One Lost.


Over the past year,
in moments when I've felt emotions
that I can only express through writing out
or a brief flit of unashamed honesty...
I've typed out the story of my delivery
to share on here with you.

But, to be honest, it's just a lot for a blog post...
and I feel a bit weird 
putting the most painful moment of my life
out on the internet
for anyone to stare at.

If I thought it might help someone 
in any was possible, I would...
but our situation was so tragically unique
that I don't have to worry that it might happen 
to anyone else by me not raising awareness.

If I ever see you in person
and you want to talk about it,
I'll explain it to you then...

But because when I do meet blog readers
and I realize how little I have exactly shared,
I do want to share a few things with you
that can help you understand things a bit more...

First, our daughter was not miscarried, nor was she stillborn.
We didn't find out that anything was "wrong" with her before delivery, 
and we didn't expect anything other than two healthy daughters.

She was full-term. She was born, lived, and she died when she was two days old.

To our surprise, she was Viola's identical twin sister...
and she was prettier than we could have ever imagined our chid could be. 

Today, you would know her as Evelyn...

And the combination of our two daughters
would leave us exhausted, broke, homebound...
and stuck with the feeling that we were
 the luckiest people to have ever lived.


.  .  .


I'm not sure how you're supposed to write
about the first anniversary
of your daughter's death,
but here I find myself trying to do it justice.

I'm sure there are other people who have done it
that could offer an example to me,
but you can't replicate the words of anyone else
when you find yourself in a moment like this.

So, in the name of nothing going as we had planned
and in the hope of everything ultimately working out for good,
I can only offer these words a year out:

I miss my daughter. 

I miss the year that has passed without her,
and I mourn the years ahead that will slip quietly by
without her in them.

But I cling to the hope that God's love is greater
and that this world is fleeting.

In a moment like this, I realize
that what other hope can we have?


.  .  .


I'd also like to say thank you.

Thank for you being there with us.

Not only did you buffer the awkwardness 
of sharing with the internet
that your delivery went terrible and you lost a child,
but you responded in the kindest of ways.

You poured out thoughtfulness through your words,
you eased the hurt with meals and gifts,
you connected with others behind the scenes
to relentlessly show us how much you cared.

You taught me how to love those who hurt,
and I hope to never forget it.

But most importantly,
thank you for celebrating our daughter's life
and grieving our daughter's death.

Your interest and compassion give significance to her life.

As her parents who endlessly grieve such a short end,
there's no greater gift that can be given 
than the one you have offered 
through acknowledging her life and it's value.

From the bottom of my heart,
thanks.






71 comments:

  1. My most beloved grandmother was named Evelyn. She lost her first child, a daughter, at 3 days old, for unexplained reasons. She went on to have 3 more daughters and 2 sons, but never forgot her first little angel. She passed away a little over a month ago.

    I hope that our beautiful Evelyns are rejoicing together in Heaven and waiting for the day we will be reunited.

    xoxo

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  2. I've been thinking about you and your sweet family non-stop this week. Sending lots and lots and LOTS of love your way. ALL of it, in fact

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  3. From a mother to a mother. I am so sorry that this happened. I wish there was something that would ease the pain you feel and explain it all...just know that we are thinking of you and sending you peace and strength. xoxo

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  4. Oh, Lauren. Thank you for sharing your joy and your pain here with us. I've had you on my mind so much lately, particularly as I have a friend whose child died one year and one month after being born with severe health problems. She and I talk about it often, and because I process my own emotion through reading, and she loves to read, too, I recommended books. That was all I knew to do. And the one thing that she says has helped her is a line in one of them (Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, by Ann Hood):

    “Grief is not linear. People kept telling me that once this happened or that passed, everything would be better. Some people gave me one year to grieve. They saw grief as a straight line, with a beginning, middle, and end. But it is not linear. It is disjointed. One day you are acting almost like a normal person. You maybe even manage to take a shower. Your clothes match. You think the autumn leaves look pretty, or enjoy the sound of snow crunching under your feet. Then a song, a glimpse of something, or maybe even nothing sends you back into the hole of grief. It is not one step forward, two steps back. It is a jumble. It is hours that are all right, and weeks that aren't. Or it is good days and bad days. Or it is the weight of sadness making you look different to others and nothing helps.”

