Letter to Lucy in heaven

Dear Lucy,

It’s been two days since you left us.

I thought about calling this my last letter to you, but it isn’t. I will never stop writing to you, just like I will never stop loving or missing or talking to you.

We planned your funeral today and picked everything out. You know how Mommy loves to plan, but even I was hard put to enjoy this one. But I hope you will like what we’ve planned for you.

I missed you so much last night. Nights are always the hardest. I wanted to hold you so bad. I just ached to feel your little body in my arms and to kiss your cheeks and your temple and your silky, soft hair. I ended up sleeping with the afghan Grandma made for me over me and one of your sleepers snuggled next to me, just like you used to snuggle next to me. It wasn’t enough, but it helped.

Today, I got my wish. I got to see you and hold you after we planned everything. I was apprehensive at first, but when I saw you lying there, I rushed to you. And you looked so beautiful. And I could not stop touching you and crying and talking to you. I held you as long as I could. And it was wonderful. I got my wish. I held you. I touched and kissed you like I always did and traced every feature. I did my best to memorize it all. I didn’t want to ever put you down, but I finally did.

Motherhood is such a physical thing, especially when children are little. You carry them in your body. You give birth to them. You nurse them. You feed and clean and dress them and carry them everywhere. They are constantly physically close to you. I am so accustomed to holding you. I need you in my arms.

I am so glad that I was the first and last person to hold you in this life. I wish I had been holding you when it happened. I hope they are right that you just went to sleep. I am so sorry you were alone. If you had to take your last breath while I was living, I wanted to be there for it.

I feel so guilty about not taking you to the doctor that last day. I actually dreamed about you dying the night before it happened and I was so sad and worried the next morning. But I thought it was just a dream. I thought my gut was screaming at me that you needed to see a doctor sooner, because of the dream. I really thought the next morning was soon enough for the doctor.  We talked to the transplant coordinator and Dr. Wright and they thought it was ok to wait. But it wasn’t.

It might not have made a difference if I had taken you to the ER that day, but I would have known I did everything I could. I go back and forth between thinking this was inevitable and it was better you weren’t in the hospital when you died and thinking you would be alive and farther up on the transplant list if I had just listened to my gut. Maybe this was your time and it’s good you had a fun weekend at home with your family going to birthday parties and museums instead of spending your last days hooked up to machines in a hospital.

I just wish you were still here. I wish I knew this wasn’t my fault. But the hospital might have just prolonged the inevitable and Daddy and I never wanted that for you. We never wanted you to live your life in the hospital. All through your last hospital stay, all we wanted was to have a chance to bring you home and give you a normal, happy life for as long as we could. And it seems like we ended up doing that. When I think about it that way, I don’t feel so bad. But if the hospital could have saved your life and gotten you to transplant and a longer life, I don’t know if I can forgive myself. And I might never know for sure. But I can’t be selfish.  What matters is that we had a beautiful last two months with you and you are free. We experienced normalcy and happiness. You are no longer struggling in a body that isn’t strong enough for you. You are no longer taking medicines everyday and being poked and prodded and examined.

In honor of you, my girl, I am going to live more fully. That is part of the reason I am writing today. I have always wanted to write and I have never given it a real chance. But I will now. I am making that promise to you now and hopefully that will be enough to finally make me keep it.  I have had the gift of 34 years and I will hopefully have many more. I want to make them count. I want to live for the both of us. I am going to be the best I can be. I am going to do the things I am meant to do.

Once again, you are teaching me and making me a better person. Honestly, I would rather be a shitty person and have you still here, but this is the road I am on. And I am going to embrace it and live every day grateful that I had you and grateful I am here.

I envisioned you last night in heaven with all of the great-grandparents you never got to meet. They were passing you around, so happy to be with you and you were giving them the biggest smile. I hope you are with them. I hope you feel happy and strong and can run and walk and never stop. I hope you never feel too tired and sick to smile and laugh. Be free and happy, baby girl. You deserve it. And I will do my best to do the same.

I love you so much. Please know how much I love you and that I tried so hard to do my best. I am sorry for all the times I let you down. You never, ever let me down. You were the perfect daughter of my dreams. Probably too perfect for this world.

I will talk to you again soon, lady baby. I will make you proud. I will learn and live the lessons you taught me. Thank you for being my baby.

All my love, Mama


Holding Lucy’s hand today.


  1. omgrey said,

    May 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Beautiful, my dear friend. Heartbreakingly beautiful. I hope you do write. You have a great talent for it.

    May you find peace.

    • kittymomma said,

      May 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

      Thank you. You, too.

  2. May 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm


    I don’t know you personally but have been following Lucy’s story through the yoga mammas group. You are such an amazing, beautiful, strong person that I am in awe right now. You two were given each other for a reason and I have no doubt that you were the absolute perfect mother for her. I am so, so sorry for your loss but too am glad that she was able to enjoy her last months to the fullest. My heart goes out to you and yours, and just know that you are on my mind daily. Much love from a fellow momma.


