The Beginning ~ Stories of Hope

Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope has connected us to one another in amazing and intimate ways.  Loss has a FACE…shouldn’t HOPE? 
Hope is often what we loose when a baby dies.  It isn’t supposed to happen, not in this advanced time of medicine and technology . . . but as we all know from personal first hand experience, it does. 
The work of grief is hard ~ it never really ends, but is rather endured as time marches eternally on.  Sometimes though, something special can come from the devastation.  Sometimes, even the smallest stride is taken when a person chooses to make a change for either personal or greater good after the loss of a baby.  Weather it is a personal goal or triumph, perhaps something a bit larger or more global ~ we want to know about it! 
Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope is boldly taking the next step with a weekly feature spotlighting Hope.  You now can share how you’ve chosen to embrace Hope and mold it into something that inspires others.  No matter what your story is, we would like to hear it.  Hope can take on any form and we want to feature those who have found Hope in the face of Loss.  You can be a face of HOPE!
The pain doesn’t end, but hope can still be found.

Please consider submitting your Face of Hope story here (a few of you already have, and those will be posted shortly!).  Sharing your experience can make a difference.

And because I am so pleased and honored (did I mention excited?) to be part of this amazing organization ~ I want to share my story of HOPE first . . . along with a give away for $75 store credit to Beyond Words Designs.   Participation is easy and will end at midnight on Oct. 2nd ~ simply visit the gallery page on the link above and then leave a comment letting me know what you think here (on this post).  One lucky person will be randomly chosen on Monday, October 3rd!
Story of HOPE
Stephanie ~ Beyond Words Designs
Mother to Amelia Rose
Stillborn on March 11, 2010
 
My daughter was stillborn after fighting a genetic disorder that we were told would kill her at any time. She was diagnosed with a rare form of Turner’s syndrome at 24 weeks gestation. We spent the rest of my pregnancy (16 weeks) celebrating her life and preparing for her death. 
I have started a small business in honor of Amelia, called Beyond Words Designs. I began this to offer parents a way to memorialize their child.
I began Beyond Words Designs during the final weeks of Amelia’s pregnancy and it helped me focus on something outside of loosing her. It gave me a reason to wake up in the morning. Knowing that I could help families by creating unique art as a way of honoring a child has kept me from falling completely apart.
There are still numerous dark days ~ days where I swear I am standing on the edge of the abyss ~ feeling as if I may fall in and never return…but somehow, these days are fewer and fewer as time marches on.
I was inspired in the quiet of an evening ~ like any other, to paint Amelia’s name and the things she meant to us on canvas. I wanted a show piece that would have a prominent place in our home and would be seen by not only us, but all who entered. I wanted everyone to know that it was alright to speak Amelia’s name ~ we NEEDED to hear it…to hear the name of my child spoken by someone other than me meant that she was real, she was here on earth ~ even if for the briefest of moments. 

In one moment I knew that I must make this piece for my daughter and that it may touch more people than just those who walked through our doors…that it may indeed have greater appeal. 
I have always wanted to share my work, but honestly never believed that it was possible. Amelia’s life had taught me that moving forward is really the best thing I can do when an idea comes.  My inner critic never shuts up, but in those rare moments that I can ignore it, something special usually happens.
I now have the incredible honor of knowing that each piece I paint has a LIFE that it celebrates.  My art has become a vehicle for healing, remembering,  honoring, memorializing, and loving ~ what an incredible lesson my daughter has taught me!  My work has grown and evolved from this original idea and has expanded in ways that I never originally dreamed.  I paint more than I ever thought I would which has allowed me a kind of healing that comes from creative freedom.  

I want to encourage anyone who is reading this to listen to your inspirations ~ your gut feelings ~ your ideas.  The whisper that you ignore today just may touch someone’s life in unimagined ways tomorrow if you let it.

Amelia’s story can be found on Faces of Loss
Stephanie’s blog is Carried Through Grief
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Comments

  1. Jen says:

    What a beautiful way to help families memorialize their children and what an wonderful way to honor your Daughter…

    Bless you as you bless others.

    Jen

  2. Sabrina says:

    You have amazing talent. What a beautiful idea, I absolutely love them. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Tiffany says:

    I think your work is amazing. I love that our children inspire us in a way that probably wouldnt have happened had they remained in our lives. They have created such an impact in their short stay it just amazes me. Your work speaks to me, and especially because the 7th photo down on the left column has my daughters name…Genesis. I think its a sign ;)

  4. Kristin says:

    Of course I don't expect to be entered into the giveaway, but just have to say I LOVE all of your work Steph, so beautiful. You are such an inspiration. xo

  5. Brittani Krieger says:

    Your work is truly amazing! Your art work is not only a blessing to me but to all of the other mommies out there who have lost their baby/babies! You are a true inspiration to all of us mothers and I only wish I could help as many mothers and bless them like you have blessed me by hearing your story! Thank you for what you do!!!

