poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Capture Your Grief 2014 – Day 1: Sunrise

Welcome to October. It has tiptoed in quietly again, a gentle tap on my shoulder, as if trying not to startle me.

But I jump anyhow.

And find myself twenty minutes late to catch the sunrise.

How can it be October already? Impossible as it seems, it is. Here in South Carolina, the kids have been back in school for over a month. The mornings bear a mantel of fog. The leaves…are thinking of changing. Still, our crepe myrtle holds to one clutch of fading blooms. This alone could be what is skewing my sense of time.

Unlikely, but it could be.

I appreciate C.S. Lewis’ observation on our human relationship with time:

We are so little reconciled to time that we are even astonished at it. “How he’s grown!” we exclaim, “How time flies!” as though the universal form of our experience were again and again a novelty. It is as strange as if a fish were repeatedly surprised at the wetness of water. And that would be strange indeed; unless of course the fish were destined to become, one day, a land animal.

– CS Lewis in Reflections on the Psalms

He goes on to explain that naturally this means we haven’t been made for time. We have been created for eternity.


It’s hard for me to believe it has been a full year and then some since we lost Alexander. It’s even more difficult to believe that four years ago I was pregnant with John Blaise. About as pregnant as I am now with Starburst. Those two little boys have taught me so much, most of which I didn’t realize I needed to learn.

Thus time last year, I was very angry. Today… I feel like I’m holding my breath. I’m cautiously hopeful. I think I’m guarded, but I know better. I’m tired of feeling tired and sick of feeling sick, but realize if the alternative is to not be pregnant anymore, I’ll take the nausea and fatigue. I want very much to hold this baby, to raise this child. But I realize now, after nearly four years of grief, none of these beautiful children I have carried are mine.

They are God’s.

We parents have only been entrusted with our children for a season. We have no “right” to them. No guarantees. Tomorrow is not promised for any of us.

We are not promised,
that life will go as planned,
that the outcome will be good,
that we will always, understand.            
— We Are Not Promised, from Century

With that in mind, I’m trying to do my best, even it’s from the couch. I’m trying to forgive myself for not getting as much done as I’d like. I’m trying to remember to speak more calmly and to hug my boys more tightly.

I’m trying to look for the bright spots, even if I’m twenty minutes late.


  1. October 1, 2014    

    Beautifully expressed Julie. Our children do not belong to us, hard as this might be for many parents to accept (for me to accept). Yes, children teach the ‘grown’ so much more than the ‘grown’ are ever open and receptive to learning. Death has even more to teach if we could bear to put aside our fears. But you are receptive, and aware – open to experiencing the timelessness of Life. What more can a HUMAN do than BE?

    Thanks, I needed the soft comforting touch of consciousness this morning…

    • Julie Julie
      October 1, 2014    

      Thank you, Rula. I’m so grateful to have you stop by and share. You do realize I’m reminding myself of these things even as I write them, don’t you? 😉

  2. Joyce Ledgerwood Joyce Ledgerwood
    October 2, 2014    

    You were 20 min. late to see the sunrise, but when you finally saw the sun the first time for the day it was in fact there. Always there, even on cloudy days…just like the stars. Know we, your family, are here for you also. Maybe far away, maybe out of sight, but here. We love you and are continually praying for the safety of Starburst and of course, you, our daughter. Love you lots, Mom

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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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