glow in the woods awards: spring 2009

It's not just the life and work of this man that has us wanting to consider the unique loss of medical termination this season at Glow. It's the words of Aleina of Letters to Layla.

In her post I love my baby no matter what, Aleina reminds us of the weight of what seems to be a 'decision' -- a weight that many of us NICU parents can relate to, having had to face the sudden, counter-intuitive quiet of a ventilator. But as Aleina writes, the word 'decision' tends to work best when applied to a situation with at least two, if not a variety, of choices. And when it comes to the ending of a child's life, 'choice' is an illusion.

She writes: Even in the initial phone call when Patricia mentioned that the specialists would be discussing my "options" with me, my head spun. What options? This was my baby. There were no options.

And then...well, everything changed. What happens when all the options are awful? What happens when life is not necessarily the best option for your own child? What happens when you have to choose their well being or yours? Just like any mother, you choose your child's.

Aleina's writing is tender, forgiving, raw and timely. This month, we consider this corner of babylost parenthood -- fathers and mothers backed into a corner by fate -- and we offer them our love and appreciation for sharing their voices.

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This season's Glow in the Woods Awards drummed up a fantastic array of writing. We always hope you visit our nominees, but this month, we're coming straight out and asking you: please go through them all. Read their words to perhaps smile, or think, or nod your head in recognition, or cry healing, balmy tears. Thanks to all of you for expressing this journey with such grace.

The following nominations for Spring 2009 encompass posts from March, April and May. To review all the winners so far, go hereNominate any time -- whenever you find a post that moves you, send it us. We're constantly grateful for all of your voices, for all that you share in this space and with each other.

Our glowing nominees for March, April and May, in random order:

D of Klepsydra for Letter never sent   |   That’s when I really fell in love with this miraculous mystery person… this little being that would become a full-blown person, hopefully better than me in ways that would surprise and dismay me. I was in love with this little/big person, and I was ready to become a father.

Adrienne of Noah Steven for 3 years ago   |   There is no 'right way' to grieve nor is there only one way. But don't forget to grieve because in grief, you look close enough, there is beauty, such great beauty!

Heather of The Spohrs Are Multiplying for He rests under a shady tree   |   …it hit me that my beloved Grandma would have understood exactly how I was feeling. That we had a terrible, terrible thing in common. I missed her so much in that moment.

Angie of Still Life with Circles for Angie weeping   |   I felt such a pull of two emotions. One screamed like an insane women, "Get me out of here. Get me out of here." And the other wanted to pull each person to this painting and say, "See how sad she is. This is how sad I am too."

Margaret of She’s Come Undone for Who am I   |   I look down at my baby and at my husband holding our three year old and think, "At least I have you." We have each other and someday I'll be ok.

Mrs. Spit of Mrs. Spit Spouts Off for You can’t divide by zero   |   The ride of infertility is a long one, with many exit points. The problem is, none of them seem to be clearly marked. Perhaps we ride around and around, and for some of us, I think maybe we fall off in exhaustion at some point...

Jenni of Demeter’s Feet for Two months and sticky spaghetti   |   I'm able to say that I feel a little better without feeling desperate and guilty and profoundly separated from my little girl...there is some spaghetti sticking to the wall.

Jessicat of Dear Gus for Circles and spirals   |   I keep getting out of bed every morning, and cling to the assurances of the people who have been down this path before us that the pain of losing you will not always be this raw; I’ll develop some scar tissue eventually.

Once a Mother for Moving on   |   I didn’t choose to have a child born terminally ill. I didn’t choose to fall in love with her, to let her huge spirit envelop me and to believe in her ability to beat this.

Gal of Growing Inside for How do you fill your jar   |   A rabbi stood before hisyeshivaclass and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was…

Anne of Hello, Fancy Pants! For Hearts-on-sleeves-or-falling-out-of-two   |   I need a sign, a sign that says, ‘Please leave me in peace. This is my 7th pregnancy, and you can see I only have 2 living children…’

Inanna of Inanna Journey for William’s birth story: hello and goodbye   |   Why had I been so afraid of him? Afraid to see him, touch him, even think of him, after I knew he was gone? Death scares us so much, that constant reminder. We're mortal. We live, we die. We're transient, our time here so short.

Inanna of Inanna Journey for Journey begun   |   I felt myself descending with every contraction, going deeper into myself, deeper into the darkest recesses of motherhood.

Catherine W of Between the Snow and the Huge Roses for Things that I hope   |   I hope you know how much I wanted to nurse you when I was allowed to hold you. Even though I knew you were dying, I still wanted to give you life. So much.

Molly of The Unlucky Lottery for Spreading Colden’s ashes   |   I had carried him. It was really important to me to do it myself, to carry him as I had once carried him within me. So I took that awful little white box from the funeral home, and I opened it.

call for nominations: glow in the woods awards spring 2009

Once again, the time has come for the Glow in the Woods Awards -- our chance to reach out to one another to say thanks and keep writing and hey I read that post at 2 AM and it helped me to sleep or made me laugh or had me feeling sane.