  6. Mary says:

    Stephanie, I love your work, and am so glad you can bless others while working through healing in your heart. What a way that God brings good out of sorrow!!!

  7. Jessica says:

    Your work is so beautiful – and that is coming from an art teacher (I know what I'm talking about LOL)! I think it is amazing that you can bring art into people's lives that bring them peace, joy, and a way to remember their babies and/or celebrate their future children. Thank you for sharing your hope :) I have been thinking of starting a line of my own works for mothers to remember their children. Reading your story has made me want to do this even more :)

  8. niki says:

    I think its all amazing and beautiful. Our angels come with such a gift, they open up parts of ourselves that we otherwise would have kept to ourselves or hidden away. What an amazing gift our angels are to us.

  9. Merle Johnson says:

    Amazing work and love your story. I know that our angels have a greater purpose in life.

  10. Heather says:

    What a beautiful way to share your daughters love.

  11. Emily says:

    Thank you for sharing your hopeful story. I love your work and would love to be entered in the give away.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. Beth says:

    All I can say is "wow!" Your work is so beautiful. You are truly talented. Thank you for sharing Amelia's story and honoring her memory in such a wonderful way.

  13. Mary says:

    Wow! Your artwork is breathtaking! I would love to have every piece. Thank you for sharing it with us and for sharing your beautiful daughter Amelia with us. Your artwork is such a lovely way to honor her memory. You are amazing!

  14. Holly says:

    Of course, I love Stephanie's work! She does such a beautiful job and I can't wait to see what she does with the pieces she's working on/will be working on for me. The purple painting above is one of my favorites.

  15. r_is_moody says:

    Stephanie, your work is just beautiful. I especially love your celebration collection. You are very talented.
    I love seeing how deeply children touch us and change us no matter how short thier time with us was.

  16. Trena says:

    You are an amazing women :) I think your work is absolutely beautiful and what a blessing for you and all the people that you touch. Thank you for sharing your story and for giving all of us hope!

  17. Rachel says:

    Absolutely gorgeous work!
    Each piece in your gallery is amazing…I would love to honor Fiona through your art!

  18. missliany says:

    Your work is absolutly beautiful. I absolutly love the paintings of the pregnant women, they are breathtaking.

  19. Jus and Kat says:

    What beautiful work and a beautiful way to memorialize your daughter. I only wish I were half as talented!

  20. Lisa and Curtis says:

    Your work is beautiful! I think it is a perfect way to honor your daughter.

  21. butterflymom says:

    Stephanie,
    Your work is amazing…and so are you!! Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

  22. Jennifer says:

    So beautiful. Wow. Absolutely amazing work! Thanks for sharing.

  23. Janice says:

    Blown away and embraced in your expressions above, thank you… you have inspired me and given me so much through your sharing.

  24. Franchesca says:

    Please don't enter me in the giveaway either, I just wanted to say that I am so proud of you Steph! I absolutely love to see all the beautiful ways our babies inspire us, and continue to inspire us. Your work is especially beautiful because it is stemmed from your love for your daughter.

    Love to you
    xo

  25. Beryl says:

    This is such a beautiful story and your work is just fantastic. I am absolutely inspired by story.

  26. Melissa says:

    Your pieces are beautiful. I am constantly amazed at all of these BLM's giving back to our community…it is so inspiring!

  27. Lori says:

    You know I think your work is beautiful….but I love the heart and compassion you put into it and how you beautifully turn misery into ministry!!!!!

  28. Ben, Deanna says:

    This is beautiful! Such amazing things we do to remember our babies. This is spectacular.

  29. Girl in the dark says:

    You have such an awesome talent. I only wish I could create art that beautiful. :) I am thrilled that we will have a piece of your beautiful work for our baby boy's room!

  30. Heather says:

    Just beautiful!!! I love everything about this. I will have to think about my own story of hope to share…

  31. Michelle says:

    You and your work are such inspirations to me! I am so glad to see you as part of this team!

  32. Nichole says:

    Hope, believe, inspire. Thank you for being so strong and sharing your story. I hope to one day as well, and pray it will lend hope as yours has. Blessings and strength to all <3

  33. joyboytinkertoy says:

    your work and words are beautiful. Just found this site tonight cant wait to read more. and possibly one day share.

  34. DJ says:

    This is a truly incredible way to honor your daughter's memory. I am sure she is very proud of you!

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