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"Sharing" Our Stories/Thoughts
- Along this Path

Secondary Losses and Grief

Different losses, reactions, and feelings...

My arms are empty,
my pain is great.
The absence of my darling son...
How could I ever contemplate?

Nichole or Hunter's Mommy
Wheeling, WV

These e-mails valid the "secondary losses" that we have after the loss of our baby. Please read "Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal" - Secondary Losses (innocense, role as parent, loss of hope, security, etc.).

Theses are "archived e-mails" but they describe the losses so very well. They might help you to realize that the feelings you are experiencing are normal and the result of the losses in your life.

Healing happens as we recognize the pain, cope (see Coping Ideas), and give ourselves "permission to grieve to heal." Marcia McGinnis, 5/02

Marcia's Note: Unfortunately, many of these e-mails are from our early years and the addresses are probably not correct. Please feel free to try some of these. If people have sent me their updated email addresses I have included them. You may send any of your own thoughts to me and I will post them here - perhaps helping someone else some day..

Poems that are centered around "Secondary Losses"

"A Poem to Ian" (9/11/97) by JoAnn (9/97)

"Missing you" by Sharon (11/97)

"My Sweet Baby Amy" by Jennifer (11/97)

"In loving memory of our precious little angel, Jessica" by Jackie (11/97)

"Dylan" by Jennifer (2/98)

"Mommy's Wish For Hunter" - A Prayer by Nichole (4/98)

"Don't Ask Why; Say Thank You" by Stacey, Grady's Mama (10/13/98)

"My daughter, Megan Renee" by Cindi (1/18/99)

""All I Have" by Michelle(4/9/99)

"A Child named Ben" by Moe (5/30/99)

"Remembering my Special Girl" by Jen (6/1/99)

" Bennett John George" by Sonia (7/29/99)

"For Megan" by Jennifer (10/1/99)

JoAnn's poem tells of "secondary losses" - our expectations for "what should be" in our future, our roles as parents, our place in society - are laid to rest with our baby. It also speaks to the confusion and great sadness that is overwhelming...

A Poem to Ian (9/11/97)

We weep now
Raining tears of pain and grief
Not quite understanding why you were taken from us
However we'll always cherish the time we had with you,
although brief.
Just memories of your smooth face, so sweet
Button nose, and cute tiny hands and feet.

Plans we had will not unfold
No carriage rides through the melting snow
No visits to the Ross Park Zoo
or birthday parties with hats and balloons.
No happy times reading "Dr. Seuss"
or watching Daddy coach little league lacrosse.

Each time we gaze to the skies
the dancing stars and white fluffy clouds
will remind us of you.

Rest well, Ian, our little Angel.

Mommy & Daddy

Ian Marcus Walter - Stillborn
Binghamton, NY USA

JoAnn's Diary


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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The Mother/child relationship is deeply missed.

Missing you

I miss you at my breast,
your dark eyes searching mine~
I miss our world together
How you made it shine!

I miss your little fingers,
your tiny little toes~
Our time alone at three A.M.,
your little button nose.

I miss you resting in my arms
as did all the rest~
I miss you curled against me
your warmth upon my breast.

I miss you every minute
of every waking day~
your in my heart and in my thoughts
in all I do or say.

I miss the smiles on all of us,
as we would watch you grow~
all the firsts we dreampt about...
oh ~ why'd you have to go?

My love and pain just churn within
as I seem so out of touch~
With all I have inside of me
I'm missing you so much.

I love you more than life itself
as one day you will see~
for then my dreams will come alive
and we shall live~ eternally!

Until then, my little lamb,
know that you are loved~
Know that I'm just waiting here,
to meet with you above~

by Sharon Kivisto (Mommy)

Our "forever baby"~

Everyone else seems to have forgotton you my little lamb... Not us! You will forever live within our hearts. We love and miss you so much!

