By: Crissy Goodpaster
“Another thing that really helps me and Chris is making sure to have Grace in our everyday life. We do this in many ways. One of the most important things we do is the Share Walk for Remembrance and Hope hosted by Share Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support.
The October after we lost Grace, we decided to go. It was a sea of people. There were balloons and fun games for kids of all ages. All the parents that have lost their child wear a solid colored shirt, and everyone else that is there is support wears white. In 2015, the color was orange. Definitely not my favorite color, but it was nice to see all the bright orange everywhere. It made us not feel alone but also sad for all the others. On the back of our shirt were all the babies lost. Grace Marie was on there in the middle. I would trace over her name still in disbelief at all that had happened just a few short months ago. Also as this point, I was a few months pregnant with Grayson. I wore my orange shirt proudly; my daughter existed.
There were so many family and friends there to support us. My sister and her family were there and so was Chris’s mom, dad, and his brother. It was so nice for them to be with us. The ceremony was beautiful, they had some speakers who would talk about loss and songs they would sing. Then they would read the names– all of the names. That year, they had given out balloons, so when your child’s name was called you released your balloon. Tears rolled down my cheeks, so I slowly let go of her balloon. I felt so at ease with all these people; I usually am uncomfortable in a crowd but no here.
To say this was a hard day was an understatement. It was extremely difficult to see all the mothers, fathers, and grandparents, and siblings there. Knowing that each orange shirt represented at least one loss of life. It was overwhelming since I was pregnant my emotions I think were even more intense than they normally would be. Before I lost Grace, I had no idea how common it was for miscarriages or infant loss. I feel like I was naive to a lot of things before losing her. There we were in the midst of all these broken hearts. There was an energy there that is hard to describe, yes it was sad, but there was this sense of honor too. We all fearlessly wore our orange shirts. Here we could embrace our children, and no one would try to pacify us. There was such freedom in our grief.
About Having Grace
Having Grace takes you on the journey of a mother through acceptance, grief, and survival. Written as a personal journal, she details how she processes the unthinkable in a very real way and doesn’t sugarcoat her emotions in the midst of the trial. She opens her soul for you to feel her pain and ultimately, her hope. You will feel the waves of grief and loss of control when the reality is, she is unable to control the very thing she wants most in life. She will walk you through her steps learning to survive after her loss. Her life now includes regularly giving practical advice of what you shouldn’t say to someone going through a similar life-changing circumstance. Her heart tells you the story of her daughter and the amazing impact it had on her life. She prays that this will impact your life and your community in a positive way. It is full of raw emotion and guidance for those who have lost a child and also those that do not know what to say to a bereaved parent.
About Crissy Goodpaster
Crissy Goodpaster is a loving mother and wife with a sweet, southern charm that is admired by many. Crissy enjoys spending her time with her family and taking in all of life’s little moments, such as eating sushi, listening to 80’s music, watching a variety of movies, and visiting the beach. Currently, Crissy and her family live in St. Louis, Missouri; however, she was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. Crissy’s natural love of helping others and welcoming personality spilled over into her career at a law firm in downtown St. Louis. While establishing her first real career, buying her first home, and enjoying being a newlywed, she was also simultaneously having the life changing experience of losing a child to trisomy 13. Writing “Having Grace” was an important part of her healing and another step on her journey. Crissy’s experiences have ultimately motivated her to reach out to others who are going through similar experiences. Her hopes in writing this book are to help those who may be going through similar tragedy and loss that she and so many have endured.