Teddy Bear Tins

September 6, 2012

Life Now

Lately as I've been thinking about what would be a good topic for a new post here, the idea that most often comes to mind is that folks may be wondering what my life is like now. It's been 3 and a half years since I experienced the death and birth of my sweet nephew, and surely things are different now. Really, what is it like when those first raw months have passed? What is it like living life without Aiden?

It's that last question that finally set the trigger in my mind. Now there's a question I can speak to!

...What is life like without Aiden?

My answer is simple and yet I feel like it is worth explaining - My answer is, "I don't know."

When Aiden first died, the thought of the future was always scary because it was always a future without him. I think that's a natural tendency for anyone who has experienced a loss. You focus on how your loved one is gone and will not be there any more, physically, in your life. But what I wasn't seeing at the time was that from the moment Aiden arrived he was in my life for good.

My life is not the same as it would have been if God had never graced me with my nephew's short appearance. Not even close. For one thing I changed my mind about the importance of careers and careful plans and other such silliness and decided to have a child of my own, who is now the love of my life. I also searched for an outlet for my grief and found an amazing community of people, literally touching every corner of the globe, whom I would never have met otherwise. I became closer with my brother. I gained skills to better support friends and family members who experience tragedies of their own. I learned how to paint teddy bears...

I don't know what life is like without Aiden because from the moment I met him he has been a major part of it - affecting it in concrete, physical, undeniable ways. I wish I had seen that in those first months, so that I would have spent less of my energy fearing that my nephew had somehow been stolen from my life. Aiden may have died, but nothing can erase him.

For that, I am forever grateful.

April 9, 2012


I'm not sure I'll be able to do justice to this series of thoughts that have been connecting in my mind the last few weeks, but I think it's important enough that I go ahead and give it a try even if this doesn't end up being entirely eloquent...

As part of my normal routine I usually spend a few minutes at least once a day catching up on the news online or on the radio. I've done this for years, probably since grade school when a teacher assigned us a lesson to report on "current events" on a recurring basis, and I found that I actually enjoyed it. So anyway, it's something I do and have done almost absentmindedly for a very long time.

While I'm not sure exactly when it started, recently I caught myself with tears in my eyes when I read a tragic news story. The first thought that popped in my mind, as my son slept at the other end of the couch that sits next to our computer, was that one of these days he'll make fun of his mother for crying at the news. I mean how lame is that? A question which, in turn, made me ask myself WHY was I crying at some random news story?

And at that moment, when I was ready to laugh at myself and move on, a verse from a song I frequently hear on the radio just rang out, clear as day, in my mind:

"Break my heart for what breaks Yours"

Anyone who is familiar with Christian radio will likely recognize this verse from a popular Hillsong United song. But until that day for me it was a verse that I had certainly heard, but never really paid attention to or internalized. Until this instant, when suddenly it had such powerful meaning for me.

I have never felt that God "wanted" Aiden to die, or that He wanted for us to experience that tragedy. I believe that God wants good things for us, and that in our suffering He fulfills His promise to never leave our side. So I do not personally believe that there was some kind of reason why Aiden died, or that it served some kind of calculated purpose. But in the moment that this verse so clearly answered what I thought was an innocuous question in my mind, I realized that through the heartbreaking tragedy that was Aiden's death and birth, that I have learned something of the love and compassion that God feels for us when we suffer. He loves us so much that His heart actually breaks for us.

Here I felt genuine compassion and heartbreak for another person whom I did not even know personally, in a way that was fundamentally more empathetic than the reactions I'm sure I had many times before to similar stories. Sure I knew that they were heartbreaking, but my heart did not really, truly break for those people.

God's love most be so amazing. And like the lump of clay that was painfully molded into a teacup, I know that the things that hurt me can be part of my journey to becoming something more than I am today. Each part of my journey reveals things about God's love that I literally cannot yet comprehend.

From my childhood I remember reading that my name means "Strong at heart." I think that this is what God planned for me: That He would make me a heart strong enough to break for those in need of compassion.

"Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours..."

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:35

January 18, 2012

Missing You

I find it hard to imagine you as a three-year-old. I look back at the handful of pictures we have and I can't seem to make the leap in my mind's eye. Even looking back at the newborn pictures of my son, it's hard to believe how much he has changed in just one year, let alone three. So most often Aiden I think of you as I remember you - a tiny bundle with furrowing eyebrows and a sweet kissable nose. And I think of how it felt to hold you for those short minutes - a distinct and definitely real weight in my arms. I am so thankful for those memories, and for the chance to have known you. I miss you baby boy.

Love you for always,
Auntie Meg