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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday Emersyn ~ Do You Remember....

Birth plan - check. Hospital bag – check. Car seat and diaper bag – check. Husband ready with 20 bags and instructions for 20 different things –check! Home birth basket ready to go – just in case. All the ‘checks’ were ready except for one that none of us could have anticipated even in our weakest moments. Grief plan – we could not have prepared for losing you Emersyn even when you were diagnosed 4 months after you were born. Nothing could have prepared us to go from celebrating the birth of our first child on September 16th 2008 to saying good-bye to your amazing little self 7 months later.  I look back now and I know that I am not the same person but I am certain that I am and always will be your Mom filled with memories and love that will never die.

Today September 16th 2015 you turn 7 Emersyn even in heaven it is your day where the Angels come together and bake a cake and take you on a whirlwind of birthday fun through the clouds.  And I as your Mom will always want to know that today your day is being honoured and celebrated in some way and somewhere there is a little gathering of hearts celebrating with you while we honour you here on earth and send you love, hugs and kisses. I still need to parent you from the beyond and today especially since I know that if you were still here with us I would have wanted to make today just perfect just like every parent wants to make their child's birthday magical and meaningful.

Today we allow ourselves to unravel in our grief journey and in that unraveling we are free to feel any and every emotion that comes over us. We have learned that our heart wound since losing you is more manageable when we give it the attention and space it so rightfully deserves. We are getting better at anticipating the big waves of grief and knowing when it is time to pull back, be quiet and give our hearts the healing space needed to think, release and reflect. So today we remember and we won’t hold back for the sake of coping we will “go there” because we love you and our grief connects us to you. Grief can be loving, painful, exhausting but most of all it is a reflection of our love for you so it is worth it.

I remember being pregnant and fussing over which name we would give you. I remember taking name polls with my grade 1 class creating our short list of favourites it was so fun and meaningful to include my students! I knew I wanted a name that was unique and special….for some reason I was adamant it had to have a profound meaning. So finally after much deliberation Emersyn made the cut because not only was it of Scottish decent (points with my parents!) but the meaning of your name struck me so much—Home Strength. Your name means Home Strength.  Little did I know that Home Strength would be the words that we would choose to have written on your stone at your special spot where we now go to honour your memory. Little did we know that we would need copious amounts of pure Home Strength to cope with your diagnosis and passing. Little did we know that when we named you we were actually defining the very thing that would be vital to our survival as a family in grief – Home Strength.

We remember when you were born and our family came to meet you in the hospital and we could not hide our pride at our perfectly content, beautiful, snuggly and warm miraculous baby girl.  I mean babies are born everyday but we like all new parents, especially first time parents felt like we were the first people on earth to experience this joy you were absolutely perfect!  I remember our friends meeting you two weeks after you were born and I could hardly contain my gushing “new Mom obsessive crazy love happiness” when they arrived to meet you!  The image that comes to mind is when little Simba in the movie The Lion King is presented to the world after he is born and held up with such distinction. I honestly felt like I needed to pause the world to let every single soul know you were finally here you were and still are a really BIG deal.

I  have learned to hold my memories of you tightly in my heart and I pick and choose when and who I want to share these sacred times with. But today on your 7th birthday I am not keeping these memories tucked away no not today they are too special just like you. I am totally ok with the world knowing that today is bittersweet for us as we remember the most joyous day when you were born while missing you beyond measure. I am totally ok with the world knowing that although we live without your physical self we will never stop loving you and our connection to your heart has never changed.  My mind thinks about you and wonders just as much as I do about Isla and Callum and my heart will never quite understand or accept that you are gone. The heart is stubborn and persistent that way and thank God for that! 

