Hollow places


Last week I submitted a piece of writing that is more dear to me than anything I’ve ever written.

The beats of my heart were on those pages and with one tap of the “Enter” key, I sent them off to be judged.  To see if they’re good enough.  If I’m good enough.  If my retelling of heartbreak and heartache is good enough.

Two days later I was in the ER.

Let me start by saying that these two events were not related.  But in some way, both Divine and lovely, their themes were.

My husband and I were heading to the wedding of a lovely friend when I started having horrible pain in my lower abdomen.  My immediate thought was that I was in the early stages of pregnancy and was miscarrying.


I don’t pretend to know the thoughts and feelings of those other women who have suffered this heart-shredding emotional pain (we are sort of a secret society, aren’t we?), but, for me, the tidal wave of emotion was nearly too much to bear.

My husband insisted that we head to the ER where we were admitted by an all-too-perky-for-the-occasion staff member.  She led us to a room where they took my vitals and into another room where I was asked to undress and don a lovely green polyester number, while waiting to be seen.

The walls, painted with an Under the Sea theme, seemed to be closing in as they hooked me up to lines and told me that it would be a while.  I noticed how the “fish” looked like bowling pins with fins and how the curtain separating me from those caring for me was covered in starfish and seahorses that seemed to be laughing.


I believe they were.

Since it is my extreme privilege to be a woman, the nurse told me that it could be a myriad of things (we have many more parts and delicate places, of course) and that they’d be doing lots of tests.

I turned the TV volume up to drown out the elderly woman screaming for help and the man talking about how his ladder “had never done such a thing”.

They did a pelvic, then sent me for an ultrasound.

I didn’t feel totally helpless being wheeled around, not until we arrived in the room.

I was left there to wait.  The lights were down low.  The monitor was black.

My memories were too.

I have had a few ultrasounds.  Each was supposed to be an introduction to our son or daughter, but we were never so lucky.

We haven’t thus been so lucky.

As I laid there, a woman was pushed past me.  She had kind eyes, fragile wrists and no hair.  It was her third ultrasound of the day.  Cancer does that.  I guess.

When the technician finally arrived, she started prepping me; she shimmied up my hospital gown, shimmied down my toasty blankets and spread a thick layer of warm jelly on my abdomen.

I forced myself to look at the screen


I waited.

And listened.

To. The. Silence.

I don’t know if it is the misfortune of every woman who has lost a child to wait for the woosh, woosh, woosh.  I wonder if I’ll still wait for it well past child-bearing age.  If I’ll always wait for that sweet sound of life and love and a million expectations all knit together.

That day, that moment really,  reminded me once again of my hollow places.  The ones I’ve cried about, screamed about, prayed about and, more recently, written about.  And how they’ve taught me more than I ever thought they could.

They continue to teach me.


I pray.

They. Always. Will.

  One thought on “Hollow places

  1. Renato
    September 30, 2013 at 3:50 am

    You are so good to me!! Your love makes me fell lighter as the wind… Keep writing and do good to your hearth and soul! Love you – Rato

    • October 1, 2013 at 1:28 am

      Thanks, sweetie. ❤ you too.

  2. September 30, 2013 at 4:48 am

    OMG! Are you okay?? What’s happening?! Too late for me to call you but call me when you can! Lots and lots of love and prayers, Ginny ❤💖😘

    Sent from my iPhone

    • October 1, 2013 at 1:29 am

      I’m okay, Ginny. Kidney stones are horrible. Who knew!?!?!?

  3. September 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    So sorry for your loss.
    Your post is beautifully written and heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing it.
    Hugs, hope and healing thoughts coming your way.

    • October 1, 2013 at 1:47 am

      And I’m sorry for yours.

      I hope that you will find comfort in what’s been found through and despite what you’ve lost.

  4. September 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Whatever the piece of writing was you sent off to be judged, don’t judge yourself by the feedback you receive. You are a great writer. I love your writing and style and would read what you have to share any day. And I’m one tough cookie to convince because I want authenticity, beauty, vision, and the guts of stuff on the page. You got it sister, and I’m a believer.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and encouraging me, I’m blessed and so happy to find a kindred spirit who will write–no matter what.

    And I’m a member of that club you speak of too. Hurts like crazy. If I could, I’d give you the biggest hug, there are never words that really work, only love from one broken mother’s heart to another could I give to you.

    • October 1, 2013 at 1:59 am

      Thank you for this, Linda. I appreciate your sentiments more than you know and feel blessed to share these corners of my heart with you.

      I would gladly welcome a hug and SO treasure your acknowledgement that, even for wordsmiths, “there are never words that really work” when such a loss rocks the core of who we are.

      Love the love you share.

  5. Janelle
    October 1, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Seriously….are you ok????

  6. October 1, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I’m fine, J. Feeling much better now, love.

  7. Jenae
    October 3, 2013 at 2:52 am

    Wow! You are so gifted and I am honored to read words that flow from the depths of your soul. Thank you for sharing and allowing us to walk with you down paths of pain, growth, and success. You are a beautiful gift and I thank God for you! ♥

    • October 4, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Jenae, thank you for this beautiful comment. I am glad that you are sharing this walk with me and thank God for you as well. You, Tony and the girls have been and continue to be such blessings to us.

      Thank you for your friendship.

      IT is a gift!

  8. October 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    So glad you are okay now, Dani. And your writing … it is just so authentic and heartfelt and poetic. What a gift you are. What a gift to share yourself so trustingly with others. I love you!

