To Our Glories

By: Justine Brooks Froelker  

The darkness left behind by the loss of you

can feel as if the breath,

the very essence of who we once were

and who we wanted to be,

has been taken from us.


Some days the darkness so heavy it can be difficult to put one foot in front of the other,

let alone breathe.

Some days the dawn strikes

and our love for you fills us with wonder so powerful it propels us forward

in the day of the living.


The wonder of how your giggles

would have filled our souls with joy,

instead allowing our hearts to hear for us in the silence that can stifle us.

The silence of your life gone too soon

scarring our souls,

trusting we always know and see you

as our hearts will forever speak you.


Missing the warmth of your skin in our arms

and yet, we feel you

holy every day and always.


Never to know the tangible completeness

always wondering who you might have been

and who we could have been.


And yet, trusting and knowing we are whole,

even in our endless longing.


We will spend the rest of our lives moving through the grief

with whatever grace we can muster in that day.

Choosing to give ourselves graceful permission to embrace

the paradox that is defining our happy ending

within the arms of lifelong loss.


Within these arms of permission

and unwavering hope we can find our truth.


Our truth to live our lives in pure honor of you.


Because through this honor we fight,

fight to take back the pieces of ourselves

that grief has tried to plunder from our souls.

Taking back the pieces of you in us

battling to weave them into the fabric

of what we must carry with us always.


The battle of who we once were

and who we are now

as we parent you from afar.

Parenting with scarred souls

the scars which were once shattered hearts

through which we are forever changed.


Forever changed

and yet choosing to be always healing.


Healing within the complicated gray

of our eternal love for you and the darkness of grief.


In the tension of sorrow and love,

walking into this complicated gray

awakening to life in color

we breathe glory into our lives.


The glory of our love for you.

The glory of you.


About Justine Brooks Froelker

gloriesHi! My name is Justine Brooks Froelker. In February 2011, my husband and I began our journey in the world of IVF. Gestational surrogacy was the safest way for us to have our children since I had two back surgeries in high school (including a year of my life spent in a body cast).  IVF and 3 babies never to be born later, Ever Upward was conceived. After much mourning, confusion, anger and sadness, I got back up and started doing the work. The work to redefine; my life, myself, everything.

Justine currently lives in Saint Louis with her husband, Chad, and their three dogs. She enjoys her childfull life by spending time with friends and family, practicing creative self-care, laughing (many times at herself) and building butterfly gardens on her acre of land, which has made her an accidental butterfly farmer.

Learn more about Justine’s story on her blog, Ever Upward.

1 Comment

  1. Anna Eastland on January 9, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you Justine for this courageous and beautiful poem! I can really relate to the paradox of silence, hope and longing, as well as the sense of duty to live an honourable life, one worthy of our children who have gone before us. Reaching out and connecting with other babyloss moms and families, after losing my daughter in labour 3 years ago, certainly helps give me a sense of mission and strength to carry on. May you be blessed with many brave and loving friends as you continue your journey…and I love that you are seeking beauty through your butterflies. Being able to still find beauty after intense grief is so healing.

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