Friday, October 4, 2013

CYG, Day 4: Legacy

Photo by Elizabeth Wiggs. Taken in 2011, in place of what would have been newborn photos.

I remember being so scared that no one would ever say Garrett's name again. That he wouldn't be anything at all except an empty spot at the table and in our hearts. Or, at worst, to the outside world, he'd be the reason I almost died. The evidence that God didn't exist or did but didn't love us. So many fears.

They weren't unfounded. Any number of those endings could have happened but Mike and I realized early on, thanks to wonderful people who shared their stories, that if we wanted Garrett to live on in more than just our memories and in Heaven, it was up to us. We needed to talk about him. We needed to say his name. We needed to tell our story. We needed to show how much we hurt and cried and yet still had hope.

And, I think that's Garrett's legacy.  I'd rather have Garrett here where he can create his own legacy. But, since this is the path our life has taken, I choose to honor Garrett with hope, openness and health, both emotional and physical.

The fact that Garrett existed brought our family closer together. This is from my first post about Garrett's death, from our family blog:
I told Mike this morning that if baby Garrett's life does nothing else but draw us all closer to each other and closer to God, nothing else but make his mama and papa love each other and appreciate each other more than ever, then that's a darn good legacy for a baby.

He has bonded friendships more tightly than I could have imagined (you can read our friends' year one tributes here).

The GriefShare program we went through with our community group taught us each about grief and how to mourn for ourselves and with others.

Garrett is one of the reasons I write today. This blog is here because of him.

Losing Garrett confirmed that an open adoption is what we wanted. We could never ask a birth parent to say goodbye forever.

I have been able to minister to other hurting parents through my Etsy shop with memorials and Christmas cards that acknowledge loss.

Surviving gave me the courage to pursue the fitness career I talked about for years.

This is a good legacy.

Passing Pinwheels
Kenneth Alan O'Shaughnessy
 Colors burning in the bright summer sun
Kaleidoscoping in the breeze
Friends beside me to share in all the fun
There are no other joys like these
Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace
Sometimes we have to create our own wind
When the breezes cease to blow
We blow and blow with all the breath God gives
To try to make the pinwheel go
Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace
And when the soft breezes blow in the clouds
And the sun hides behind the rain
We pass the pinwheels safe on the porch
Until the fair winds blow again
Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace
All we need is the breath of God
A little paper and a stick
A bunch of friends who'll stay with us
Through the thin and thick
Passing pinwheels from hand to hand
And smiles from face to face
Sharing our simple God-spun joys
Blown our way by grace


This blog post is for the worldwide event Capture Your Grief in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Day 4: Legacy, Do you believe your child left a legacy behind? It could be something very simple but meaningful.

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