    Viola and Evelyn. Beautiful.

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  5. My second daughter is was born just a couple of days before your girls, and I have been thinking of you and praying for you as the first birthday has come around. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I'm so sorry that you lost Evelyn, and I know you and your family still miss her so much. Thank God for heaven - she's in good hands until you're reunited someday.

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  6. Your words have such power and feeling. Thank you for sharing and know prayers follow you.

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  7. Thinking of you and hoping that with each day, you only remember her more vividly and celebrate the life of Viola who will live on with her sister's spirit in side of her.

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  8. i think about you all often - you're in so many random people's prayers!

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  9. This is pure & honest and thank you for sharing. You're touching people all over the world even if you don't know it!

    Amanda

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  10. I know a lot of (not all) what you're going through. My firstborn, a little boy, died when he was 8 days old. I have 3 healthy children now & loosing him changed the course of my life but taught me at a young age (25) what was truly important to me and I thank God for my son's gift to me. Many people spend their life chasing this. I still grieve for him as you will Evelyn but like you I count my blessings xxx

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  11. thinking of you, tyler and viola today. im sure your little girl is smiling in heaven. xo jillian

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  12. Some things just need to be kept off the internet for all to read. Most people will wholeheartedly understand that. I'm so sad that you all had to go through this but you are right, this world is fleeting and one day you'll be reunited! :)

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  13. I'm staring at the comment box, thinking about what I should type... because I know that no words can ever take away any of your pain and your conflicting emotions today. Just know that you are loved and thought of and constantly prayed for - Tyler and Viola, as well! I think that your family is doing a beautiful job of carrying Evelyn's spirit within your hearts.

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  14. I continue to be humbled of your strength and faith in our Good Lord. Thank you for continuing to share...

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  15. Thank you for sharing this beautiful, inspiring, genuine post. Your continued joy and faith, reflected so clearly in the amazing Viola, visible even to those of us across the globe who have never met either of you, is truly incredible. I know the grief will never really go away but the best gift you can give either of your daughters is this joy.

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  16. I can't imagine what you guys have gone through the past year. I think you are incredibly strong and Viola is lucky to have you both, and a sister waiting and watching over her in Heaven.

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  17. I am praying for you and your family! All my love to you. xoxo

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  19. Whoops-sorry tried to correct a type and it deleted. Beautiful post. I also lost my daughter very suddenly and unexpectedly 2 days after birth. I will never forget the day that her heart stopped but mine kept beating. It's a day that will haunt me forever but behind the dark clouds come waves of light when I least expect it. She would've turned 3 next month. I can tell you the anticipation of her first anniversary of her death was far worse than the actual day and every year I can smile a little more on her day and see how she has changed the lives of people around her. I will pray for your strength and that you & your family can find some peace from within knowing that their precious little lives make a tremendous impact on the world around us.

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  20. I cannot imagine how hard this year has been for you & your family. Your strength & love for your daughters helped your through this year (and beyond). Evelyn is an extremely lucky girl. She is Viola's guardian angel. My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Tyler, and Viola. It will be a wonderful day when you meet again.

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  21. What a beautiful post! I know I cannot imagine your loss but as a new mother I can imagine your joy. You've had to balance both ranges of emotion for the past year and I can only imagine the toll its taken on you. You've done a wonderful job walking that fine line of honoring what would have been and celebrating what is. You continue to hold your head high and I can see that you work hard to create a life full of wonderful memories for your little viola. That is something to be so proud of and I'm sure on many days when the sadness appears that can be a challenge. Thank you for your honesty, the internet needs more of that. Real blogs about real people. And thank you for sharing your adventures. I love following along as you travel throughout Europe from my desk and couch in Seattle. Sending you much love on this special occasion.

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  22. this just makes my heart sting for you guys. i cannot imagine the mix of emotions you felt a year ago and will continue to feel as you bring up such a beautiful and sweet little lady without her sister. sending prayers of peace for your precious little family!

