Friday, November 12, 2010


Daisies for Kendall.
Last night, during group, I paid tribute to Kendall – today is the one year anniversary of her death, and the Almighty T thought it would be a good idea to do something to remember her. So, I bought bright, beautiful daisies and gave them to each of my group sisters – then I read them this letter:

Dear Kendall,

As this one year anniversary of your senseless death approaches, I have been filled with an overwhelming sadness. I’ve felt this awful emptiness, like a hole in my heart, at your loss. I’ve felt overcome with grief and with “what if’s.” Kendall, when I found out I was pregnant with you, I was so excited. I was scared as hell but I was so thrilled to be able to have you be a part of our little family. I bought dresses and bows for you. I made you a beautiful little quilt that was going to hold you and keep you warm. I wondered if you’d have dimples like your older brother and I secretly hoped you’d have dark hair like your mommy. Every night I rubbed my tummy and told you I loved you. When I felt you moving inside me, I smiled and laughed out loud.

Group sisters, from left to right: D, me, C, K, L, and M
And then on the day I found out you were gone, when there was no heart beat and I could see your little body, so still and lifeless, my worst fears came true. Losing a child, by far, without a doubt, trumps any other pain or hurt I have ever had to go through. Losing you nearly cost me my life. When you died, I didn’t want to live anymore. I wanted to give up. I couldn’t imagine living in my world without you in it. I felt empty and lost without you inside me. The world was so bleak.

Thinking about this hurts me. So today, instead of focusing on your absence and on what could have been if you were in my arms right now, at this very moment, I want to remember your goodness. I want to remember your short, beautiful little life and all you did for me. I want to remember.

To write love on her arms.  In memory KPB.

So, I go back. I go back and I remember April 6, 2010, your birthday. I remember that cold April afternoon with that freak Spring snowstorm that had everybody bundled up in their winter coats and scarves. I remember clutching that white balloon in my hand that was numb from the cold. I remember reading you a letter, telling you how much I will always love you and treasure you and call myself blessed to be your mother. And I remember crying unabashedly in front of my dearest friends and family. I remember letting myself feel the devastation of your loss and I remember allowing myself to feel sad for me, and not just angry at myself; to actually be able to feel sad that your mommy will never get to look in awe at your incredible birth and life and to watch you grow into an unbelievably amazing woman. To be sad that you’ll never get to be a volleyball player like your mama, or a ballerina or a prom queen or maybe even a policewoman. I was able to mourn for the life you would have lived, for the people you would have touched and changed for the better. My hopes and dreams for you were gone, and knowing I took that away from you is almost more than I can bear. But on that day Kendall, on your birthday, I was able to feel remorse for the cause of your death without harsh judgment or criticism for myself.  That day Kendall, on April 6, I felt free.

I remember holding the balloon’s white string, and trying to squeeze into it all my love and gratitude for you so that when it got to you in Heaven, you’d smile and feel really really happy inside. I knew the time was fast approaching that I was to let go of that balloon, because everyone was shivering in the cold, watching me, waiting for me to release this gift to you. But I panicked. I didn’t want to let it go because Kendall what if that meant letting go of you and your memory and your sweet little life that accomplished so much more than many ever accomplish – you saved a life – my life – how could I let go of that? How could I let go of my grief? Did that mean I was going to forget you or disrespect your memory? I got scared.

But then I steeled myself. I remembered that these balloons were a gift to you. I remember that I was not letting go of my love for you, or for the overwhelming ache I feel every single day at your absence. But I was letting go of my anger at your death, and I was letting go of the blame I caged myself with. So, with that in mind, I gave my balloon one last little kiss. One last kiss for you. And then I opened my hand, and I watched that white balloon sail up into the sky. On my cue, everyone else released their balloons to you too, and we all watched in awe as dozens and dozens of balloons raced up to the sky, flying in different directions and speeds, skipping and stuttering their way to Heaven. To you. And then I thought about all of my friends, from all over the world, who were releasing balloons for you too: from Germany and England and Australia and L.A. and New York and the list goes on and on. All of these people were paying tribute to you, Kendall. All of these people were honoring your life and what you did for me – for the sacrifice you made for me. And I imagined you delighted with these balloons; with these gifts that were sent with care, just for you. In honor of your life. In honor of all you did for me.

