Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letting the Strings Fly

Dear Kendall,

Today, we are honoring you. We are honoring the life you could have lived, and the woman you could have been. Because today Kendall, I should be in a hospital crying in pain but also for joy, giving birth to you. I should be anticipating your arrival. I should be wondering what outfit I will first put you in, and I should be arguing with Daddy about what we will name you. I should have an orange and yellow nursery all set up for you, complete with a fashionable wardrobe and that darling designer diaper bag I had my eye on that you know I would have rocked. But instead, today, I am only mourning your loss. I am missing you so fiercly it hurts.

I will never in this lifetime be able to marvel at your fingers and toes and squishy little thighs and thick dark hair. I’ll never know if you have dimples and bright blue eyes like your older brother Cade. But I do know you. I know the wonderful little girl you are, and the amazing, bright, talented woman that you would have grown up to be. I am devastated that I’ll never be able to see these things for a long time to come, until one day when we are reunited, and I get to hug you and laugh with you and tell you lots of stories about Daddy and Cade and all the things you missed out on by being taken from me so early. Yes, Kendall, I am devastated by your loss. But I am also joyful that I got to have you for even the shortest time I did, and I am blessed and grateful to God that I got to know you as only a mother carrying her child gets to know them.

I’ve been so caught up in being angry at your loss. Angry at myself for not being able to save you, and angry at God for taking you away from me far too early. Angry, even, Sweet Baby, at you, for leaving your mama when she needed you so badly to stay with her. And today, Kendall, that is why I am memorializing you. Because I know it is time for me to move on from the anger that consumes me, and move to the peace I can feel from God and all of the people here who love me and you and mourn your loss. I know it is time to let go of my anger and instead be grateful for you and for all you gave me, even when you were just inside me.

Because, Kendall, you gave me strength. Strength I had no idea I even had. You gave me courage to move on from an eating disorder that I have struggled with for ten years. I will always feel your loss in my life; there will always be a small part of my heart that is empty without you here. But your loss has also filled my life and heart with new things. It has filled my life with courage to face the things in my life that hurt me and move on from them, because Kendall if I can grieve for you and still breathe and live and thrive through it all, I know that nothing can stop me from living a happy life with no regret or resentment. When you died, I nearly died. I didn’t want to live anymore. I stopped eating and drinking and when I was in the hospital, having your sweet little body removed from mine, I nearly died. But, against all odds, through everything I’ve put my body through, I am here. I am alive. And I no longer will squander the life I have been given. I will never take for granted life and breathing and laughing again. That would be disrespectful to your short life, and it would be disrespectful to mine for all that I have endured. In short, Baby Girl, you have taught me to live. You have taught me that life is worth living. And, I promise, Sweet Girl, that I will never waste my life again. Your mama is going to make you proud.

Daddy and Cade and I will always miss you. We will never forget you. You will always be my first daughter, my second child. Times will change, new children will be born into our family, but I will never ever forget you and the vital role you play in my life and family and how you have impacted me for the better. I will never forget the life you could have lived. I will never forget how much you inadvertently taught your mama strength and courage and hope.

So, I hope you are in Heaven looking down on us right now, smiling in anticipation for all the balloons that will soon be sailing your way. I hope you will know that each balloon comes with love for you, and love for the life you could have lived. Know that these balloons are not just for you, but for others that people here have lost. I like to imagine that you and the others are in Heaven feeling joyful as we are honoring you and doing our best to let each other know how vital it is to learn and grow from the spirits that were taken from us too early. Letting go of these balloons does not mean that we are letting go of our love for you or for the grief we feel. It is letting go of the anger and resentment that has held us down since we have lost you.

Until me meet again, my baby, hold on to these balloons. For they represent the love and honor we have for you.  You are my little hero.  You saved me when no one else could save me.  And for that, your mama will forever be indebted to you.

You are good. You are my daughter. And I love you.

Love always,


Krista said...

Brie, I posted the pictures I took on facebook so you could copy them. There is a really great one of the balloons taking off. If you want me to take any of them down just let me know. Thanks for letting me be part of your day!

Little Miss Paige said...

Here's to you, sweet girl. You are so strong. I understand, as much as you probably don't want to think that some random girl on the internet might kind of understand. I feel a bit of your pain.

Little Miss Paige

Laur said...

wow, beautiful letter.
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Lindsay said...

That was beautiful. :)

Laur said...

Brie, I'm sorry that I was unable to make it today. I, however, DID think of you. I hope you feel peaceful tonight.

Alexandra Rising said...

This was very touching. The pictures of the balloons flying in to the sky, to Kendall, are amazing.

Flannery said...

Your letter is so beautiful and expressive. You are so brave.
I have no concept of this level of loss. I can only offer you internet vibes of love. Stay strong.

emo said...

I am so happy to see the pictures and letter to Kendall. I wanted to be there. Wish I wasn't so far from everyone. My mom told me what you said was so good and that it was such a special day and your family and friends were real supportive. I love what you wrote to Kendall.The tears keep coming.
Thanks for sharing this :)See you soon hopefully.

allegri said...

