a letter to my sweet little Afton

My sweet little Afton,

I hope you can feel my love for you everyday. I pray that you are safe and happy everyday, and that we can feel your spirit often. Losing you has changed me. It’s like a piece of me is missing…and it’s you. Missing you is like having a home sick feeling that I know will never go away, and I just have to learn to live with it.

I know they say that this life is like a blink of the eye when we view it with an eternal perspective, but it’s so incredibly hard to see it that way when I’m here in the middle of it. It’s so hard to think that I should still be pregnant with you, my sweet baby girl.

One of the hardest realities to accept is to see that little picture of you – my favorite one of you in your pretty white dress without all the tubes and cords…the one I have framed on my dresser – and know that I will grow to be an old woman (however old) looking at that same unchanged picture of you, still missing you after so many years. It’s very overwhelming to think of that reality as I sit here at the 2-month mark. Although you might be stuck in time in the pictures we have of you here, I know your beautiful spirit is growing and changing.

Thinking back on my pregnancy with you, knowing what I know now, I wish I would have celebrated and cherished everyday of it knowing that was all the time I would have with you here. I loved waking up in the morning and feeling you move to that little lump high up on my belly.

The other night I was getting your big brother out of the bath. He asked me to wrap him up in the towel and sing “Baby Mine” to him like I always do. I started to sing to him, and then I started to cry as I thought of you, and how I’ll never get to wrap you up in a towel after a bath. It was the sweetest thing…your big brother started to cry with me (which only made me cry more). He is the sweetest little boy, with such a tender heart. It was the first time I have felt that he too misses you.

One of my favorite quotes shared with me through losing you:

“The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.” – Hilary Stanton Zunin

I need to remind myself that you didn’t come here to break me or to break my heart, you came here for just the opposite. You came here to bring us love and joy. No matter how painful losing you is, the gift of your life and loving you will always be bigger than the loss. I need to remember that.

I love you forever,

love your mom

*this photo was taken of me right before I got to hold my sweet baby girl for the first… and last time. We buried her with that soft little white blanket.

* During this year, I hope to write a letter after the 14th of each month (the day of my little Afton’s birth) as I do my best to heal.

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Comments

  1. 1

    I love your letters to Afton Kami. I know she hears them and knows what is in your heart and how much you love her. It’s hard for me to know you are going through so much right now. (I cry every time I think about it!) I wish there was something that would take the pain away. I know sharing the heartache you are going through is helping so many others with similar struggles. I think of you every morning when I wake up and pray that you are having a good day. And that the love you have for Afton outshines the grief.

    xoxo,
    Erin

  2. 2

    Absolutely beautiful. What a great idea to help you through the process. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  3. 3

    I remember my greatest fear after losing our baby was that I would “forget” her. That with time I would forget the experience, what she looked like {we have no pictures}, and that it wouldn’t be a part of me. Just so you know — It’s been 25 years and I haven’t “forgotten.” I still remember the experience and the details. It doesn’t bring as much pain when I remember her now though — more of a sweet longing. This is a perfect way to memorialize little Afton and work through your grief. It does take time. It’s sweet of you to make these beautiful letters public — the letters will help others heal that have gone through a similar experience, and it will help those who have not understand better. Take care. – Suzanne {Just Another Hang Up}

  4. 4

    Kam, that letter is beautiful. I hope it does help you, i think it will. Love you.

  5. 5

    Oh Kami, what a beautiful heartfelt letter. I can only imagine the grief and sadness you carry in your heart. Sending hugs.

  6. 6

    Sending hugs and prayers your way.

  7. 7

    Thanks for sharing your sweet letter, Kam. I’m sitting here crying! I know this has to be one of the biggest and most heart-wrenching challenges you have had to face. I know you will continue to heal and want you to know I think of you often!

  8. 8

    Kami,

    I am sorry for your loss and you are in my prayers. I don’t know how you endure Afton’s passing. My daughter has nearly died on me on several occasions and I may yet still lose her but it is a great comfort to me to know that we are sealed as a family and she will be waiting for me in Heaven with our Father. Have you read “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo? There is a chapter in this book where he talks about his wife’s miscarriage. You may find some comfort there. I hope that someday you may be healed of your pain. I wish only good things for you and your family.

