journal

The Smallest Things

So… my blog post is a few days late. I was asked to do this very special piece and I didn’t want to write about it until I had given it to the family. Infant loss is devastating. There are so many hopes and dreams that will never come to be. So many questions about how and why it happened and often times those questions will never be answered. A hole is left in your heart that will never be mended…not by well wishes, not by love and prayers, not by having other children. It will be filled up time and time again, but the hole is still there, always.

For me, the very hardest part was leaving the hospital, empty handed, knowing I should have been carrying my baby boy. I just didn’t want to leave, because I knew that a chapter was ending that I, with ever fiber of my being, did not want to end. I was fortunate enough to have had time to prepare for what was going to happen. My heart hurt for those who went to deliver their beautiful, healthy baby and something unexpectedly went wrong. Or those who barely got the chance to love the child within them before he or she was gone. Or for those who want so badly to conceive a child and it’s just not meant to be.

Losing a child, for me, rocked my faith to the core. I remember going to church the following weekend and just sitting there, unable to look up, praying over and over, “Please just fill me up again. My heart is so empty.” And He did, and still does. Over and over and over again. It never “gets easier” with time. You hopefully just realize there are so many blessings in your life that fill your heart.

I found myself clinging to any small tangible items that reminded me of my son… the tiny knit layette my mom made, the pink and blue striped hospital issued blanket, our ID bracelets, a set of rosary beads a friend had given us…it was all I had left and they all became the most cherished momentos. My playgroup friends had given us a beautiful dogwood tree to plant after we lost our son. We have planted a tree or a flowering shrub every year since…from Virginia Beach, to Monterey, to Maryland, to New Hampshire. And every spring, they bloom and come back more vibrant and beautiful than ever. It’s a reminder for us that while our son may not physically be here with us, he is living on within our hearts.

For this special piece, I chose the A. A. Milne quote and added sweet little foot prints in the shape of a heart. I love the contrast between the weathered wood and the simple white font. It speaks in a quiet, yet confident way. I hope and pray this piece fills their hearts, even but for a moment, as it has mine.

Please share your thoughts about this piece and feel free to reach out by email  if I can help you create a special something for you or someone you love.

7 thoughts on “The Smallest Things”

  1. My heart continues to break a little every April…not just for John Patrick but for you and Matt as well. I know the girls were too young to experience the lingering heartbreak that occurs with this kind of devastating event. The thing that continues to heal is that I do believe that we have our own “personal” angel in heaven who probably whispers in God’s ear that he wants us to remember him but he also wants us to be happy knowing that we will meet again and remind us to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives….perhaps by doing all we can for babies who may not be as blessed. Katie, this is a beautiful blog and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write it. And, yes, his memory will live on in all our hearts.

    Reply
    • Thank you…you always seem to have the right words. I think there are some blooming beauties in Florida and Rhode Island too!

      Reply
  2. Such a beautiful blog post and piece to remember a child. I miss the memories that never happened. My beloved Grace Catherine would be 12 now and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. You are right, it never ” gets easier” but I am grateful for the blessings I do have. Hugs and prayers to Bradley’s family and to you. May they find peace in seeing his name daily in their home.

    Reply
  3. Katie, this is beautiful. The memory piece AND the blog post. So generous of you to share that piece of your heart with others who may need to hear from someone else that has gone through such a loss. Thank you. XOO

    Reply

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