Saturday, 12 May 2012

White Butterfly Project Reflection Service 2012 - Sharing my story

Today I had the honour of sharing part of my story, along with a few others, at the White Butterfly Project Reflection  Service. 
Here is what I shared: 

10 years ago, my husband and I lost our first baby at 12 weeks gestation.
I have never held that child.
I have never gazed into that child’s eyes.
Even though I went on to have 3 more children, I still long for the baby that left this earth too early.
Call it maternal instinct, but I sensed that the baby I lost was a girl. A daughter.
Years later, after not breathing this to a soul, my sister said she felt that I had lost a girl.
I then took the step of naming my child, Lanay which in Irish means ‘peaceful’, and ‘precious’ in Ancient German. It was the only girl’s  name my husband and I both agreed on when I was pregnant with each our 3 sons.
When I gave my daughter a name, she somehow became more real, in a sense, to me.
When the boys were school age, I started talking to them about Lanay.
I explained to them that I had a baby that died in my tummy and is in Heaven, and that one day we’ll get to meet her ourselves.
The boys have had times when they have felt sad about the baby I lost. After all, they lost a sister too. I have had them come up to me sometimes and whisper, “I miss my sister.” and need a cuddle.  Even though they have never met her, they feel the loss too.
When the boys first found out about Lanay and we would meet new people who asked me how many children I have, I would say, “ I have 3 boys.”
The boys would correct me and say, “No mummy. You have 4 children. 3 boys and 1 girl in Heaven.”  This has led to some awkward moments. But I love that they acknowledge their sister.
From time to time, one of the boys snuggle up to me and ask, “Mum, how old would Lanay be now?” And I calculate how old, counting her due date, which was 25 December, as her birthday.
Every year we buy a Hallmark Christmas decoration. We find one that is significant for something that happened during that year.
One year one of my sons picked up a pink barbie Christmas tree decoration and said, “Mum, we haven’t got a decoration for Lanay. Could we get this one?” And so we did.
Last Christmas I found a Christmas decoration with 2 crowns, that read, “Like mother, Like Daughter’ on it. And that now hangs on our Christmas tree.

Sometimes I allow my mind to daydream and try to imagine what my daughter would have looked like.
Would she have straight or curly hair?
Would she have olive skin like her dad or freckles like me?
Would she look like one of her brothers?
Lanay is no longer that little baby I lost. She is almost 9 ½ years old.
I wonder what games she likes to play.
Is she quiet or is she the life of the party?
Last year we lost our dog. It was the week of the 20th anniversary of my father’s death.
Grief over losing our beloved dog, coupled with the emotion of the anniversary of my dad’s death overwhelmed me.
I had a dream that week. In the dream I saw my father and my dog in a beautiful field. I looked closer and there was a little girl. I couldn’t make out her face, but I knew it was my daughter. She and my father were so happy and Lanay chased our dog around. And then the dream ended.
My daughter is not with me right now. But I have hope that gets me through.
Hope that one day I will finally get to meet my precious girl.
 If I live to be a gray haired old lady, my daughter will be all grown up and a woman when we finally meet. And then we’ll have some serious catching up to do. 

But that’s OK. Because we’ll have all of Eternity to do so.

Still taking lessons from the King,


  1. So beautiful Jo. Next month will be the 10th anniversary of the loss of our son. Even though I have been blessed with 4 more children, my heart still aches for his loss. My other children will often talk about Alex, even though he was their older brother and they never met him. The loss can be still so raw at times, but I know that he is having an awesome time in heaven and I really can't wait to meet him again.

    1. Our hearts will always ache for our children that have gone before us to Eternity. I love how our children with us now talk about their sibling in Heaven. I know what you mean about the loss being raw. Can't wait to meet my Lanay. What an amazing day it will be when we are reunited with our children. Hugs Debbie xo

    2. Thank you for sharing Jo, it certainly helped me acknowledge some grief that I didn't realise that I still had with the loss from 2 of my pregnancies (especially my first loss with my first pregnancy) I believe that she was a girl and I have called her Eden - it is the name that I already had picked for her when I found out that I was pregnant. She would be 18 now. It's amazing though what the Lord does because if it hadn't have happened I probably wouldn't have all the children that I have now - all that are a gift from God. I believe that I will meet my lost babies in Glory one day - Narelle Bognar

    3. Narelle,
      Eden is such a beautiful name.
      I think that we will always experience a certain level of grief until we are reunited with the children that have gone to Eternity before us.
      Yes! Our children certainly are a gift from God.

    4. Jo, I have misplaced your e-mail address and miss you on fb. Can you e-mail me at so that I have your e-mail address. Hope that you and all the warriors are well - much love Narelle x

    5. Have emailed you Narelle. My email is xo

  2. When having prayer earlier this year when I was lost in a grief bubble I saw a picture of my beloved grandma who died last year holding my baby in heaven. I thought maybe it was just my own head imagining things cause how would grandma even know about the baby as she died before I got pregnant, then I read 'heaven is for real' and it was such a confirmation to me that it was indeed a picture from God and my grandma and baby know each other in heaven even though they had no knowledge of each other on earth. Then yesterday on mother's day I had that same picture during worship in church and couldn't stop the tears knowing the other 2 people who I should be celebrating that day with were spending it together :-)

    1. I love how He gives us dreams and visions. A friend shared she had had a similar vision with loved ones that had gone to Eternity before her too.
      Mother's Day can be very hard when those you want to celebrate it with aren't here with us. {{hugs}} myt friend xo

  3. Thanks for sharing Jo, you have such a beautiful way with words. Truely touched my heart. I can imagine Lanay & our Attahuia ( beautiful in Maori) playing together in heaven. Love you my friend
    Laurelle xo


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on my lessons!

I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

Jo Princess Warrior xo