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Show & Tell: Em, Eva's Bereaved Mama
Em and I follow each other's blogs and are both bereaved mommas to beautiful girls. She is desperately missing Eva and writes about it so passionately. She also has a young rainbow baby boy. I am introducing you to her now as she plans her annual fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House in Eva's honor.
How did we find each other?
I can't remember exactly how I found your blog but, as a teacher and now homeschooler, I connected with your homeschool preschool of E. I also connected with your grief and love for Violet.
What is the most important thing we should know about you?
That I am a mom. A mom to four sons on earth who bless me daily and a mom to one little girl in heaven who has touched more lives with her brief spark of a life than I will ever know this side of heaven.
Who do you share your life with?
I share my life with one amazing husband, four great sons who make me crazy sometimes, one super cute foster daughter and the memory of my one beloved daughter in heaven, who I miss daily with all my heart. We also share our outdoor lives with two big dogs and three horses.
You inspire me because of how you mother in the face of grief. Can you tell us about all you are doing to honor Eva's memory?
To be honest, I don't feel inspirational. I'm just putting one foot in front of the other. Just like everyone else.
We started a bike parade in honour of Eva. We're doing Eva's (2nd annual) Ride on August 10th to keep her memory alive in our family and community and to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta, where we stayed when Eva was sick. Our children can be pledged as they ride to remember Eva.
What was your grief like when it was fresh? How have you gotten to where you are now?
When Eva died I felt like the only person in the world whose child has died. I know now how completely untrue that is, unfortunately. I felt like I was in a black vortex of grief. I didn't know how the world could continue when my daughter had died. I wept every.single.day for 11 months after she died. I could go on and on about how terribly awful that time was.
I went to a grief counselor for a long time and I still seem him irregularly now. I found an online community of bereaved parents and I started my blog. Those things combined helped me to get a little sane. The birth of my rainbow has also breathed life into me in a way I never imagined up until the moment I held him in my arms.
I have written a children's book about Missing Eva from a child's perspective, based on conversations with Eva's brothers in the early days after losing Eva. I hope to publish it one day in memory of our precious girl and in honour of her brothers.
Ideally, how do you see yourself honoring Eva's memory in 5 years? 10 years? How do you plan to accomplish this?
I plan on honouring Eva's memory by continuing Eva's Ride for RMHNA and by helping there whenever I can. For now I am continuing with my blog but that may not last forever, unless I'm able to change the focus a little. I want to keep it out there as a little beacon of light for the newly bereaved. For those who are suffocating under grief. I remember how I felt then and to find a blog that was still active over a year from the time of death was rare and, when I did, I clung to it.
What are your passions?
My passions are my children, writing, and homeschooling..
What are your challenges?
My challenges are raising my children in a kind and God-honouring way while maintaining my sanity, grieving my daughter, loving my husband and keeping our house livable.
Who else inspires you and why?
I am inspired by those grieving mamas who have gone before me and who are still standing and still able to honour God despite their loss. I am inspired by moms of sick kids who advocate and fight for the best possible care and outcome for their child (even though I am a little bit jealous too that I do not get to fight that fight for Eva anymore).
What advice can you give our readers regarding baby loss and grieving?
I don't really feel there is any advice to give...we all process in our own way and find our own path to healing. And I guess that's the nugget of advice that I can give. Despite it all, there is healing. Despite the days of sobbing on the kitchen floor, healing comes. Slowly and stealthily like a trickle in the spring, under the snows of winter, healing comes.
Where can readers find you to learn more?
I can be found at my blog www.aftereva.blogspot.com. I welcome a personal contact as well if a grieving mama connects with my writing