Kendall, you are my little hero. You saved me when no one else could. Our love for each other was enough to spring your mommy into action, enough to help her fight for her life. And for that, I will forever be grateful. I will remember you every November 12 and honor you every April 6, on your birthday. I will never forget. So today Kendall, because we have no grave to put flowers on, I give a daisy to all of my group sisters. Flowers have always represented joy and life and growth to me, and I wanted them to have a flower so they can help me remember you and honor you. So they can look at these flowers and smile and be as happy and grateful as I am to be alive. May they learn, as your mama has, to never take life for granted. My hope for them is that they will rejoice in their life and in their recovery, even during the tough times, and believe that they are stronger and more beautiful and courageous than they will ever give themselves credit for. We know these things, don’t we? My hope is that they will learn these things too.

Thank you for giving me so much, more than you ever knew your little life could offer. Selfishly, and tragically, your death taught me to live. And I will never forget that.

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

It felt so good to focus on the good her short, little life brought, rather than focus on the tragedy of it all. Pictured here are my group sisters that I ♥. I don’t know what I’d do without them!

Love you Kendall. Love you always


bananas said...

Brie, the letter is beautiful. What a tribute to Kendall. I'm crying as I write this. The screen is almost too blurry to even read.

Love to you.

Krista said...

So beautiful! I've been checking all day to read this. You do such a great job and writing and what a beautiful remembrance of Kendall. You are amazing!

allegri said...

Absolutely beautiful. This brought me to tears sweet Brie, I am positive darling Kendall is looking down upon you from heaven sending all her sweet giggles + love to you. You have come so far since that day + I completely agree. Not only is she your little angel, she is your little hero. Kendall, for you I write love on my arms + once again on my heart.

With love,
xoxoxo <3 k

Minal said...

Thank you Brie. I know you dont know me but your words save a little part of me each time I read them.

Tiptoe said...

Beautiful letter, Brie-wonderful way to celebrate Kendall. I know she will forever be your angel in the sky.

CG said...

you are such a beautiful person.

Maeve said...

This is a beautiful letter Brie!!

I am perpetually in awe of your unbelievable spirit. It is so rare to see someone with so much love and so much drive. You should be so proud of yourself.

Brooke said...

Brie thanks for sharing that letter with us. It shows so much of you and who you are. You are an amazing person with so much to give. I'm sure Kendall knows how much you love her. I'm so happy that you did get to focus on the positive yesterday in group and have those close friends there with you. I love you sis and am always thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry :*(

You are strong and obviously loved!

Dana xo

Telstaar said...

I loved you both completely. xo

Cammy said...

Hey babe, I was traveling this weekend and so was out-of-touch with blogland, sorry for the late comment. I did definitely think of Kendall, you, and the rest of your family on Friday. This is a beautiful letter and a great idea. You are fabulous mother, and this year especially you've shown so much strength and determination, both of your children have a mom to be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Brie, this is an absolutely beautiful and important tribute to your daughter.

I believe that Kendall will always be with you, watching over her mommy. :)

I love you!

Sarah said...

This made me cry. You are so special, and so is Kendall. I agree with Jenn--she is watching over her mommy :) That makes me smile to think about. I'm so glad you have found meaningful ways to remember her and that you have beautiful friends to help you hold her memory close.

As a side note, your hair looks awesome. I can't get over it.

Brett said...

That was an awesome tribute ... love you sis.

Alexandra Rising said...

Very honest and touching letter. I can really feel your emotions as I read it. Thank you for sharing...and, to you, I send more strength.