poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Capture Your Grief 2014 -Day 31: Sunset

It’s essentially impossible for me to do the Sunset post on time. October 31 is always Halloween, I have trick-or-treat age kids, and the sunset falls right in the middle of all the festivities. So for me it’s nearly impossible to capture the sunset photo AND find the time to write the post. I share this so that you can have a full appreciation of all that went into this. Ha.


This year, though, I took a moment after our first (and only) wave of tricksters came by. I stood out on our back deck and watched as the golden glow dipped behind the trees. It wasn’t quite sunset, but the treeline hides the horizon here. It was a moment of peace in an otherwise painful and chaotic nightmare of days.

And then the cramping brought me back inside. The medication I had taken almost 2 hours prior was doing it’s job, and I was beginning to deliver our sixth child, another baby boy, to heaven.

* * * * *

Just four days prior I was celebrating another successful checkup with some of the most beautiful ultrasound pictures of our “Starburst.” Having reached 14 weeks, the nausea was beginning to abate. The exhaustion was beginning to ease. And we were making plans to start preventative treatments beginning at 16 weeks.

Still, I had felt guarded since seeing that second pink line. Hopeful. Prayerful. But guarded. Because once is a fluke, twice is a trend, and we still didn’t know why. Even with all that, no woman is ever prepared for the moment when she is lying on the couch, simply resting, and her water breaks too early again.

* * * * *

Part of me was braced for this. Part of me is relieved it happened when it did instead of a month or two later. But the other part feels deeply cheated, scared, and lost.

* * * * *

Tonight marks three weeks and a lifetime since my membranes prematurely ruptured. Again.

Tomorrow morning will be three weeks since our Starburst’s heart quieted.

Friday will be three weeks since I delivered his tiny, perfect body peacefully at home.

And Saturday, the day we will remember his short earthly life at mass and later bury his tiny urn, will be three weeks since we named him.

* * * * *

Our little Starburst passed to heaven on the morning of Thursday, October 30, 2014.

At 7:04 pm on Halloween, our 6th son was born at home, weighing 1.8oz, measuring about 4.75″ long.

After taking suggestions from the big brothers, and agreeing as a family that maybe “The Great Pumpkin” wouldn’t work but Linus might, we finally decided to name our tiniest boy:

Kolbe Linus Cook

Kolbe Linus is named in honor of St. Maximillian Kolbe and St. Linus, second bishop of Rome. (With a nod, of course, to Charles Schultz’ Great-Pumpkin-seeking, blue-blanket-clutching, thumb-sucking Linus.)

The boys were all in awe of Kolbe, especially our five-year-old. While holding his newest brother, he made it known, “This is my FAVORITE baby. He is my favorite RED baby.” None of them let Kolbe’s prematurity blind them to the intricate beauty of his perfection.

We could all learn something from them.

* * * * *

As we continue this journey, I ask for prayers: for healing, for discernment, for grace. Not just for myself, my husband, and the big brothers, but for every family who will be navigating this holiday season while carrying the heavy but delicate load of grief in their hearts.

Kolbe Linus "The Great Pumpkin" Cook Urn

Kolbe Linus “The Great Pumpkin” Cook. pray for us.


* * * * *


“Beautiful Things”
by Gungor

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You


You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new



  1. November 19, 2014    

    Julie, always in awe of how you capture the beauty, pain and grace. Prayers for all of you and I’ll see you on Saturday.


    • Julie Julie
      November 19, 2014    

      Thank you, Kim. It took too long to get this out. I feel much lighter having finally finished it. Thank you for all your prayers, support, love, and shared words, especially throughout the past four years since we began this journey.

  2. colleen colleen
    November 19, 2014    

    Julie.. I have no words that will give comfort.. but you..your family and all those who experience such loss are in my thoughts and prayers… always.. love always

  3. Ev Ev
    November 20, 2014    


    Our prayers are with you and your family.


  4. Joyce Ledgerwood Joyce Ledgerwood
    November 20, 2014    

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said. We feel your pain, perhaps not as intense as only a mother of the stillborn baby feels, but the pain we all feel is real nonetheless. Your writing is beautiful as always. In years to come re reading this entry will surely bring you right back to that night full of trick-or -treaters, warm autumn weather and yet another heartache that refuses to release the grip on your heart. Kolbe Linus will always be with us…here in our hearts, in the warmth of the day and in your sons’ memories and personalities, because I am sure there is a little of Kolbe in each one of them. We love you, Julie! Never ever forget that. Love, Mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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!

Order your copy of
Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
through Main Street Rag Publishing Company.

Get E-Cheese

Enter your email address to subscribe to "Digging Cheese Out of Carpet" and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 156 other subscribers

Old Cheese