Sunday, May 5, 2013

Three Weeks...

Dear Gavin,

Today has been three weeks - exactly - since you died.  And today, in some ways, small parts of me are dying, too.
I feel like I can't take a deep breath.  It makes me think of you.  Were you struggling to try to breathe in that emergency room?  Were you trying to breathe with the ventilator forcing air into your lungs?  Am I somehow feeling what you were feeling?  It would somehow bring me comfort if I knew that were true.
I feel like my chest is tight and constricted.  It makes me think of you.  Did you feel them pushing and pushing on your sweet little chest?  Did you feel any pain, Gavin?  I can't bear the thought of you lying there aware - like you were trapped in a lifeless body but felt everything.  It's more than I can take.
I feel so tired.  I could go to bed right now, at 1pm, and stay in bed until tomorrow.  It makes me think of you.  Were you tired?  Did you want to go home before my birthday?  Were you holding on for us even though you were tired of fighting?  It would be like you.  You were always so generous.
The tears can't stop today.  I want to go back.  I want to rewrite this part of your life with a very different ending.  The ending where this never happened.  I just miss you so, so much.  Everything about you.  Did you cry inside?  Did you try to tell us that you didn't want to go?  Do you miss us, Gavin?
I am trying my very best to be available and present to your brother.  He is my biggest priority - and Daddy's, too.  I know you would want that.  He talks about you all the time.  He is still sleeping in your bed (and even wants it zipped up so he can sleep like you did!)... 
...he plays on your iPad... and he sings your favorite songs.  Today, we sat in bed and read books.  One book was about a little girl who climbs with her Dad to the top of a lighthouse.  Her Grandfather - and his father - loved that lighthouse and he had just died.  High above the ocean, she asked her Dad, "Can Grandpa hear me?" and she yelled into the sky GRANDPA!!!  They waited a long time until her Dad finally said, "He's not going to answer." I wanted to throw that book out the window.  I wanted to go back four pages and make up a better ending.

Instead, Brian and I flung open the two windows in the room - windows that are just low enough so you could stick your head right into the screen.  Out into the back yard we took turns yelling "HI GAVIN!!"  "I LOVE YOU, GAVIN!!"  "I MISS YOU, GAVIN!!!"  and finally, after we exhausted ourselves (and possibly concerned the neighbors), we yelled "BYE GAVIN!!!"
I closed the windows and heard, "Mama?"

"Yes?"

"I know Gavin heard us.  The birds were chirping a lot a lot a lot.  Gavin told the birds to do that for us.  Heaven is everywhere."

I felt relief.  I want him to know that Heaven isn't some place above the clouds that is completely inaccessible.  I WANT him to know... to believe... that Heaven is everywhere.  That wherever he is, he can talk to you and you will hear him.  And sometimes, in some way, he'll get a response.  I want him to know that he doesn't need to shout from the windows into the sky (although there was something cathartic about that, I must admit) in order for you to hear him.  He can talk to you in his mind - with his heart - and you will be there.  You will always be by his side.  Forever.
Three weeks passed by so quickly.  Too quickly.  It feels like an hour ago that you and I shared those special moments in bed together the morning of my birthday.  
That night, as we heard "Time of death..." echo in the room, part of me died with you.  I think that's normal for any Mother who has their child ripped from them - whatever their age.  A part of you had always been inside of me.  And a part of me had always been inside you.  My life, my heart, my soul... 
...nothing will ever be the same without you, Gavin.


Love,
Mommy.





50 comments:

  1. Your words and pain rip right through my heart. I wish I could somehow provide you with comfort but that is impossible. All I can do is offer you my prayers, virtual hugs and the rainbows I am sending your way.

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  2. Praying for your baby, your family, and your peace of mind today.

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  3. With each blog you post, my my heart breaks that much more. It is so unfair that you had to say goodbye to Gavin so soon in his life. It seems so unfair that you have had so much pain in your life and your heart. It seems so unfair that Brian has to grow up without the comfort of a brother. Yes, life is so unfair, but I have to believe that God has his plan outlined for us and although it may come with a lot of heartaches and pain, it will in time make us a better person. Will continue to keep you and your precious family in my prayers.

