Yesterday afternoon, Luke and I drove home from the hospital with a trunk full of Olivia’s belongings. We came home and took a nap. We sat on the back deck, and made a toast to Olivia. We picked up the house, cooked dinner, and watched a movie. I can’t say those are the things we thought we would do after losing our daughter, but those are the things we did. We drove with the windows down, wanting to feel the outside air, and appreciate life. We watched two dragonflies buzz around our back deck, reminding us of the line from my favorite Olivia book about ladybugs who didn’t fly away.
We cried some, and talked a lot, as we thought about Olivia. I laughed out loud while we ate dinner, thinking how silly she looked when she smiled. And then I cried, reading sweet comments on yesterday’s post, or pouring in via text and email.
It’s been almost one full day since she passed. Almost.
And the feelings we’ve felt so far are pretty indescribable. The whole situation seems surreal. There is no textbook on how to grieve, no roadmap for loss. And that’s become pretty apparent to us. Before she passed, we spent weeks imagining what we would feel like afterwards. What would life be like without her? What would we be like? Would we ever be okay, or would we be forever bitter? Would we go back to “life before Olivia”, or would we change directions, for good?
Luke and I are okay.
Our grief will last a lifetime, I’m sure, but we’re okay. And we want you – our family, our friends – to know that.
We probably won’t write here for too long, but there are certainly a few more stories we want to share. In the next coming days, or coming weeks, we’ll share more information on Olivia’s condition, what we learned about her this past week. We’ll share pictures from her visits with family, and stories from her favorite nurses, and I have to assume we’ll share our thoughts on grief too.
We love you so much twinks & Luke. We are so glad you were able to share stories of your sweet girl and able to smile and laugh about your memories of her. It’s going to be a hard road, but you have so much support and love behind you. Sending all the love I have xox
What a beautiful picture of sweet Olivia. She will always be a part of our family. We love you all. It is comforting to hear that you are okay, as okay as can be.
My heart goes out to you both. You show great strength at this most difficult time and we are all going to miss her. She was an angel and gift from God. I’m so glad you have memories to share and have forever.
We are here for you always.
My thoughts are with you both. You have handled all of this wonderfully. Craig, Jamie and I will see you this weekend
What a wonderful photo of sweet Olivia…
No one can ever tell you how you’ll deal with grief. Sometimes it sneaks up on you all of a sudden. But it’s okay to laugh, too. She’d be happy to see that. I’m so thankful that you two have each other. ❤️
Luke and Whitney, what a sweet picture of sweet Olivia. We’ve all been thinking of you and wish we could be there to give you a big hug for all you’ve endured – we’re so sorry for your loss. Olivia couldn’t have asked for more giving, loving parents.
Sending all our love. Xoxo
Thinking of you every day. I know more of those laughs will slowly sneak in. I wish we lived closer to give you a big hug. xoxo
It’s a good thing that you’re able to lay such words on how you feel. It’s the mark of a healthy mind. This is part of grieving and will help in the long run. Don’t bottle up, it’s better to pour it out, take a deep breath and power through it. You are strong and have to continue living to the fullest. The memories will last forever, but the grief doesn’t have to. It’ll come and go. In due time you’ll remember Olivia and smile, not cry. You and Luke can hold your heads high, through the tears, even through the laughs. You have gone through incredibly tough times, given it your all and now it’s alright to think about tomorrow.
Whitney, you have always amazed me with your poise and grace, but the words above blew me away. To know you is humbling. I am so proud of you and Luke for rolling those windows down and enjoying your home together last night. It’s how Olivia, the ethereal babe, wanted it for her loving parents who we all know appreciated *every moment* of her life. Sending you abounding amounts of love and light from the Jersey shores. -Ashley
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost” J.R.R Tolkien (a quote for those mapless moments, be easy on your mind and heart.. Love you)
PS- I keep thinking of your tag line I’ve read so many times, “One day I’ll write a book” .. Although this blog is not a book, you have written so eloquently through such an unspeakably difficult time. I have a feeling the strength you found through Olivia’s existence will carry you to such great heights. She is your angel forever and after. xxo
I don’t even know what to say Whitney. You are a beautiful person, an amazing mother, the strongest person I know. I never met solicit, though I feel I knew her, and I dreamed about her all night. 💕
Whitney & Luke-
I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered this blog. I’ve been sitting on the couch in the office for the past hour…pouring over every eloquent word you wrote about your heart wrenching but equally beautiful experience. I didn’t even know it was possible, but I’ve fallen in love with your sweet Olivia without even meeting her. Perhaps it’s because she was a perfect combination of her parents, who I happen to think are pretty great. Seeing videos of her smile, and pictures of your little family warm my heart. Please let me know if there’s anything I can ever do. I’m already sending you both lots of prayers and good vibes. xoxo
Native American Prayer
I give you this one thought to keep –
I am with you still – I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush,
I am the sweet uplifting rush,
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone –
I am with you still in each new dawn.
A Native American Prayer
Deep roots are not reached by the frost” J.R.R Tolkien We have been so touched by OG and you as well. Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine” comes to mind, but, candidly, we cannot, no matter what. She is finally home.Thank you Jesus, Son of God, you are my strength alone. UN