I still hold your blanket and remember how cozy you were while I held you in the middle of the night when you nursed. I remember before knowing you had SMA your first and only Thanksgiving at Auntie Catherine’s house and how everyone took turns taking a million photos with the famous and fabulous Emersyn!  I remember our morning walks together talking to you about the birds, trees, sights and sounds around us and your big brown eyes looking at me like you knew exactly what I was talking about and you could not have been more fascinated and believe me my sweet girl the feeling was mutual.

Today we let ourselves remember and go there because how can we forget the day you were born. How can we forget the first car ride home and your first Halloween and your first time waking up where both Daddy and I sat there in awe of how awesome our baby girl was at 3:00am in the morning. How can we forget your first bath your first stroller ride around the neighborhood and your first smile….oh how I miss that smile. Today is your 7th birthday and since we can’t shower you with physical gifts and fun times with your little friends we will shower you with memories because we need you to know that these precious memories you gave to us along with the lessons you continue to share with us now are our roots of love and source of strength. We need you to know that our motivation to try harder and be better no matter what stems from you and our memories of your strength and love. 

Happy Birthday to our wise, funny, inspiring and incredible 7 year old little girl we love you more than words can capture and we treasure our memories as they unravel in all of their beauty today. Emersyn Paige you are 7 here, there and everywhere and the world is better because you were here.

We love you to the moon and back and our Home Strength continues to grow thanks to you. We dedicate "Do you Remember" by Jack Johnson to you because we will never forget you and the day you were born.

Happy Birthday Angel Love,
Mommy, Daddy, Isla and Callum xoxoxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Emersyn's Entourage 2015!

Dear Emersyn’s Entourage! 

It’s that time of year again to gather your friends and family and join us for the 2015 Rebecca Run for SMA on Saturday July 4th 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. To register for the race please visit www.rebeccarun.com. All registrations received prior to June 6th will receive a specialized technical t-shirt with Emersyn's team name on it. Register early to avoid disappointment as spots fill up FAST! When registering please indicate that you are a member of Emersyn’s Entourage and email melanieklomp@cogeco.ca to let us know so we can add your name to our team on Emersyn’s blog at www.emersynpaige.blogspot.com. If you are unable to join us this but would like to sponsor one of our members or raise funds for our team please visit the following link http://www.rebeccarun.com/fundraising.html and please know how much we appreciate every dollar raised!

Features for this year’s event include: 

-Our 2015 Race Honouree is the amazing Asha Buliung. Click here http://www.rebeccarun.com/asha.html to read more about this precious little girl and her amazing family.
-The Rebecca Run is proud to be celebrating its 14th anniversary in 2015 – 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 has a fraction of the awareness. We NEED to change this! The Rebecca Run is a fantastic way to raise money and awareness for a CURE for SMA. Since the launch of the Rebecca Run 14 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 helping us honour Emersyn and raise money towards a CURE. It has been 6 years since Emersyn’s life was taken at the age of 7 months old from SMA Type 1. For us it feels like yesterday we miss her so much she will always be our first precious child and we try hard to honour her especially when these important fundraising events for SMA can help change so many lives of children and families living with this terrible disease. Emersyn’s sister Isla and baby brother Callum will only know their big sister through pictures and the stories we share about her. It is through events like the Rebecca Run where they will be able to continue to honour their big sisters life and spirit while learning about the importance of helping others in our Community.

We miss and love Emersyn in a way that words could never express and we will forever carry the pain of losing her to this tragic disease. In honour of Emersyn’s 6th 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! Sincerely,Melanie, Jason, Isla, Callum and our special 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" 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Six Years

Here we are again my dearest Emersyn. April 7th only the year is 2015. I hate this date just as much as I treasure it since it was on this day in 2009 that your physical body was with me for the last time. I remember it like it was yesterday a moment suspended in time. I remember feeling the energy of the doctors and nurses shift once we knew you were passing. It became about being in the moment, being present, being mindful and truly just being with you. I have never been more effortlessly present or mindful in my life than when you were passing in our arms for those 22 hours. It has been 6 years since you have passed and I am no closer to reconciling or accepting that you my beautiful daughter, my precious first born child is gone. Thankfully reconciliation or acceptance are not goals of mine as a bereaved mother and never will be. I carry you all of you, in my heart and soul everyday and I never want to let you go you are me I am your Mother and I will hold my grief as fiercely as I will hold  my love  for you until the day that I die. You are sacred, my grief is as sacred as it is painful and I learn from my grief…. I learn from you every day.

