day 27/40: #40shoutouts40days


Dearest Michaela,

You, my dear. I can barely articulate a thought without welling up in tears.  Yes, we haven’t met yet but I feel as if a tiny piece of my heart holds you closer than several whom I know well and cherish. Vulnerability makes this possible across an ocean. Your writing, Michaela, bleeds vulnerability. It is radiant and so are you.

I will be brief. Know this: your words have impacted many, many people around Vancouver and around the world. God has given you courage to speak boldly when silence could have prevailed. Your voice is unique yet it cries out on behalf of so many grappling with unfathomable loss. What is most intimate is most universal. I am just one of the multitude who is thinking of you and your family today, what would have been sweet Florence Marigold’s fourth birthday.

Thank you for sharing your bittersweet joy and weighty sorrow so freely and publicly in your thoughtful reflections. You express mourning in its fullness. Your initiative to embrace and normalize grief among parents through social media demonstrates supernatural generosity and love. Your courage has equipped me to process my own grief and loss, though it is of a different variety.

Here comes the salt water tide again. Be blessed, Michaela. Every marigold in bloom, every monarch, every bird song – these are now all symbols of redemption. These are calls to pray for you and others experiencing similar loss because of your sweet vulnerability.

With a fury of tears, both happy and sad,

Elissa Joy


Learn about #thestoryofflo on Instagram.

Connect to the #mamagrief community.

Support Mama Gems, Michaela’s handmade jewelry business, benefiting both the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Her teething necklaces are gorgeous and make terrific gifts.

Consider making a donation to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice on Flo’s fundraising page or to Families of SMA Canada or The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation.

Florence and Charlie’s 10K to end SMA will be held August 7th at Second Beach in Vancouver BC. All are welcome to run, walk, roll 10K or less. I’m planning on being there. Details can be found here.


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