|  Blog Post   |  To love hard, is to grieve hard.

To love hard, is to grieve hard.


Today two of our three, would be eleven.

For the first time in this journey, I had the thought, ???? ? ????? ????? ?????

It didn’t take long for my heart to beat into my throat with a resounding yes.

Is it weird to still feel a hole that something is missing even though they weren’t ever even really here?

Is it weird to still feel the longing yearn and wonder of who they would have been?

Is it weird to still feel the reorienting of my womanhood, my motherhood, our marriage, my life, and my legacy?

…eleven years later?

To love hard, is to grieve hard.

And when you dream of becoming parents (not to mention plan, pay, and poke your way to it through infertility treatments), you dream of entire lifetimes.

Which means you grieve a lifetime of could have beens, never will bes, and wonders.

When you live a life of grief and joy in every moment, you find ways to honor them.

And so, I share every year.

They’d be eleven.

I also share every time I teach.

Because the gift of them, and the loss of them, brought you me.

And because every single time I bring them with me, I have someone who stops me or messages me with a thank you because they struggled to conceive too or they lost a baby too. In the space of ???? ???????, ???? ????’? ????, ?? ?? ????, ??? ? ?? ???? I am met with a ?? ??? ??? ????? ???. Every single time.

Every. Single. Time.

I share them with you because it honors them and me.

I share them with you because you aren’t alone.

I share them with you because you know someone with a story of loss similar to mine.

I share them with you because they’re my babies, and they count too.


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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