Mommy, Daddy
Mandy, Robby
Kasey & Timothy

See Sharon's experience under "Taylor Ryan Kivisto" and read Taylor's ten year old sister, Kasey's, loving poem in memory of her baby brother on Sibling's Grief.

Taylor Ryan Kivisto
4/10/97 - 4/11/97
Died soon after birth
Seattle, Washington

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My Sweet Baby Amy

I may never know
the softness of your breath,
or hear the laughter within.

I will never know why
I can't hold you in my arms and
watch you grow.

All I know is you have
touched me deeply.
You live in my heart
and in the hearts
of those you have touched.

You will live there forever.

Amy Elizabeth Goldberger
New Canaan, Ct

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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In loving memory of our precious little angel, Jessica

I miss you in the morning,
I miss you in the night.
I miss your little fingers
wrapped around mine so tight.

I miss the little ribbons,
the tiny pink bows.
Your chubby little cheeks,
and your flat little nose.

I miss holding you in my arms
feeling you at my breast,
smelling your newborn smell,
your smile as it would crest...

It's hard to let you go,
I'm missing you so much.
But, I know there will come a day,
when once again I'll feel your touch.

In loving memory of our precious little angel, Jessica.
We love and miss you so much.

Mommy, Daddy, and big brother Triston

See Jackie's experience under "Jessica Ashlyn"

Jessica Ashlyn Guthrie
Second trimester loss
Bellingham, WA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Jennifer's poem describes so lovingly all the special relationships that are lost and grieved as a result of the loss of our little ones...


You were a much anticipated and much longed for baby.
We had such plans for you. We had hopes and dreams.

You daddy> would have taught you all the thing that a
boy should know.

Your mommy would have given you a softer side and an
acceptance of all people and a strong sense of caring.

Your uncle would have taught you his love for cars and
your honarary uncle would have helped your daddy instill
in you his love of sports.

And, Dylan, your grandparents would have given you anything,
for spoiling grandchildren is what grandparents are for.

You were, are, and always will be our much loved son,
grandson, nephew and cousin.

Dylan Thomas wrote, "I said some words to the close and
Holy darkness and then I slept."

Sleep well Dylan. We love you.

Dylan Cole Chapman
Washington DC

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Mommy's Wish For Hunter

Please, Dear Lord, grant me this one special wish.
I wish that my precious son and I were still one,
My aching heart is so heavy and living life is no longer fun.
How on earth can I happily live?
How much more can I possibly give?
I need my blessed son to be alive once more,
I need to know that my lonely heart will no longer be painfully sore.

Please, Dear Lord, lift me upon gracious angel wings,
I need to hear the majestic words that the peaceful Heavens sing.
I need to be strong, I need to feel joyous love,
I need that valued love to be sent from the Heavens above.

If I had one wish, I'd wish for you,
Then I wouldn't be so dreadfully sad and blue.
If I could hold you for one more precious time,
I would cherish all of the wonderful memories that would soon be mine.

Please, Dear Lord, be very giving and kind,
I have barren thoughts and sadness on my mind.
My arms are empty, my pain is great.
The absence of my darling son...How could I ever contemplate?

Lord, lift out your loving heart, if you hear me crying tonight.
Lead me to know that everything will be alright.
If you hear this one special wish that I'm wishing now,
Please, Dear Lord, grant it for me.
It's not luxurious, materialistic, or great,
Can you give me the patience to wait?

I need to wait to nurture and hold my beloved son in Heaven.
He deserves to receive a patient and loving mother,
For I may decide to have more children, but like Hunter...There is no other.
He is unique, sweet, and brave,
He taught me how to love and which burning tears to save.

Lord, if you hear my amazing wish tonight,
Don't tell me, Please tell Hunter...That his mommy is going to be alright.

Mommy and Daddy Love You Precious Angel!

