Archive for August, 2008

My brother and sister-in-law were nothing but supportive after the death of my son. They did not think twice about flying to North Carolina from Buffalo for Tanner’s memorial service to comfort us. Still today, almost 5 years later they remember our baby in heaven with a special activity, a butterfly release.

My nephews purchased a butterfly kit to raise and release them. They were going to be visiting us at the exact time the butterflies were recommended to be set free. Ryan, my eldest nephew brought the butterfly kit into our house and said we should release them into Tanner’s memory garden. I did not ask if this was his idea or his parents because Ryan seemed very determined and willing to let the butterflies explore Tanner’s memory garden. I was incredibly moved by Ryan’s kindness and he probably didn’t know the effect he had on me. A nine year old now but just a small 4 year old when Tanner died, yet we always visit the memory garden when he comes and it is always referred to as “Tanner’s Garden.”

The butterflies needed a little help finding their way out.

and there they go………………

It was so sweet to see the expression of the boys.

If your sweet angel passed away during a time when butterfly kits can be purchased, I highly recommend it. Sometimes it is difficult to include other children in rituals for deceased babies, but this activity can involve everyone. An angelversary can be a special time to remember your angel baby and to release beautiful butterflies free to fly. This could be a new tradition if the butterfly symbolizes your deceased baby.

If your child’s angelversary tradition is a butterfly release, we would love to know.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com


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The angelversary date has no rules. For us it is the day Tanner’s stillborn body laid in my arms (also my husband’s birthday), for my girlfriend it was the day of her D&C, for another, her child’s expected due date.

Once the month of August hits, my anxiety starts building. September 28th is Tanner’s angelversaryand for years I have become very tense beginning in August ending in October. Maybe because October 1st was Tanner’s memorial service and October 14th was his expected due date. Now that I am on Citalopram, anxiety levels shouldn’t be unbearable for my family.

Tanner’s first angelversary we had a few close friends over for cake. I had both Tanner and Todd’s name on the cake and we sang to both. My girlfriend brought balloons to tie onto Tanner’s memory garden cross which started this tradition. Even if we do not have a cake, it is a new tradition for my husband and myself to visit Tanner’s memory garden with balloons for his cross. I also like to bring his journal to the memory garden and write a letter wishing my angel a happy birthday in heaven.

One of my girlfriend’s started a new tradition for her baby’s angelversary by visiting her stillborn child’s grave bringing flowers and also placing flowers at the graves of other deceased babies. Another friend makes a donation to the pregnancy loss support group that was very supportive in her healing. Another tradition is assembling care packets for the homeless and inserting a small note- in loving memory of our deceased child.

What ways do you remember and honor your baby’s angelversary?

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com


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After almost 5 years of building Tanner’s memory garden, there is life other than the plants we installed. The sweetest sound was that of 4 baby birds in one of the crape myrtle trees planted. They obviously thought mama was on her way with food.

I was so happy a mother bird found refuge in Tanner’s tree, the one directly behind his cross.

Not only did the crape myrtles provide a nesting area, this year was the largest display of white blooms.

Natchez crape myrtle trees were chosen because of the white flowers, being drought tolerate, a weeping growth habit, gorgeous cinnamon colored bark and the growth rate is extremely fast. They grow to about 25 feet in height.

Eventually the trees will shade the interior of Tanner’s memory garden. It is rather hot in Zone 7 during the summer months so shade will be welcomed. This is what I see when I look up through the crape myrtle trees while sitting in the center of his garden.

The natchez crape myrtle tree is one of many crape myrtles available. Below is a variety called burgundy cotton crape myrtle. The white flower buds look like popcorn before opening to a pale pink bloom. Burgundy cotton crape myrtle is much smaller than the natchez, growing to about 10 feet tall.

Another variety of crape myrtle is twilight. Twilight crape myrtle trees are more upright growing to about 15 feet in height bearing purple flowers.

There are so many different colors and mature heights to select, you are bound to find just the right one for your child’s memory garden. Crape myrtles grow in zones 7,8 and 9, which is the lower half of the United States. Yoshino cherry trees are also wonderful, growing further north.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com


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Our precious Tanner was stillborn and several weeks prior another Tanner was born healthy and safe. After almost 5 years it still hurts me to see this little boy in church. This Tanner is almost the exact age of my angel Tanner.

My husband is Methodist and I am Catholic so we are members of 2 wonderful churches. We attend both parishes. Pleasant Union United Methodist Church is right around the block from us in a rural setting. There are approximately 150 families where everyone knows each other by name.

This past Christmas we attended the gingerbread house activity at Pleasant Union. This was our 3rd year decorating the houses where we can visit and share decorating techniques. We prepare for this event weeks prior gathering all sorts of candies for roofing, snow, and shrubs. This time was different for me. The little boy Tanner that had lived sat next to us with his little sister and mother. I had my back to the family the entire time and every time the mother would call “Tanner’s” name I would cringe. I tried very hard to concentrate on what I was doing and ignore surrounding voices.

They are good people but I just don’t have it in me to talk to them yet. My little boy is now an angel, how can I talk to a living child named Tanner who is the same age as my Tanner in heaven? This is such a small community I wonder what they thought when my Tanner died? I think my husband even went to school with Tanner’s mother.

I have noticed Tanner in church several times and discreetly stare at him. He is quiet and well behaved. His head tilts slightly down with his big brown eyes so innocently looking around the church. I think my Tanner would have been similar, just my intuition. Tanner would love to read like his father, tall in stature and quiet natured with a heart of gold.

He is in heaven reading among the flowers, animals and the stream with Uncle Jim.

Peace Love and Hugs from Above  www.justacloudaway.com


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