Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Quinn would've been 5 months old today and the words escape me for how much I miss her. It has been 3 weeks since she passed away and the reality and longevity of her death are finally starting to set in. I miss her big beautiful eyes and infectious smile. I miss coming into her room after her nap or sleeping to find her smiling at me. I miss her voice ,that she had just found, filling the house.  I miss taking showers with her in the bouncy seat and poking my head out and looking at her. She usually had no idea I was looking at her, but when she looked up from whatever she was playing with (usually Rosie or her hands) she would smile as if to say "Hi Mom". I hear other children calling for their mothers and I long to hear her say my name... "Mommy", I see other children passing me in the street and they haunt me like ghosts. They are all my "what ifs" siting in the backseat of the SUV. But I don't see children & feel bitter. I don't want those children. I WANT QUINN.
This death is different from other deaths because I am not just mourning the tiny memories I have with her. I am mourning the death of hopes and dreams I had for her. The things I will never get to do with her. This morning I cried because my daughter never got to know me & I prayed, "God, will you tell her about me and what I would've been to her? Will you tell her about how much I love her and miss her? Will you tell her how funny I am, or how her mommy and daddy fell in love, or how much she moved and changed us?"  I know no one can love her like The Father, but what is so wrong about her being here with me? I know many parts of this are selfish, but it was who i was made to be... a mother.
The song that kept running through my head the night we lost Quinn was "Worth It All" by Rita Springer. My hope and prayer is that this pain, heartbreak, brokenness, and suffering that came at such a HUGE PRICE will be worth it in the end when I see my Maker's face. That he will say "Well Done", that lives would be moved for Christ. Psalm says that God is near to the brokenhearted and I believe that with my whole heart- Tim & I have both commented on how we have felt it.
Tim & I are in Vail, CO this weekend as a short getaway and I have started the 1st book of many that people have given us to read through this journey of suffering. It is called "I Will Carry You- The Sacred Dance of Grief & Joy". In it the author, Angie Smith (who lost a child of her own) writes about the relationship between joy & suffering. This is the quote that hit me...

                   When you are sorrowful look again in your heart,
                   & you shall see that in truth you are weeping for
                   that which has been your delight,

                   Some of you say"Joy is greater than sorrow"

                   & others say, "No, sorrow is the greater"
                   But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

                   Together they come & when one sits alone with you

                   at your board, remember the other is asleep upon your bed.

                   Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

                                                                        -Kahlil Gibran

This is the beautiful mess Rick McKinley talks about in his book "This Beautiful Mess" of an upside down kingdom of heaven here on earth. One that Psalm 34:18 talks about:
                   "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted & saves those who are crushed in spirit."
The one  Matthew 5:3-4 talks about:
                   "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
                    Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted"
The one Lamentations 3:13, 19-22 speaks of:
                   "He shot His arrows deep into my heart. The thought of my suffering
                    & hopelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful
                    time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet, I dare to hope when I remember
                    this. The unfailing love of the Lord never ends. Because of the Lord's 
                    great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  
                    They are new every morning, great is your faithfulness"
The one Lamentations 3:55-58 speaks of:
                  "I call your name o Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea:
                      'Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.' You came near when I
                   called you, you said 'Do not fear.' Oh Lord, you took up my case, you
                   redeemed my life."
SEE?... FOR IN OUR SUFFERING HE IS NEAR! Don't get me wrong. I have been in some deep depression... that "deep pit" & have been in the most bleak, dark parts of life. It has been hard to get out of bed some mornings, some days I won't talk, some I will cry all morning. BUT GOD IS NEAR TO ME. I haven't doubted that for a moment. I have been reading John 11 a lot lately of the story of Lazarus & I believe that Jesus knows my pain & is weeping with me.
Even before Quinn was born my main prayer for her was that she would bring joy to the lives of others. And even though this situation is as far away from my prayer that it could ever be, I believe that God is still working to answer that. That through this grief & suffering that joy will come to the lives of other through Quinn's story. A joy that doesn't fade, but an eternal joy.
As I read through this joy/suffering relationship yesterday out on the deck in Colorado. A huge storm rolled over the Mountains about the same time I was reading a verse in the Bible that said "I am God"- thunder rolled. I felt that God was letting me know that this was not my plan for my life, but that he was still in control, not me. But as that storm rolled in, I was still sitting in the sunlight (really, I was! Tim couldn't believe it, but still told me to come in). I felt it was a physical reminder of this crazy dichotomy of suffering and joy. That I am in the thick of the storm, but that over this mountain will come joy. And so in my darkest of days, that is my hope.


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. I think this is a beautiful thing. Love you.

  2. Beautiful, Ali. Over the mountain will come joy...I love that.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I'm praying for you both.

  4. Beautiful. In the midst of my tears, a part made me chuckle - "Will you tell her how funny I am?" You are funny and I'm positive God will bring moments of laughter in the midst of such darkness. We're here to laugh or cry or just be with you when you need it. I'm also positive God will use this story so thanks for taking the courage to share and I look forward to reading.

  5. Oh, Ali. You are so very precious. The love of Jesus shines through your beautiful heart.

  6. Alison I don't know you very well but I became close with your mom last year at work. She loves you and your family very much. My heart goes out to you as you find the courage to overcome your sadness. Putting thoughts down in your blog will hopefully help you find peace.
    Jess and Trudee

  7. Words cannot express how moving your heart is. I think of you and pray for you constantly.

  8. Alison,
    My name is Hannah, and I went to high school with Tim. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and continue to struggle through the journey of infertility, so I totally understand the mourning over hopes and dreams. I am so glad that our Heavenly Father is so gentle with us. Thank you for sharing your heart. Those verses really spoke to me as well. I know this is not the ministry you would have chosen, but God trusted you with it, so that is something pretty crazy special.

    Please, Alison and Tim, be kind to yourselves as you heal.



  9. Ali and Tim,
    What precious moments you have to hold in your heart and soul until you meet again. Josh and I are constantly praying for you. May God's light forever shine on you!

  10. Alison-

    My sister just shared your blog with me (connection to Northwestern as she went to college at the same time as you, I think).

    My heart is just aching for you and as a mother, I just wanted to reach out to you and let you know that I will pray for your broken heart. Quinn IS a beautiful little girl and what a beautiful voice you are giving her amidst your grief. I know your heart so well and have felt, said and echo all the feelings you have at this very moment and know so intimately the pain you have because of the journey my husband and I have been on since we lost our daughter Mia. We lost her in a similar unexpected way when she was 2 1/2 months old. She was perfect in every sense just like your Quinn. If there is one thing I want to convey to you it is this...grief is like a river, it is constantly in motion and ever changing...move with it and allow yourself to laugh when you need too, cry when you need to, feel whatever you need to feel in all the moments that are yet to come...but never allow the river overtake you. God has blessed my husband and I so much through Mia and honestly, we couldn't have done it apart from Him. Our Mia was given her wings 2.5 years ago and our missing her never gets easier. You will always and forever be Quinn's Mommy and she is so blessed by you...He trusts you with her story, thank you for sharing your heart with us all.

    I love the book Angie Smith wrote and followed her blog for quite some time. Also, I'm sure someone has pointed you toward Compassionate Friends but if they haven't, I'm sure there is a chapter near you. My husband and I made a lot of connections through CF and it was a wonderful resource for us.

    Your friend in grief,

    Kayla Dickson