Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reminded over and over again today that I should have an almost 10 year old. Holidays are hard. ((hugs to all of us)) and Merry Christmas

From Stephanie over at Sweet Pea Project
In keeping with the spirit of giving, Sweet Pea Project will light a candle at the five art exhibit for the first 100 parents who make a request on Christmas Day, no donation necessary. To request a candle please email your child's name to with the word Candle as the subject. We are unable to take requests any other way, so please do not reply to this post or send a message via facebook. For more info on the candles, please visit Thank you for allowing us the privilege of honoring your child.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Duggars have gotten such negative feedback about the photos of their stillborn daughter, Jubilee. I wanted to post this well written piece from someone who 'gets it.'

Do you have photos of your child? We have a few hastily snapped polaroids that the hospital nurse took. I do not display them, but am glad I have them. I wish I had thought or knew to take some that would be easier to look at, like a photo of me holding his hand. You do the best you can at the time.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Card Exchange

Does anyone want to participate in a Christmas Card exchange? If you would like to, please email me at nick wilberg at hotmail dot com with your name (how you'd like the envelope addressed) and address and your baby's name. I'll take names until Saturday, Dec. 17, and then send the list out to all participants.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Cards

Do you do something special with your Christmas cards to include your baby? I have seen cards with baby angels on them, and I know some people include their baby's name in their signature or stamp it with a special stamp (a little star or heart) to include their child. What do you do?
Sending ((hugs)) to the Duggar Family who lost baby Jubilee this week during the second trimester.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Stephanie at the Sweet Pea Project has a lot going on over there. One thing she invited all to participate in is the 'community expressions wall' during the five art exhibit.

Here is the info:
In January 2012 Stephanie Paige Cole's newest art exhibit, five, will open at Mulberry Art Studios. Te exhibit features Stephanie's work as well as pieces from many other talented artists, all bereaved parents themselves. And we would like to invite you to participate as well, by creating a simple piece for our community expression wall.

You do not need to have an artistic talent to participate, all you need is your love for your child, your honesty, and a piece of paper.

The community expression wall will consist of the honest expressions of the hearts of individuals from across the globe. It is my hope that it will give non-bereaved guests a glimpse into our experience. If you would like to contribute, please read the instructions below. For full details about this exhibit please visit

Submission Instructions for Community Expressions Wall
On a 3x5 index card, respond to one of the following:
1. How are you, really?
2. This is my love
3. This is my grief
Children may participate by drawing pictures on 3x5 sized paper

You may answer with words or pictures using any materials you wish. It can be as simple as a single word written in sharpie or as elaborate as your imagination allows. You may send in multiple submissions.

All submissions must be 3x5. Mail your piece(s) to us at Sweet Pea Project PO Box 10351 Lancaster, PA 17605. If you would like your piece(s) returned to you at the end of the exhibit, please be sure to write your name on the back and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Submissions must be recieved by January 1st, or delivered to the gallery in person on January 15th during the reception.

Thank you so very much for sharing yourself with us.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I hope you have a gentle week. Thanksgiving can be tough. I'm reposting my last year's post below.

If you haven't yet submitted your Aloha Remembered request and would like to do so you can still squeak it in today.


I know this is a difficult time of year. We are supposed to be THANKFUL, which can be dang hard when you are missing your baby. You are maybe surrounded by family and it is obvious your baby is missing. And maybe there are cousins or other kids there the age your child ought to be. And family members who may or may not be the most sensitive types giving advice on how to get over it or what you should be doing.

Yep. A hard time of year.

Someone shared an idea with me that I thought was brilliant.

She said when the family is sitting around the table they have a toast to remember family members who are not there with them.


It can have different meanings to different people, and it is something I can do without wondering if anyone thinks I'm bonkers.

Is there anything you do on Thanksgiving to remember your child?

Wishing you gentle days-

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Aloha Remembered- your baby's name in the sand

Aloha means hello, goodbye, love, peace, compassion and mercy- A perfect word for the many emotions a mom feels who has had too short a time with her baby.

My sister wrote Gabriel's name in the sand of a beach close to her home on the North Shore of Hawaii. It is a beach set aside as a ‘quiet place of reflection’. It seems so suitable to me that it is not a permanent thing, but rather, just like Gabriel, it is here for just a minute and then gone. But for a brief moment, the world is a little different because of him.