    Maureen

  9. 9

    Hello- Just a fan of your blog. Your story has really touched my life and your continued strentgh & honesty inspires me.
    God bless you & your family.

  10. 10

    We will see her again. And that big brother of hers is a very sensitive, kind boy. Have a good day, Kam!

  11. 11

    Thanks for letting us share in your beautiful letters and your grief and healing process. Hopefully we can be there for you the way that you need us to be!

    God bless, Mel

  12. 12

    such love and tenderness. praying for your peace as you heal.

  13. 13

    Thank you for sharing this. I can’t imagine the pain you feel. The quote was so prefect. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  14. 14

    What a beautiful letter to sweet Afton. What a beautiful quote. Prayers of peace and strength to you and your family as you go through this journey. Thank you for sharing Afton with all of us.

  15. 15

    Thank you so much sweet Kami for sharing your heart with us. I have so often thought about you and wondered how it is….how it feels….what you must be thinking about….how you are doing….and this little letter to your sweet Afton shares so much of your soul. You are on a journey that begins and ends with our Heavenly Father as eternal families and I’m so glad you have that knowledge and something so so beautiful to look forward to. Love to you.

  16. 16

    My friend Julie has been blogging since she lost her 14 month old son in September (inthequietheartishidden.blogspot.com) and yesterday she linked to a conference talk by Lance Wickman of the Seventy. http://lds.org/general-conference/2002/10/but-if-not?lang=eng I read it last night and had such a peaceful feeling. I don’t know how this all works for miscarriage but I hope that at least this last one, where I made it so far, has a little spirit attached to it who is now waiting for me in heaven. Elder Wickman talks about losing his 5 year old and all of the questions and doubt that come into our minds when we lose a child. I especially loved his words about his son at the end: “his path through mortality was intended by a kind Heavenly Father to be shorter and easier than ours and that he has now hurried on ahead to be a welcoming presence when we likewise eventually cross that same fateful threshold.”

    Anyway, I found it to be very comforting and wanted to share. I love you and think about you all the time.

    -Alta

  17. 17

    You are such a beautiful mother and a great example to all of love and faith. May heaven wrap its arms around you and your forever daughter.

  18. 18

    Oh, Kami. I think about you everyday. Prayers that you may find beauty and joy along this path of sorrow.

  19. 19

    I sit and stare at this photo, my heart breaking into a million pieces. Your journey has touched me deeply, and I pray God’s healing strength for you and your sweet family.

  20. 20

    THis is beautiful. Thinking of you.

  21. 21

    you need to seek help! i have never been thru what you have, thank god, and i dont mean to sound cruel, but seek counseling soon, i have been deleting all your e-mails because they make me cry too much, a few i can see,,,, but if it was me, the sadder i got the less i would want to share, i wouldnt want to burden others with my loss. but thats me! i know you have a great support system around you, do you need the thousands on line?

    • 22

      I dont want this to turn into a place of negativity or debate but Cindy you are SO FAR OUT OF LINE. Please explain to me what would possess someone to PUBLICLY tell Kami that she needs to seek professional help? Do you understand that part of Kami’s support system is online?! I adore Kami and want to know how she is doing but I dont call her everyday, I check her blog. You also understand that you can unsubscribe to her emails right? Kami I love you and just because ONE person doesnt want to know what is going on doesnt mean that the THOUSANDS that your story has touched dont care either. I adore you and I love hearing updates on how you are doing so please keep posting them!

    • 23

      Cindy, You’ve shared an interesting perspective…Words that have compelled me to share some feedback of my own.

      Kami’s story is absolutely heart-wrenching and I admit to grabbing a tissue more than once while reading some of the very personal moments she has shared with use over the last two months.

      Rather than feeling as if I have burdened with her loss however, I have felt grateful that she has shared. My sister went through a VERY similar situation just two months before Kami. Reading Kami’s blog has made her feel less alone in the world. I would suggest that perhaps Kami doesn’t need “the thousands online,” but rather they need her.

      I for one hope that Kami will feel forever comfortable sharing with us not only her craftastic triumphs, but also the tender moments…It is only in the two that we are real.