Nichole or Hunter's Mommy
Hunter Blake Dojack
Wheeling, WV


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Don't Ask Why; Say Thank You
Written by Stacey, Grady's Mama

In Loving Memory of
Grady Joseph Mulrenin
June 26, 1998 - June 26, 1998

Don't Ask Why I carried him for seven months
Only to let him go
Say Thank You that I carried him for seven months
And that he lived for ten hours

Don't Ask Why I won't hold and rock him
In my arms at night
Say Thank You that I was holding him
When he entered God's Kingdom

Don't Ask Why I'll never dress him
In tiny outfits and hats
Say Thank You that his clothes
Are a halo and wings of purest light

Don't Ask Why I'll never watch his eyes sparkle
With the wonder of learning something new
Say Thank You that his eyes were opened
To an understanding we have not yet gained

Don't Ask Why I'll never watch him
Hit a home run or score two points to win the game
Say Thank You that he has already achieved
The ultimate goal

Don't Ask Why I'll never scold him
When he gets his pants muddy
Say Thank You that his soul
Is innocent and unstained

Don't Ask Why I'm not the mother
Of a living child
Say Thank You that I'm the mother
Of an angel
Who's watching over us all and touching each of our lives

I love you, my Grady Bear.


For more thoughts from Stacey..."Grady Joseph Mulrenin's Memorial Mass" and "Grady, Paul and Me" by Stacey (10/13/98)

Grady Joseph Mulrenin
Died soon after birth
Tampa, FL

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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My daughter, Megan Renee...

My daughter, Megan Renee, was full term stillborn on August 2, 1998. It had been a perfect pregnancy until one day when I hadn't noticed any movement.

I went in for an ultrasound and was told there was no heartbeat. Only three days earlier there was a healthy heartbeat. I was devastated. The doctor was not sure, but thinks it was possibly an infection that caused her death.

It is almost six months now and I am having a hard time. I try to be strong for my 5-year-old daughter, but it is so difficult.

My sister-in-law just told me yesterday that she is pregnant and is due in August, the same month Megan was born and died. She wanted to tell me before she told anyone else because she knew how hard it would be for me.

I don't know how to handle this. I feel so alone and sad. And I will always have that pain in my heart over losing my beautiful daughter.

Polk, NE

Marcia's thought's: Your thoughts describe the pain and confusion around the loss of our baby that is increased by the "other kinds of losses" we face at this time. (See "Why are my emotions so intense?" discusses these "secondary Losses".) We must face not being able to continue in our future as we planned and not being able to do what others seem to do so easily.

It is hard to have to deal with other's pregnancies and our sadness around sharing this with our living children. The "six month" place is also very hard (read, if you haven't, Sharing Stories, "The First Year, Month by Month").

We do survive this time, but it does take some work and patience...very hard at this time. Look at our page on coping ideas...some of these may help you cope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~

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All I Have

All I have is a seven inch scar, where I carried you. I held you there for 278 days. Closer to me than any other living person can ever be. Yet I don't have you.

I don't have any memory of your first hours in this world. I wanted the memory of your first seconds, yet I have none. I wanted to see the look on your Daddy's face the first moment he saw you. I know he was proud and full of love, but the moment was sad. And I wasn't there because I was asleep.

All I have is a few scraps of cloth, that you were dressed and wrapped up in. They hold your smell, that sweet innocent smell that only a baby wears. I take them out and hold them close to remember you. Yet I don't have you.

My heart and my arms feel so empty they ache. I held you in my arms but once, for all too short a time. But I'll hold you in my heart for a lifetime. I only gave you one small kiss, one of the millions I wish I could give. I never got to spend a night alone with you, rocking you as you slept.

Do you know how it feels to want me as much as I want you? I know it's selfish, but I hope you do.

All I have are pictures of your beautiful, peaceful face. I want so much to hear you cry. One cry, one sign that you need me, but instead I'm the one to cry. I cry because I need you and you don't need me.

I thought at first that it was for the best that you were taken at birth. But now I wish I'd have had one year, one month, one day, even an hour or minute with you. The hurt could not be any greater to have had time to love you then not to know you at all.

