My Heart: For Jennifer

By Erin [last name withheld at author's request]

My heart weeps.

Yesterday I sat on the bank of a creek, thinking about Jennifer, a lifelong family friend living in Brazil, who lost her baby just shy of 36 weeks. It has been a full week since that day and she has yet to deliver her baby. As I sat contemplating the unfairness in life, I noticed the leaves falling off the trees, into the creek, only to be carried away with the current. Recently, I had the privilege of Jennifer and her son, Noah, attending my daughter’s 3rd birthday. While listening to the water lap over glassy rocks, I recalled another birthday memory - Jennifer’s own 5th birthday party. I was helping her with a present, sifting through phonic flash cards she had opened on the family room floor, and I was so impressed that she preferred them over the other toys. I laughed at the recollection, and then an empty thought seized me - how I could possibly help her now, so far away?

I am helpless, with only surges of heart drenched sympathy. It is the same emotion that blasts me throughout each day since learning the devastating news.

My heart leaps.

In trying to convert sadness into strength, I noticed a small gray stone between my feet. It was about the third time I glanced at it when I realized she was trying to attract my attention the whole time. Picking up the rock, I studied her - she was not a stone at all, but a heart shaped fossil. Holding this fossil in my hands I smiled at the peculiar meaning in finding something nature wanted me to grasp. I felt love warm my soul.

I wonder if somehow we can help one another's sorrow by feeling their pain? Does it alleviate their ache in any way? Do they experience it somewhat like a break, like a breath of release from their own hurt? How does it end up seeming that we are connected, especially when we need it most?

I put the amulet away in my pocket. I smiled. I retreated from the creek with the love and strength I try to cast upon Jennifer and her family. This symbol is reassurance, power, and life. I will hold it as such, and let it dance in my pocket.

My heart speaks.

Jennifer is daughter to Margarita, my beloved dance teacher who taught me excellent ballet, but more importantly, about love and life. Those who know me well understand that Margarita is an incredibly dear, influential person in my life. Margarita is someone I cherish like a big sister, and her daughter, a little sister. Even as the time flies I hold them and their family close to my heart.

I ask anyone reading this to please send strong, positive thoughts from your own heart to them.

Thank you.

Visit Love and Light for Jennifer and Family at

Support Jennifer through this incredibly challenging time. 

Jennifer has changed many lives around the world through her volunteer work, research, wisdom and gentle teaching. Read some of her material here: 

Sons [A "Daughters" Song Re-write]



  1. I am so, so sorry. My prayers for Jennifer, her husband her baby.

  2. Erin, thank you for this prose poem meditating on the death of the child Jennifer is carrying. I have never met any member of her family of origin or marriage, yet I am overcome with sadness since learning the news. Jennifer will go through labor, but the fruit of that labor will be stillborn. Even though I am in my 60s, I have never had occasion before to meditate on the blunt AngloSaxon word stillbirth, one that refers to a heartbreak, at once stark and common, that so many of our foremothers experienced.

    Death be not proud.

    Every time I read something Jennifer had written, I heard a unique and powerful voice in my mind. She is already one of the most eloquent maternal intactivists of her generation. PS: my parents began their 41 year journey together in Brazil.

  3. A burden shared is half the burden.
    A joy shared is a twice the joy.

  4. Everyone is praying and thinking of you Jen, Miguel, Noah ,and of course your precious angel baby. May you deliver him soon!



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