Our beautiful daughter Emersyn Paige passed away from SMA Type 1 on April 7th,2009 at the age of 7 months old. This blog is dedicated to her life, legacy and spirit and our journey as a family through grief.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Happy 10th Birthday Beautiful Emersyn

It is the night before your 10th birthday Emersyn and I want to write to you now because we will be heading to a special place of yours tomorrow with your sister and brother. We are planning on driving up to Gravenhurst where your Dad and I went for a weekend away when we were in our early years of grief. This was at a time when Isla and Callum were not with us yet and I was not sure if we would ever have more children so we were at a crossroads in our grief. I wasn't up for going anywhere but we decided to go for a weekend away in Muskoka to be closer to nature and you. The plan was we would just feel as low as we felt and just be. Having a plan even it we didn’t follow through with it gave us some comfort.

The first morning away we went for a hike and just as I stopped to sit by the lake your Dad walked to the top of a path and he was shocked at what he saw. He asked me to come and look at what appeared to be one of the most soulful signs from you that we have ever experienced. At the bottom of the path were breathtaking signs that read  “path of memories, we have a dream our children remembered forever” which led us to a Children's Memorial Gazebo on lake Muskoka for bereaved parents. We had no idea this existed and what were the odds that we randomly stumbled upon such a haven at such a low point in our journey? Coincidence was not a possibility it was divinely you and we were in awe, tears, laughter and total disbelief that this was happening! We sat stunned and read the beautiful plaques dedicated to the dear children who have passed and we cried.

Bright blue and red dragonflies had been whizzing around us all day and gave us a visit as we sat down in the memorial. We thanked you for finding us and lifting the veil between heaven and earth just when we needed it most. We called your Granny and Grandpa to tell them where we were and what we had found. We then placed a special request to dedicate a plaque to you and we spoke with the amazing bereaved parents who created this sacred place in honour of their precious child. Your plaque was added to the Children’s Memorial and your Dad and I have been back a few times to visit the place where you truly found us. I wrote a blog here about it for your second birthday as we had to share this sacred experience. We took your sister there when she was a baby but we would like to take both Isla and Callum and show them the place where you found us and gave us hope.

So this is our plan to help us be near you on your birthday. We will go to the beautiful place where the veil was lifted and heaven met earth in that moment in time. I remember trying to convince myself before finding the memorial that I shouldn't need signs to know you are with me.. but I do. I need these moments because I am human and life gets crazy and I need those grounding signs to hold on to you. I need to have moments when our two worlds meet and the noise of life tunes out and I can feel your head in my arms and your heart beating next to mine. The songs on the radio, the messages from friends at just the right time, the children’s memorial that appeared and the fire I feel in my soul to keep going when I have nothing left has to be you. I wonder if you knew in showing us the memorial  that not long after that day I would become pregnant with Isla. I also wonder if you knew that just having a plan for tomorrow to visit this special place has helped us cope with the days leading up to your birthday. I also wonder if you knew that a quiet peaceful drive up there also helps us to cope when you chose this spot. I say I wonder but really I know because I am your Mom and you are mine and we know each other better than I know myself.

Ten years ago on this day my water broke at home around 4pm and I called your Dad and I remember feeling both scared and beyond excited to meet you. I remember sitting in the bedroom by myself getting ready to leave for the hospital and thinking that I wanted to hold you but I also wanted to hang on to you in my pregnancy just a little longer. I remember calling my amazing midwives and working through contractions while talking to them on the phone before they arrived. I remember feeling euphoric after your long and beautiful birth and I felt a sense of fullness that I never knew existed. I remember my Mom walking in the hospital room and I was holding you just as proud as a Mama bear. I know every parent feels their baby is the most special and I was no different as I felt you were sent straight from heaven just for us.Ten years ago on September 16th 2008 our special little girl Emersyn Paige Klomp was born and so were her Mom and Dad. We drove you home and I sat with your car seat in the back and said to your Dad if anything ever happened to you I don’t know what I would do. That was before I knew my time with you would be short. I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday and the pride and pure love I feel for you spills out everyday.