For the next few weeks we will be accepting names for our Aloha Remembered project. You can request your baby's name by clicking the link and checking out through the sidebar. Please put your baby's name in the 'notes'.

Please submit your request by NOVEMBER 20. We are going to be charging for this service so that we will able to donate from the proceeds. Thanks for letting us do this for you.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dia de los Muertos

I've never thought much or done much about Day of the Dead (it's not real big in Maryland!) but wanted to share this excerpt from the book I'm currently reading, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (she and her family decided to spend a year eating local foods only.. very interesting book but a little preachy)

Anyway, about Day of the Dead Kingsolver writes:
"Dia de los Muertos is still an entirely happy ritual of remembering one's departed loved ones, welcoming them into the living room by means of altars covered with photographs and other treasured things that bring memory into the present. Families also visit cemeteries to dress up the graves. I've seen plots adorned not just with flowers but also seashells, coins, toys, the Blessed Virgin, cigarettes, and tequila bottles.(To get everybody back, you do what you have to do.) Then the family members set out a picnic, often directly on top of a grave, and share reminiscences about the full cast of the beloved dead, whether lured in by the flowers or the tequila, and it's the best party of the year. Food is the center of this occasion, especially aromatic dishes that are felt to nourish spiritual presence...

Anthropologists who write about this holiday always seem surprised by how pleasant the festivals are, despite the obvious connections with morbidity. Most modern lives include very few days penciled onto the calendar for talking and thinking about people we miss because they've died. Death is a gulf we rarely broach, must less celebrate joyfully. By coincidence... a different, ancient non-Christian holiday from northern Europe is also celebrated at the same time of year. That one is called Hallowe'en and reinforces an opposite tradition, characterizing death as horrifying and grotesque. Far be it from me to critique an opportunity to dress up and beg free candy, but I prefer Dia de los Muertos. It's not at all spooky. It's funny and friendly...

I'm drawn to this celebration, I'm sure, because I live in a culture that allows almost no room for dead people... But I think I understand now. When I cultivate my garden I'm spending time with my grandfather, sometimes recalling deeply buried memories of him, decades after his death.... That's ...a memory space opened before my eyes, which has no name in my language."

Do any of you celebrate Day of the Dead? What are your traditions?

Happy? Halloween

Is anyone else not crazy about Halloween? I just don't find tombstones/skeletons/zombies that amusing anymore. It makes me shudder that when my oldest daughter was little I dressed her up as a baby angel for her first Halloween. What was I thinking? I can't even look at those photos anymore. And most the skeletons and skull decorations are not full size, so I keep thinking they are exactly child size.

Anyway, just having a kind of weirded out week so thought I'd throw my ramblings out there to see if anyone else is having similar thoughts.

Hope this week is gentle for you-

Monday, October 10, 2011

No right or wrong: part 2

Whitney asked a question in the comments of that previous post but I wanted to bring it up to the top and ask all of you what you do. Here is her question:

I had a question for you - what do you call Gabriel's birthday? I don't know how to feel about Anna's due date in December, when I know she probably wouldn't have come out that day exactly. But it seems morbid to call her day of birth a birthday, which is supposed to be such a happy party time. Thanks again for writing...Whitney

Whitney, thanks for your question. I also feel kind of funny about using the word "birthday" which to me brings up images of cake, balloons, party hats and little kids running around Chuck E. Cheese.

I know some people use the phrase "angelversary" but I've never been entirely comfortable with using that, I don't know why.

I usually just call May 10 "Gabriel's Day" or more often with my family "Baby Goldbug Day" which was his nickname before he was born. However, on that day we do some of the typical 'birthday' things like getting our family together, going to a special place, having a balloon (which we release) and eating cupcakes.

So, I wanted to ask the rest of you. What do you call the day your baby was born?
Thanks for sharing with us.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sedona Grief Retreat: Oct 15

Kara Jones from KotaPress and Dr. Joanne C from MISS are hosting a grief retreat
in Sedona, AZ. I wish so much I was able to attend! Click here for more info.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sweet Dreams. Little One

Andrea R asked me to post this beautiful poem she wrote after she miscarried a few days ago. ((hugs)) Andrea. Thank you for sharing this with us.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

It feels un real, it feels silly.
I never held you. I never saw you.
I never felt you. I didn’t know you.
It's true though.
I miss you. I loved you. I wanted you.
I had no name for you.
I try not to blame me.
You and me, we were 1, you left me.
I’m angry & I’m sorry.
sweet dreams little one.

