Monday, April 7, 2008


**Yes, below the lower clouds in the sunset shot is a harbor. Is that why the colors are so vivid??

**What does the job entail when the ship's gone? We're in the process of building the communications department. There haven't been enough staff to cover communications separately (Poor Joanne's had two full-time jobs and the Teams job is the more urgent of the two). Also, I'm going to be writing and designing the Making Waves magazine - that's a 3-4/yearly issue - so that's going to keep me busy too. There's (hopefully) going to be a lot of presentations in schools and churches about Marine Reach and what we do. We're also hoping to get some airtime on the radio.

**Why did Joshua's birth certificate come after his death certificate? Will we get a new one? Why does it say deceased if he's been born alive?

His death certificate paperwork went through really quickly because it was handled by the funeral director (who obviously knows the paperwork/routine well). His birth certificate was never sorted out because I'm not familiar with NZ birth certificates and protocol. In the US I just signed some stuff at the hospital and went to pick up the certificate the next week (unusual because we needed it for her passport - it would have just come in the mail).
So when it became clear he'd be sticking around I called my midwife about the paperwork (lived an hour away) and she said to ask for it at the local birthing centre. So Matt went up and got a receptionist who was unfamiliar with it and gave him one page. We filled that out and sent it in with a cheque for the paper copy (apparenty you have to pay for them here). Several weeks later they sent us a letter saying we "had failed to register his birth". HUH? So we called and they said it wasn't the right paperwork - and then sent us the right stuff. So we finally got that and sent it back. After Joshua had died, I still hadn't seen it in the mail and called to ask. I got someone who asked me "Is it urgent?" (as in, do we need to hurry to send this to you?) and I said, "Yeah, well he died. So I just want this over with. Two days later it was in my mailbox. Reading "deceased". It says deceased because it was issued after his death. Legally it's gotta say that. Otherwise someone could falsely apply for stuff with his birth certificate. It's frustrating that it took him dying to get them to move fast. Oh the wonders of government...

On another note. It's getting difficult to see pregnant women, baby clothes, new babies, and his pictures everywhere. I keep imaging how I held him - with his cele in my right hand and his body supported by my forearm and elbow - his feet dangling. A few of his sleepers still smell like him. I'm trying not to smell them heaps - but I know that eventually they'll lose the smell too...
I have the dresser by my bed decorated with his things - his ceramic teddy bear (with his ashes), his blanket (that he was in when he passed away), his bright blanket he always had, the "Be strong and courageous" poster on the bouquet my parents bought, his birth certificate in it's BC holder. Shrine? Hmm. No. Memorial stand. Probably. I'd probably have done something similar if he had a grave to visit. But instead it's beside my bed. I just keep getting an overwhelming memory that "I'm never going to hold him again." Oh God.


  1. Susie - all your feelings about seeing pregnant women and smelling his clothes etc...are all normal. There is no exact way to experience grief. It is personal and individual. Your faith will help you through this, and so will your amazing grace and strength.

    How perfect that you will be penning Making Waves! You bless this world with your words.

  2. Oh Susie, that really, realy stinks. I am so sorry. Is there anything at all you can do?

    What prompted your decision not to bury him, dear? Would it be easier if he had a grave?

    And I'm sorry if the pictures of my kids were hard. I only thought about it after, would you believe. I felt like such a klutz.

    Rest well tonight, sweetie.

  3. Glad to see your back and that things with the send-off went relatively smoothly with the expception of your van :-)

    Sorry to hear that your having a tough time right now but that just shows how much you loved Joshua... only a stone hearted parent would be doing well at this point. I cant imagine having to see other pregnant women or babies after going through everything you guys have. There will always be constant reminders of how much you lost and only time. lots and lots of time will help you heal. Sending best wishes and lots of prayers your way :-)

  4. While I didn't get to meet my baby, I was indeed pregnant, and our baby passed away into the fourth month of pregnancy. My devastation over the loss of that little one whom we had prayed so hard to conceive, was tremendous. I never realized how many baby commercials there were until then. I couldn't watch tv for months! Seeing a pregnant woman, or a new baby took my breath away until I couldn't hold back the tears. It was during this time that I really began to focus on my relationship with Christ. I mean, I grew up in church and I felt like my relationship with Him was pretty solid, but things began to mean so much more to me than they had before. The Lord healed me from my grief and today, nearly three years later, I feel so much gain instead of such tremendous loss. That little one camped out for three plus month in my womb, but will forever live in my heart and in my relationship with Christ.

