The Second Year

My Facebook status last New Year’s Eve:

“Woke up to the birds chirping outside my window, now the sun is out after 2 weeks of rain. This year was the worst year of my life but it’s taught me so many things. What I choose to take from it I want to share with all of you…the ones that have seen me at my worst and lifted me up from the darkest place: I know there is something better waiting for us at the end of this life. We are destined for certain things & we make choices on others. But this isn’t it, something more awaits us…I know this because my baby’s given me so many signs & because I can feel her spirit around me, specially today. This is what keeps us going. So just remember that no matter how dark it gets, look for the light…and don’t forget to enjoy the sun after the rain. Wishing you all a healthy happy new year. Don’t be afraid to love & live passionately. We are just visitors here, passing through. Love you all ūüíúūüíú


Today New Year’s Eve 2016, many are saying¬†this has been the worst year. But to a grieving parent no year can compare to when they lost their precious child. For me,¬†2015 will always be the worst.

Much of what I wrote then remains true.

Now in our second year- I¬†still believe there is something greater, because she still sends us signs…in a quieter, peaceful, more subtle kind of way. But especially when we need it the most.

We still feel her beautiful spirit around us, because we include her in almost everything that we do. Every birthday, holiday & each milestone; she is there guiding us every step of the way. We keep her alive in our memory, in our hearts & in every breath we take.

This helps keep us alive, in that way too.

But what is different &¬†more¬†difficult in the second year…is accepting¬†that all this¬†has to be¬†enough.¬†That her memory & spirit alone will have to be enough to sustain us.

Not just today or tomorrow, but for the rest of our lives.

Because the longing & the missing take over in the second¬†year. Longing to turn back time, to have her back in our arms.¬†Missing her to the point of madness. So desperately missing her. Her hugs, her voice, her laughter, her smile…

And being able to do nothing about it, but rely on memory alone. A picture, a video or a dream to bring her back to us; just momentarily.

In the beginning I was told by a couple of bereaved moms that the second year would be worse. I refused to believe it. How? I thought. It already seemed unlikely that we would survive even the first year. ..

How could it possibly get any worse? 

Maybe not worse- just different. The pain transformed.

One reason is: acceptance. The process itself; excruciating.

First, to have to accept¬†the loss¬†of our beautiful daughter. Second, to accept the amount of¬†unbearable pain that comes with it. Third, coming to¬†terms with the realization that it’s never going away.

That it’s made a permanent home in the very core of our being.

By accepting it, we also have to learn how to live with it.

Not just to exist. But to really learn how to live with it. 

In this totally different world. Being a totally different person. Living a life we never asked for.

It’s like being reborn & having to start all over. Slowly learning how to walk & talk again.¬†First minute by minute,¬†then hour by hour, day by day. Still now…day by day.

It’s hard to learn how to walk again when you have those big crashing waves of grief knocking you down over & over again.¬†Destroying anything you thought you built in way of protection.

These waves come easily & fiercely in the second year, as¬†in the first. Triggered by the slightest thing; a¬†memory, a vision, a song…a smell.

You may learn to swim a little better each time. You even learn how to float.

Because¬†“The pain doesn’t lessen over time. We just learn how to carry it.”

The carrying. The crashing. The rebuilding.

It all gets so exhausting at times, all you can do is float.

It a bit lonelier now too.

By now, many expect us to be back to “normal”. Eager for us to get through it…some maybe even wanting us¬†to get over it.

Some people move on. Some forget.

Some of our loved ones want things back to the way they used to be, to have us back the way we used to be. We do too.

But what they don’t understand is that we lost a child. Not a home, a job,¬†or a¬†car…¬†not even a limb, but¬†so so much worse.

We lost a daughter & a sister. Our beautiful precious baby girl. We mourn the past, the present & our future without her. Things will never go back to the way they used to be. We will never again go back to the way we used to be.

If we have to accept her passing, why can’t they accept our grieving?

Still & worse…in the second year.

It seems that patience & compassion is lost with the grieving after some time. But barely long enough.

Society is no exception.¬†They don’t want to hear about our misery either.¬†They give time limits. They medicate.¬†They advise prayer & meditation. But if none of that works…you’re on your own too.

So I’ve learned to just smile & say everything is ok. Even to those who truly want to help but don’t know how.

Because when they ask, I don’t know what to tell them. Maybe it’s¬†enough to know they’re¬†still there, if¬†we need them.

These strong, loving & loyal ones. The ones that still stand by our side, holding our hands. The only ones that really matter.

Where there is bad, there is also good.

The good that I’ve learned this second year, is¬†that there is no expiration date¬†on grief…because there is no expiration date¬†on love. That “grief is just an extension of love.” So if we talk about her, remember her & cry for her…it’s not because we haven’t accepted she’s gone. It’s because we have.

And that is not something to be ashamed by or feel sorry for.

Love is the most beautiful amazing gift we can give & receive in return. It has provided us with this remarkable strength we are so thankful for.

We will continue to use it to hold each other up & to try to live in her honor.

In this second year- love still wins.

She may be gone from this Earth, but never from our my minds, never from our hearts.

