Thursday, October 28, 2010

Story of HOPE

Michelle White ~ Audrey's Little Light
Mommy to Audrey 
Born Sept.10th died Sept.11, 2009
My daughter Audrey was born at 25 weeks due to pPROM.  She died in the NICU as a result of infection and severe prematurity.  I started a little blog business making customized memorial candles for other baby loss families.  
It has helped my healing process by stepping out there, being vulnerable and believing that ~ even in the midst of such sorrow ~ I have something to offer others.  It has given me something to put my hands to work and to see something tangible come together.
Last year, in October, I wanted to light a candle in memory of Audrey for 'International Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Infant Loss Memorial Day.'  I searched the stores for a candle that just looked like 'her.'  My loss was still so fresh and nothing I found seemed good enough.  So many of us baby loss moms associate certain symbols or colors with our babies, and I just hadn't determined what reminded me of her yet.  So, I bought a plain candle, went home and in a scrapbook fashion, I cut up her funeral program, obituary, some card stock and scrapbook paper.  It was then that my first memorial candle came together. 
I actually found joy in making something for her, this shocked me. I couldn't stop so I bought more candles and made them for our parents and other family who saw them and wanted one. 
My inner critic has been speaking too loudly most of my life.  With this project, like so many others I've felt 'called' to, it took me months to go for it.  I guess you could say that I'm naturally an artist, but because of this loud inner critic I always have this idea of what my creations should look like.  In the end, if they don't turn out exactly like I envisioned, I often feel like I'm not good enough.  As a result, I haven't shared the many different mediums (sketches, painting, sculpture) I work in with the world.  Slowly, I'm silencing this voice.  Now ~ more than ever ~ I need to express myself in the arts in order to get me through the pain of losing Audrey and to thrive, not just survive.  
So many in this community have inspired me and impacted me deeply.  It's hard to narrow it all down to one so I'll name a few.  Still Life 365 has really inspired me to share my paintings.  I love everything that site stands for and Angie has such a beautiful way of expressing herself through word and imagery.  

Another inspiration to me is Small Bird Studio.  I have watched as Franchesca's site grew by leaps and bounds.  She is so talented, has such a heart for our community and that is essentially how I decided to open up shop with my candles.  I'd like to make a small fraction of the impact she's made in this community.  She also happens to be the first follower of my first blog.  This is only the beginning for me, I have other creations up my sleeve.
I'd like to share a piece from Bob Bell's book entitled Drops Like Stars. 
"We are going to suffer.  
And it is going to shape us. 
We will become bitter or better.  
Closed or Open.
More ignorant or more aware.  
More or less tuned into the thousands upon thousands 
of gifts we are surrounded with every single moment of every single day. 
This too will shape me. 
The only question left is, how?"

**********GIVEAWAY ALERT**********

Michelle will be giving away a custom scrapbook candle from Audrey's Little Light!   These are so precious, made with loving care ~ and an artistic flair.  I personally have a candle that was made for Amelia and it is very special to me!  (Stephanie ~ Carried Through Grief)

In order to participate, simply write a comment regarding something you've done to make a difference in the world.  A winner will be chosen randomly and announced.

You can read more about Michelle on Faces.


Unknown said...

I love your candles!

Anonymous said...

I've reached out to loss parents for the last 9 years since losing Austin. That's what I've done to make a difference in the world.

Bobbie said...

Your candles are just precious. What a great idea.

I have been trying to start a support group for parents, grandparents, and support persons in my area. We don't have anything like that offered near us. It has taken me 3 years to get to this point to be able to do something in my son's memory. But, I think I am going to need about 6 more months to get it all the way off the ground. I am also organizing a 5k walk/run for next October. I want to start a fund for parents who need help with a headstone or memorial marker for their children. But, it is all coming together and it is giving me an excitement that I haven't felt in a long time. To be able to help someone they way that I was helped.

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