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  23. All I can write is that I am thinking of you all and sending you lots of love xxxxx

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  24. I believe you could not have expressed it more beautifully. Sending lots of love.
    Svenja
    x

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  25. Blowing you love and the very best of wishes.

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  26. Your beautiful writing is tribute to her. Sending prayers for her, for Viola and for you and Tyler.

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  27. lauren. sending you hugs, love, peace. everything good. can't begin to imagine the complicated feelings it all brings. viola's birthday and then the anniversary of a death two days later. i believe you'll be with the sweet evelyn again. but the waiting, i'm sure, is inexplicably hard. xoxo.

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  28. I cannot begin to imagine the grief you and your sweet family has dealt with over the past year. Prayers continue to be sent your way.

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  29. I can't imagine how painful this past year has been but have been amazed at how you have dealt with it on your blog. I think the hardest part about blogging is being honest with the not-so-glamorous parts of your life, never mind the most heartbreaking. I've loved seeing photos of Viola & can only imagine if Evelyn was next to her.

    I think about your family a lot, especially now that I've had my own. Your words always bring me to tears & I think they are a comfort to anyone who has lost, details shared or not.

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  30. You are an incredible human being. I read this last night and cried and cried. You are so strong and have such an amazing way with words. God bless you and your lovely family and god bless your sweet angel, Evelyn.

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  31. I have a (almost) one year old, too, and I've thought of your family often over the past year and what it is like to walk the tightrope between joy and grief. You do it so gracefully. Will continue to think of you all and beautiful Evelyn as you continue on your journey. xxx

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  32. lauren, your courage and positivity this year astounds me. i am thinking of you and your sweet family and sending you as much positivity as i possibly can.

    and you will all be reunited one day of that i am sure...xoxo

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  33. Lauren, you're great!
    That's all...I really don't know what I would have done, if I were you...but you went on with your life, giving to your little girl all the love that you feel, you always look happy, and I see that you and Tyler are so tight-knit....
    I really wish you the best, because you really deserve it! more than others!
    Ti mando un superabbraccio!!!

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  34. We love you, Lauren. Your tremendous faith and positive attitude are truly inspiring. I don't know you in "real life," but I often think of you as a friend and your blog inspires me. Thank you for sharing your other sweet girl's name - Viola and Evelyn - so beautiful!

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  35. In response to not knowing how to write about ones daughters death: http://www.sheyerosemeyerphotography.com/blog/2012/02/exhale/

    Sheye does it beautifully. As do you.

    I think of one of her posts from a few years ago quite often: http://www.sheyerosemeyerphotography.com/blog/2009/03/a-thousand-hearts/

    I like to think that in reading that post, in the future I'll be a better mother than I otherwise would have been. Your sharing helps more people than you probably realize. Thank you for sharing as much as you do. Lots of love and prayers coming to you and Tyler and Viola and Baby B.

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  36. Been praying for a lot with the birthday and anniversary arriving. Hope Voila had such a good day and that you guys know a lot of people were celebrating and praying for your family

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  37. God bless you all. I so admire your courage to share, your strength and your ability to take care of your precious girls. Your example is more than words, and you're in my prayers.

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  38. What a beautiful name. And a beautiful post. Two children that look like Viola makes me heart hurt almost more than I thought it could. I'm so sorry that your family had to experience that loss. I know these are dumb words, but I can't even imagine. You are amazing and strong and both of your girls are lucky to have you as their mom.

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  39. I have been thinking about your family this week. You are an amazing woman.

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  40. You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful mother. Sending you love and prayers from a stranger across the pond.

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  41. Your beautiful post honoring Evelyn brought tears to my eyes. I know we don't know each other, but I am thinking of you and your family. As a fellow mother, I can't begin to imagine what you're going through, but I am in awe of your strength. Thank you for sharing Lauren. Lots of love xx

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  42. That was beautiful! Sending you a big hug!

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  43. Oh Lauren. I am sending you hugs from SC. What beautiful words for your beautiful girls. Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers this past year...and will continue for days to come. I am so glad you have found so much love and support!

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  44. you are so strong, and your viola is lucky to have you as an example. she will learn that through heartache, you can find clarity, and that the search makes you who you need to be. sending good thoughts your way.