-We dedicate this picture to all who have been there for us & to our beautiful Hailey-


**note** this post was written after¬†a comment I overheard someone making about “how much longer will it take?”¬†(referencing to our continued grief for Hailey)

The answer is: ¬†it will take as long as it takes. Maybe never…because grief = love. And we will love her forever.

Besides. This is only the second year.



The pain of losing you
Makes it hard to breath
Makes it hard to sleep
Trying very hard
Not to harden underneath

Just miss my sunshine
That beautiful smile
For those warm hugs & kisses
I’d walk a million mile

Just promise me baby girl
To wait for me
If I can make it through
Wait for me on the other side
Behind those skies of blue

Promise me and I’ll promise you
In my arms you’ll be
Then hand in hand
We’ll fly the skies together
And swim through every sea

We’ll be together once again
And remain…

For all eternity.


We Didn’t Know

Our¬†daughter Hailey passed away less than 24 hours after being diagnosed with Type One Diabetes, while¬†traveling overseas on a family vacation.¬†In her case, she wasn’t misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. She was diagnosed too late


Because none of us knew.

We didn’t know that her increased thirst just a couple weeks before our trip, was one of the most common signs of this disease. She had just joined a running club at school & we thought that was the reason she was drinking more water.

We didn’t know that weight loss was another symptom. We thought¬†the running¬†at school & the exercising at home was the cause for¬†her¬†looking¬†slimmer.¬†We didn’t worry because Hailey was always slim & in the recent months she had a few growth spurts.¬†We knew she was growing up to¬†be tall, just like her Daddy.

We had no idea….that instead¬†our baby girl’s body was being consumed by this monster of a disease called Type One Diabetes.

We knew of the diabetes that everyone else knows about; Type 2. But we would of never thought. After all, Type 2 is always related to being overweight & Hailey was always the slimmest of her sisters.


We didn’t know that the plane ride & trip would make her sicker. We didn’t know that by the time we landed in La Paz, Bolivia- a city over 11,000 feet; she was already showing symptoms of DKA- diabetic ketoacidosis.

We thought it was altitude sickness, which is very common in La Paz. We were aware of that going in. When she¬†vomited once¬†& complained¬†of a tummy & a headache– we told her that it was going to be ok; that she’d be better in a couple of days, once her body adjusted to the altitude.

But she¬†never adjusted….

Our precious, beautiful, innocent baby girl was in a coma just two days after. Then she passed away from complications of DKA & cerebral edema on the third day of our trip.

Just like that, she was gone.


No parent or other human being should ever have to endure this kind of pain.

No one should ever have to live through this kind of¬†nightmare.¬†No one should live with:¬†If only we knew, if only we could turn back time, if only we hadn’t travelled, what if, why, why, why?

I don’t wish¬†it on my worst enemy, which can now only be this disease that took our baby girl.¬†In learning more about it, we have learned one harsh fact. That is:

Even knowing what we know now, we might of lost her anyway.

Why? Because there have been & still are children & adults being either misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Even here, in the U.S.A.

Symptoms are being mistaken for other illness; such as the flu…

Children are dying. Other beautiful children have lost their precious lives after Hailey, because of this terrible disease.

I know this because I’ve met & talked to their parents in person & online. This is not made-up. This is real & it keeps happening & it’s heartbreaking each time.

How many more lives will it take?


I lived with guilt many months after losing our baby girl.

I thought how could I have not known? How could I have missed this? Why didn’t I pay better attention?

It’s taken my angel, my other two beautiful daughters, my husband, my family, friends & a higher power to show me that I shouldn’t blame myself. That in fact, there is no one person or thing to blame. Not God, not myself, or doctors, or the world…

The hardest lesson to learn was; we¬†really don’t know what could of happened if it had played out any other¬†way &¬†we can’t change what happened.

We can’t change it for us, but maybe we can change it for someone else.

Maybe we can become a voice for Hailey & in her memory,¬†tell others about Type One Diabetes. We can tell parents, teachers, nurses, doctors, & children themselves…everyone.

We can tell them that this deadly disease exists & it is on the rise & that it should not be overlooked! Not by anyone.

So please share. Please educate. Please test. Don’t overlook T1D.

In memory of Hailey & all others who lost their lives to this disease.

Don’t let it be too late for you or anyone. Don’t guess.

Because…it’s better to know than not to know.


This is Hailey, ready for our hiking adventure just a couple weeks before our trip. She was smiling & full of energy. We would of never guessed she was probably already sick. :*(

In the beginning

The Darkest Days


Dark are the days
Since my sunshine was taken away
Upon my darkest hours
Is when I don’t see¬†a future without her

Wondering what the point is
Of living this life with no bliss

Feeling like faith has betrayed me
Leaving me with only memories
Of what used to be

Dark are the days
Missing the love I knew
Searching for her in everything
That is beautiful, pure & true

Not a day goes by
That I bow my head down & cry
Missing our sweet angel
That now flies through the sky

Even on the darkest days
We go on & put on a show
Pretending¬†everything’s alright
It’s better that no one know

Dark are the days
When we realize with words unspoken
Nothing will bring her back

And our hearts will remain forever broken

broken chain