      Kami, I love you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I cry WITH you because you have touched my heart and help me to believe. I hope you will continue to share this emotionally vulnerable time with those who need to hear your story. xoxo

    • 24

      Cindy, yes you obviously have never experienced a loss like Kami’s because if you had you would never have left such an insensitive comment.

      As someone who has also lost a baby I can tell you that its very healing to express your feelings on a place like a blog. And as Tauni has put so wonderfully it also helps others who are struggling, more than you know. Right after I lost my baby I found IMMENSE comfort through reading other’s blogs about their experience. I have since met some of the people whose blogs I read and they have become some of my closest friends.

      So Kami, you keep on writing to sweet Afton and sharing with us. We are here for you and your faith helps others more than you know.

    • 25

      Of all the things I COULD say, I am going to refrain, I don’t want to put a negative spin on this post and sweet letter to Afton jean, kami, you have touched thousands of people, both those who have lost a child and those like me who have not. Your strength is tangible and your courage admirable. The dignity that you and Kyle have shown thru out this experience is amazing…know that I am here for you and that I love you and continue to mourn WITH you even though I don’t know your pain….much love

    • 26

      Cindy – I am wondering if you have ever lost someone as close to you as a child, or a spouse. When someone loses someone so dear and close to you – it is a very difficult journey. WRITING – is very healing for someone going through this. I had someone very close and special to me pass away and the grief is so difficult. UNLESS you have been there and walked in those shoes – I wouldn’t be giving out any advice on what Kami should do. Each person grieves in their own way….and in their own time.

      Although, your post may have meant well – people that say these types of things to you when you are grieving make it that much harder to deal with the grief. It’s your choice to read her posts or not – no one is making you. It makes all of us sad…..but sometimes you need people around you to lift you up when you can’t hold yourself up; sometimes you need people to just listen – when you don’t even know what you want to say and sometimes……you need people to hug you because your heart literally feels like it is broken in two…..and you honestly feel like you could die of a broken heart.

      So UNLESS……you have felt any of these things…..maybe you should come back to visit Kami another time and let those of us that want to be here to support her – share what is in our hearts with her and love her through this time.

      I am sure you meant well – but please remember to be kind and sensitive to people during their times of grief and heartache. :) HUGS!!!
      Tam

  22. 27

    I think of you and Afton often Kami. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. I know that you have helped so many with your faith and your spirit. You are a bright light to many whose hearts ache from hidden sorrows and pain. We need more examples of strong and faithful women like you. I love you Kami! ((hugs))

  23. 28
    Mr. Ellie G says:

    Cindy I must be confused about how the Internet works or maybe your Internet is different than mine. I always thought reading something on the Internet was voluntarily…I am totally embarrassed that I’ve been using it wrong all this time. I also think its interesting that you would choose to comment, in a negative way, on something you’ve never experianced. Have you ever heard or read the saying “You can’t judge another person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”. If you haven’t or just need some clarification I’ll bet you could even look it up on your version of the Internet. With all that said think before you speak/type and know that a little empathy goes along way.

  24. 29

    Such a beautiful letter, Kami! I think many people try to protect themselves from the pain of loss by not allowing themselves to love completely. I know your little girl felt more love during her short earthly life than many people experience in a lifetime. Thank you for helping us remember the beauty of that love! If it weren’t for love like that, life wouldn’t make any sense.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share your experiences and feelings! I have several friends who have experienced a similar loss, and it is always difficult to know what they are feeling or how to give them comfort.

    Thank you for being an example of faith and grace!

  25. 30

    There is no better way to feel close to sweet Afton then to remember her often and speak your heart to her! She is listening! We as on lookers are blessed as well as we witness the love of a mother for her child. Thanks,Kami! I learn so much from you. If I could hug you every day I would but since I can’t I’ll simply keep learning from you and your example!

