I am so grateful for the many people who came out yesterday to celebrate Arthur’s life. While we are sad, we are hopeful. It brought so much comfort to my soul to see and hug so many of our friends. So many of you have sent messages, emails, texts over the past week. We have read each one with gratitude and received much encouragement from your thoughtful words. I am also thankful for all of the messages I’ve received about Arthur’s impact. His life here on earth may have been short, but it was extremely meaningful. I can’t wait to share more of him with you!
Many people told me, “If there is anything I can do for you, let me know. I would love to help.” As someone who has been on the other end wanting to help someone in their suffering, I’ve said similar things. Knowing specific requests has been helpful. I wrote a similar post a few months ago after we first found out Arthur’s diagnosis. While many things are similar to that time, many are different. The grief we experienced over the past few months was more anticipatory – grieving the things that were to come. While there is much to rejoice in (and we have done and are doing that), we are now in a new season of grief – aching for the presence of our son, in whom we found so much joy.
Like I said in my previous post, these are thoughts of what could be helpful to us – not expectations. This is written for the people who have genuinely said, “If there is ANYTHING I can do to help, please let me know.” So let me help you help us:
This wasn’t something we initially thought about but many have asked if there is a way to make a donation in memory of Arthur. Below are a few organizations that have been a rich blessing to us and many others.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep – this organization provides professional remembrance photography to families suffering the loss of a baby, free of charge to the families.
Anencephaly Hope – this woman provides hats and other little gifts specifically for babies with anencephaly. Many of the hats Arthur wore were given to us, free of charge, by her. She can only do this when she has the funds and supplies available. Consider making a donation or sending yarn in Arthur’s name.
Campus Outreach – Artie and I have been working for Campus Outreach – a Christian college ministry – for the last seven years. Our ministry seeks to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with college students, establish and equip them in the Christian life, and moblize them to be used by God in the world. It is through this ministry that we learned what it is like to live out our faith in Jesus and cling to the hope of the gospel – even in the hardest of circumstances, like the one we find ourselves in today. If you would like to donate to our ministry on behalf of little Arthur, please follow the link.
We have a wonderful church family and support group here. Leading up to and through Arthur’s birth, we have been well taken care of. We have an abundance of meals and food to last us through the holidays and we will be around family and friends over the next few weeks, therefore will have plenty of help with Adele. When we are settled back into a “normal” family routine in January, there will most likely be needs in those categories.
Many of you don’t live near us, but can love us from a distance. Letters, messages, and packages were always a comfort to receive. Again, these are just ideas – ideas of things we would use if we were to receive them – not expectations. If you want some gift card ideas – restaurants, Etsy (for personalized keepsakes to remember Arthur), Shutterfly (if you couldn’t tell from the blog, I love pictures and plan on doing some photo book crafting to document all things Arthur), massage/spa (for the postpartum recovery and physical toll that grief can take on your body). If you need our address, please message me through the blog or through Facebook.
Remember that Arthur is my second child, my firstborn son. Recall with joy the amazing time he spent with us. Reach out to us on the important dates – Mother’s Day, July 10th – diagnosis day, his birthday, and his heavenly birthday.
Prayer & Patience
Everyone grieves differently. My grief will look different from Artie’s. The way we grieve this together might be different from other families who have gone through this type of loss. I can’t predict how it will all play out and for how long it will last. The coming weeks will be hard for us. My body is ready to take care of a baby with no baby to feed and to hold. The holidays will be both a reminder of our missing family member and a distraction. Getting back into a normal schedule will probably not feel so normal for a while. This next year will be a year of firsts without Arthur with us. We are not going to shy away from being in community, we know we need you. But if you would graciously give us understanding and patience if it takes us a while to emerge from the fog, we would be greatly helped by that. Continue to pray for our family as we ache to be reunited with our son.
We feel extremely grateful for all the wonderful people who have been here for us, the people near and far who have not only spoken of their love for us but have displayed it. Arthur has a lot of incredible people who loved him and his family well in his short life here with us.