By Jenny Hander –

One of the greatest tragedies in losing a baby is that you don’t get the chance to form enough memories to carry you through a lifetime of living without them. It isn’t that you forget to remember; it is that you don’t have many memories to recall.

Though I think of my sweet daughter every day, there are some days I feel as though I created her in my own mind. I ask myself, “Was she ever really here?” I know that she was, but she was here such a short time and so much time has now passed without her, that it sometimes seems like a dream.

But every now and then, something will happen to help reaffirm to me that her short, sweet little life was real. For instance, I recently heard someone say the name “Alyssa.” I thought to myself, “Oh, how I really love that name.” And then it hit me-I had a daughter with the same name. I have a daughter named Alysa.   And today, as I read of another family who recently lost a daughter at just 6 days old, I know for sure that the life of their daughter was real. And so I am reminded again that my daughter’s life, though tragically short, did really exist.

I love the moments when I am able to realize that Alysa is real. Though she is no longer with me in the physical form, she will always be with me spiritually. Alysa is still my daughter; she just lives someplace else. Alysa lives in a more wonderful home than I could have ever prepared for her here on this Earth. She is alive and well, shining down on us from Heaven.

Jenny is the author of A Place of Peace and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University. She is a proud wife and a full-time mother of three. She can be reached through her website,

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Monica Novak

Monica Novak became a bereaved mother in 1995 with the stillbirth of her daughter Miranda, learning firsthand the devastation of saying goodbye to a much-loved, much-wanted baby before having the chance to say hello. Three weeks later, she began a journey towards healing when she attended her first Share support group meeting. Along the way, she and six other bereaved mothers formed a close bond that carried them through the grief of miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death, as well as the challenges of subsequent pregnancy and infertility. Having been at the opposite ends of grief and joy; despair and hope; indifference and compassion; fear and peace-sometimes simultaneously-she has captured these emotions and the story of her journey in a highly-praised new memoir titled The Good Grief Club. Monica writes and speaks on the subject of pregnancy loss and infant death and is involved with local and national organizations that provide support to families and caregivers. She is a member of the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA). Her mission is to bring comfort and hope to bereaved parents worldwide and to educate and promote awareness to the physicians, nurses, clergy, counselors, family, and friends of every mother or father who has or ever will be told that their baby has no heartbeat or that nothing more can be done. The mother of three daughters, Monica lives in the Chicago area with her husband, children, and a rat terrier named Sami. For more information, please visit or e-mail Monica at Monica appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing ”Miscarriage and Infant Loss.” To hear Monica being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, go to the following link:

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