Saturday, May 9, 2015

Saying Goodbye To J

I wrote the following letter on the night I found out J had passed away. Writing is therapeutic to me and at the time, it was the only way I could process my grief. I wrote from my hurting heart and I haven't touched it since that night. Today we celebrated Birth Mother's Day and it became so clear to me that it was time to share this last letter with the world.

She wore purple for her birthmama since it was her favorite color.
We wanted to honor J by allowing Xiomara to do something for her on this day. A few months ago, it occurred to me that an apple tree would be the perfect thing to plant in her memory. An apple seed lives on forever. Even when we are all gone from this earth, that tree will still stand and bear fruit; I couldn't think of a better way to honor J. Each spring it will bloom declaring that all things become new once again. Come fall, it's branches will be laden with fruit that show the life it gives. He really does make all things new.

The tree is planted right outside her bedroom window, so she can look at it whenever she wants.

It was a beautiful day filled with only a few tears & praise to God for the beauty in what is.

Happy {Birth} Mother's Day, J! We love you and love always wins.


Dear J,

This will likely be the last letter I will ever publicly write to you. I'm sure in the future, I will write many more to you, but I'm guessing they will all be private just for my therapy, and eventually for Xiomara.

I found out tonight that you passed away this week.

And my heart is absolutely broken. For you. For Xiomara. For your family that is grieving just as deeply as I am tonight.

I found out through someone you and I both loved, and I'm so thankful I found out that way rather than any other way. I think you would have wanted it that way as well.

In the end, it doesn't really matter how you died, but rather how you lived. I know, with all my heart that there was not a day that went by that you didn't live loving those around you. It may not have looked like either you or I would have imagined, but you definitely loved.

When I got the call, I just knew. I can't explain how, other than to say that you have been on my mind this past month more than I ever can possibly explain. In a way it makes sense, as you truly were a part of our family. It comforts me a bit knowing that I prayed for you more in this last month than I have in a very long time.

I got off the phone and Chris sat in silence with tears running down his cheeks while I sobbed. Every single dream I had of Xiomara one day having a relationship with you, being able to talk with you, and ask you questions; that dream shattered with one phone call. It's a bit ironic thinking that one phone call is all it took to change our lives in the first place, with that initial phone call saying you chose us, and yet here I sit tonight absolutely hating that phone.

I feel devastated. For you and her. I wonder if I let you know enough how much your gift meant to us? I know it pained you so much to make that decision and I felt that pain deeply, and I loved you all the more for it. I wonder if you realized how much a part of us you really were? It kills me knowing I will never see you again on this side of heaven. That Xiomara will never get to meet you if you two both desired one day.

My only comfort is knowing that you live on through our little girl who looks and acts so much like her first mama.

I'm not sure how to tell her. I mean how does one tell your daughter that her first mama is in heaven with Jesus?  After the phone call, Chris and I sat and prayed and asked God to guide us when it is the right time to tell her and how to tell her. By the time others read this, we will have told her as I refuse to tell the world before I tell our daughter.

I took a shower tonight and let my salty tears mix in with the hot water from the shower. I'm not so sure the sound of the shower completely drowned out my sobs though, and tonight Chris will hold me tight as I grieve in a way I never thought I would have to do.

We are sending flowers to your precious mama and G & G. I never thought I would have to pick out flowers to send to your funeral! It seems completely surreal. But I remember you telling me you loved purple, and so in honor of you I made sure to send purple flowers. They are called Healing Tears and I really hope they do just that, because right now I know I'm not the only one who needs healing. I only wish we would have known sooner, so we could have been there.

I'll be saving every little thing I have from you or about you for Xiomara. If anything, this is a good reminder to print things out that have been sitting in files or e-mails for years now.

No matter what, we will keep on doing what we always said we would do; love Xiomara and make sure she knows how loved she was by you. That is one thing that I know will never change.

I love you, J! It seemed only fitting to say goodbye in the same way I began, by writing one last letter to you. I look forward to one day meeting face to face with Jesus and praising Him together for bringing a sweet little girl named Xiomara into both of our lives. May you forever know the gift you gave us is the most precious one I have ever received.

May you rest in peace.

With much love,


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