A letter for Ava
by Karla ° Monday, April 3, 2006

Dear Ava

I can’t believe almost a whole year has gone by since you left us. Time has flown by at a miraculous pace, yet the sadness and pain of your loss remains heavy with every passing day. I’m still trying to pick up the pieces of my broken heart.

I want you to know that your dad and I are hanging in there. We miss you dearly and we think about you all the time. Sometimes the gravity of realizing you really are gone causes a deep burning right in the pit of my stomach until it resonates through my entire body. I know you had to leave, but coming to terms with your sudden departure still hurts. Some days the only thing that brings me comfort is to caress your tiny little hand and feet imprints. The healing is slow, but time helps.

Time also brought some clarity. Clarity has been difficult to find after the day you died and the blackness set in. As the days turned into nights, and the months came and went, dulling the burning rawness and sadness, clarity slowly started to creep its way into my thoughts. I was surprised when I began to realize that I have been discovering a lot about myself through you.

When you first died, your father and I swore that we would never let your death define who we were. We weren’t going to let this tragedy become our label. Yet, the more I tried not to define myself through you, the more I realized the impact you have left on my life. Slowly, I started to accept that your gentle presence was changing and redefining the me I used to know. You are one of the most important things that has ever happened to me, and I can’t help but be moved and touched by the giant impact you left behind and the gifts you have given me.

Your life awoke inside of me an awareness of pure, wholesome joy. Joy like I have never experienced before, and joy I yearn to know again. I felt joy that you were made up of nothing but the most completely authentic innocence that one can hold. Joy for all the memories you left behind, and most importantly, joy for your precious life, no matter how short it was.

Your presence has also taught me a valuable life lesson about making difficult decisions. I can’t think of many decisions more difficult to make than removing your own child from life support. Holding you in my arms while your tiny lungs gasped for air and your heart slowly stopped beating was the most bittersweet moment of my life.

Another important lesson I have learned through you Ava, is that life truly is fragile and something that should be treasured. A simple moment, a thread in time, can forever change us. I can honestly say that I was never truly alive until I came face to face with my own fragility.

And it is that fragility that keeps me humble and closer to the true meaning of life. Your daddy and I have grown closer together through our challenges. We were told countless times that the odds weren’t in our favor to make it through. It hasn’t been easy, but as we grow and change from this adversity, our newfound compassion and commitment to each other is strengthening. We share something special together, and that will never change.

I think the most valuable lesson that I have learned from you is that the true measure of life is not the type of experiences we go through, but how we grow as a better person because of them. I have grown from everything that has happened Ava. If someone would have asked me a year ago to find purpose in your loss, I would have been angry. But I know I am better person today. A stronger person, a more compassionate person.

So you did good kiddo. Those are some big lessons you’ve taught me. Thank you for touching my life in so many ways.

You are missed. You are loved. You will never be forgotten.

We’re hopeful the joy you brought into our lives will someday be felt again.

Hugs and Love,



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What a beautifull letter, as my tears flow freely while i am reading your letter to Ava I know she is very lucky to have had you and Mark as her mom and dad and to still have you now in her own way.I know she would be soooooooo happy and proud of you both
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 03, 2006

I love it...I was thinking just the other day about how it's almost been a year now. It doesn't seem that way. I feel like she was still just inside your tummy a few months ago now. I'm so happy to see you both growing stronger from your experience, which I'd hoped would happen. I could always tell that you and Mark have something so very special together, and there is just no way I could ever believe that you wouldn't get through this together and closer b/c of it. I so hope you get the joy of Ava again. I am still of the total belief that you above most deserve it.
Posted by Blogger Christi :  April 03, 2006

Wow! What a beautiful tribute! I cried as I read this entry aloud to my husband. Your journey has been so difficult to read and yet bittersweet as you said in your post. Your words make me hug my child tighter; you've given me a deeper appreciation for life! You are an EXTRAORDINARY mommy; my deepest prayers are with you!
Posted by Blogger Emily :  April 03, 2006

So beautiful, so beautiful.
Posted by Anonymous Suze :  April 03, 2006

What a lovely letter, Karla.

Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us.
Posted by Blogger Gina :  April 03, 2006

Posted by Blogger methatiam :  April 04, 2006

Heart hugs!
Posted by Blogger Cuppa :  April 04, 2006

Posted by Blogger Tachae :  April 04, 2006

Thank you for sharing your journey so openly. I cannot fathom the emotions you face daily. But Ava has taught you so much and you have been able to pass it on to us bloggers. I bet she is the most beautiful angel out there.
Posted by Blogger Donna :  April 05, 2006

You and your daughter are two of the most beautiful souls I've ever come across.

Thinking of you.
Posted by Anonymous Kristin :  April 05, 2006

Karla what a beautiful letter to Ava! SHe is smiling on her mommy all the time!
Posted by Blogger TBG :  April 06, 2006

So beautiful, Karla. Your sweet Ava has touched me, and changed my life, and taught me amazing things. I am forever grateful to you for sharing her with all of us.
Posted by Blogger Kristin :  April 06, 2006

Simply Beautiful!
Posted by Blogger Brandi :  April 07, 2006

Love goes on forever.

You proved that.
Posted by Blogger Judy :  April 09, 2006

ava was blessed and lucky to have a mom like you.
Posted by Anonymous Anonymous :  April 09, 2006

Beautiful....just beautiful.

Sleep peacefully sweet Ava, you more than did the job you were born to do on this earth.
Posted by Blogger Patyrish :  April 10, 2006

Hi Karla
You are a beautiful mom.
Your strength is empowering.
Thank you for your blog.

Ava touches lives still an always will. And Avas Mommy has touched Avas heart in Heaven and always will.
HUGS to you Sweetheart
Posted by Anonymous Sylvie Mom to Lilike & Locke. :  October 22, 2007


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