  3. Meghan said,

    May 15, 2013 at 12:14 am

    This has brought me some tears. This is beautiful. Messy and beautiful. I hope you feel free to grieve as you wish with no worries of other people’s expectations.

  4. Lisa Mings said,

    May 15, 2013 at 1:03 am

    I’m full of tears, Sara. You and Lucy are forever joined. Someone told me once that the more you love, the more it transcends all boundaries, including this physical world we know. I know this may sound trite and of little comfort to you now but thank you for pouring your heart out here. I hope that you do keep writing! You and all your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Light and love to sweet Lucy!!

  5. May 15, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Sara, I was sent here through your photographer’s page. I am so very sorry. I promise I will think about Lucy as I live my life today. You both have touched my heart very deeply.

  6. Melanie said,

    May 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Sara, your story was passed along to me thru a dear friend & I truly feel blessed for now knowing Lucy’s story. A mothers love is such an amazing gift & reading your words brought a sense of peace & light into my world. I too have a son & daughter & I can only pray that I watch them to grow old but I will try my hardest (even on the most difficult, sleepless days) to remember your words & that feeling I got reading them. I will hug them even tighter tonight in honor of Lucy. You & your family are in my prayers for peace & knowing there was nothing more you could do. The one thing nobody prepares you for is a mothers guilt! It is daily, constant! Thank you for being strong enough to share your story. Keep writing, you never know who your words may touch 😉
    God bless

  7. Jenny Remington said,

    May 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Lovely and loving. What an honor to be Lucy’s momma.

  8. Rachel said,

    May 15, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Sara, it has been so long since I was on the KS list (I read your story through a link from Jonni) that I don’t know if you were one of the Saras I knew there or not. Regardless, I am terribly sorry for your loss. I also want to share something about guilt, from my own experience with loss. My daughter died of a congenital heart defect at the age of nine weeks fifteen years ago. (My goodness. Fifteen years. I don’t even need to tell you anything about those years. It continues to be an unforgettable loss, but if it is any comfort — and it probably won’t be yet — it won’t always be as painful as it is right now.) They had been nine weeks full of medical interventions and machines and hardship for her. If I had known that she was going to die the day that she died and that nothing could have been done about it, I would wish for her the kind of leaving that your girl had. Mine was intubated and I couldn’t be with her and it was just horrible. I have lived with fifteen years of knowing that her last minutes on earth were panicky for her, and no gentler than some of the hardest moments of her young life, and that I wish I could have just given her peace at the end, if the end had to come. And it did have to. I know that this is a time of such terrible pain and loss and that you will still be processing this and grieving for years to come. (Trust me, I know.) I do not expect that my words will help you now. But maybe some time in the future you will be eased by them somehow. You did everything you knew to do. You have nothing to feel guilty about. You can look back and say what-if — and you will; I still do sometimes — but try to move away from a place where you feel guilty or inadequate. You were exactly the mama that your lady-baby needed. Try to hold on to that.

    • kittymomma said,

      May 24, 2013 at 11:35 pm

      I remember you, Rachel. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Your words are a comfort and I appreciate them.

  9. Jodel said,

    May 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Sara, I was sent here through the yoga momma’s group. I am so so sorry for your loss. You are a strong woman to write these words and touch so many other momma’s. Keep writing, your words are beautiful. I can not even imagine, therefore have little words to say except you are in my thoughts and prayers and have touched my life deeply. I will think about you and Lucy throughout my days. Thanks for your words and I send love & healing your way.

  10. Laura said,

    May 15, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Sara – I am a yoga mamma and don’t post much, but just wanted to tell you that I am grieving with you. I am sure that sweet Lucy is so enjoying her experience up above with her sweet great-grandparents. Sending you lots of love, peace and comfort. What a beautiful letter you wrote.

  11. Liz Bailey said,

    May 15, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I have only just heard of your story and in reading this, I sit in silent tears…wanting to hold your hand…and I don’t even know you. You seem amazing and I somehow know your little Lucy was just as amazing! Be strong and may you find more peace each day.
    With love and gratitude for yours and your daughters strength,

  12. Vani said,

    May 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Hi Sara,
    I am really very sorry for your loss and no words can express what you and your family might be going through. Your words about Lucy made my eyes well up. May your beautiful baby girl find a very nice place in heaven and be happy always. Will pray for you and your family to give all the strength in a time like this.


