It seems that over the past couple of months, a lot of personal growth has occurred for both Shane and me. I was talking to my beautiful friend Bethany the other day, and she was asking about how we were doing. You know, as I sat there trying to explain how I was feeling, the only word I could come up with was grace. I find this to be an extremely challenging word to understand but for whatever reason, it is on my mind.

We are approaching the six month anniversary of Avery's death and if I was to take you through the past six months, you would see a whirlwind of peaks and valleys. I would say that October was the hardest month for me...and probably Shane as well. Don't know why but it was what I would describe as my lowest point. So some medication and some soul searching helped push me forward and out of the fog. So between the months of October and December I have seemed to have moved through perhaps the worst of MY grieving process. Now tomorrow, I may completely retract that statement!

Today, I feel good. I mean not just ok/good...I mean GOOD. For me, the new year has brought a mixture of relief and fear. I am relieved to be setting some new goals and scared that this new year leaves Avery behind. I have been reading The Shack by WM. Paul Young. It is a very interesting book and honestly, I have really enjoyed it. The book has challenged my faith and strengthened my understanding of grace. Perhaps that is why I have grace on the mind. I truly believe that Avery is my grace. Her beautiful sacrifice has brought so much joy into my life. Not the kind of joy that we often experience in everyday life, but the kind that comes from the deepest places you could possibly imagine. It is painful joy and I feel blessed to have been gifted with her constant spirit. Not long after Avery died, one of our friends wrote the most beautiful poem. Kaitlyn read it out loud the other day and I just cried and cried. It's a strange place to feel comfort and pain at the same time.

As the days go by and I look at Ave's pictures, I feel more and more peace and relief and less and less sadness and anger. So our family continues to climb back up to the place we were before December 23, 2008. Things will never be the same, but in a good way. We are a stronger family and I am continually grateful for the relentless support we have received.

Thanks to all for your constant giving.



  1. Praise God. Avery's life is not in vain.

  2. gosh,i feel ya. this post is so beautifully written, really...and so it really lets us all into your heart much more deeply than some recent posts and i'm really grateful. I would say it's the true mark of a christian to be in a place of constant joy and constant sorrow. and to also be seeking grace and the giver of that grace. thank you for challenging us to continue seeking in the midst of the storm. I'm still with ya.

  3. Mommy_of_YaDaJanuary 11, 2010

    Avery....grace. Yes, indeed! I miss you sweet thing. I'm super glad the Keirseys are hangin' in there. Still thinking and praying for you all.

  4. So glad that you are feeling GOOD. I have been praying for you. Grace. . what a beautiful way to describe where you are.

    Friend in Pittsburgh

  5. I think you will write a book some day! seriously!-

  6. So, so, so happy that you are feeling truly good. Hope that this year continues to be filled with that real joy.

  7. I am in awe of you, Carissa. I wish I could say that we're all feeling good six months after Rafa was born, but all I can say with confidence is that, most days, we feel different. And we can function. I guess this is progress...? But you give me hope, you really do.