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  45. A beautiful post. I read it earlier today and keep thinking about it. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  46. Beautifully written. Viola is so lucky to have you as her mummy. Sending lots of love and do know you are in my thoughts xx

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  47. Lauren, I can't imagine what you have gone through in the past year. Thinking of you. xo

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  48. Lauren,

    Ever since I got the text from Caroline, I have been in prayer for you and Tyler. I'm so so sorry that you have had to go through this. Praying for y'all!

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  49. Such a beautiful post and beautiful tribute to your daughter. Hugs and prayers as you remember your sweet Evelyn on her birthday. xo.

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  50. Such a wonderful tribute to your little angel Evelyn. My thoughts have been with you as have my prayers. Viola is a very lucky little girl to have two loving and wonderful parents.

    Take care of yourselves,
    Elizabeth

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  52. My friends lost their daughter thirteen years ago. They knew she had a congenital heart problem from the first ultrasound. She was born, survived one surgery, and died soon after. Thirteen years and, while the pain is not as acute, it is still poignant. They get through each year by remembering God's love and sovereignty, and honoring Maggie's short life.

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  53. Lauren, I never comment, but I'm always reading and thinking about you and your family. Motherhood is just the most painful and beautiful experience…and seeing you handle it all with such grace is truly inspiring. Sending love to you, Tyler, and Viola from me and my little guy!

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  54. I comment very rarely but I just had to say thank you to YOU for being so brave to put your story out there. This post broke my heart a little bit as I wasn't privy to the specifics until now. Happy birthday to Viola and Evelyn and much love to you all, xoxoxoxoxo

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  55. You are so loved and supported, and I am thinking of you all and praying for you during this sad but joyous time. Precious hugs to angel Evelyn x

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  56. I don't know what to say other than: so much love to you and Tyler and Viola and Evelyn for this past year and for all the years to come. All four of you will always be in my thoughts.

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  57. God gives, God takes away, and we don't understand it. But He has a purpose for what He does... not that it is much comfort when you lose a child. I'm so sorry. She'll always be your baby, and she deserves to be celebrated and mourned. You and yours are in my prayers!

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  58. You are a class act. Only you could have handled it with such grace.

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  59. Such a beauttiful post, beautifully written. And I agree with the above... your the definition of a class act. Sending prayers and love from across the pond :) xo

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  60. This is such a beautifully written post, Lauren. I can't even imagine how your hearts must ache. Viola is a blessed little girl to have two wonderful parents and I know that the love you carried/still carry in your heart for two must be overflowing into her own heart. Hugs from FL. XX

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  61. You have a great family behind you and each day will get easier with time. God does everything for a reason and you will have an eternity to get to know Evelyn better. Viola is the blessing of both girls and she is so lucky to have Tyler and you as her parents. I will continue to ulift you in prayers.

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  62. Prayers and love beautiful family! Yall are one of a kind

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  63. Life truly is so fragile and precious. I know that losing Evelyn must make you yearn for Heaven. Happy Birthday Evelyn and Viola! Viola, we are so thankful for your life...you are a reminder that God is still faithful even in tragedy and pain. Your family is so special Lauren.

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  64. You guys are always in our thoughts.

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  65. You are an inspiration. I just found you via Cassie (Hi Sugarplum). Thank you for being so authentic and real. My heart is heavy for you but also encouraged by your faith. God is using you.

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  66. I just discovered your blog today (via recommendations on Cup of Jo). I realize i'm a bit late now, but happy first birthday to your beautiful Viola and happy first birthday to your Evelyn too. My husband and I celebrated the first birthday of our twin girls, Sadie & Josie, this past November. Both of our beautiful girls didn't survive. It's strange celebrating the birthdays of ones who aren't here. Our stories aren't the same, but we too miss our girls and think of the milestones they would be celebrating, but even more, find hope in God. Thank you for your words and your honesty; they are filled with grace and hope.

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  67. I've only recently discovered your blog and can't believe it has taken me this long, because it's amazing. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. Thank your for being vulnerable and sharing your story and your heartache. May God's love and presence continue to lift you up and cradle you in His grace. Much love to you and your family.

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