Sticks and Stones

If you are visiting for the first time, I am almost certain the first thing you will do is click to see what this blog’s all about. Who she is. And what in the world I am talking about when I say ‘beautiful mess’.

I am not the she.

And when you realize the she is a dead baby girl, you might be appalled (unless of course you walk this road with me and know what the pain of losing a child feels like, or know someone very close to you who does). You might click away, because it is too much.

But if you click away before reading a little, you will miss a few things…

that healing is REAL

how faith becomes stronger out of sheer desperation

that everything, everything changes after saying goodbye…

that you can embrace your plan b – whatever it is…

and realize you are picking up the pieces to this mess everyday…

I have had a few people tell me that my blog is sad to them, almost in a way that it makes them uncomfortable. I’ve even had people tell me they hate my blog.

Hate is a strong word.

If you have children, and have never had to bury one of them, losing a child is the furthest thing from your mind, and something you are convinced will be the end of you if you ever had to.

And it is unimaginable. But the truth is, it happens more often than you think.

When I lost my daughter, I made a pact that I would never let her memory fade. She was incredible, and I wanted the world to know it.

Aside from that, I was in shock that other women had done this… and survived.

This blog is for them. And for my son.

When you visit this blog, I hope you don’t walk away sad, in tears or in shock. My true hope is to share the audacity of hope in the face of grief. Because something about being so close to death, makes life so very precious. It is almost like being reborn. And you are never the same.

It hurts my heart to hear things like that, but honestly it won’t change my writing. After all, this is my blog.

And I feel strongly about being open and honest about real life. This is my life. And leaving the ‘sad’ parts out of this blog would be sharing a half truth… a lie.

To you it might be sad, but to me, it is a dare to live my life to the fullest.


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  1. 1
    Julianna says:

    beautiful. absolutely beautiful.

  2. 2
    Elizabeth says:

    The use of the word ‘desperation’ is so painfully accurate and the connection it has come to have to faith in my own experience is profound. How a feeling and a state of being so painful and unbelievable and staggering can tie into a growth in faith is something I never would have thought possible until losing my sons. I have never felt so desperate in my life. Never so hopeless or in such despair. I thought my faith was part of my life ‘before’ and was prepared to leave it there. I had no room for it in my heartbreak. Fortunately the love and support of my husband and the will of God brought me back to it and it has sustained me in the year and a half since they were born and went to Heaven. xo

  3. 3
    Angie says:

    I’m struggling with this right now too. It is hard to hear it because, at least in my opinion, I think grief is universal. Every human suffers, and because we suffer, we can come together in a place of understanding. My work, your work, is about the loss of a child, but it is about far more. But you have to want to relate. You have to want healing, or connection. Love to you, dear Franchesca. Your writing is so beautiful. xo
    Angie recently posted..light rainMy Profile

    • 3.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Angie, I agree with you. It makes me sad that there are people that can’t make the connection out of sheer empathy. Everyone suffers, and as another commenter said – we could all use a little more hope regardless of what you might be facing.

      Thinking of you, friend xoxoxo
      Franchesca recently posted..Sticks and StonesMy Profile

  4. 4
    Jessica says:

    I love this post. Simply love it. I have a blog too and have several people make negative-type of comments about how sad and depressing it is. And then people ask if I’m ok. I hate when people ask me that. Like you, I’m very open and honest about everything I’m going through. Keep writing. I love everything you write and all that you do.

  5. 5
    Heather says:

    I can’t believe someone said they hate your blog, or that they don’t like it. Well, maybe I can believe it. People say some really stupid things. Beautifuly written post, truth in every word.

  6. 6
    Lori says:

    Oh people…but for the grace of God I don’t write most of them off of my radar

    Sigh. I always wonder how on earth people have the nerve or even the audacity to tell someone they don’t *really* know something such as, “Your blog is too sad,” or that they hate it. I mean, really, that takes…well…it takes a life lived where children live. Where things work out as they should. Where it’s easy to sit and preach from the top, because you’ve never truly been to the bottom and have no idea how far down and how painful a trip that is.

    And you are right…sticks and stones. Those hurt, though. I often think I’d rather just have the beating than the words…the words last and stew in our heart and our minds and seem to be worse than the physical sometimes.

    You know why you do what you do. SO many others know why you do what you do…and like you, one day, I want my son to KNOW his mother…her heart. What our life is like. How we cope. How we live. How God is in it all.

    Love you, friend.
    Lori recently posted..His Name Was Trey…My Profile

    • 6.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      You’re not even kidding! I would rather take a beating any day. Words have a way of staying with you, and haunting you.

      How I wouldn’t trade this world for the ideal world where children live, and I didn’t know you could do everything right and still lose your baby. I would give just about anything.

      Thank you so much. Love you!!!!
      Franchesca recently posted..Sticks and StonesMy Profile

  7. 7
    Dawn says:

    Your blog is a place for angel mommies like myself to feel like we belong. It makes me feel like others understand. Thank you for blogging. God Bless..

