Co-existance of Joy and Grief

Today is our son, Elliot’s, birthday.  Elliot was stillborn on Dec 21, 2011.  Below is a tribute to the time we had with Elliot, and a glimpse of how we continue to recognize and cherish him.  It is not my intention to overwhelm this blog with the theme of loss or grief, but I will be spending the next several posts sharing some of our story and our joys in the midst of it all.

To those who ask, “How are you doing?”… the best answer I can give came from a note I wrote to many friends a month or so after Elliot had died.

As I’ve evaluated my emotions this week and still wrestle with answering the “how are you doing” question – I’ve realized I can’t say “We’re fine” because it doesn’t do our grief justice, but we also can’t say “oh, we are so sad” because it doesn’t give our joy justice. I never knew that JOY and GRIEF can so closely co-exist with one another. Though I am grieving so deeply, God is giving me joys and peace that I never before knew their existence. My simple answer to “how are you doing” this week is “we are experiencing the best of joy and the worst of grief right now”.
Today we remember Elliot with grief, joy and peace.  Thank you for joining us on this journey and taking the time to look at this simple, yet meaningful, tribute.

Oct  31, 2011
Mommy, Reese and Elliot:
This was Elliot’s 1st Halloween.  I was dressed up as the universe and Elliot was our sunshine (my belly)!


Elliot Joseph Wood – Dec 21, 2011 – 3lbs 15oz – 17″ Long


Holding our boy:
So thankful we got to hold him and love on him, even if it was only for a short while.

Elliot’s Casket:
Far too small.


Reese’s first visit to Elliot’s grave site (July 2012):
As we were leaving, Reese said, “I love you” to Elliot using sign language. You can see the shadow of the sign on Elliot’s headstone here. This is one of my favorite pictures.


Elliot’s Birthday Cake:
Reese said, “You can’t have a birthday without a chocolate cake!”  We wholeheartedly agreed.  The cups were also something picked out by Reese as he decided that Elliot would have like crayons :).
Elliot’s Christmas/Birthday Tree (Reese sitting next to it)


Happy Birthday, Elliot!
Reese, Mommy and Daddy
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