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.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Emersyn's 5th Birthday!

Dearest Emersyn,
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Emersyn happy birthday to you! Wow….. my sweet girl I can’t believe that five years ago today you came into this world and gave us the happiest day we had ever known. After an intense but amazing 22 hour labour you finally arrived and your daddy and I could not believe how lucky we were to be your mom and dad. It was like there were no other babies born on September 16th except for you. I remember thinking how perfect you looked when I first saw you with your olive skin like daddy, dark hair and big brown eyes. I remember the nurses and midwives commenting on how beautiful, robust and calm you were. They called you the little “Buddha”. We were only in the hospital for one night and it was so quiet and kind of empty like it truly was meant to be your day. You slept soundly that night and so did I in between waking up to admire you just one more time. I felt so empowered to have given birth to you and finally hold you. Your daddy and I felt such tremendous pride to show you off to our family and friends who were so thrilled to meet you! When we drove home I remember feeling very vulnerable as I sat in my new spot with you in the back seat and said to daddy “if anything ever happened to Emersyn I don’t know what I would do”. Never did I think our time on earth with you would be so limited, never did I think you would have SMA and never did I think we would be celebrating your birthdays without you. Today you are five regardless of time and space, earth or heaven. Today is your birthday wherever you are my darling daughter and we shall honour and celebrate you as the gift that you are and always will be.

You have aged with us Emersyn over the past four years since you passed away. Today you are five in our minds. I get glimpses in my mind of my big five year old girl and you look a lot like daddy still but with certain looks and features of me and your beautiful sister Isla. You now have brown curly hair, dark brown eyes, olive skin, your subtle little chin dimple and you are tall with a sweet smile. You are still so wise beyond your years always making sure everyone around you is ok. You are shy at first but once you get to know someone you are right at home. I see you being the calm and steady big sister to Isla even to a point where we might have to tell you to take a break from following the rules and have fun! I imagine you excelling in your Senior Kindergarten class already making friends, trying to please the teacher and I can also see you being hard on yourself too which breaks my heart even in my imagination. We would work on that though and talk about how no one is perfect and perfect is no fun anyway! I know Isla would look up to you so much and idolize you the way little sisters do. I bet you would be so excited about having a baby brother in 7 weeks and I know you would have been sharing your excitement with your little friends at school. This year turning the big “5” you probably would have wanted to help us plan your party - “mommy I want these cupcakes not those ones and can I wear this dress or these shoes can I pleeeeeease”?! This year we would really notice that you weren’t our “baby” anymore and that you really were turning into our little/big girl. What we would give to see you blow out those five candles on your cake……what we would give to have just five minutes with you on your 5th birthday. What we would give to change the fact that we can only send you birthday messages through prayers, balloons, flowers and butterflies at your grave. What we would give to have a good old fashioned crazy, messy, loud, cake on the face chaotic 5th birthday bash for you and with you my sweet girl.

I have been trying to think of what “gift” to give you this year seeing as you are not such a baby anymore. We have our traditions now on your birthday which is a relief because our anxiety about this day is a little better when we have a plan. We always decorate your spot with flowers and balloons in the morning, spend some quiet time together as a family in the afternoon and in the evening we have butterfly cupcakes with the whole family and admire your scrapbook and talk about the very important, unique and wonderful YOU. It is a hard and extra emotional day Emersyn which makes me sad for you to see but the memories of the sacred day that you were born are so special and really help to carry us through.

So after a lot of thought and soul searching I feel the greatest gift we can give you today on your birthday is faith. The definition of faith is believing in something that you cannot see or touch, it is not based on proof but on what we instinctively know and trust to be true. When we first lost you it was hard to have faith as we were so engulfed in our acute grief and pain that it was too overpowering to really feel your signs. We were so caught up in constantly searching for you and that is ok as that was what we needed at that time but it was extremely hard to have faith. I know that we are still early on in our grief journey but I can sense that I am starting to get to know the spiritual you much better now and the tell tale signs that you are with us. You constantly send us the right people when we need them the most and your butterflies, dragonflies and songs that come on the radio at just the right time are perfect. Yesterday when I was grocery shopping I stopped in my tracks as I heard a dad calling out to his daughter Emersyn in the clothing isle which was the first time I had heard another little girl being called Emersyn….as painful as that was for me to hear I know that was you saying hi to me when I needed it most, when I was trying to be strong and just make it through the day.