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  4. Oh Kate - This is such a beautiful letter to your precious son. Im so incredibly sorry for your loss. I pray every night for the Lord to hold Ed, Brian and yourself during this unspeakable loss.

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  5. Oh Kate.
    How I wish I could bring you comfort, even just the slightest bit.

    Still praying.
    You guys are ALWAYS in my heart and thoughts.

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  6. Ouch. This was a doozy just to read. I can't imagine BEING you.

    HUGS.
    Tricia

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  7. My heart is breaking with yours. I know it would be so simple for me to say, "buck up, it will get better,"... but I am not in your shoes. But...from what you have shared with me, with all of us, about that darling little boy, I think that Gavin would not want you to be sad. Gavin would want you to continue chasing those rainbows for him. Please try to remember that, even if it's sporadic, during your ongoing grief.

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  8. I have no words of wisdom. Just know that I (whom you don't know!) am sending you PEACE with all of my heart.

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  9. Bless you and yours. Biggest hugs possible. I hope you will feel Gavin's presence and love around you and that it will bring you some measure of comfort.

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  10. I am right there with you sweet mama. Part of me died with my son also. Biggest of big hugs. Please be gentle on yourself <3

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  11. Thank you for sharing your journey and being so very honest and open with your readers. May God grant your family the strength and peace you need as you grieve your unexpected loss.

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  12. Dear Kate,
    I honor your grief today. I applaud that you are living your pain out loud. I take a strange pride in seeing that although you accept comfort when it comes to you, you are not looking for it. I would expect nothing less from Gavin's momma. I continue to pray for small mercies for you and your family.

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  13. Crying with you, far away in Brooklyn. You have many, many people praying for you, that G-d give you the strength to get through this. No mother should feel the heartbreak of burying her child.
    You are such a positive role model for us, your class, your beauty, your ability to be so honest and articulate with your emotions. You are a role model of what an excellent mother should be. I don't know how many of us have given so much love to our children as you have to Gavin and Brian. Gavin was so lucky to have you as his mother, his advocate, his pillar of strength. I am in awe of your grace and dignity and thoughtfulness even in the face of so much pain. Wishing you strength and peace. HUGS.

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  14. You know how you said that you believe that our souls sit down with God before we're born and they plan out that blueprint for our lives? Well, I think our faith is the same way - we arrive on this earth with a clear picture of who our Creator is and our faith in Him is often greatest and clearest when we are children. Brian exemplifies that. His faith that Gavin can hear him is an example of that. You are right in that they are our greatest teachers.

    I believe that Gavin CAN and does hear him - and YOU and Ed and Miss Sara and anyone and everyone who loved him. And how blessed he is to have all of this love bombarding him. I think he was as lucky to have you all as you all were to have him. Praying for you and your family - today and always.

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  15. Hugs and prayers kate. The pictures you shared are beautiful, so beautiful.

    I am so very very sorry... love and prayers!

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  16. Brian is right, you know. Gavin was there in the birds, trying to comfort you. The spring after my mother's death, every time I was in the yard working on gardens, I would hear a cardinal sing, "Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty." And I would think, "Hello, Mom." Then, one day in late spring, I was doing yard work in preparation for my daughter's graduation party. I was feeling harried and frantic, and certainly not joyful about all the work. Just then the cardinal sang, "Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch." Yup! That would have been my mother! May you find peace as you travel this new uncharted road.

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  17. Holding you and your family in my heart. Gavin's story has touched me deeply. Prayers for peace and healing ....

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  18. Praying for comfort for you. I can't imagine what you have been through.

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  19. Crying. Prayers. And love. I'm so so sorry.

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  20. wow...this pain is so unbelievable no one should have to feel this. I am so so sorry your baby was such a precious angel and you a blessing as his mother. We are praying for you in Memphis...I cant put into words the ache I feel for you.
    The Culpeppers

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  21. I am glad that shouting was cathartic, who cares what the neighbors think. I am going onto the deck tonight and will be sitting there in the calm, thinking of Gavin. Might even shout "Hi, Gavin" too. xo

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  22. Crying for Gavin and for you...and will be praying for you and your family. Precious babies. Thank-you for sharing your stories.

