Thursday, May 8, 2014

3 Years: A Grief Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, it's that time of year. I should be joyfully planning a party for our twins.  Instead I throw myself into various projects and avoid going to bed so I don't have to be alone with my thoughts. My heart aches to hold and hug and kiss my child. The pain of not getting to see Carter playing alongside his brothers gets harder to bear. The new mom to the twins that walks by my house frequently and the neighbors calling to their Carter feels like salt in my wounds.

I can't believe it has been three whole years. Three years since we heard the words "It's time" even though it was far too early. We knew the boys would be early but we were in no way prepared for what was ahead of us. We didn't know our lives would forever be affected and changed as we simultaneously joined the world of both parents of preemies and baby loss parents. The boys'  birthday was not the best day of our lives, in fact it was one of the scariest and most devastating. I can still see his face and remember the moments I spent with him. I have lost a lifetime of hopes and dreams. We have lost a son. Our boys have lost a brother. I still wish it was all a bad dream and that I will wake up one day and we will be whole again. 

Does it still hurt three years later? Absolutely. Am I "over it"? No. I will never be over that my child died. Has the pain changed? Yes, it has. Most days I don't have to struggle to gather the strength to get out of bed. I still cry for Carter. I still want to see him play and run with his brothers. I still want to tuck him in at night and tell him I love him and I can't do those things. I still struggle to see twins because it is an incredibly painful reminder of our loss. Carter will always be a part of me, just like my other children. 

Carter's life was not for nothing, it has to be for something. Because of Carter (& Cohen), thousands of families will have tiny diapers to dress their babies in and will hopefully feel that their babies are treasured and that they matter. Care packages have been taken to the NICU. Money has been donated to the March of Dimes to continue research for treatment for preemies. I have found new purpose and meaning in my life because of him. I have learned so much about myself and who I want to be as a person and as a mom. I understand that there are no guarantees in life and that we need to do our best to make the most of each and every day. To love deeply because we may not have tomorrow. To not take for granted the gift I have to raise my other children (even when they are naughty) and to realize that there truly are things in life that don't matter. I have made connections and lifelong friends that I never would have if I weren't in this baby loss "club". 
In the days leading up to and surrounding the boys' birth, we watched people we thought were our friends walk away from us in our time of greatest need. We also saw people surround us and hold us up when we weren't able to stand on our own. The prayers, gifts, and support were truly amazing. Thank you to those of you who held our hands, prayed with us, cried with us, gave to us, and just loved us. Thank you for your kind and supportive words, on the blog, in emails, texts, and in person.  And thank you to those of you who didn't know what to say or do, but just stood by us. We couldn't have done it without you. 

We also watched as the Lord changed us and worked in our lives and others' lives as well. Our faith was shaken and then strengthened as we faced the hardest days of our lives. And we were reminded over and over and over of God's love and faithfulness, even in times of great darkness. He carried us through days we never thought we would make it through. And yet, he never left us.

And now, here we are. We have made it through three long, difficult, rewarding, and joyful years. I will always wish things had gone differently for our family. Always. But, we have learned that our lives are led by one who is greater than us. Who has gone before us and walked the path that we have and will walk. We know there is a greater purpose for our lives and that this world isn't the end.

Carter, my boy. In almost 3 years, not a day has gone by that I haven't thought of you and wished you were here. You will always be a part of this family. I can't wait to see you again. 


  1. Sending up prayers for you to have peace as you approach the boys birthday. Hugs!

  2. That picture and your words brought tests to my eyes. You said it all so we'll and expressed what I have felt so many times. Your boys are blessed to have such a wonderful mommy who let the hardest day lead to beauty and healing for many! Happy birthday to your boys! Saying a prayer for Cory in the days ahead.