  8. 8
    Mary says:

    Fran, I don’t know your pain, I “met” you when you redesigned my blog for me. But I follow your blog because I think you’re a talented designer and more importantly, a great writer whose blog may have an entirely different focus than mine, but is filled with real emotions. True, sometimes it does sadden me, but happy/sad…it’s all part of everyday life. More often, though, it makes me appreciate my own child and helps me to understand what others go through. Your blog is also filled with hope, and no matter what loss any of us may suffer, hope is something we all need more of. You just keep doing what you’re doing, helping others while helping yourself by sharing your story :)

  9. 9
    Emily says:

    Wow, Fran, so powerfully and beautifully written. I suppose you’re right that it’s our human nature to distance ourselves from things we don’t want to happen to us. As if not reading your blog would make the truth any less true. Your space is a beautiful creation, and I’m glad you’re strong enough to see that and not conform to other people’s comforts.
    Emily recently posted..Flaunt Your CauseMy Profile

    • 9.1
      Franchesca Franchesca says:

      Thanks so much Emily. Honestly, if this wasn’t our life I am afraid I would be so guilty of avoiding blogs and stories like this. I guess it just opens my eyes. So thankful to have ‘met’ you.


      ps- wishing you girls all the best with your Flaunt Your Cause :) I can’t tell you how much I LOVE that idea!!!
      Franchesca recently posted..Sticks and StonesMy Profile

  10. 10
    Kate says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Beautifully written, Fran.


  11. 11
    Jen Paterchak says:

    don’t ever change a thing. i LOVE your writing. all of it. every. single. word. i’m sorry you have had such hurtful comments made. some people really, really…suck.

  12. 12
    Stephanie D says:

    Wow HATE!! Really? I guess I really don’t see it that way and don’t know how anyone could because, to me, it is a ray of light. Maybe empathy makes me blind but I can’t imagine ever thinking your blog was ‘sad’ or that I would hate it. I’m sorry that someone would feel the need to express that to you instead of just letting it be. Much love from this big fan of SBS!
    Stephanie D recently posted..A Road of PeaceMy Profile

  13. 13

    just stumbled on your blog and I’m in love :) Wonderful post. Can’t wait to read more!

    Denise Lopatka recently posted..Birchbox GoodiesMy Profile

  14. 14
    Natasha says:

    What you’ve written here is perfect. You should never have to hide the ‘sad’ pieces of your life to make others feel better about themselves. After all, it’s the sad bits that mix with the happy bits to make you who you are. And although the story our our sweet babies may be a sad one, their lives no matter how short were amazing and perfect and That is something to be shared and remembered always.

    Sending you lots of love Fran. You are an amazing friend and mom. I am so blessed that I found you on my journey after losing Aiden. Thank you for always being you!

  15. 15
    Beth says:

    I don’t think that losing a child is “almost like being reborn” — I think that it MAKES you become reborn. Any other option is denial and would not be healthy. I am nervous about this rebirth…I can feel it happening, but I have no idea where it’s leading. But like you said, knowing that other women have gone before me on this long road and are not only surviving, but thriving (like you!), is so very encouraging.

    Thank you for this blog. I’m sorry that some people cannot understand or appreciate what you are doing here. Don’t listen to them. You are doing SO MUCH good. Thank you, sweet new friend that I have met because of our girls!
    Beth recently posted..What is Grief?My Profile

  16. 16
    Morgan says:

    Beautiful post!

    “Aside from that, I was in shock that other women had done this… and survived.” – this, exactly! This is one of the reasons your blog is so important and that you write about everything. To read your words and sometimes feel like they are my own and to read when you write about hope and faith…so important. I am still in shock that I have been doing this for 6 months. Reading blogs like yours, to see you doing more than surviving…that you are really living, gives me hope. That hope wouldn’t come through from half-truths. So, thank you for sharing everything. You are AMAZING!
    Morgan recently posted..CommunityMy Profile

  17. 17
    Keira says:

    Your blog is a wonderful safe haven for other loss moms (like me). The openness and raw honesty assure us that we aren’t alone, nor are we going crazy as I once felt sure I was after Zoe died. Thank you for having the courage to share the most intimate and personal part of your life with the world!

  18. 18
    Shauna Cox says:

    You’re blog doesn’t make me sad, it gives me hope. It makes me feel not so alone in this grief journey. THANK YOU for sharing your blog with us. <3
    Shauna Cox recently posted..I’m Back :`)My Profile

  19. 19
    Shonnie says:

    Oh wow!! Never listen to what other’s say. You are real, there is nothing more amazing than that. If your story is too much for them, their loss. Keep doing what you do. Love your blog!