When others are suffering because of you we are able to feel true compassion and empathy and hopefully provide some comfort to them. It is in these connections that I feel you the most. I also know you sent us Isla and now your baby brother because the story of how these two came to be is just too miraculous to be anything but your guiding hand. So today Emersyn Paige Klomp who weighed 8lbs 7oz, 22 inches long and was born on Tuesday, September 16th 2008 at 2:00pm you are five years old in heaven, on earth and in all the spaces in between. We wish you a day filled with the hugs and love of your Angel friends and the love of your family and friends here on earth. We hope you are having a crazy fun, cake eating, cloud jumping and rainbow chasing day with your Angel friends as you feel our love and kisses being sent your way. We know this is a very special birthday as you are now a “big girl” and we want you to have this big girl gift. Over the past four years I know you have watched us in our grief question if you are with us but today on your special day we want you to know that we have faith. We are heartbroken that we can no longer see you, hold you or celebrate your birthdays with you but we instinctively know, trust and feel that you are with us….. and that my beautiful first born baby girl is a connection that can never be broken. That is faith and the only thing that keeps us all going.

Happy 5th Birthday to the only beautiful, funny, wise and sacred little girl named Emersyn who was born five years ago on September 16th to the proudest parents in the world.

I love you on earth, in heaven and in all the spaces in between more than words could ever express. Love you always and forever, Mommy, Daddy, Isla and soon to be Baby Brother xoxoxoxoxo

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Four years later.......

In roughly 14 weeks Jason and I will be the parents of three kids. At least I hope that is how others see our family because if not that means my first born daughter Emersyn has been forgotten. I know that to those who do not know us we look like the very lucky parents of one extremely awesome little girl with another new baby on the way. That is almost true but one very important little person who would almost be 5 years old is missing and we feel her absence constantly. This is not something I think we should aim to overcome as it does not take away the joy we have in those special moments, it just adds that extra layer of wishing Emersyn were here. We will always wish that. Always. As Isla plays I feel tremendous joy and awe in watching her laugh, learn and develop. As I watch Isla play with girls and boys who are 4 & 5 years old the same age Emersyn would have been now, she is fascinated by them and I can’t help but think how much she would have adored her big sister and how much Emersyn would have adored her.

It might seem as though our grief has become easier over the past four years since losing Emersyn but that is just a myth. The worst myth of all of the grief myths out there, that time heals all wounds. Many wounds time does fix and thank God for that. Wounds where peace can be made, where pain subsides and even understanding emerges but not when it comes to the loss of a child. Time does not heal this wound. No amount of time could ever numb the constant ache in my heart that I am learning to live with each day.

Four years later I have only become better at doing other things and being engaged in the world again. I am learning that I can smile, truly smile and feel joy while at the same time feeling pain - this is a huge break through for me. Not long ago I was completely paralyzed with acute grief where I was so physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually drained I was not capable of doing anything other than intense grief work and mourning. The hardest loneliest work of all. Don’t get me wrong I am SO grateful that I know just how horrible my grief can be because I can see how much better I am at coping with it now....on most days.

Now I can do day to day things that seemed so impossible in the first while after losing Emersyn but now I do these simple things with a very heavy load on my back, grief. I used to hope that this weight would disappear. But four years later I understand that it’s here to stay. It weighs a ton and if I am not well rested, or if I feel stressed or overwhelmed then I can’t carry this load and everything seems to fall apart. Mornings are hard but as the day goes on it gets easier. I know my grief is a lifelong marathon that is always there beneath the surface and some days it is front and center depending on different triggers. Now when I am grocery shopping and feeling sort of ‘normal’ and perhaps even a little content a song will come on in the store that will bring me to my knees. Time to turn inward again and regroup……and this is the pattern I am coming to accept as my new normal and I am getting better at it.

What I am learning is that each time I fall apart with this load I have no choice but to pick myself up, regroup and carry on for my family, friends, and for myself. One thing I do know for sure is that I am not the same person I was before becoming a bereaved mom but I am getting to know the new me and I’m slowly starting to understand her. To say that I am complex with “high needs” is an understatement ha!

I don’t know what I would do without Isla and Jason. I still can’t believe Isla is here and I could honestly sit and marvel at the chatty, funny, beautiful and heaven sent little girl that she is 24 hours a day. My appreciation for her overwhelms me to the point where I can’t even really explain how much she means to us. Her sensitivity and instincts amaze me. She senses if I am having a hard day even if I have a smile on my face she still picks it up. Isla will ask at only 2 years old “Mommy are you ok? It’s ok Mommy” while she pats my back or gives me a hug. This makes me feel guiltily and grateful at the same time. It was quite the journey to have her here and this little precious baby boy on the way but I am really not sure where I would be without them.

