not a factor in the decision to use this variety. Tanner’s memory garden is mostly filled with plants that bloom white because of his purity and innocence being born still. This particular rose is a soft white with a hint of apricot coloration. This is a very tough plant yet the blooms are incredibly delicate. The petals are soft and round with the center staying very tight. I did not have to spray for black spot, which can be a devastating disease for roses. It has been in the ground for 4 years and survived last years drought with minimal water. This rose is medium in size and has a sweet light fragrance. It also blooms twice a year for us.

If you or a loved one has suffered a miscarriage or another early pregnancy loss, you may want to look at the zodiac chart on this blog (in the “Comforting Memory Gardens” catagory) to determine your baby’s gemstone. A rose can be selected based on the color of your angel’s gemstone. To view other roses and details, visit http://www.witherspoonrose.com/catalog.php?viewing=Roses&dept=product_line. A Memory Garden Tutorial to help you create a memory garden for your sweet little angel is located here http://justacloudaway.com/kits/index.html

Instead of purchasing flowers in a vase as a sympathy gift, think about an actual rose shrub. If the bereaved family has the space for a plant, this type of memorial gift provides comfort for longer than a few weeks.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Tanner’s WildflowersWe never really know when a memory will be instilled within the file cabinets of our minds. Years later these thoughts will again be revealed to us. Some painful, some joyful and some are beautiful reminders of moments forthcoming, that no words can describe.

One month before Tanner was stillborn, we had a baby shower at our home. Everything needed to be perfect as I was helping to set up. Being a Landscape Designer http://www.justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/garden.html, I wanted fresh cut flowers everywhere. Minutes before people were to arrive, I drove a few blocks away to a wildflowerpatch beside the road. After fighting off the bees, I grabbed my pruners and started snipping away. I really packed the trunk to maximum capacity. Trying to get just a few more, I pruned my finger. WOW, my heart skipped a beat and I saw white. I needed to concentrate on my breathing or else I would have passed out.

The sight of wildflowers  have new meaning. This bloody moment was instilled into my permanent memory file. I can now dry wildflowers to place in scrapbooks, photograph wildflower fields, plant wildflowers in his memory garden and think of my sweet little angel Tanner with the mere vision of delicate wildflowers dancing in the breeze.

Pregnancy and Infant Loss are devastating, but I think we have been given the gift to remember thoughts in great detail in exchange for little to no tangible memories.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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sunset-c2.jpgDo you have a camera? Do you think about your babies in heaven? Then you can keep a sky journal. Please don’t think that if you do not have any photographs of your children because they were miscarried or died very early in life, that you cannot memorialize your angels with pictures. There are so many ways to keep their memories alive, even the beautiful sky.

90% of the time I will have my camera hanging from my neck, like a forever tourist. I will not hesitate to pull over in my car to take a picture of the sky when I am thinking about my stillborn son, Tanner. If the sky looks unusually spectacular, that is another sign that my sweet little child is communicating with me. Unfortunately one of the times that fell in the 10% I don’t carry my camera was when I looked up to see 2 jet smoke trails crossing to form a “T”.

One parent took a very serene picture of their favorite vacation spot when remembering their sweet child, others may photograph sunrises and sunsets. You will know when you feel your sweet angel’s presence to take the perfect photograph. Journal your feelings at the time of your glorious sky pictures to remember your angel’s visit to you.

These beautiful images can be placed into a sky journal or your family scrapbook. If you don’t have a camera just ask for one as a gift. It is an affordable hobby to help you on your grieving journey and a wonderful way to use energy in a positve light.

Please feel free to share your photos with me

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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Saint Pius X ChurchThe parish of Saint PiusX in Greensboro, NC has outgrown its facility http://www.saintpiusxonline.com/index.htm. We are now looking to build a much larger church to accommodate the current number of families and those joining on a daily basis. “Making a Place at the Table” is the campaign for our rapidly growing congregation.

If you are a member of St. PiusX and have landscape issues regarding problem areas, drought, design, or creating a memory garden within your existing landscape, please call for an appointment before February 29th, 2008. 1 hour consultations are valued at $100.00 and your donation will be put towards the building fund. Consider giving the consultation to a friend or family member that may need a little help this spring as a gift.

You can either email or call for an appointment and information is located on the back of the bulletin.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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There is a kind of metamorphose that takes place within our hearts after the loss of a child. It’s not the change in shape or color, but a change in strength.

I do not like when grief is measured and I am only offering an explanation of how grief is different for those who have lost their babies.

We as humans know we are going to die and go about our business until faced with death in our own families. An aunt, a mother or a close friend passes on and we are devastated. Our lives have come to a brief hault as reality sets in.

When a couple sees 2 pink lines of a much desired positive pregnancy test, every ounce of their being soars to the clouds with excitement. This euphoria is almost constant and they are not on the same level as everyone else. When the baby’s heartbeat suddenly stops, the parents have a very long way to fall. They are changed, their future will not include a living child, the family unit will not be what they envisioned since the positive pregnancy test.

A couple who have an angel may

tenderly help a lost child find her parents in a crowd

angrily scold a strange woman for dropping cigarette ashes on top of her granddaughters head

take a friends toddler for a walk in the park

guard their only living child with great caution

wear pink and blue ribbons, especially in October

highlight the first Tuesday of every month on their calendars for support meetings

attend a special Christmas event in December honoring angels

include a subtle symbol of an angel on every greeting card sent

gaze at little children with an exuberant amount of love in their eyes

become emotional at baptisms, christenings, funerals or school plays

Yes, there is a difference in the grief following pregnancy and infant loss. We just want you to know we will never forget them and will always love our children in heaven.

For another  article, please read “Do I Have to Bury Him” at http://justacloudaway.com/nav-sidebar-ideas/articles/bury.html

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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You really have no idea when the tears will flow until you are right smack in the middle of it.

I decided to attend church on a Saturday, by myself. I just wanted a little alone time with God. I just listened to the choir practice and stared toward the alter at the beautifully lit Christmas trees. The last time I was here on a Saturday was 4 years ago, after the stillbirth of my son Tanner. I just showed up at this church because I was so depressed and wanted to pray. It is strange that I never put 2 and 2 together because I have never attended church on a Saturday here. After I composed myself, I see a woman carrying a pitcher of water down the aisle. This could only mean one thing, a baptism. I fought the tears again. Sweet little Tanner should have been up there 4 years prior.

I have talked to other women that have lost children, pregnancies and babies over 20 years ago and they too have tear triggers. They did say that their living children know when mom leaves the room that another child is being missed.

I cry and like to cry. I feel so much better afterwards. This is one way we as parents of angels are changed for life, tear triggers or just situations where are angels are so close to us.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com

Diana

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