Dear Clara…

Dear Clara,

On this day last year, I was in labor with you. I had packed a bag weeks before, in case you were early like your big sister had been, but you held on for 42 long weeks. Your daddy and I were so excited that I was finally having regular contractions, and as painful as they were, I welcomed them, because they meant we would see you soon.

I labored with you for 48 hours… from the afternoon of June 29 through July 1. By midday of that third day, I couldn’t handle the pains any longer, and we drove to the hospital. Your daddy helped me into a wheelchair and pushed me upstairs to the Labor and Delivery floor, and long minutes passed while we waited to get into a triage room. The pain was enormous, and I could barely contain myself when I had to lie flat on the examining table so the nurses could check my progress, but lie still I did. Every minute brought us closer to you, and I couldn’t wait for that moment.

Of course, it was in those pregnant moments afterward that we found out your heartbeat was gone, that you had died and we would never see your blue eyes looking back at us… that the world was forever changed for our family.

You were born on July 1, 2012 at 3:45 in the afternoon. You were my biggest baby at a plump 7 pounds 9 ounces, more than 3 pounds bigger than your older sister Addah. You had chubby cheeks and blue eyes, dark hair like your sister Lakin, and long artist’s fingers like your daddy.

The sun was shining when we arrived at the hospital that morning, but right after you were born silently into our arms, a hard rain started. It continued for the next three days; the sky crying along with us. 

My love, you were so wanted and so loved, from the moment we realized you were inside of me. There was never a second when we felt a single thing except gratitude and hope and wonder that you would be joining our family. We adored you before we met you, before your tiny heart started beating and long after it has stopped.

Not a day passes when we do not mention your name and think about how things would be… should be… with you in our lives. I see you everywhere – in babies that pass in their mother’s arms, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the tiny butterflies resting on the honeysuckle vines in our backyard. I see you in your sister’s smiles and laughter, in the wrinkles around your daddy’s eyes, and in the faces of your grandparents.

Your first birthday is tomorrow, Clara Edith, and I wish you were here so we could sing Happy Birthday to you and watch you play with the crinkly wrapping paper. I wish you were here to smash cake in your hair and in between your little fingers. I wish you were here to snuggle in the space between your daddy and I in bed. I wish you were here to… so many things.

You are missed, sweet bunny baby.  We love you more than words can say.



Dear Clara... A letter to my daughter, on the occasion of her first birthday and one year anniversary of her death.

18 Replies to “Dear Clara…”

  1. Happy Birthday to Clara Edith, little angel. Heather, I know how painful this post was to write, but you did it beautifully and gracefully. I can’t even imagine the pain and anguish you are feeling, but please do know my heart goes out to you and truly thinking of you. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. . . a beautiful letter and the sweetest tribute anyone could ever hope for. . . my heart aches also, for Clara and for the sorrowful hearts of those of you who miss her presence most! Love, Mama

  3. This is so beautiful. My heart absolutely aches for you and your family. I wish Clara could be in your arms right now. I’m so sorry.

  4. What a sweet letter to your sweet baby girl. Thinking of you and your family on this day when you are missing her so very much.

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  5. That’s a gorgeous letter. Hugs and prayers to you and yours at this time. I’m learning the pain of the ‘meant to be’s’ just now.

  6. You are so brave for being open and honest in this letter. Thank you for sharing these private emotions with the world. You will help reach many other women who are dealing with the same loss and grief that you have endured this past year. My heart goes out to you.

  7. Happy birthday, sweet baby girl Clara. My thoughts are with your mama, your dad, and your big sisters.

  8. What a beautiful tribute to Clara. May you somehow find some peace during this difficult time! Thanks for sharing this beautiful letter.

  9. Oh Heather. I don’t know what to say because words never seem adequate for things like this, but you’re beautiful and Clara’s beautiful and what a beautiful tribute to her. xoxo

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