Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out of the Ashes

So this blog is supposed to be cheery and happy and fun, but unfortunately life doesn't always present itself that way.  Today was the day that my baby was due to be born.  Sadly for us, the little guy didn't make it past eight weeks, and we have been quietly mourning ever since.  To me it seemed especially sad since my husband and I had been trying for years and I've sat on the sidelines and watched as friend after friend after friend welcomed beautiful children into the world. 

I am a crafty person.  Whenever any of my friends experience a loss or tragedy, my first thought is always, "What should I make for them?"  Some people think "casserole" but I usually think "yarn, scissors, or glue." I found that it is no different when it applies to myself.  I wanted to have some way to acknowldege that Michael and I had a baby, even if we never had the chance to meet him.   Since we don't have any photos, I thought a painting would be a good option.  I knew there was only one person who would be able to beautifully grasp the idea I had in my mind:  my sister Emily.  While I'm great at knitting and quilting I know I'm not very good at painting and drawing.  She puts my craftiness to shame with her beautiful artwork.  I know she would be able to perfectly capture what I had in mind.

I drew this picture as a simple sketch for the basis of the painting.  I wanted it to feel like the baby was in the New Creation, which is described like this in Revelation 22:  "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with it's twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.  The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him."

I had the baby riding a bird mainly because I like birds, and so does Michael.  I told him he could pick out what kind of bird the baby would be riding and I think he picked the perfect speices:  a phoenix.  The phoenix has long been a symbol of resurrection and new life. 

I also wanted to incorporate something from each our our parents.  My mom and dad had sent me a package and my mom had included these leaves as the gift tags, so I wanted them on the tree.  (We called the baby "The Sapling"  since our last name is Groves and a sapling is like a baby tree.)

Michael's parents had also sent us a package that included a card with a hummingbird on it.  Michael and I love hummingbirds so I also wanted this included. 

Emily did not disappoint.  I think she captured it all perfectly.  She decided instead of paint to use scrapbooking paper, which I like even better.  It hangs in our apartment and I love seeing it.

This is a sad story.  However, faith in Christ means it isn't the end of the story.  Michael and I know that we will meet our child someday.  "Behold! I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed....'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?'" (1 Corinthians 15:51&55)


  1. Karen and Michael, what a beautiful tribute to the memory of your child. A thing of beauty will bring happiness to the otherwise sadness in loss, that the baby isn't lost but always in your hearts.

  2. This is a beautiful way to remember that child that you will someday meet face to face - the imagery reminded of the end of Her Fearful Symmetry - someone who has passed away climbs aboard a raven and soars into the air. You and Michael are in our prayers, always.

  3. God has gifted you and Michael with an incredible faith. Thanks for sharing how He is working in your life and giving you the courage to use the Schmidt family gift of crafting to help you mourn. I love you and wish we could catch up!!!

  4. Although it is such a sad topic, it was good to read your own words about it. We also look forward to meeting the Sapling one day! Thanks also for the compliments, although I defer all claims of craftiness sister to you. You have greater craft diversity and commitment. :-)

  5. Karen, I am so sorry to hear about your little baby. I, too, had a miscarriage between, between my boys. Though it may not be biblical I always like to think that our children in heaven playing together. It just makes me feel a little to think about things like that. I will keep you guys in my prayers.

    I absolutely love what your sister made for you. It's beautiful. You both, are so talented.