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  23. Many years ago after a childhood friend passed away suddenly when I was 18, my mom tried to explain to me the unimaginable grief my friend's mother was feeling. It was the first time I started to understand the magnitude of a mother's love. My mom said that Beth's mother would have to learn to live again. She would relearn to breath and to put her feet on the floor in the morning. Her illustration of a mother's grief has stayed with me always. As I read your words to Gavin tonight I even more appreciate my mother's wisdom. I am truly sorry for you unimaginable loss. Peace and blessings, Sarah

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  24. Kate,

    I have been following your blog for weeks. Selfishly, I have never been able to let you know how deeply your story has touched me. Working in special education, I am privileged to see so many families advocating for their children. But today I feel compelled to speak about Brian. The way you are helping him process the loss of his brother is beyond words. Your compassion and sensitivity to his needs right now is so...so...saintly? Magical? I can't seem to find the words. Brian is so lucky to have you as his mom.

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  25. The third picture just broke my heart. I'm so sorry he can't be physically here with you now. I am watching the sunset at Caribou and am crying as I'm picturing mr. Gavin in heaven, dancing. I can also see him leading a trail of littles, hand-in-hand, like a row of ducklings. I'm sure they are the littles from your womb, whom the Lord has kept and raised for you in heaven. I see him sharing stories with them [cross-legged, in a circle, of course!] about his time here on earth, and about their parents and brother and the love they shared. I can see the other littles, mouths-gaped, in amazement of the greatness of the love that is being shown here on earth! I don't know if words from a stranger are of any comfort when there is such deep pain, but I wanted to write this to you because I am so encouraged by the great and mighty purpose that Gavin had in his short time here on earth. I can only imagine how great his purpose is in heaven! A natural leader, he is!

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  26. I am so sorry for your loss. It is a sentence that you must be getting sick of hearing, but it covers everything. I wish the world could stop for you for a little while. I am so sorry.

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  27. Still praying with all my heart. I hope that all of the prayers and intentions for Gavin and your family will soon bring your heart some comfort. God Bless

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  28. Bearing through 3 weeks is an amazing accomplishment. Take a second to acknowledge yourself for the mountain you just climbed. you are meant to do great things Kate. You are amazing. Do u realize? I hope u take time to be gentle and forgiving with yourself.

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  29. You are so right - nothing will ever be the same without Gavin. Gavin's loss contains the loss of an entire future world that would have had him growing older in it. A much, much happier world for you and your family and for many of us that had yet to meet him. It is so unfair. I am so very sorry.

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  30. wrapping you up in love. holding you all so tight, in my heart. praying, praying, praying. He can hear you. He will be with you- in your heart, in the bird's song, in the wind.

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  31. Kate, I just recently was introduced to your story through your guest blog on momestory. I spent 3 hours reading your blog that night& sobbed for you & your family. I have not stopped thinking of you & praying for you & your son & husband. I just wanted to say that you are loved by so many who have never even met you. I will continue to pray that our loving savior will wrap his arms around you & comfort your shattered heart. May God bless you with a peace that passes all understanding & may he restore your joy. Blessings to you, Crystal

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  32. Of all the pictures in all of your posts/blogs the one that is most amazing to me is the one of you and Gavin when he was just a newborn. You radiate such love and joy it is incredible. Praying daily and always for all of you. Gavin was so blessed to have you for his mommy as is Brian. I pray for you and Ed to love each other continually as you move forward holding your shattered hearts together.