I can see how my skin is a bit “thicker” this pregnancy than it was when I was pregnant with Isla. When I am out in public I brace myself for the now predictable, well intentioned questions and comments. For example, I went to the dentist last week (no fun when pregnant if you have sensitive gums like me!) and my hygienist who knew all about our family and Emersyn had moved so I had a new person cleaning my teeth. Before becoming a bereaved mom this would have been a “no big deal” kind of a thing but with four years of grief under my belt I knew that my new person would ask me if this was my first pregnancy, how old were my other children etc….Of course this happened while she was cleaning my teeth and in between the buzzing, cleaning and scraping I told her all about Emersyn, SMA and how Isla and this little one came to be. Some might say why exhaust yourself. Just tell people who you don’t know you have one other child because what does it matter if they know the truth? It matters to me because these are my children and denying that Emersyn ever existed will haunt me way more than the exhausting but necessary conversation that I will have with new people in my life. This is my truth and it is different for every bereaved parent so I get it if people choose not to share I really do! 

It’s hard when a simple trip to the dentist turns into tears but this is just something that I am starting to accept. I will never accept Emersyn’s death but I have to accept that I must navigate this world without her in a way that I can live with. Some days I can do this with no tears now it just depends on the moment. I truly am getting better at this, it’s exhausting at times but it also gives me the chance to “introduce” Emersyn to new people, show her pictures in my locket, spread awareness about SMA and brag about her for just even five minutes in the grocery store or dentist chair the same way I do with my sweet Isla. I will take whatever Emersyn time I can get. Any downtime I have (not much with my energetic and larger than life 2 year old who keeps me on my toes ha!) my mind goes straight to Emersyn. I feel that I need that time to really connect with her the way I do with Isla.

So here I stand 4 years later with my life saver Isla, supportive as ever husband Jason, another miracle on the way and the same sorrow in my heart that Emersyn isn’t here to be a part of our physical family. Four years later I am acutely aware of the differences in my pregnancies and how innocent I was when pregnant with Emersyn versus Isla and this little miracle. Four years later when joy enters a moment I know to hang on tight and savour every second of it. Four years later whenever a butterfly or dragonfly soars near us I know for sure it is Emersyn and I smile. Four years later my soul feels very very ancient. Four years later I look back and cannot believe what we have all been through as a family. Four years later I have met some extraordinary people in my grief journey and I have leaned on and continue to lean on some pretty amazing family and friends. Four years later I can tell you that I am hurting the same but coping better and able to open my heart to more love because of my children, all three of them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

2013 Emersyn's Entourage - Thank-you!!

Dear Emersyn’s Entourage,

Jason and I are once again so honored and grateful to have such loyal and supportive friends and family! To all of you who signed up for the 2013 Rebecca Run for SMA, sponsored us, donated and helped to create awareness for this event we thank-you from the bottom of our hearts! It was so great to see everyone on our team and all of our SMA family and friends come out on such a hot, humid and sticky Saturday to run/walk or roll your hearts out for a CURE! Over $100,000 was raised towards a CURE for SMA in just one day – WOW WOW WOW!

This event continues to blow our minds every year with how well it is run and the great vibe in the air! I think our SMA Angels make an extra effort to shine down on us for this day and our beautiful SMA Warriors are such role models with their amazing strength, positive attitudes and determination. I always feel like I have “bits and pieces” of conversations with everyone since it’s such a busy morning but those “bit and pieces” are always of great substance! To connect with SMA parents of beautiful children who are living and thriving with SMA, to connect with our family and friends who continue to share their support, to connect with other bereaved SMA parents is for us a gift in itself and we are grateful for the chance to come together as a community every year!

To my family, friends and coworkers who did some amazing fundraising for our team we thank-you! To Captain R. Wilson Public School where I teach, you continue to humble us as you raised over $600 towards a CURE for SMA!! Students held lemonade stands on the weekends, created posters and donated their loonies and toonies to come out and watch our awesome teachers and students play a very fair (tie -3/3) soccer match! Our junior and intermediate students went around to each classroom in our large school and spoke about SMA facts and sold awareness bracelets. Simply outstanding in every way!