Hearing you read that letter broke my heart. It was amazing, I know she loved it. This morning I couldn't get my mind off of her, + I really didn't know what to expect either. I was at a loss for words, I still am... After my heart felt so light, so joy-filled for the beautiful angel dancing in heaven surrounded by white balloons. I know she was smiling down on us today, wondering why her sweet momma would be crying because she is always here with you, she will never leave your sweet side, she will always be your first little girl. Your sweet little angel.

<3 kate

Tanya said...

At 4:02 pm a balloon flew into the sky in memory of Kendall and her sweet life and everything she has given to you. Her memory was felt even though I could not be with you today...I wanted you to know that there was another white balloon that was released down here because I couldn't make it to you. Im sorry I couldn't be there to show my physical support for you...but you are in my heart.

Jenny Bay said...

Brie, I was thinking about you a lot today. What a beautiful letter! It looks like it was a beautiful occasion. I will never know how you must feel, but feel like I can relate in a teeny, tiny way because today would have been my due date also.

Thanks for being an inspiration. It was great to see you yesterday! Love ya!

Em said...

Well done, Brie. I love you.

Devon said...

I feel so blessed to have been there for that joyous occasion today - for what a *beautiful* and *uplifting* one it was.

I left feeling at peace and lighter - a tribute to your strength and grace.

I love you, forever and a day, and am so gateful for the beautiful way in which Miss Kendall effected you.

- Dev

t. said...

what a moving tribute to your daughter, brie.

Kerri said...

That was beautiful Brie.

I didn't have any balloons but today I burned a candle for Kendall and all of the babies that my friends and family have lost too soon...

Telstaar said...

My beautiful friend,

How I wish I could've been with you physically today. Reading the beautiful letter to your daughter bought tears to my eyes and both sorrow and thankfulness to my heart.

You are both precious and will remain so forever. I am sorry that you cannot see more of her now, but one day yr family will be reunited again, in a home tha she has helped our Father to set up.

I love you so much.

Love always
Telly xo

Tiptoe said...

The act of releasing the balloons is so symbolic--one that forever touches your heart.

This is a beautiful letter. I am sure she is looking down upon you and will forever remain your guardian angel. She has played an integrative role in your life and will never be forgotten.

*Hugs* Thinking of you.

Stephanie said...

My darling bestie...
I know that you already told me today that you were glad that I was about to "cry for only the second time this year," today.... I already heard this letter today in person, but reading it now I find myself crying again.
I can't tell you enough times that I am proud of you.
Being there today meant so much to me. Your strength and courage to free yourself has really helped me to see the joy that you can see in grief... that we both can get through it.
I love you so much sis...
I will never forget today and with forever celebrate Kendall Day

Tylaine said...

Brie that was so beautiful! I'm sorry I couldn't make it yesterday I was thinking of you and Kendall. I can not even imagine the heartache you must feel and you are so strong for dealing with it so beautifully! Much Love.

Krystle said...

Oh Brie. This post was so moving. Kendall must be so proud up there. *hugs*

belinda said...

oh babe,
i'm crying.
so so beautiful


lisalisa said...

I sent up a balloon for Kendall, and one for my little one, here in Iowa. I posted the pics on my blog. Thank you for this, it really helped me resolve some feelings from my loss as well, which I never really dealt with.

Thinking of you and your family.

tracy said...

Just beautiful. The color yellow came to my mind as i thought of sweet Kendall, yesterday i bought Kendall's
yellow candle and lit it for her.
Bless you all,

Cher said...

Oh Brie. Everytime I read your thoughts, feelings and impressions of Kendall I am so touched. I'm so sorry her time was so short, but for a little lady, she sure accomplished much on her short mission to this earth. She will never be forgotten. All those who know and love you and all the many lives that you will come to know, love and serve in this life... all the great and wonderful things that you will accomplish on this earth will be a living tribute to your baby girl.

My thoughts and most *peaceful* vibes are heading your way.

wendyorozco said...

this was such a beautiful letter. i was thinking about you a lot yesterday, and praying.

Stella said...


Your letter to Kendall is SO beautiful. In it, you are honest and kind and loving - and I can only imagine the huge smile on your daughter's face when she read it, especially when you called her your "little hero".

How did it make you feel, reading her the letter and releasing the balloons? I hope it was a great step in your healing process :)

Have you thought about making April 6th Kendall's "Day"? You could have some sort of memorial for her every year, anything from releasing balloons again to having a dinner in honor of her - something to keep her memory and spirit alive each year. Just a thought!

Katannah said...

It's all been said... heartbreaking, beautiful, loving affirmation of a life lived very briefly but with such impact. Well done.

Penny said...

Oh Brie, Your words are so profound. They mean so much to me. Your life always has brought me so much love. I am so glad tht you can feel the love from your own daughter improving and making your life better too. The Circle of Life is really a Circle of Love.
Yesterday was a wonderful day on so many levels....I love you--Mom

Anonymous said...

you are a beautiful writer and person. your letter to Kendall really touched me and made me think of not taking my own life for granted as I ashamedly do, alreadky wasting 15 years of my life to it.

Misty said...

That was a special day. I wrote my baby Jace's name and Kendall's name on me and Ali's balloons. I loved your letter you wrote to her and read to us. That was so good to do something so positive to remember Apri 6th.