  26. 31
    valerie (poetic chronicles) says:

    Your letter is beautiful, and this quote is so true. Each time there is love, there is the risk of loss and pain, but it is worth it. I’ve often thought of that, and the thought itself is maddening. But, not risking it (the love), and hence, not risking the pain? No! You’re right, Afton came to you for a reason. The pain you’re enduring is maddening, but what if you had never met her? Don’t get me wrong: as I said, the simple thought of it drives me mad, and this loss is so hard and unfair…But she is there, isn’t she? She is your heaven part, and she is so present each time you talk to/about her! And she is such a reminder of what love and constant mindfulness can mean, of how we have to cherish every moment.
    This is all talking of course: if I was close, I’d give you a hug and make you a cup of coffee too! My thoughts are with you and your lovely family. Keep being the brave, beautiful person you are. Love,
    Valerie

  27. 32
    Evelene Sterling says:

    What a beautiful letter to your angel in heaven! I am so glad to see you posting again and I know that you must still have such heaviness in your heart but I am so glad to see your blog newsletter in my email. Take good care of yourself and I am sending big hugs and love and many prayers to you and your loved ones as you start to heal!

  28. 33

    What a sweet letter to your daughter – thank you for sharing it with us.

  29. 34

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. The beauty of this public space is that we are all touched by Afton’s life, and we all remember her. Thank you so much for letting us know her, and letting us be with you while you heal. Take your time.

  30. 35
    Heidi Bigler M. says:

    You are such an amazing mom. :)

  31. 36

    Your letter was beautiful. Although your experience has been tremendously hard for you, has taught me so many valuable lessons. I have had the opportunity to stop and count my blessings and hug my kids a little harder and a little longer. It has taught me how to be a more compassionate friend. It has given me the time to sit and reflect on the plan of salvation and eternal families.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you every day. I love your sweet letters. They are so precious!

  32. 37

    kami, i just read your letter to afton and started to cry. its kinda nice to know someone else is feeling the same thing as me sometimes although i would never wish for that. your letter is perfect. how bout we get together soon? i think it’d be nice!

  33. 38

    This reminds me of…my sweet Great Grandmother that I took care of a bit before she passed away. In her last few days even though her mind was gone she kept on talking about her Baby June. Her baby only lived a couple of days I guess, she was born pre-mature. And all she could talk about was how she missed her and got to hold her and worried about her. She (my great grandmother) lived a wonderful happy life and had other children (before baby June) but that is what she talked about up until the end. I am sure she thought of her every day.

  34. 39

    Kami – this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your inner-most self with us as you work through your grief. You are amazing and will touch so many people through this. HUGS… Keep writing – it’s very healing.

  35. 40

    I found your blog through another site when it was sharing your story of sweet little Afton, and I cried each time I read it and the updates about her. I know that there are no words to describe how much pain you must be going through, but my heart goes out to you and your family. You are all so strong, to be going through this. I don’t think I’d be able to be as strong as you if I lost a child. Any time I think of something happening to my daughter (especially when she was just born), my heart breaks a little and I thank Heavenly Father for giving her to me.
    A friend of mine wrote a book a few years ago that I think you would be interested in reading. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it or read it, its called “For They Shall Be Comforted: Grieving the Loss of a Child”, by Camille Call Whiting.
    I’d be glad to get you a copy if you’d like, its the least I could do in order to help you.

  36. 41
    Tana Padilla says:

    My dear sweet sister that I have never met,
    tears formed my eyes as I read your beautiful letter to your daughter. We also have lost. This past August we gave birth to a son, Abner. It has and continues to be a journey through our grief. I took a Grief Share class (nationwide) through my church and was shocked and relieved to know that it takes 6 months to 2 years to move forward through grief. I was giving myself 6 months Max instead of that being the Least amount of time to allow His healing to come in.

    I will not say that I know how you feel because I don’t. He says it best,

    Each heart knows its own sadness….
    Proverbs 14:10
    New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

    My heart aches for you and I will be praying over you and your husband as you grieve differently. May His peace which surpasses all understanding guard your heart and mind as you live in Him.

    The pain is real and I know you know all the right things, so may I just say, “I’m so sorry.”

  37. 42

    Thank you for writing and sharing your beautiful words. I too lost a daughter 6 years ago and your words hit right on the feelings of pain and grief for moments never to be. My heart breaks to know of other mothers and families that have to go through this loss. I hope to get to meet you at SNAP and chat with you. You are in my thoughts xoxo

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