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  33. Just when I think that I can't cry any more, I read your next blog posting and burst into tears. Thanks for your raw honesty. I know you are not the only mommy who is going through a loss; it is a gift to the rest of the world for us to have the 'insider' view of your grief. I found your blog just as you were saying goodbye to Gavin in the hospital. And have thought about you/prayed for you ever since then. Especially the week of the funeral. You said goodbye to your miracle baby on Monday and Tuesday; on Friday morning, my miracle baby was born. My husband and I have a 6 year old daughter. We had no problems getting pregnant with her. Then it was 4 years of 'secondary infertility'. My daughter prayed for a baby brother or sister every single night for TWO YEARS. A fertility expert told us two years ago that we should consider IVF if we 'had' to have another child. We decided to be grateful for our healthy, happy child and be 'one and done'. Imagine our shock when we discovered that I was pregnant. My husband is 40, I was almost 39. Sometimes medical 'experts' aren't experts, especially when it comes to the prayers of a child. I only share that part of my story because I'm so touched with how much Brian loves Gavin and keeps his spirit alive. What a gift (however painful right now) to you! And I want to say "Thank you" because even though I hate how I look in pictures, I am forcing myself to take a lot of 'selfie' photos with my new baby... I may not love how I look in the photos but she deserves to have photos of her mommy. You have deeply impacted my own journey as a mother. Blessings to you and your family. Tanya

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  34. Wishing you, Ed and Brian being held by lots of love, peace, and warmth today ... for the weariness, the pain, the loss ......

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  35. Continual hugs to you Kate and to Ed and Brian. And no I don't think shouting is cathartic(whatever that means). You can talk to Heaven why not shout? :)

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  36. I stumbled upon you by accident today. What a beautiful tribute to your little boy. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  37. (sob) sharing your sorrow, sending you love, offering up prayers.

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  38. Your children are so lucky to have you as their Mom. Sending you love, love, love. Strength to get through the moments. and Peace.

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  39. Young children are so open and honest. I do believe they feel the presence of others that we may not see. When Brian said "I know Gavin heard us. The birds were chirping a lot a lot a lot. Gavin told the birds to do that for us. Heaven is everywhere." you can trust that is the truth. ((HUGS))

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  40. I only learned of Gavin's life today, and then found out he was gone...
    Watching the video of him playing in the ocean filled my eyes with tears and my heart with joy. Such a short life, but so FULL of love and wonder and generosity and strength.

    I wish you comfort, peace, love, healing, and a healthy pregnancy.

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  41. Todays blog really made me cry.The way you write is so powerful that it makes its readers feel that we are right there beside you going through the motions and feeling your pain so deeply. It would be amazing if you wrote a bio about gavin for a book or movie. I know you dont do think for publicity but I feel that your story has had a huge impact on other, especially those like me who
    has a child with disabilites and I feel your story
    could continue to empower and inspire others in larger range through a book.

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  42. We lost our best friends son, and although he wasn't ours, it was most the difficult thing I can imagine. It will not get easier, but you will learn to live with the loss. It's so hard and so unfair and I'm so sorry. One foot in front of the other, one breath in, one breath out. That's all you can do.

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  43. Your story has moved me...the last picture with the bus sent me over the edge. I recently got custody of my grandson that is special needs and I have a 7 year old daughter...it hit me today what if something happened to him.. how would it effect me...what would my devestation look like..how would it hurt her...I pray for you!

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  44. Oh my. I wish I could give you a big, big hug. I am just now learning to pray again (I've been away from it for a very long time...), but I am praying for you and your precious family and sending so much love your way. I'm praying for peace and healing for you, and for a healthy pregnancy. What amazing, miraculous news.

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  45. I love the image of you and Brian screaming from the bedroom window. How freeing that must have felt and how powerful for Brian to hear birds chirping back to you. He seems to know that Gavin is surrounding you. He is surrounding you. Take care of you.

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  46. Thank you for your story. I too buried a child in 1991. You have helped me to have better words, better sentiments to describe that experience. Thank you for breaking yourself wide open for all of us to see. What a gift.

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  47. Kate - Though the pain you feel is truly your own and no one will ever understand completely, I want you to know I get it. I lost my son unexpectedly when he was 4 months old. That was 2 years and 5 months ago tomorrow. Reading your words is like being inside my own mind. No need to respond to this comment, I just wanted you to know I get it because it was important to me when I lost Jack to know I was not alone...even though most days I still feel that way. I get it. I'm praying for you and you are not alone.

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  48. Thank you for sharing your life and your family's life with us. Hoping for peace for all of you.

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