It is on days like these that I feel Emersyn’s spirit very strongly. It is on days like these that I am beyond grateful to be a Mom of such amazing kids. I have a beautiful Angel who continues to stop and make people think, a little girl here on earth that brings happiness wherever she goes and a little boy on the way who has also helped to create more hope and love in my heart. When we have a “bad day” or feel like the difficult things in life are getting the better of us please let our SMA Angels and Warriors beautiful spirits remind us that loving and supporting each other can help create change in our hearts and in our communities and that is a very GOOD thing!

Thank-you for being a part of helping us to find a CURE for SMA all while honoring, remembering and connecting with Emersyn. We hope you all have a safe, relaxing and fun summer with your family and friends!

Lots of love, appreciation and hope,

Melanie, Jason, Isla and Angel Emersyn (and bun in the oven)

“But love does not die. The script of her life is written in my heart and it still glistens in the soul of my memory” ~

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Emersyn ~ My Reason for a CURE

Emersyn. My beautiful first child and my number one reason for going to the Rebecca Run for SMA every year. Thank-you Emersyn's Entourage and to everyone who has sponsored us this year along with raising some much needed awareness for SMA it means more than you know xoxo

2013 Rebecca Run & Emersyn's Entourage Fast Approaching this Satruday July 6th!!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Four Years.......

Four years ago today was the last time your physical body was with us Emersyn. It feels like yesterday. Your beautiful spirit guides us, informs us and loves us everyday. Missing you doesn't even begin to describe the loss and pain we carry with us each day it is simply who we are. May you fly free today beautiful girl and feel our love always........ one day we will scoop you up in our arms again and your daddy will dance with you like he did everyday when you were here. Isla says thank-you for always watching over her she knows you are with her xoxoxoxoxoxo

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Attention Emersyn's Entourage 2013!!

Dear Emersyn’s Entourage!

It’s that time of year again to gather your friends and family and join us for the 2013 Rebecca Run for SMA on Saturday July 6th at Fairy Lake in Newmarket Ontario.

The race offers something for everyone: 1km family walk/run/roll, 3km walk/run/roll or a 5km run/walk/roll. All proceeds from the run are donated to Families of SMA Canada. The early bird race fee prior to April 30th is $35 per person! To register for the race please visit http://rebeccarun.com/
All registrations received prior to June 6th will receive a specialized technical t-shirt with our team name on it. Register early to avoid disappointment as spots fill up FAST! When registering please indicate that you are a part of Emersyn’s Entourage and email melanieklomp@cogeco.ca to let us know so we can add your name to our team list on Emersyn’s blog. If you are unable to join Emersyn’s team on July 6th please consider sponsoring us by clicking here.
Features for this year’s event include:

• Our 2013 Race Honouree is beautiful SMA Warrior Zoe Duggan, a beautiful little girl who has been diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. Click here to read more about this precious little girl and her amazing family!

• The Rebecca Run is proud to be celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2013 – what an accomplishment!

• “Market Place” will be there again this year where exciting items will be sold with a portion of the proceeds going towards SMA research

• Complimentary Barbeque, healthy snacks and refreshments before and after the race will be provided for all participants thanks to our generous event sponsors

• Check out the Rebecca Run Prize Incentive Fund Raising Rewards!

SMA is the number one genetic killer of children under the age of two. 1 in 6,000 babies is born with SMA and 1 in 35 people carry this killer gene. SMA is just as common as Cystic Fibrosis but only has a fraction of the awareness. We NEED to change this! The Rebecca Run is a major event to affect change, raise money and awareness for a CURE for SMA. Since the launch of the Rebecca Run 12 years ago an extraordinary $2 million dollars has been raised for Families of SMA Canada – AMAZING!!

Jason and I would like to thank everyone for your ongoing love and support in our quest for a CURE since losing our precious daughter Emersyn. It will be 4 years on April 7th, 2013 since Emersyn’s life was taken at the age of 7 months old from SMA Type 1. Her baby sister Isla, who is now 20 months old, will never get the chance to meet her big sister because of SMA.

We will miss Emersyn and forever carry the pain of losing her to this tragic disease. In honour of Emersyn’s 4th Angel Date and in honour of all of our SMA Angels and Warriors we need your help to raise enough money to CURE SMA.

Wishing you love, remembrance and hope and please know that one person’s support can make a HUGE difference!


Melanie, Jason, Isla and our Angel Emersyn

~ “But love does not die. The script of her life is written in my heart and it still glistens in the soul of my memory” ~