A letter from abroad
by Karla ° Monday, May 3, 2010
I really should take the time to share some of the letters that I get more often. Like this one for example, from Amy. It arrived in my inbox shortly after the five year anniversary of Ava’s death and sometimes opening a heartfelt letter like this one is helps lift the leaden cloud that's been hovering over my head these days.

Dear Karla,

My name is Amy, and I live in Australia with my beautiful husband David and my sweet, bright and very cheeky little 10 month old girl Sarah. I don't exactly know how a series of events recently led me to your story, but I am so incredibly grateful that it did, as it has changed my life in ways that I can barely describe.

When I first gave birth to my daughter, the immense love I felt for her and overwhelmning gratitude I had for her being healthy and happy was all encompassing. We'd lost a previous pregnancy at 3 months before we were blessed with our little girl so initially that feeling of gratitude was easy to reach within me, because my loss was still fairly raw. It carried me through those ! intense first few months of no sleep and cracked nipples and hormonal meltdowns and the bumpy ride of emotions that motherhood takes you on day after day. I understood how blessed I was and this kept me smiling even in the harder times.

In recent months though, something began to change. I started to feel a lack of control in my life and increasing feelings of depression, which led to frustration, sadness and at times even resentment towards my daughter (as difficult as it is to admit!). This crept up on me slowly until it was invading my experiences with Sarah and I now realise it was affecting both my happiness and hers.

And then one day, a few weeks ago, whilst looking up something completely unrelated on the net, I came across your youtube movie "In memory of Ava". I felt like time stopped - I was frozen as everything around me kept moving. Every part of my b! eing ached in shock, disbelief and sadness for what you and your husband went through. It affected me so instantly and completely that I did not know what to do next. I just kept going over it in my mind, again and again. I then went to "untangling knots" and learnt more about what you had gone through, and the love and loss of your beautiful daughter. I knew in that moment that I was changed forever because of you. When I heard Sarah stir from her nap, my heart opened up like an endless well of love - one that I realised I had in someway closed over the preceding months. I rushed to her and picked her up and drew in her smell, her soft skin, her innocence and purity and beauty. All I knew in that moment was how incredibly grateful I was just to have her, and that nothing else matters more than that.

Over the past few weeks I have not let that feeling slip away again. If things ever get difficult I take my thoughts to you and to Ava, and I am immediately reminded o! f how much I have and what a blessing my daughter is in my life. We play more, we smile and laugh more and I care about the housework less. I am happier and more present in every moment of my life. My husband has noticed the change in me and feels like he has got his wife back ("back from where?" I asked him and he wasn't sure the answer, but it was "somewhere I couldn't reach you"). The change within not only my being but Sarah's too is amazing - she is a happier, bubblier girl that she was a month ago, and i know its because I am now truly here with her, and grateful everyday for the joy she brings. I have found my loving self again and it is making everything beautiful.

So I wanted to write to you, to let you know the amazing impact you have had in my life. I know that it has just gone 5 years since the day that Ava came into your lives, and then left again so quickly. I can only begin to i! magine how the anniversary must be for you and your family, and hope y ou are somehow doing ok in the wake of it. I'm sure that not a day goes by that you don't miss your little girl so much that it hurts. I wanted to write to you and share my story so you can know that not only is Ava's memory alive and bright within so many people but that the gifts that she has given us are immense and life changing.

Thank you for sharing your incredibly brave story. Thank you for allowing your experience to touch my life and change it forever. To you and to Ava I am eternally grateful.

With love and thanks


*This letter was published with Amy's permission and names have been changed to protect her privacy.

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Yes, your story and your sweet Ava have touched many. I will never forget coming across your you tube video and just bawling. I vowed from that day forward to cherish my children more and to be more in the moment. Thanks to you and your Ava.

I remember feeling the exact same way the first time I read your story online. I even remember how it felt that day, after reading Ava's birth story, going to pick up Hunter from daycare.

Amy's letter that you shared and the thoughts of Ava that poured through while I was reading, have blessed me again today. Hunter had a really bad seizure last week (you probably saw it on Facebook). I needed so much to be reminded today that the gift of his life here with me is not to be taken for granted. Amy is just now finding out what I've known for a few years now...how incredibly strong and amazing that Karla is! ;) And your beautiful daughter and her beautiful story is still touching lives every day. You are so proud of her I know.

Thanks again for sharing yourself, your Ava and the blessings she has given to so many. It is a great reminder of how blessed I am.

Julie Ball
Posted by Anonymous Julie Ball :  May 10, 2010


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