Sunday, May 25, 2014

Honoring Nora with a Tree Planting

Seventeen months ago our first child Nora died while in the womb, to be born still at 40 weeks gestation.  Three weeks later we went to a comforting place for the bereaved parent, Faith's Lodge where we met other parents who had lost a child during pregnancy or in the months soon after birth.  It was a wonderfully healing experience and the relationships we created there are still with us today.

Upon returning home from the bereaved parent's retreat we received in the mail a letter from Project 52 stating that we were nominated for a tree to be planted in Nora's memory.  Project 52 is a non-profit that creates living memorials for children that have died by donating and planting trees in the child's name to the child's family.  The project was started by a bereaved father, Dustin Blythe, along with two others after Dustin's son, Treye, was murdered at age 18 while trying to stop a friend from fighting at a house party.  Treye's story is so heartbreaking and tragic, but his father and friends have found a way to help others in their grief and in doing so have brought another little bit of healing into our lives today.

Receiving the tree and planting it in Nora's name today has been an amazing gift to receive and we are so grateful to our friends and fellow bereaved mama and papa we met at the Faith's Lodge for thinking to nominate us and our sweet daughter Nora.  It was such as act of love and compassion and the chain of love that grows from the griever helping the griever is extremely healing.  This reminds me that the majority of my most healing moments come from the work done by other bereaved parents or the company and love that I find in the presence of other grieving parents who unfortunately understand the pain but choose to use their darkest moments to create acts of love.

Having a living tree growing in our backyard that we planted with love and that we will be able to nurture over time is a way we can keep Nora to close to our hearts.  The planting of  this beautiful cherry tree for Nora is just another step towards mending a wound that will never fully heal, but maybe us and others helping us dress the wounds will assist us in living a life full of hope and love.

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