When the breath left your tiny body, I didn’t know for sure that “it” had happened. I laid there, willing your chest to rise again, but it didn’t. We placed our hands over your heart as it slowed and eventually stopped just after 3:30am, still not appreciating that it was real. I held you until our nurse arrived to declare what we knew was true. You were gone.
One year ago today, you left the physical world. Your bright eyes and sweet smile exist now only in memory and in the hundreds of photos we have from your short year and four days on earth.
There are a million hopes we had for you- for the long life you were supposed to live. Today, though, I send you these hopes- the ones that I’ve held in my heart every day since you’ve been gone.
I hope you know how much we love you. You completed our family and exceeded any expectation we ever could have had for bringing a baby into this world.
I hope you know much everyone else loved you. You brought immeasurable joy to the lives of our friends and families – even those who never got to meet you in person. The messages and outpouring of love from our village throughout your illness and since your death abound. You mattered to so many.
I hope you know how hard we fought. To get you healthy again, to keep you comfortable and safe. We had to make some hard decisions, but each and every one was made with your comfort and happiness at the very centre. We did our very, very best.
I hope you know your life is making a difference for other kids. We will continue to support children and families who have to deal with childhood illness in any and every way we can. Your name and legacy will echo forever.
I hope you know that your siblings, whenever they join our family, will know you. We will tell your story, and speak your name, and celebrate all that you meant to us every single day. You are a part of our family forever and always.
I don’t know where you are. I hope if there is an afterlife, it’s beautiful and peaceful and that you’re being cared for and protected by all those we love who have passed. The thought that we’ll all be together again someday is one that comforts me on my darkest days.
No matter how far away you sometimes feel, I hope you know my heart will long to hold you until we do eventually meet again – somehow, somewhere.
Today, one year since your death, I hope you know we remember.
Love you, buddy.