  13. Larry Holste said,

    May 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Hello Sara and family. I don’t know you, but I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Please understand that this was God’s plan for Lucy. i can’t imagine ever losing a child and never have, so I can’t even come close to imagining how you feel. But, you can never question what you should have done or shouldn’t have done. You know as well as any Christian family does, that Lucy is in a much better place now. Just like you said, she can run and play now and be with other family members who passed long before her. Just continue to count your many blessings in life and look at that time that you had with your daughter, as God’s greatest gift to you! At least you had those 15 months with her and I have no doubt some day when you pass, you will meet Lucy in Heaven and she will run to you with open arms. She will be so happy to see you again and you two will be inseperable forever in Paradise. Jesus will be there too and he will ask you to come sit in his lap and I have no doubt he will explain the reasons for all your pain today. God has such a greater plan for all of us that we can’t even come close to imagining why he takes those from us at such unsuspecting or unpredictable times. “Life is not fair”, we say. But, we all really live on borrowed time that Christ has given us to live here on Earth. We just need to make the best of our time while we are here, then some day we will know all of God’s plan and his answers will be revealed to us. So Sara, stop doubting and quesitoning what you should or shouldn’t have done..Our Lord didn’t want to see Lucy suffer any more and thats why he took her to be in Heaven with him. I will continue to pray for you and your familly, that God will poor out his blessings and his abundant peace on you during this very difficult time. Live your life to the fullest, as it sounds like you are planning on doing, and thank and praise God daily, for giving you each new day of life here on Earth. May God’s peace and comfort completely surround you now. In Christs love….Larry H.

  14. Amanda Himes said,

    May 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you for writing your heart, Sara. I’ve loved your other letters to Lucy, but this one is extra special. She was a darling girl and would be so proud of her mama for being strong right now. You were exactly the mother she needed in every way, every day of her life. I wish I could be with you at the graveside service, but I will be thinking and praying for you, Chris, and Max through every minute of it.

  15. Erica said,

    May 16, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Hi Sara, I haven’t met you but I am grateful to be able to read your letter to Lucy. I am a yoga momma – newly – my daughter is just 7 1/2 months. I cried when I read your letter and I cannot imagine what you are going through. The closest thing I have to relate to your experience is that I had a miscarriage the year before my daughter was born. It was devastating. You had your daughter for 15 months on this earth and loved her and really knew her. What a gift! I have to believe that my young unborn baby is in heaven, in the presence of God and family and being immensely happy. And it makes me happy to think Lucy is there too. I believe that God is grieving for you, in the midst of your pain and loss. He is here to comfort you and guide you.

    I also wanted to tell you how inspiring your letters are to me. I wrote letters to my daughter before she was born, but have not written any more to her. I want to make a commitment to start writing her letters again. What a treasure for you and your son to have these amazing memories and words of love to look back on for years and years to come.

    Thank you for being an inspiration. And again, I am very sorry for all that you are going through.

    Much love and peace,

  16. Jordan said,

    May 17, 2013 at 2:18 am

    Hi Sara,
    I don’t know you personally, but I am a fellow Yoga Mamma and had been following your story there. My heart is aching for you and your family. Your post had me in tears, and it is a beautiful reminder to be the best we can be each and every day, no matter what joys or sorrows we are presented with. You are such an inspiration. Sending you love, peace, and strength.

  17. Debi Shaw said,

    May 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Hello Sara, I am your neighbor down the street. We were the “3 older ladies” who brought some food. Not knowing you, I wanted to, so I found you and am so amazed that you share your heart so freely. I love that. I am so so sorry for your tremendous loss of Lucy. Don’t be surprised if I come by to say hello one day and make sure you don’t need something I can do… Even if that is just to say hello to max.. I watch our 11 month old grandson twice a week. He is my joy… I may be old enough to be your mom, but I can listen and I won’t give you advice or tell you how to feel… Again, I will be there in spirit at Lucy’s life celebration tomorrow. My prayers will be there for you, Chris and all your family.. Bless you all, Debi and Scott Shaw…

    • kittymomma said,

      May 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm

      Thank you so much, Debi. It was lovely to meet you. Feel free to stop by.

  18. carolyn kaye said,

    May 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Hello Sara – though we don’t know each other, only through the KS List, I wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss. Your letter to your baby girl is beautifully written and I am sure that she knew how much you and her Daddy loved her.

    • kittymomma said,

      May 19, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      I remember you, Carolyn. Thank you.

  19. kittymomma said,

    May 24, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you so much to everyone who commented on this post and shared stories and words of comfort and praise. Each and every comment means a great deal to me. I’m sorry it took me so long to respond, but as you can imagine, it has been a very busy couple of weeks and, well, I am new to having very many comments to attend to! Reading them all again just now in order to respond was a great gift, so I am somewhat glad I waited. Thank you again.

  20. Kari Lavelle said,

    May 28, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    You and Lucy- and your family have been in my heart since hearing about her passing on the Yoga Mamma list serve. Wishing you peace and happy memories to give you strength. ❤

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