-Andrea R.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

No right or wrong

In the interest of 'keepin it real' I wanted to tell you about a conversation my husband and I had the week before Gabriel's birthday.

Me: Did you get Gabriel's birthday off from work next week?
Him: When is it?
Me: Really? You don't know when it is?
Him: I try not to think about it. I just can't do that.

Try not to smack your husband when and if this happens to you.

Just because I mark it on the calendar and cautiously anticipate it from the minute the calendar flips around New Years does not mean I am right and he is wrong. We are both right. However you need to be to get through is right for you.


Monday, June 6, 2011


Thanks, everyone! Winners picked and items in the mail. Congrats to Michelle and Hilene.

I have a tshirt that I'd like to give away to someone who can use it. It is dark blue and says "Some people only dream of angels. I held one in my arms." It is size 2X. It has never been worn, and I'd like to pass it along to someone.

Also, does anyone have a baby named Emily? I have a bracelet that has the name Emily on it and inside the scripture "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1" that I'd love to give to someone who would like it

I hope today is gentle for you

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

9 years ago today

Gabriel came into my world for just a short moment. Happy birthday, baby boy.
Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.
Hope today is gentle for you all.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother's Day

I'm repeating my post from last year. I wish you a gentle weekend. ((hugs)) emily

This was written by Kara Jones. Click over to FaveCraftsBlog to read her whole post click here. You can visit Kara's blogs and Kota:Knowing Ourselves Through Art

...They were handing out fliers sharing the writing of Julia Ward Howe, first published in 1870 as a protest against the carnage and violence of the Civil War. This was a protest led by women whose sons had died! Bereaved mothers started this tradition of Mothers Day! In the beginning, this was a day of protest, an expression of horrified grief from bereaved mothers who were parted from their sons!! Wow. Okay. That’s a different spin.

So what did Julia have to say back in 1870? You read and see for yourself:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!

Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.”

Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

Julia Ward Howe

Mothers Day came as an answer to Julia’s proclamation. It started as a ceremony of bereavement and then as a movement for peace and action to stop the senseless deaths of children everywhere. Our society can commercialize all they want. Because in my heart of hearts I know the real meaning of this day came from pain, loss, and grief — the same things I am prone to feel on any given Mothers Day. And from now on, when people urge me to celebrate the day, I tell them this:

I’ll celebrate with you if you will first mourn with me. It is the combination of the two that lends itself to the true meaning of Mothers Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This week

Today starts my least favorite week of the year- Mothers Day and Gabriel's birthday. I woke up so tense and my entire body aches. There are such physical symptoms associated with grief! I am going to really try to practice relaxation techniques this week and try to avoid unnecessary stress. And I think I'll start by unfriending my husband's aunt on facebook who feels the need to come to my wall and start spouting politics. And by scheduling a massage.


I have noticed a difference in how I pray after the death of Gabriel. I no longer feel I can ask for things specifically. I do not feel I can pray for situations to be resolved or for things to work out how I want. Instead, I find that I pray that I am given the strength to deal with whatever the situation is. Just another way my son has changed me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Heaven is For Real: Book Review

Ok, this one is pretty religiousy, needfully so. But there's one part I want to tell you about.

My mom had told me about this book and then I saw it at the house I was babysitting at last night. I skimmed and skipped most of it. I wanted to get to a particular point.

This little boy nearly dies and later talks about his 'visit to heaven.'. He told his parents that he 'has 2 sisters.' (You know he has one.) He said that when he was visiting in heaven a little girl ran up and told him she is his sister. She said she didn't have a name yet because the parents had not named her. Turns out his mother had a miscarriage she had not told her son about, and they had not named her. They didn't know it was a girl.

I know so many people have such different beliefs, and I don't know about this little boy and his visit to heaven, but I do think our babies are waiting for us.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Big Ball Project

This is something different than child loss, but a good cause I think so I'm posting it here for your consideration.

My cousin's kids have started a project called The Big Ball Project. They love soccer and there was a book with photos of kids around the world playing soccer. The kids in Africa did not have a ball- just a bundle of rags. Turns out it costs just $10 to send a ball and a pump to a kid who wants to play. Balls have been sent to Rwanda, Costa Rica and Marakkesh.