All I have is my love. I only hope that with each tear that falls that the angel who cares for you now gives you one kiss. Because in every tear I cry is one kiss that I wish to give to you.

All I have is hope that you'll be happy there, until we meet some day. In Heaven, where we can be together for all eternity.

To My Dearest Doran



""Doran's Story" and a note, by Michelle (4/7/99 & 4/9/99) and ""Keepsake Album...Doran" for Doran's picture and footprints

Michelle and Bill
Eau Claire, WI
Abruptio Placenta

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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A Child named Ben

The most difficult part is not having anything tangible to remember him by. Although I had just entered my second trimester, he was already so real to me. We were already calling him by name. Ben for short. It seems kind of crazy to me now, daring to name a child within the early weeks of your pregnancy.

But to us Ben was already part of the family. We already had images of him running in the park and playing with his older brother. In my mind, we were already a family of four.

The hardest part wasn't accepting the physical pregnancy had ended. It was trying to grasp that this soul who I already felt I knew had left us.

I would never see his smile. He would never know what a wonder father he had. I would never hear him giggle or see him take his first step. He would exist only in my heart and in my mind's eye.

To most of the world I've had a miscarriage. But to me, my child has died. I've lost Ben. A little soul who can't be replaced, only cherished in memory.

Benjamin Murray Sansom
Second trimester loss
Toronto, ON Canada

Marcia's thoughts:..what you have shared are all those losses we experience because we have lost our special baby. You can read more about those under my Workshop/Articles, Allowing Grieving to Happen to Heal/Why are my emotions so strong?

You may, if you haven't already, want to read about "Coping Ideas/Mementos". When we experience an early loss there are few if any tangible it often helps to make those memories and mementos.

Naming your baby is a very normal and healthy thing to do. It is often the beginning of healing for parents. Having some special memento in memory of you baby also provides some these pages to better understand what I am suggesting. Lighting a candle in Ben's memory is also healing. I did so today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Remembering my Special Girl

I remember,
Though others pretend they don't
Today you would have been,
Had you been born at term,
Just two months old and thinking,
About smiling at me.

I remember,
Though others won't,
How much you looked
Like your precious brothers,
Who smile at me with your face.

I remember,
While others tell me to forget,
The moment you were born,
and the pain of finally knowing,
That you were the baby girl I always wanted.

I remember,
That you are my most precious,
and always will be,
special girl.

I love you Sarah....Mommy


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Bennett John George

For those few precious months, I had you to myself. And that time seems too short, to be changed so profoundly.

In those few precious months, I came to know you, and to love you. You came to trust me with your life. Oh, what a life I had planned for you! Just those few precious months, when I lost you, I lost a lifetime of hopes, dreams, and aspirations, a slice of my future simply vanished overnight.

Just those few precious months, It wasn't enough time to convince others how special and important you were. How odd, a truly unique person has recently died, and no one is mourning the passing.

Just those few precious months, And no "normal" person would cry all night, over a tiny, unfinished baby, Or get depressed and withdraw day after day. No one would, so why am I?

You were just those few precious months my little Bennett. You darted in and out of my life too quickly. But it seems thats all the time you needed to make my life so much richer, and give me a small glimpse of eternity. We love you forever Bennett

Bennett John George

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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For Megan

The day we found out I was pregnant with you was the happiest day of our lives. You were so wanted. We had tried for so long and then one day you were on your way.

For 7 months you touched our hearts our prayers had been answered. But then in an instant, you were gone. The doctor couldn't find your heartbeat and the ultra sound confirmed it. Our dreams for the future were shattered.

On August 16th I was induced and my angel, you were born on the 17th. I will never forget that day. The day I held you in my arms and said goodbye. I know someday I will see you again I just wish you were here with me now. We love you and miss you.

Love, Mommy and Daddy

Megan Elaine
Long Island, NY

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Forever in Our Hearts~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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