Haddie Bo Bo,
Just because your not here doesn’t mean that you get away with being the “little sister”.
The other day I went into Elo’s room and she showed me a toy figurine that had broke. I asked her, “What happened?”
“Haddie Bo Bo climbed up the stairs, and over my gate, and chewed it off.” She said.
I laughed and I thought, “You’re not even here and you still get blamed.”
She has been blaming you for more and more things around the house. Right now I can’t seem to think of the other things.
Yesterday we went to the gym for a playdate with Everett and Crew. On our ride home Elo was whining and said, “I miss my Haddie Bo Bo.” 3 year olds grieve too. Maybe she doesn’t understand everything that is going on but she knows your not here and she misses you.
Your story has changed lives, Haddie, and I am so proud. Over the passed couple weeks I have had two people reach out to me. One person I have known for awhile, but haven’t seen in years. She is a stay-at-home Mama of two boys. She shared with me the following:
“I’m not afraid to speak Haddie’s name and show you even just one more small purpose fulfilled with her life.
I want you to know that my second baby is now ten months old. And I think about you and Haddie almost daily as I spend time with him at this age. When I’m tempted to busy myself with other things, when I’m exhausted because he woke me up three times last night, when I wish he would just play by himself while I finish the dishes (but instead hangs on my leg) I think of Haddie. I think of how she didn’t get to live this long. I think of how any one of these days was like your last day with her. I think of how you ache for her and I drop what I’m doing and I play with him. I put my phone down, stop trying to tidy the house, stop getting annoyed with the small things and I just hold him tight. Haddie reminds me not to take any one of these precious days for granted. And I’m thankful to her and I’m thankful to you for that.”
Her words are truly a gift…and I am sure she doesn’t realize how much they mean to me. Although I feel that your death itself was meaningless this brings meaning to it. You have changed a life.
Another person who contacted me is someone I have never met. She has followed your story from the very beginning and has been a faithful supporter of our family. She lives far away and yet I have felt very supported by her. She took the time to write me a handwritten letter that was 3 pages long. That alone says so much. She boldly writes that, “Haddie has changed her life and how she parents her children”.
She came across my letters to you on Instagram and started reading, she shared the following with me:
“I read one, then another, and another, until I was sobbing uncontrollably on my couch with my dog looking at me like I was crazy. My two daughters lay in their beds sleeping. Yours was not. I have not ever forgotten that. Every night I put them to bed. Every morning they wake up. Everyday they come home alive I think of you and Haddie. You have deepened my sense of appreciation for their lives in a way I cannot describe. The second I read your blog I ran up to her room and took every stinking unnecessary blanket and toy our of her bed so there was nothing but her sheet and her left in there. You have changed our life.”
This reminds me that your life was a gift, and God continues to use your story. He uses your story whether I am ready to accept it or not. At 9 months old you have changed lives, and saved lives. Going through this tragedy has definitely made me questions every single thing I have ever believed. I have said awful things to God, and I have thought horrific things in my head. But I know He has not abandoned me. Even though I am not ready to say phrases like “God has a plan” or “God is using Haddie’s death for good” etc. It is happening. God doesn’t need me to to do these things. I don’t know if I will ever say those things, because it hurts to much, and that’s ok. Some days I am able to cling to my faith and other days I feel like I completely reject it. But I think that’s all part of grief and living here without you.
No one understands what we go through unless they have lost a child too.
There are people who don’t understand, but can put themselves in our shoes and really try their best to support us in any way possible. The two ladies mentioned in this blog fall into this category and I love them for that. We do have many people in our lives that have been walking every step of this journey with us and grateful doesn’t even describe our feelings.
There are also people out there that are just not safe. They don’t get it, they don’t try to get it, and your grief makes them uncomfortable. So they ignore it, sometimes they ignore you, they don’t ask about it, they don’t speak your name, they don’t think of you. They try to give advice on something they can’t or shouldn’t and it is mostly offensive. I try to tell myself that they don’t get it and I let it go (I try). You would be surprised that the people you think would get it…don’t, and the people you wouldn’t expect to “get it” do.
So I am going to spell it out for people that “don’t get it”. Our pain is permanent. You are still part of our family. I always want to hear your name, yes I might cry, that’s ok. I want to see your name written on cards and not left out. There are many ways to include you on special days like holidays. Not mentioning you during those times or pretending like this didn’t happen to our family is like a knife in our backs. Phrases like, “At least you still have Elo” are never appropriate. When in doubt about what to do ask us. If we know that you are truly trying and your intentions are good we appreciate it NO MATTER WHAT. We know this is hard for people and some don’t know what to do or how to act. I don’t expect perfection maybe just grace, I don’t expect people to understand how I feel, or why I do certain things, and can’t do others. I just expect them to accept what we need. Every day is different and some days are great and we function normally and other days are not great and we barely function. There is no warning, or foresight into when this happens, it just does.
So to sum it up…we appreciate any and all support. We understand that everyone doesn’t get it, and as long as intentions are good we are thankful.
We are thankful for all the support and the people that walk this journey with us.
I love you baby! I am telling your story tomorrow on the news WZZM. I will also tell your story on WGRD at 9:50 ish.
Missing you always,