For the next 72 hours, they have a donor who will give $1 for every person who 'likes' The Big Ball Project on facebook. Can you take a minute to pop over there and do that?

And if you'd like to donate, just $10 can send a ball and a pump. I will do this this year for part of Gabriel's birthday present.

Wishing you a gentle day,

Monday, February 21, 2011

Congrats, winners!

Ok, drumroll please..

The winners are:

For the sugar cookies: Natasha (aidensmom)
For the book Still.: Janice Copp
For the banner: Trena (raindrops)
For the Target giftcard: Karen Pal.

Thanks to everyone who entered- I've emailed the winners to send me their addresses.
Hope today is gentle for you-

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giveaway! Feb 13-20 ENTER NOW

I thought I'd sweeten things up with a giveaway this week! Thanks to everyone who donated items. To enter, just leave a comment below (and an email where you can be reached.) For extra entries you can repost on Facebook or link from your blog. You can also respond to my newsletter. You can enter through Sunday midnight 2/20/2011 and winners will be announced Monday. Good luck, peeps!

Brittanie from Snickey Snacks has donated a $20 GIFT CARD to her site. If you are a local (Frederick or Montgomery County, MD area) you can use it how you like. If you live further afield that means some delicious SUGAR COOKIES are coming your way! I don't know what design but I can attest they are the perfect thing for a sweet treat.

Stephanie from Sweet Pea Project has donated a copy of her BOOK Still. Click over to her site to read more about this touching book. Please note that this prize will ship directly to the winner the first week of March.

My sweet sister who does the Aloha Remembered sand name photos for is donating a cute FABRIC BANNER to us. This is not a photo of the actual banner- I'm having photo difficulties. It is similar style to this, colors yet unknown.

And lastly, but not leastly, I will donate a $25 TARGET GIFTCARD (it probably will not be this rockin' peacock design but it spends the same.)


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Quick Things

First- if you are anywhere near Lancaster, PA take a peek at this- a FREE event at a gorgeous location with an amazing woman. Check it out.

Second- it has been WAY TOO LONG so I think we better have a giveaway! Come back Monday to enter. I have some goodies I've been holding on to so you won't want to miss it. If you have something you'd like to donate email me at nick wilberg at hotmail dot com

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Magic Quilt Project


"Be the comfort you want to see in the world"

Debbie at the Magic Quilt Project has a wonderful thing going. You can click here to read all about it but the idea is that you can send material that is stitched into a quilt. These quilts are then sent to people who need comfort. Kind of a worldwide hug.

I had sent some material in memory of my Gabriel. You can read that story here. And then that beautiful quilt that it was stitched into was sent to a friend of our family, Stan. My sister in law Amanda (on the left) delivered it to him. You can read more about his story in this post and this post. (I'm on the right. My sister Laura who takes the Aloha Remembered photos for us is in the middle)

Please take a minute and pop over here to read about Crash's nephew Matthew who died 12 years ago after living 12 hours. Those photos are so special- I see the love in his parent's faces. ((Hugs)) to Mathew's mommy, Melanie. And ((hugs)) to Amy, the first recipient of one of the Magic Baby quilts.

Now Crash has asked that those of us who have lost children to "join hands with the rest of us to soften the blow for others who are experiencing the same loss."

If you'd like to send flannel to her Magic Quilt Project it will be stitched into quilt blocks along with other quilt blocks honoring "other children who have finished their earthly journey." Your babies name, birth and death date will appear in the corner of his/her block.

Click here to visit the Magic Quilt blog to get more information about sending fabric.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Word of the Year 2011 FOCUS

I've been such a slacker. I feel muddled, confused, unorganized, sluggish. I have really been considering what I want and how I want to get there but I feel like I'm in a constant state of playing catch up and can't get ahead.

So, I've decided that this year my 'word of the year' is FOCUS

I want to FOCUS on what is important
I want to FOCUS my energy and efforts where they will do the most good
I want to FOCUS on doing one thing at a time and doing it well instead of doing a million things incompletely

Instead of making 'resolutions' I have my 'bucket list' and will choose several things off of there to do this year. Things I am meaning to get to 'someday'. Well, 'someday' is now.

I'm working on a giveaway for February. If you would like to donate an item for the giveaway in exchange for a link to your site, let me know. Do you make jewelry? Do you have a book? Email me at nickwilberg at hotmail dot com.