Nordquist, a wife and mother as well as singer-songwriter/worship leader, has written a new devotional book and recorded two original songs. They're combining to enable a season of comfort and help for parents who have suffered miscarriages or infant loss.
The book carries the title of one of her songs, "Before We Said Hello."
"It's been incredible the number of people who have messaged me with their own stories," said Nordquist, who herself has multiple experiences with life loss.
She recalls a 20-month period earlier in her life when she went through "a loss a month" between family members and others in her circle.
One series of events was most telling: Becky and her husband Dave suffered through several miscarriages before their infant son Niklas David came early in 2014. "He was stillborn, but still born," she notes.
SHARING THE FEELINGS
Nordquist, from the Rockford area, said circumstances sometimes will draw out expressions of grief that parents feel.
"With Niklas I was kind of forced to be 'public' because I had been so obviously pregnant," said Norquist who was a church worship leader at the time. "I hesitated...I didn't want people at church to ask '...where's the baby?'"
But as she began to share her experiences, she discovered others were willing to reveal their own similar stories. "I've been there" is a phrase she heard numerous times.
Meanwhile, Nordquist's musical connections led to other outlets. She had worked with John Chisum several years ago while he was worship leader at FairHaven Ministries in Hudsonville. Chisum later went to Nashville where he founded the Nashville Christian Songwriters organization. He talked Becky into coming for songwriting sessions. "He's been an incredible mentor to me," said added.
A mutual friend helped arrange a meeting with Christian songwriting veteran Steve Siler who had begun a ministry for those suffering loss, www.musicforthesoul.org. He heard Becky's story, and asked for a demo of her songs.
It was sometime later when Siler called her out of the blue telling her about a song he had written long before. "He said, 'I'm at O'Hare (airport) sitting here crying because I've had this song for ten years and you're the only one who can sing it,'" she recalled.
That song was "Before We Said Hello," written about another mother who had suffered a child loss before birth. The chorus cries, "We grieve love interrupted that has no place to go, We said goodbye before we said hello." (An introductory video is available online ).
Nordquist co-wrote (with Siler and Tony Wood) another song, "Heaven's Playground." (With the music bridge, "The only way these arms could let you go, is to know whose arms would take you in.") "I think this will reach people who have lost kids to cancer or to some other unexpected death," she offered.
TELLING THE STORY
Nordquist had been writing her own story over the last several years although a book was nowhere near ready. But she realized a devotional – including the stories that parents in similar situations had been sharing with her – could be just as effective.
In fact, several of the testimonies are from fathers, offering male perspectives on the loss which can affect up to one in four pregnancies.
Anyone who buys the book (published locally by Credo House Publishers) is offered free downloads of both songs. The book includes the song lyrics.
TIME TO REMEMBER
October is designated as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance awareness month with Oct. 15 the actual day of observance. Nordquist is timing the release of her book for mid October, and in the meantime is with busy book signings, media interviews and special events.
Two of them during October:
- a 6pm Sat. Oct. 12 Wave of Light/Remembrance Night at Harbor Life Church Grandville (corner of 31st St. and Wallace Ave SW).
- a book signing at 7pm Tues. Oct. 22 at Baker Book House, 2768 East Paris Ave. SE. "We'll be sharing both of the songs, have a time of worship and a time of remembering out babies," she wrote in a Facebook post.
For now her music is available through Music for the Soul as well as various digital outlets.
"The conversations (about infant loss) have come a long way, but not far enough," Nordquist added. "I'm praying this opens the door to getting away from the isolation and guilt especially women carry. Your baby's life matters, and you're not alone."