Borrowed Angel

Originally posted October 2019

I am so very excited to share today’s Wednesday Story! I had the opportunity to hear Erica Kiefer speak at the recent Salt Gathering last month. She is definitely a woman of strength. Her story is touching and inspiring. Many of you know the losses I have gone through in miscarriage, but Erica has undergone a loss that I can’t begin to imagine. I hope that as you read her story today that you will fill lifted up in whatever mountain you are climbing.

Erica published this blog post last month, but it was written over a year ago prior to her publishing it. With her permission I am sharing a portion of that post.

I feel it. Creeping up on me with stealth I can no longer fight–those tears I’ve managed to push aside with each thought of my little one, now eight years gone. I find myself lingering in front of the photography projects I’ve challenged myself to complete, sprinkling his sweet baby face throughout my house in ways I’ve resisted because they lacked perfection and the ability to represent all he is to our family. I see the blown-up canvas of my youngest from almost a year ago, a tiny newborn surrounded by her three adoring older siblings. The photo fills the wall in a spectacular display of love. But my heart falls because I don’t just see the four beautiful children before me. I see the one who’s missing, the story left untold. The questions, no matter how I’ve battled them before, churn mercilessly of what might have been and how that picture may appear if Ty were here, leading the way at almost nine-years-old.

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At last they come as I write, the tears I’ve stayed for so long. The dam breaks and I feel it all—the questions I’ve survived and yet still struggle to answer for my children. I feel the weight of their grief as they talk about their angel brother, cycling through the unfairness of his absence. I mourn the innocence that death has taken from them, their ages only three, five, and seven. I admire the awe-inspiring connection to the brother they’ve never met here on earth, and I crave their words about him, eager to keep him so alive in our home. However, I also stand hesitant, watching the tears in my daughter’s eyes as she flips through Ty’s baby pictures, or as I hold my two young boys whose brows pull together with their lips turned down, asking why he had to die. My heart weighs heavily to see them struggle with questions beyond my own scope of understanding. 

So I breathe deeply, eyes closed with a prayer to God and a reaching hand towards my son. I pray to know what to say to these young souls in my care, and how to comfort and teach them about the grief I’m still figuring out for myself.  The thoughts come, guiding my perspective:

What if Grief, with all its sadness and anger and confusion—were not portrayed as the enemy, an entity to run from. What if it were treated as a welcomed guest? Invited. Even respected. Powerful beyond all measure, Grief is a collision of emotions that fuel a storm within us. Like lightening and thunder, the unexpected effects can be frightening. Yet if you listen to the falling rain, you might also find a trance-like beauty.  Why, you might ask, should we invite a guest that causes such emotional havoc? Where, you might wonder, could one find beauty in heartbreak?

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Angel baby Ty

To read the Erica’s entire blog post, please visit her blog here.

After losing her firstborn child to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in 2010, Erica Kiefer wrote an inspirational non-fiction entitled Borrowed Angel that describes her loss and healing journey. Since publishing her book, Erica enjoys using her experiences to write to a grieving community, in hopes that her thoughts and experiences might offer comfort and connection. 
Erica moved from Provo, UT shortly after her son died, and now resides in Las Vegas, NV with her husband of fourteen years and their four other children. She has also published a handful of contemporary Young Adult fiction through Clean Teen Publishing and loves writing about emotional issues (with touches of romance and drama) that pull on the heartstrings of her readers.

You can follow Erica on facebook , IG {she has two accounts-the link is for the first one: @borrowedangel09 & @ericakieferbooks}, and you will definitely want to listen to a podcast (Today I am Enough) interview from her here.

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You can purchase Erica’s book Borrowed Angel on Amazon.

I loved meeting Erica and hearing her share this story of sweet Ty and how she has waded through grief while also raising her family and pushing forward in life. She is an inspiration for all and I hope that you will check out her books and follow her on social media.

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