Our love that was lit has continued to grow in all of its power. And I remember every birthday since then and the countless ways you have reached us to give us those tangible moments of connection when we need you most. I have so much love for you and I need places to put it and plans to help carry it even if we are too sad to go a plan and a place feels good to have. So today we will go to the place you found us at our lowest and share it with Isla and Callum and we know you will find us there. We know this because you are ours and we are yours for ten years now and forever more our sweet Emersyn Paige. We will see you tomorrow on your 10th birthday in the Gazebo by the water....

You are ours and we are yours and this song is for you because we know you send it to us when we need you most ~  I'm Yours

Happy 10th Birthday my Sweet Angel we love you,

Mommy, Daddy, Isla and Callum xoxoxoxoxo

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pressing the Pause Button in Honour of Emersyn

9 years ago today on April 7th we lay on either side of Emersyn and felt her spirit leave this world on a snowy day much like today. In fact the snow only came moments after she passed and someone said that God turned off the weather in that moment as earth just lost a great soul. The strange thing is when we left the hospital carrying Emersyn in our arms to take her to the funeral home I did not feel one ounce of the cold.

I have replayed her passing so many times in my head and everyday we work around the hole. The hole of missing her smile, her soft dark hair and warm brown eyes. Every single day we carry our grief no matter what is happening at work, at home, with the kids or in the world we will never take off the shoes of being bereaved parents. And we have learned to do this over the years but not without a toll of course so we have to pace ourselves. Today, although we have worn these shoes for 9 long years it feels like we lost her yesterday and we feel the load is too heavy to carry. A restless and deep sorrow bubbles right to the surface and we know it well. A mixed bag of aching love and raw grief and what a combination those two great emotions are to make sense of.

The past few weeks have been exhausting building up to this day. The season, the month, Easter and the talk of Spring all started to slowly trigger the iceberg of grief. We know what our triggers are now but the only trouble is we don't know when they will happen or how we will react. Sometimes I am tapped out and can't shed another tear and other times a simple song comes on in the car and I am right back to the day we lost her.

Jay and I dropped Isla and Callum at my parents house today so we could have some time to process, reflect and grieve. Thank-you for your support as always Mom and Dad. Grief is such a personal experience so while Jason sits downstairs I am upstairs looking at her pictures and writing. It doesn't get easier with time but we have found some self care strategies that help.

When we drove back from the cemetery I said to Jason that the best way for people to honour Emersyn today would be to do some self care. I say this as lately I have felt tired, worn down and in need of some self care. I remember when Emersyn was alive a simple shower, cup of coffee or chat with family or friends really helped me to cope. I look back on those simple things and realize how important they were and how grateful I felt for those little things. I learned gratitude for the smallest things while I felt my greatest love and my greatest pain. I know Emersyn would want us all to stop functioning on overdrive, press the pause button and do something even a small thing that makes us feel cared for.

A great gift that Emersyn gave us was slowing down time when she was alive. I can truly say that everyday she was with us felt so important and those simple moments felt so rich. We knew that we had very limited time with our daughter and although she never traveled the world with us our everyday moments were steeped in joy and love. I did not care about taking care of myself when Emersyn was diagnosed with SMA. However I quickly learned that to take care of Emersyn and be there for her the small things like a cup of coffee or a chat with a friend would help me to be a better Mom.

In honour of Emersyn's beautiful life and the touchstone she has become for so many people we are asking this today....

Please press pause on the overdrive button and be kind to yourself. Take a walk, call a friend, read a book, write, eat a treat, take a nap, forgive yourself....or just sit and cuddle with the ones you love even if you only have 5 minutes. It is in these moments that you are letting your heart breathe, fill up and feel gratitude. Emersyn taught us that humans are resilient and can endure a great deal but life can take a toll on our bodies, minds and spirits. Self care is spiritual as it starts with looking within to figure out what might help and results in more energy to care for and connect with others.

In honour of Emersyn we are asking that all of our family, friends and anyone reading her blog please take a moment and be kind to your body, mind and heart today. My self care today is allowing time for my grief to just be without limitations. It is amazing what the heart can do when we fill it up.

Thank-you to our beautiful Emersyn for filling our hearts up daily and to everyone who has carried us over the past 9 years we are so grateful. Our hope is that you care for yourself today so you can care for and connect with others always.

We miss you Emersyn everyday and we will continue on this messy journey trying to look for hearts to fill with your love,

Mommy, Daddy, Isla, Callum and all of your family and friends xoxoxoxoxoxoxo