OCTOBER // PAIL Awareness Month

Time has been passing us by so quickly and I'm not quite so sure how to feel about it in regards to my healing + grieving process. Also, how is it that with so much pain, there too is also so much peace. I thought I was the crazy one for feeling this way but it seems my dear husband, Paul is feeling the same as well. 

Without doubt + confusion, we are thankful and are at rest because we know the source of this peace. The - only - source of this peace, the one that surpasses all understanding; it is from God alone. Though things are still so fresh and the tears & physical pain will always be there, we serve a God that is already there and that He never stops working. This peace comes from the beautiful truth that He is good, always.

And "If not, He is still good." 

So blessed and amazed to be serving a God that does it all - Redeems, Rescues, Restores and Rejoices for and alongside with us. 

Today, is the first of October. A new day. A new month. A new beginning. A new chapter. During the first few weeks after we lost our Haven, I began doing my research on support groups and online testimonies and just for real, ordinary people like Paul and I that have been called to similar battles and journeys to the one that we've gone through and will continue to embark on for the remainder of our lives here on earth. Though heartbreaking and crippling, It's been such an indescribable comfort and relief to have found and continue finding the thousands of others that I did (mainly through Instagram)  - so many courageous, God-faithful and beautiful parents (angel mamas for the most part) and to learn about their little ones just like our Havey. We find comfort and support even through strangers from this entire brand new "family" that Paul and I are now a part of. I believe this to be one of the beauties and upsides of the social media realm - community, awareness and fellowship - giving new parents of loss, a sense of reinforcement and new hope when you feel like these are all physically out of reach. I've loved, cried and shared in the pain and joy from afar of all the stories and testimonies I've come across. 

I understand that this too, are gentle tugs from our heavenly Father that Paul and I are not alone and that our sweet girl is in the best place possible. 

It was during my research that I found a whole new meaning to the month of October - one that will forever change my life and will continue to celebrate. In the year 1988 (also my birth year), President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October to be National Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Awareness month. This month is important as it raises light and awareness to the angel babies gone too soon and recognizes the loss so many parents go through across the United States and around the world. Towards the end of this very same month was Haven's original due date. "It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents and their loved ones who have lost babies and children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy & molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS and other causes." If this is you or know someone that has recently loss their little one, please visit www.october15th.com for support and more information.

Everyday this month, as I do any regular day, I will be doing something to connect with Haven or do something that reflects on her life. In honor of her and this cause, I will either share it here on my blog and/or my Instagram page or do in private. If you've taken the time you have to click over to my blog and/ or are reading a bit more about Haven and I, I thank you so much. Paul and I invite and ask all of our family, friends and others who have been touched in some way of Havey's life to share or repost the last photo on this page or another if you have one  -- to help, shed some light, share the word and be a part of such an important movement and cause. It would mean to world to us as well as to the others that have lost. 

*Please use hashtags -- #PAILawareness, #theGaviniBabe, #pinkforHaven, and #HavenFaithMaraGavini so that Paul and I can find and thank you for your support. Also, to most importantly keep our daughter and her story alive, celebrated and shared. 

On another note, during our pregnancy, Paul and I would post up and collect Havey's first photos with us on the wall above our bed. We stuck them on our wall with pride, excitement and so much happiness. We even kept them up and reinforced after so many weeks of being discharged. Thankfully, Paul, my family and I were allowed to spend as much time as we wanted with Haven while we were in the hospital, even after she had passed away. I'll forever be grateful for the chance to have had this. We'll forever have our physical photos + memories of and with her. However, sometimes, I can't help but see pain, questioning, darkness, anger and frustration when looking at them. I know in my heart as much as I love and treasure them all so much -- I knew I wanted a portrait of the 3 of us along with our pup, Jumper. I wanted to look at this this one portrait and see us all together and happy, one that would make us smile, dream and cry tears of peace and not of pain. One that would give Paul and I, hope, feel love and to remind and excite us both for the eternity we have yet to spend loving on our Haven the way we were not able to here on earth. This. This is what the following portrait means to me. And no amount of 'thank you's' can ever thank the talented, sweet, Dianuh of Chasing Linen for this gift. 

So much love to her and to all of you, 

P + M + H Gavini 

-- As you scroll down, you will find one of the most difficult things we've ever had to do during our healing + grieving journey. Our slow, unsure, and hesitant process to pray hard, cry some more, and find the strength to take down the photos of the life we thought we were going to have and instead, replace them with a single one representing the life that is for certain and on its' way, this one being much more better + beautiful than the one we thought we were going to have here on Earth.

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 Custom Family Portrait beautifully painted by Dianuh of  Chasing Linen

Custom Family Portrait beautifully painted by Dianuh of Chasing Linen