'But God said to me, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9'

How to support us

Firstly, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far. We have really experienced the body of Christ at work, with people supporting us both in prayer and in practical ways. God has blessed us so much through people who have being willing to be His hands and feet. We know there are people all over the world who have been praying for Hannah and for us – and for this we are grateful beyond words. While we didn’t get the physical healing that we desired for Hannah, we know it was only by God’s loving grace that we got the 6 amazing days that we did with our daughter.

Seeing as our situation isn't very common, we have discovered people don't really know what to say or what to do; as not many have come across something like this before. Grieving a baby is very different to dealing with the loss of someone older, eg. a grandparent. Sadly, not many of you got to even meet Hannah. We are still navigating this journey ourselves, but for now, here are a few ideas for those of you who are wondering how to continue to support us…

Talk to us about Hannah
One of the hardest things for us is when Hannah isn’t even mentioned, and people pretend like nothing has changed. Like things are just the same as before. Because for us, they are not – our lives have been changed forever by welcoming our baby into the world, then having to give her back to the Lord. We understand that people have a hard time knowing what to say to us, and often feel uncomfortable talking about death – especially when it relates to a baby. But we also think it is a shame that death is such a ‘taboo topic’, as it is something we all have to process at some stage. In any case, you can talk to us about her life! Even if you don’t know what to say, we appreciate it when people at least acknowledge our daughters existence.

While you may think bringing up Hannah’s name will just remind me of our pain and loss, I am actually thinking about her all the time anyway so it’s not ‘reminding me’ – it’s just meeting me where I am at. We actually love to talk about our baby, and to share stories of our time with her. We didn’t just lose a daughter – we also had a daughter! And we want other people to feel like they can get to know who Hannah Grace was too. So if you do want to know about Hannah, please just ask :)

One of my favourite things at the moment is just to hear Hannah’s name mentioned in conversation. Or to see it written in a text, email, or card. For example I love it when people say they are thinking about Jeremy, me, and Hannah; rather than just Jeremy and I. She is still our daughter, and is still a very important part of our lives – and always will be. When her name is avoided, I feel like my baby isn’t being recongnised or acknowledged. And for a Mum, that is very hard. My daughter may not be with me anymore, but I am still a proud Mum. And I want people to share in the joy of my baby’s life. So simple things like this really mean a lot to us :)

Walk with us on this journey
We will be grieving for a long time, and we need people to understand that and be ok with that. God is giving us the strength moment by moment to get through, and we are so thankful for that. But it doesn’t mean we won’t be sad. And knowing that she is in heaven is very reassuring, but it doesn’t take away the pain of not having her here with us. Over time I’m sure we will learn to adjust to this big change in our lives, and I know God will bring healing to our hearts. But we will still miss her, and that is ok.

Please feel the freedom to ask how we are doing, and how you can support us. I may not always know how to answer, but we do appreciate knowing that you care. Knowing you are praying for us does mean a lot. And we have felt so blessed by all the cards, emails, flowers, meals, baking, gardening, cleaning, and gifts we have received (to name a few things!) – so thank you so much to those of you who have supported us in these ways. It is hard for us to accept help, as we are not used to doing that; but I think in our time of weakness God has been teaching us both humility. We are very tired and kind of in ‘survival mode’, so it has been a blessing not to have to worry about extra things on top of grieving our daughter. We really appreciate how thoughtful so many people around us have been.

Remember Hannah
One of the things I have found hard through this journey, is that there has been so much more focus on Hannah’s death than on her life. As I said above, we didn’t just lose a baby, we also had a baby! We were her parents from the moment she was conceived, and we parented her in the best way we could. We loved and adored her, and will always hold on to these memories and continue to keep them alive. We want Hannah’s legacy to continue to grow.

Please don’t expect us to just ‘get over this’ and ‘move on’. The pain from losing her is so intense, and we will always miss her. Although Hannah is no longer here, she is still our daughter. She will always be our oldest child, and we will continue to refer to her as such. From now on, our family on earth will always have a hole – having more children will not fill this gap and replace Hannah, instead they will be Hannah’s younger siblings. So no matter how much time passes, please don’t forget our first child Hannah Grace Frances.

"If you know someone who has lost a child or lost anybody who's important to them, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died, they didn't forget they died. You're not reminding them. What you're reminding them of is that you remember that they lived, and that's a great, great gift." ~Quote from Elizabeth Edwards (whose son died at age 16)

I'm going to tell you something
I hope you'll never have to know.
I'll tell you how a heart can break
And tears can constant flow.
I lost my baby girl you see,
An angel in my eyes
God chose to take her hand one day
And led her to the skies.
But please do not forget my child
She was a person too
And forever she will live
Inside of me and you.
So, please don't ever tell me
That time will heal my pain
Because not even time
Can bring her back again.
Just tell me she is happy
In that land way up above
She's snuggled in an angels wings
All wrapped in Mommy's love.
~Author Unknown