{ from dancing to mourning and back again }

Today is June 2. Four years ago today, I was smiling . . . and dancing.


I read somewhere that dancing may help to induce labour, and being five days overdue with my second child, I thought it sounded like a pretty good idea. Being at home by myself, I cranked up “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira and danced as well as any full-term pregnant lady can possibly dance. I was happy and excited about what the next several days would bring.

This child was moving like crazy inside of me on June 2, 2011. I remember thinking that day that she was happy and dancing and was ready to meet us, too.

Within approximately 15 hours of that moment of complete happiness, my baby stopped moving and her perfect heart stopped beating, while I slept peacefully and without any explanation. I will never stop mourning that fact. Four years have passed, and fresh shock can still overtake me. It still seems impossible.



As I look back over the past four years, I can see how much my heart has reshaped. I would never say “healed” as that seems unlikely in this lifetime. But, my heart feels bigger and stronger, yet softer, since our Ava Faith came into it. My heart is also filled more deeply with love, gratitude and faith.

In Psalms 30:11, David wrote:  “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!”

I refrained from busting out the Shakira moves this afternoon, but I do have joy today. I have it thanks to my family and friends, my God and His promises and also in my daughter Ava Faith.

While she lived, she brought me great joy and love. Through her death, she has brought me much growth. Because she lives in heaven, she has brought me greater hope and faith than I may have never obtained if she was not my daughter.

A child’s birthday is certainly a time for celebration. One trip around the sun brings so much transformation for a child and all of those who love that child. It’s a time to celebrate the growth and the hope and excitement for the future.


On my daughter Ava’s four-year milestone, I both mourn and celebrate these same things. My child was transformed four years ago. So was I.

Today, although I can’t celebrate her growth, I do celebrate my growth as a mother, as a believer and as a more compassionate human. With each year that passes, I pray that growth will be able to be charted and celebrated because of my daughter Ava’s life.


While Ava’s immediate future is not what I ever hoped or planned, on her four-year milestone, hope remains. My hope for the future lives within my two living children and in God’s promise that one day we will all be transformed and my family will be wholly restored for eternity. Through the tears of pain and disappointment in this life, this is what we can all celebrate.

Today, I celebrate my memories of Ava. I have beautiful memories of her growing inside me, of meeting her face-to-face, of holding her, of kissing her soft, chubby cheeks and of how gorgeous she looked in her pretty white dress we picked out for her.



Today, and every day, I thank God for this precious child and all she has brought to our lives.



4 comments


werenotlostwereinfrance.com said...

So very moving. Thank you for sharing this and may God bless you and your family.

Dave Navarre

Laura Monchuk said...

Thank you, Dave. I appreciate your comments very much!

Angela Yakimoski said...

Such beautiful words Laura...you brought me to tears. I have been thinking of you guys and little Ava for the last couple of weeks (must be the lilacs that are in full bloom--one of my favorites as well). You and Clinton are incredible examples of how to allow God to come into our hearts to transform us and to help us to carry our crosses with an unexplainable joyfulness. You are amazing, God bless you both (and your family of course) especially today!

Laura Monchuk said...

I appreciate your very kind words, Angela. Hugs!

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