I am far from perfect, in fact I was shattered into a million little shards of myself when you died and I never did rebuild myself. I could barely recognize myself or the person I once was. I could not rebuild a picture of my life without you so instead I continue to make a mosaic of the broken pieces while adding new pieces some good, some bad but all sacred because they are gifts and lessons that you have given me. A mosaic is broken but it is also beautiful. I was inspired by this thought at our Christmas memorial at the Coping Center after a beautiful talk about the mosaic of grief was given. I always said from the day that you were born that you were my teacher more than I could ever be yours. I can honestly say that the things you have taught me about myself and the world continue to open my mind and my heart every day and help me to create this new mosaic of myself.

I have learned that carrying pain in our hearts is just the same if not greater than carrying a physical pain around all day so self care and being kind to ourselves is so important in healing. I have learned that when grief or any ailments we may suffer from go unnoticed, ignored or pushed down those ailments take on a life of their own and can start to take over. I have learned that self reflection and growth are truly an ongoing journey and it is so important to not only forgive others but forgive ourselves. I have learned that trauma, anxiety and sadness are just as valid and powerful as laughter, joy and happiness. I have learned that grief needs to be cared for and nurtured and no stone should go unturned in looking for comfort, answers, peace or whatever it may be that brings me healing in my journey since losing you.  I have learned humility in the presence of pain and to always walk towards suffering never run from it. I have learned that I feel more full when I help others than I ever could if I avoid their suffering. I have learned that children are our greatest teachers, they live in the moment, they are mindful and they never apologize for expressing their grief or their joy they are the real deal. I have learned that nature is vital to mental health and well being. I have learned that a simple hug, laugh or message from a friend on a bad day can turn the whole day around. I have learned that we do not have a language for grief the way we do for love so bereaved people have to walk alone sometimes. I have learned that human resilience and hope is the most amazing force on earth. I have learned that when I need you Emersyn you send me the most extraordinary signs to reaffirm my faith and let me know you are near. I have learned that I can still be both a grieving mom and enjoy my amazing living children and all of the gifts that they give me every day. You came as my teacher Emersyn and gave the most selfless gift of all so others could learn to do better to be better despite all of our human “flaws”. You picked me as your Mom and losing you was the hardest thing I have had to do but I need you to know that I continually try to share your lessons that you send my way. I may not always do a great job of sharing them and many times my own grief trips me up and slows me down but I am compelled to try in honour of you.

There is a quote that I love about grief and if you gave it to me 6 years ago I would have been crushed by it but now I appreciate it. “We only grieve where we love. So grief is an aspect of love. Let it be as it is and be humbled by it. Allow grief to be a great teacher”. Grief is the other side of love it is an aspect of love so how deeply we love is how deeply we grieve. I am far from perfect I have so many flaws I can be a real pain in the butt actually!  But I know this …..I love deeply, loyally and forever so if you know me I mean really know me like you do Emersyn then you know both the depths of my love and my grief. They are infinite and I treasure both, I carry both I honour both. As tremendous a load as grief is to carry it is mine and I will let it flow as I do my love for you.

My dear Emersyn I hope that your lessons continue to reach others and inspire us all to do better to be better and to never lose hope for whatever suffering we may be struggling with. You taught me that joy can happen alongside pain and I will never forget the love, laughter and compassion that you brought out in everyone that carried us through and continues to reach us when we need it most. Emersyn may you always continue to bring out the good in everyone and remind us that a mosaic is just as beautiful if not more than a perfect picture.