I had plans to write an inspirational post today, about how the pain of loss gets better as time goes on and putting one foot in front of the other becomes something you don’t have to talk yourself through, but since Friday my world has been rocked to the core like everyone else’s. I need this space today to remember my daughter and hold her as close as I’m holding the rest of my children this week.
Hadley was the third of triplets, Baby C.
She squirmed and flipped until there wasn’t anymore room to do so, at the top of my stomach, right under my heart.
At birth she was 2 lbs. 5 oz. but grabbed my finger so tightly the first time she saw me that the little pads of her fingers went white.
Her hair had a reddish tint under the NICU lights and her eyes were dark blue, still making up their mind about a final color.
She left the world in my arms. I can still feel her slight weight against the crook of my arm. I’ve froze that day and willed it to stay uninterrupted in my mind.
I have her brother and sister to watch grow and piece together what she might have looked and acted like if she had lived, as every child should.
I think she would have the red hair her sister lost in her toddler years and the round eyes of her brother and stand an inch above him and an inch below here, closing the gap in their height that makes many think they are a year apart.
I think she would have been the peace keeper and maybe worn a dress color other than pink or no dresses at all. Maybe she would have eased her sister out of her shyness or been the one standing next to her brother at the preschool Christmas show.
I wish I knew.
What I do know is she was loved, she is loved. I will forever be her mom, carrying her as I did for so long, cradled against the beat of my heart.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. -Winnie the Pooh
We want to make sure no one is grieving alone this holiday season so we invite you to share your story with us. We have multiple link-ups on the sites below, where you can comment and/or link up according to the type of loss with which you are dealing.
You can link up anything you would like to share about your lost love one: a link to a Facebook photo/post, a blog post about a particular memory, a Pinterest pin sharing how you cope, whatever you would like others to read or see. The link ups will be displayed as follows:
If you have had a miscarriage, stillbirth or loss of an infant link here: fourplusanangel.com
If you have lost your mom link here: sandiegomomma.com
Your dad link here: mamamaryshow.com
Your sibling link here: myinnerchick.com
A child link here: aninchofgray.blogspot.
A friend here: kimtracyprince.com
A spouse here: gfunkified.com
We have also created a Pinterest board called Hugs for the Holidays and will be pinning posts to that board so we can all visit and share each other’s stories.
Please remember to visit a few other blog posts on this special day to help spread the love around to others. We will keep the link ups open through December so that everyone has a chance to participate. Our goal is that no one feels like they are suffering alone this holiday season.
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Heather O. says
I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Hadley. I know the pain that you feel, and I wish that none of us would ever have known this grief and loss.
I wish that I had known about this link-up before now, but I want to share the story of my stillborn baby, Clara. I hope that’s okay. http://www.thedestinymanifest.com/2012/08/she-was-still-born.html
Oh the tears.
It’s so hard to grieve without adding the pressures of the holidays, but writing always seems to help. Thank you for being a part of this link up.
I have been under a cloud of writer’s block/sadness/grief and now sick with the flu that the holidays and first 7 days of the new year have been a blur for me. Hoping I’ll find my words again soon. In the meantime, I’ll read these posts.
Jessica, I am so sorry for your loss of Hadley. She not only had a beautiful name, but I am sure a beautiful soul to go with it. I have lost most of my friends since my brother’s death. They just don’t get what it is like. It is sad. Hopefully, like me, you have been able to find comfort in a few unexpected people. Always feel free to contact me if you ever need a stranger who understands.
So touching! I was crying as usual, especially as I was listening to Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift when I read this!!!
Jessica – I added a second link, I hope that is ok with you. Today is the one year anniversary of Kathryn’s funeral, and I wanted to share my post today. Thanks and thank you for providing this outlet!
Kathy at kissing the frog says
So beautiful Jessica. Oh how those details are imprinted in our brains and stamped on our hearts. I will never forget the first time I held Joey, nor the last.
No matter how often I read that quote at the end it still makes me tear up. Thinking of your family and your Hadley in the crook of your arm.
I have been reading these posts this morning and just bawling. Loss of babies, loss of teenagers, loss of a 9 year old two days before her 10th birthday. So much pain. But it also comforts me. We are in this together. We all dream of the day we will hold our little ones again. We are all driven to do something to ensure their lives were meaningful and not forgotten. For Kathryn, Hadley, Addie, Austin, TinyAngel, and all the others, I am remembering you.
I always have a sad feeling about some bad memories during the holidays… when I was 13, I lost my granddad at christmas..it was terrible, my dad called the ambulance and we only stood there and watched him lying…
San Diego Momma (Deb) says
Oh Jess. I just have my soul love here for you. I can’t imagine this kind of loss. Thanks for being the voice for others who can’t express it themselves.
I’m so glad we were able to all do this together Deb, although I’m sorry that we are all linked by such loss.
Courtney Kirkland says
Absolutely beautiful. I love that you are willing and able to share a bit about your sweet little angel with all of us who never had the chance to meet her. Sending hugs and prayers to your family during the holidays. 🙂
Rach (DonutsMama) says
Beautifully written and what a beautiful link up. I still find it so difficult to write about my loss (I’ve actually never written about it on my blog). Maybe someday I’ll muster up the courage and the heart. Thank you for your openness here.
I hope you do someday. Once I was ready, writing about it has been such a healing process for me.
I just want to say that this is a wonderful thing you guys are doing. Although I haven’t experienced a loss, I am close with people who have. Also, as a mother of a child with special needs (my son has sensory processing disorder) I know how important it has been to connect with others who share my experiences. I am now following you via Facebook and am looking forward to reading more of your blog.
Thank you so much for this.
Having a support group and knowing others are going through what you are us such an important part of grieving
I’m so grateful for your on going work and advocacy
My Inner Chick says
***. I’ve froze that day and willed it to stay uninterrupted in my mind.
Abundantly Beautiiful. Hugs from Minnesota.
Debra Conklin says
Fri, when I heard the news about the tragedy in Newtown it immediately took me back to my own loss. I lost my little boy just before he was born. A beautiful baby boy named David. That pain and grief never goes away. It would be eight years later and I gave birth to a healthy little boy named Drew, an answer to prayers, I only had sixteen years with him, He passed away in an accident. Hearing of the children lost made me remember how I felt, waiting , hoping my child was ok, being told he was not. I miss both of my little boys, it’s a grief like no other. I have grieved with the families of Newtown. They are just beginning the journey that many of us has traveled since the day we lost our own child. I feel for them knowing what they are facing, really, for the the rest of their lives.Our children are the most precious things we will ever have in our lives, when one is taken it is a deep grief, it washes over you anytime, anywhere, forever I believe. .I pray for these families that they may find some peace and comfort
Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine suffering one loss and then the loss of your other son so many years later. I am so sorry for all you have been through. I know the Connecticut shootings triggered my grief that much more and I can imagine how many memories it has brought back for you. I’m glad you shared your boys’ stories Debra. I will be thinking of all of you through the holidays.
Oh Debra, my heart is with you.
Kayla Yow says
Your memories are so beautifully written. I pray for you to find comfort during the holiday season, enjoying your four beautiful children here on Earth and your Angel watching over you from Heaven.
Lady Jennie says
I saw Anna’s post. Have you guys created a hashtag for this? I want to get the word out through twitter. Such an inspired, awesome venture.
Kayla Yow says
The hashtag is #hugsfortheholidays. Hope this helps! (:
Thank you so much for tweeting it out Jennie, truly appreciate your support. It has been great to connect with so many new people today.
Ginger Kay says
Beautiful written, Jessica. What a legacy of love Hadley has given you; even grief cannot overwhelm it.