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Capture Your Grief Day 2: Identity

October 2, 2013

captureyourgrief Day 2: Identity John Blaise & Alexander Gregory

#captureyourgrief Day 2: Identity
John Blaise & Alexander Gregory

I am the mother of five boys. My husband and I have joked that the reason God hasn’t given us a girl yet is that we can’t agree on a girl name. In five pregnancies, we haven’t decided on a girl name once, but the boys’ names have come relatively easily. Even when naming our two who came more than four months too soon.

Our fourth son was born still on December 4, 2010— the feast day of St. John of Demascus. With that in mind, and in honor of both my husband’s and my godfathers, we named him John. His middle name, “Blaise,” is in honor of another saint, patron of throats and of the parish where I grew up. We didn’t know John Blaise was a boy until he was born, and we didn’t have a name picked out ahead of time. But we didn’t have any trouble agreeing.

On September 3, 2013, our fifth little boy was born. He too was born still. We didn’t know his gender either before he was born, and we hadn’t decided on any names yet, but when my husband suggested Alexander, it fit. The middle name, Gregory, honors St.Gregory the Great, on whose feast day Alexander was born. Nearly three weeks later we held a memorial for Alexander Gregory and buried him beside his brother. It wasn’t until the day before the memorial that we realized it was to be held on the feast of St. Alexander of the via Claudia, on September 21. I can’t discount that as pure coincidence.

Recently someone raised the question, “what does it matter which saint…? A saint is a saint.” But names, their meanings, their namesakes, symbolism, spelling, sound, and even their appearances have always been things I weigh. So while all saints might be good namesakes, it has been important to me to learn about the particular Sts. John, Alexander, & Gregory with whom our boys share special days and names. I guess maybe it helps to fill the void of not knowing the boys and men my babies might have grown into.

My grief is named
John Blaise & Alexander Gregory


To take part in #captureyourgrief for 2013 visit this link to get all of the information http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/2013/09/capture-your-grief-october-2013.html. To see the facebook event please click here https://www.facebook.com/events/735339813149251/


  1. October 2, 2013    

    I’m so sorry to hear of your losses. I applaud your courage in speaking out about them. (((hugs)))

    • Julie Julie
      October 2, 2013    

      Thank you, Beth. I hope that through my sharing — and through campaigns like the one I’m participating in — other women might feel more free to discuss their children they have lost. One in four women has lost a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth, but the topic is still too taboo. I hope to see that change.

  2. October 2, 2013    

    Julie, such strong and comforting words. I hope they are becoming for you what you wish for other moms who have had children ‘born into Christ’s arms.’

  3. Evelyn Evelyn
    October 3, 2013    

    Julie, thank you for sharing your feelings in such a beautiful way….
    Thinking of you-

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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