  20. 20
    Tesha says:

    I am really thankful you wrote this! When I first started my blog I got some very harsh responses.One very close family member actually told me I looked foolish to write about Jonathan and I needed to stop. Another said I like when you write about your “children” (referring to living children). I was so hurt, I sat looking at the Delete button for a long time. I thought it would be so much easier to write this stuff privately. However I desperately wanted to connect with other moms that had walked through loss. Now I feel like my blog is bipolar some day really sad some days I post pictures of my “living” kids. This is my life and path that God has chosen for me I choose to share it with others even if it is messy and inconsistent. I am so thankful for your blog and it giving others and myself the permission to “speak”. our heart! You are a inspiration!
    Tesha recently posted..Blonde Blog BloopersMy Profile

  21. 21
    Tara E says:

    Great post… I love your blog because it is real and honest… not sugar-coated. Life is full of the good and the bad, the intensely happy and intensely sad. Without the hard parts, I would never be so thankful for the good. Love what you said about sharing the audacity of hope in the face of grief. And I would never be able to have that hope without my faith. I am the mother of a beautiful 2yr old son and 2 angel babies we lost this past year by miscarriage… and the auntie to a sweet nephew who was born still at 37wks a few months ago. Speaking for myself and my sister who lost her son, it is SO IMPORTANT for those of us who have gone through loss, to talk about it and to hear the stories of others that have experienced the same kind of loss… it helps you feel not so alone. Thank you for what you’re doing! :)

  22. 22
    Deanna says:

    There are no words but, THANK YOU, Fran. For giving us your all, and giving us the inspiration to do the same. I have people that my life “revolves too much around River”… to that I say that my life revolves around both of my children and because one of them is not here on Earth, that makes them uncomfortable. Thank you so much for reaching out to so many (more than you know!) and giving us all a way to heal. Much love, dear friend!

  23. 23
    Janet says:

    I agrre with you. The grief you feel when you loose a child becomes part of you. It has to be talked about. Life has ups and downs and it would be disrespectful to your angel child if all parts of your life aren’t shared with other people. If fact your blog has inspired me to share my story of loss and grief also.

  24. 24

    You are so strong and beautiful, Franchesca!! I can’t believe people would say that to you. If they know you at all or read your blog they know how wonderful you are, how strong your faith is, and how badly you want to help others. You are such an inspiration to so many!!! Don’t let others get you down. You are incredible. We are all here for you. Forever :)

  25. 25
    Anne says:

    When I found your blog, I could not stop reading it. I think I read every post – the sheer beauty and honesty in each one really touched me and continues to do so. We have never met but I feel as if I know you, your daughter, and your son…your writing and blog is a gift, yes, for your children but also for us mamas with our babies in our hearts. This community has been so helpful in helping realize I can survive, hope survives and even grows stronger, faith gets us through if only we let it. Thank you for being you.

  26. 26
    lauren says:

    perfect and so so true!!
    lauren recently posted..Home and Baby Basket of Love Giveaway!!!My Profile

  27. 27

    I’m a new reader here, I found out about your blog with the launch of Still Standing, & I think it’s just perfect. After my miscarriage, I searched & searched for blogs written by women who had experienced something similar, just to know I wasn’t alone & to feel a little hope. For some reason, I didn’t find many. Now I’m in a much better place, yet blogs like this still save me with their hope & healing. I pray it doesn’t happen but if I have a friend or family member go through this, I would recommend your blog in a heartbeat.
    Koru Kate {Koru Wedding} recently posted..{Trash the Dress} Equestrian-styleMy Profile

  28. 28

    I adore your blog. You are so strong to post and use your voice to help others. I’ve cried many tears reading your blog, but never once have clicked away. Life is not rainbows and roses. Life is messy and twisty and a blessing. I will read whatever you post because I know it’s pure and straight from your heart. God bless you and your voice. And God bless your “she” as she has given you the power to be you without apologies.

  29. 29
    aubrey says:

    you were right.
    when I clicked on your site, I did not get what I expected.
    I got so much more.
    I got the wind knocked out of me.
    This is just plain beautiful.

  30. 30
    Stephine says:

    Stephine recently posted..Grief: Do I mention my kids?My Profile

  31. 31
    Kelli says:

    So beautiful and so true! I love the message of hope, it inspires me to take the next steps in my rebirth and start living again!

  32. 32
    Lindsay says:

    Beautifully written, Fran! I couldn’t have said it better myself!
    Lindsay recently posted..Returning to My Friday RootsMy Profile

  33. 33
    Nicole says:

    Beautifully said.

  34. 34
    Diana says:

    I have been blessed by finding and visiting your blog the last couple months. It will soon be 27 years since we lost our 2 month old son. I have found that you have a beautiful way of putting feelings into words. My feelings of loss have been renewed the last few years as a grandmother experiencing the loss of 4 grand babies to miscarriages and just a couple months ago a grandson born still. The feelings of loss have become so real again. I do know my daughters visit your site also and are encouraged. You do have a ministry here for our family and many others. May God bless you as you continue.

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