We acknowledge the writing of babylost parents four times a year -- once for each season. For Spring 2009, send us posts from March, April and May -- go here to nominate by no later than Thursday, June 18th, and here to review the winners so far. On Friday June 19, we'll announce the winner along with a list of all the nominees.

Please fish back in your memory and favourites, and share with us. Spring is a time for poking our heads from the ground, sniffing the air, stretching legs. Who made you feel accompanied this season?

glow in the woods awards: winter 2008-09

In her post Auld acquaintance, Erica of I Lost a World explores the babylost parent's re-entry into ordinary life. How do we accept the trudging-along of the everyday, unable to stop any clock, while honouring our missing child(ren)?

She writes: I used to worry that I might forget Teddy, that his memory might flee from me as I walk in the snow, as I decorate the Christmas tree, as I watch the birds at the bird feeder, as I go about the mundane comings and goings of my life, and this terrified me...

The sheer volume of nominations this season made it tough to recognize one -- especially with so many resonant posts. But Erica's lovely reflection stayed with us because of a certain permission she gave herself, all vividly sparked by the lyrics of a song we all know.

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The Glow in the Woods Awards are back after a reorganization and somewhat of a winter hiatus, and we're thrilled to have a wonderful array of reflections, rants and smiles for you. Now being awarded seasonally, the following nominations for Winter 2008-09 encompass posts from December, January and February -- and the Spring 2009 award (we'll remind you) will recognize the writing of March, April and May. To review all the winners so far, go here.

Nominate any time -- whenever you find a post that moves you, send it us. Thanks for continuing to share your memories as well as your steps forward.

Our glowing nominees for December, January and February, in random order:

B of Shifty Shadow for Bundle of absence
Kirstin of Two Little Birds, Two Little Beasts for Ellery and Olivia
Sally of Tuesday’s Hope for Why Tuesday’s Hope
Erica of I Lost a World for Grief kit
J of Tea & Sympathy for A good day
CLC of Please Give Me Back My Heart for Raising stillbirth awareness
Forever Loves for Samples
Alexa of Flotsam for Scattered
After Iris for Damned lies
Monique of Samuel Marc for Philadelphia bound
Barbara of Burble for Haunted
Sarah of
Ezra's Space for Magical walk, Dreaming of babies and Ezra’s great uncle
Elm City Dad for Universal ache
Gal of Growing Inside for Releasing attachment and Just like that
Living a Charmed Life for What shock looks like

call for nominations: glow in the woods awards winter 2008-09

It's time again for the much-loved Glow in the Woods Awards -- or better put, it's long past time! You may have noticed silence on the awards front for the past couple of months, but it's because we've decided to shake things up in the interest of finding and sharing more new voices in bulk.

From now on, we'll be recognizing and sharing the writing of babylost mothers and fathers four times a year -- once for each season. For Winter 2008-09, send us posts from December, January and February -- go here to nominate by no later than Friday, February 27th, and here to review the winners so far. On  March 1st, we'll announce the winner along with a list of all the nominees.

Please take a few moments to share with us what's moved you through the holiday and new year season -- through these months so full of such glittering hope and heart-of-winter darkness. Introduce us to voices we don't yet know, and remind us what we love about those we do.

glow in the woods awards: november 2008

I was indistinguishable from other humans even in close quarters, begins Elm City Dad in his post Lying. We honour him with this month's Glow in the Woods award for how his words echo what can be so familiar from one babylost parent to the next: in this case, how strange it can be to construct and maintain a reasonable facsimile of normal for an outside and oblivious world.

Elm City Dad is new to our community, sadly. But in the way he shares his truth, he allows us to accompany him as he returns the same favour for us. In exchanging our stories we exchange warmth, huddling next to another body that knows this chill and feeling restored by it.

Remember to nominate your favourites by the 14th of every month--and thank you to everyone for continuing to share your darkness as well as your light.

Our glowing nominees for October and November, in random order:

I Lost a World for The dream house (no, not what you think)
Scribblette for Whole
Sarah of Ezra's Place for Face-to-face with G-d
B of Simply B for Re-learning to mamaReason and Spirituality and death
Elm City Dad for Bittersweet
Sophie of Faraday's Garden for Rubberneckers and demons

call for nominations: glow in the woods awards november 2008

Still getting back into the groove of our usual posting schedule after the nutritious and very filling blogolympics, the Glow in the Woods Awards have come round again. Forgive the late notice, but please take a moment to send us blog entries that have moved you -- about healing, parenthood, trying again, sex, drugs or... well, maybe even rock and roll -- whatever resonates with you in the post-explosion of babyloss.

Feel free to include writing from both October and November. Go here to nominate by no later than Sunday night (the 16th), and here to review the winners so far. On Monday the 17th, we'll announce the winner along with a complete list of the nominees.

As always, thanks to everyone for sharing your voices and friends with us, both sisters and brothers on this path. We're so grateful that you're here.