September 28, 2011

This one’s a tricky one…

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 11:57 pm by letterstoelias

I’m feeling like an awful mother these days.  Once again.

The last birthday (other than his own) that Elias was able to spend with us was E’s fourth.

E shares a birthday with my sister and she was visiting with her family.  We were all at my parent’s house and Elias was making dinner.  Not just any dinner, one of my favourites – caramelized onion, butternut squash and goat cheese ravioli with a red pepper coulis sauce.  E happily worked along side him some of the time, making the pasta dough.

But, part way through he started to feel sick.  Lightheaded.  Dizzy.  He couldn’t finish.  He had to sit down.

The dinner was finished by others.  And still tasted great.  He felt awful that he couldn’t finish – sorry that someone else had to take over.  Embarrassed that he couldn’t do it.  It was hard for him.  I was scared.  I knew that if he stopped cooking, he had to be feeling pretty bad.  It was not the way either of us wanted to feel on our daughter’s birthday.  I’m certain it scared him too.

It was just over six weeks later that he died.

Friday will be C’s fourth birthday.  Her third without her Daddy there (and the one she had with him was at a rough time too).

I am having a difficult time accepting the fact that she will be the same age E was when Elias died.  She seems so, very young.  I’ve been ridiculously busy lately, and trying to balance a way to celebrate the day, alongside the grief it brings is so hard.  As such, I haven’t really made any plans for her birthday.  And I feel awful about that.

I know she wants a ‘wedding cake’ for her birthday cake.  I know we’ll do something, even if it is small.  I know she’ll have a great time regardless.  I know that I’ll be able to celebrate the absolutely amazing little girl she is.  But, it still hurts.

I know there will always be grief for what everyone misses out on days like this.  But I hope that, one day, these days that mean so much will hurt less.  At least a little less.

* * * * *

Our baby is turning 4.  I can only imagine how much fun you would have with her these days.  Her incredibly goofy personality – SO much like yours.  Her sense of humour.  Her infectious laugh – which can also be SO much like yours.  Her sweet, loving, compassionate nature.  Overly dramatic tendencies.  The tonnes of hugs and kisses she loves to give.

She is everything you would hope her to be and more.

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I will celebrate her, as I do every day.  I will remember the moment she was born just after 3am, in the comfort of our room, on our bed, and into your hands.  The look on your face as you lifted her up.  I will be forever grateful that your hands were the first to touch her.

I thank you for her.  She is one of the best gifts you gave me.  Your imprint on the girls will never go away.  It’s on their hearts.  In their blood.

I miss you more than I could ever say, and I wish you could be here (more than in spirit) to share this day with us.  For all of us.


P.S.  I Love You



  1. Debbie said,

    Happy belated birthday Caia! And happy birth-day to her mama! It is so damn hard without them and I’m sending you a big hug and a virtual glass of wine. How was the wedding cake?

  2. Anne said,

    A friend of mine lead me to your blog – to help inspire me and to help me keep going. I have read many parts of it in the past 2 days. Your love of Elias is palpable and beautiful. Thank you for sharing your journey. I am on a similar path but have not yet lost my beloved. Has your Caringbridge site been closed down? I only ask because I have read that your words there were optimistic and filled with love and hope. Everything I aspire to now.

    • letterstoelias said,

      Hi Anne,


      Thank you for your comment, and I am beyond sorry that you are on a similar path . . . . my heart goes out to you and your family. My Caringbridge site is still ‘live’, and can be found here: , it’s just that I haven’t written there in a while.

      We somehow found a way to live our lives in the moment, for the most part, which made a huge difference. Our love had never been stronger, and even on the toughest days, the fact that he was still there was all I needed to pull me through. It was not easy to balance keeping hope with trying to prepare ourselves for the worst outcome – it takes effort and it’s a hard choice – but it is possible. You WILL find strength you never knew possible.

      I have no doubt that putting in the effort to enjoy our time together and be positive helped me a great deal after he died as well, and I can look back at that time now and be damn proud of myself.

      A book that I always want to recommend but am tentative to because of the nature/title of it, is one I read after Elias died and wish I had read before – it’s “The Vital Importance of Death” by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. It brought me a great deal of peace. I mentioned it to another friend who’s husband was dying from a brain tumour, and they read it together before he died. She said it was a big help to them as well.

      Though the words I write now are not always as optimistic, this is where I turn to vent my grief. My girls and I still have plenty to smile and laugh about, though missing him. It doesn’t always feel that way, but it is survivable.

      Please feel free to contact me any time, my email is letters2elias @ gmail . com (separated here to avoid spam!). I know I’m on the side you hope to avoid, but I know it can help to talk with someone who knows even what the caregiver side can be like (how many times have you heard ‘be sure to take care of yourself’?)

      Thinking of you,

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