    • October 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      I trust myself because of you (and the other ladies) who encouraged/allowed me to be vulnerable and yet brave. That was a gift.
      YOU are a gift.

  9. Marilyn Secco
    October 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    So good to read another of your ‘straight from the heart ‘ posts. I really enjoy your way with words.Your beautiful soul shines through.

    • October 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      Thank you, Marilyn. I SO appreciate your words and your taking the time to read mine.

  10. Jamie
    October 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Hey Danielle,

    Beautiful writing. Your writing reminded me of our first miscarriage experience. We’ve had two and each has been painful. Thank you for writing and pouring out your heart. It is a bit of a secret society 🙂

    I will be praying for you and your husband!

    God weeps with us and God heals us over time.

    Let me know if I can pray for anything specific for you guys.



  11. October 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear that you and your wife have suffered through this as well, Jamie. It is so hard to comprehend, which is why sometimes it’s best (though so hard) to let go. I have good and bad days, but am thankful that there are more of the former than the latter.

    In appreciation of your visit…

    and your prayers.

  12. Heather
    October 7, 2013 at 2:57 am

    I just don’t have any words to share here, they aren’t enough. You will know exactly how this piece moved me next time we get to see each other.
    Love you dear.

  13. October 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you, Heather.

    Love. you. too.

  14. October 22, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    wow! Thank you so much for finding my blog and liking my post because that way I found yours. Such raw truth and openness! Truly beautiful, though so hard. Again, thank you!

    • October 28, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you for your kind comment, Justine.

      Loss is hard.

      Forgiving is harder.

  15. October 28, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Ditto what Justine said — happy you found my blog so I have found yours. What excellent expression. If that contest didn’t pan out, go on writing, anyway, because you are very good, and will find you place. The amount of lives you can touch with your blog is the beginning. Thankfully, there is so much more going on than we can see at the moment.

  16. October 28, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Jane, thank you so much for your visit and your sweet sentiments. I won’t find out about the contest results until early January, but, regardless of the outcome, I’m proud that I allowed myself to go to my dark places and come out on the other side…better and stronger.

    I agree about lives being touched by blogging.

    It’s amazing what great therapy another’s string of words can be and how they have the power to cast such a beautiful light on what we couldn’t/wouldn’t have seen (in the same way) on our own.

    Thank you again.


  17. October 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm


  18. November 4, 2013 at 2:35 am

    I experienced the joy of birthing 6 kids, but lost my precious son at 15 because of slow medical response and ignorance of the automatic defibrullaors and heart only cpr that are taught now. I will you well and hope your dream of hearing that beating heart inside comes true for you. Becoming a mother is a larger risk than a lot of people realize. beebee

    • November 4, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Thank you, beebee. I’m sorry to hear about your son. Losing a beloved part of us (much, much too soon) is a soul-searing pain.

      As you know…

      It. Really. Is.

  19. November 4, 2013 at 2:50 am

    You have so much depth in your writing…Thank you for sharing so honestly….

    • November 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you for your visit and lovely comment.

  20. November 8, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    What a beautiful article! I’ve found that writing about our pain and our loss is healing in its own way. It doesn’t diminish the loss or cause us to forget, but helps to ease our mind a bit, day by day, when we’re able to share it with others.

    • November 14, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      I completely agree. There is something truly cathartic about putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and getting at the depths of your deep truth, whatever it may be.

      Thank you for your visit and the heart of your writing.

  21. Katie
    November 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Beautiful. Also experiencing this horrible silence, which you so perfectly describe, this post brings me a sense of hope… on a day that I so needed it. Thank you for sharing your story with me. I feel like you were speaking directly to me, and to my heart.

    • November 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      I love to hear that it spoke to you and your precious heart, Katie. If you ever need to chat…I’m here.

  22. November 17, 2013 at 3:03 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. There is nothing so hard as to lose someone you never got a chance to know. The more I spoke about mine, the more women I heard feom that had gone through similar or worse experiences. I don’t pretend to know God’s purpose but I have to believe there is one. I pray for you and your family.

    • November 17, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      I believe there is one too.

      Praying for you and yours as well.

  23. November 17, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Your writing has resurrected memories of multiple losses and extraordinary heartbreak. I wish you peace and love, and hope that you will find joy in life. Your writing is lovely.

    • November 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      What a lovely comment. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

      Peace to your memories…and your heart.

  24. November 19, 2013 at 1:54 am

    Thanks for reading my blog-I invite you to follow mine and will follow you! Your story touched my heart- i have ha 6 kids-lost my son at 15 from a sudden heart episode-have suffered miscarriages and am now expecting grandchild #8 !. There is nothing like the pain of loosing a child-no hell can describe it. The loss of an unborn child is an empty , hollow feeling. Thee hope of a pregnancy that doesnt happen IS a loss. I will think of you. I hope your dream comes true soon. beebeesworld

    • May 1, 2014 at 6:19 am

      Thank you for thinking of me. I’ll do the same… 🙂

  25. September 4, 2014 at 4:03 am

    “That day, that moment really, reminded me once again of my hollow places. The ones I’ve cried about, screamed about, prayed about and, more recently, written about. And how they’ve taught me more than I ever thought they could.

    They continue to teach me.”

    And I as well, Sis…I as well

    • September 24, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      We teach each other, don’t we??
      And what a blessing that is to us both.

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