    Believe me, the last thing that I wanted anyone to say to me during my time of grief was, "Time will heal." (There were actually worse things said, like, "It's not like you can't ever get pregnant again.") I didn't want anyone to say anything at all to me about it because these were people who didn't know what my mind and body were going through. There's nothing worse than having to take medication that makes your uterus contract, so that it can go back to it's normal size, AFTER your baby has been removed from your body. While they were all right, in a sense, I had to listen to what God had to say about the matter before I could move on. For me it came in the form of two songs that I was singing along with the choir one Sunday morning. I knew them by heart and had sung them each a hand full of times.

    God is Here

    There is a sweet anointing in the sanctuary
    There is a stillness in the atmosphere
    O come, lay down the burdens you have carried
    For in this sanctuary God is here.

    He is here, God is here
    To break the yoke and lift the heavy burden
    He is here, God is here
    To heal the hopeless heart and bless the broken.

    O come, lay down the burdens you have carried
    For in the sanctuary God is here


    I Will Sing Praise

    I will sing praise, I will lift my voice,
    I will sing praise, I’ve made my choice.
    I will sing praise in all I do.
    I will sing praise to you.

    No matter the storms that come my way,
    No matter the trials I may face,
    You promised that you would see me through.
    So, I will trust in You.

    We sang these two songs, my first day back to the choir. I nearly lost all strength in my knees when the words hit me like a ton of bricks. I had sung those songs many times, but had never felt the impact of what their words meants until that day. God had spoken to me. It was a changing day for me.

    Take as long as you need to grieve, but keep an ear out for God. >:0)

    Always praying for you!

  5. Ok, you might not want to post this one, others might think its weird.

    But, I lost my fiance when I was 24. I put one of his baseball caps in a double locked zip lock bag. It still smells like him (and I'm now 35, so its lasted a while). You might want to do this with one of Joshua's sleepers. One of those things you should do now, before it really loses his scent, even if you don't think you'll ever open it, because pretty soon you'll lose the option of doing it.

    Praying for you all, stay strong and courageous!

  6. So glad you're back! Sounds like things have been very hectic for you. That sunset picture is just amazing!!!!

    Still praying for you - I wish there were something "more" I could do - the thought of a fellow mother in pain just breaks my heart. So, still praying.

  7. Vividly colored sunsets are caused by particles in the air, usually pollution, but water in the air, especially with other particles, really gives a great show.

    I'll confess, I still stick my nose into my grandmother's purse and she died Jan. 3. I also kept her shoes because they smell like her.

    It sounds like you're going to continue to be busy in a good way, with work, settling your home and motherhood. Life goes on and seems normal, but the grief is still there and I understand that. I also understand how difficult it is to see baby things and pregnant women.

    I'll keep you in my prayers.

  8. I still find it hard to see and hear about pregnant women and babies and it has been more then 8 months since we lost Sami.


  9. How did you get interested in missions, NZ and YWAM? I'm interested in YWAM especially.. I'd love to hear that story one of these days if you get a chance!

  10. Hi..

    you say "I just keep getting an overwhelming memory that "I'm never going to hold him again."
    I say...maybe not physically but you hold him, your head, your heart, your life holds your little man and always will and I think a few people around the world do too as his/your story touched so many of us. It may not be enough for your empty arms at times and maybe i'm saying the wrong thing here but you will always be holding Joshua.

    Virtual hugs from the UK


  11. Oh sweetheart, my heart aches for your loss. I have not been checking blogs for a while and I didn't realize Joshua has passed away. He was a precious little babe and I thank you for sharing him and your story with the world.

    God Bless you all,

  12. I just read the part you said about items losing his smell. I thought the same of Eva's few things that she wore in the hospital. I put them in ziploc bags. I'm thinking that should work to hold her smell in them as long as possible. Do they sell such over there?

  13. After my nephew passed my sister gave me some of his clothes and blankets. Some for my own son and for the little one I was pregnant with at the time. Some of them that I've had stored still smell like him and it hits me like a truck whenever I open that bin of things. I wasn't even his mommy, I can't imagine how much stronger that would feel. I would like to tell you it will get better but smell is one of our strongest links to memory. There is nothing wrong with you when this happens.