Two Years Ago

July 26, 2016

Dear Isabelle,

The world seems to keep on moving around me as I play with your brother and try not to focus on what happened two years ago today. I’m not sure how it is possible for it to seem like it was both yesterday and years ago when I last looked at your little face. So much has changed since that day, but life sometimes has a cruel way of reminding us of days we would rather forget.

It was two years ago today that I lost you. Two years since I held you in my arms for the very last time. I remember saying, “I’m sorry” over and over again, somehow believing that the whole thing was my fault, yet deep down knowing that it wasn’t. Two years since I said goodbye to you, the sweet girl who made me a mother. Two years ago my life changed forever when you took your last breath.

Those two years without you have been filled with numerous painful reminders that you aren’t here. Sometimes, when I see a mother of two escorting her children into a restaurant or a mother playing with her daughter and son at a playground, I can’t help but feel a bolt of envy. I hope those mothers know how incredibly blessed they are to have both their children to hold in their arms.

Despite the twinge of pain that remains, my heart eventually learned to feel joy again. Those two years also gave me your brother, Mark. He has to be the happiest baby I have ever seen. I definitely see God’s hand at work when I think about his cheerful personality. Each morning when I go into the nursery to feed him, he starts giggling uncontrollably, pulls up on the side of the crib, and grins at me. I am pretty sure he is my biggest fan right now.

Sometimes, Mark will babble to himself or look straight up, waving his hands around and smiling. Your father likes to think that you two are having a conversation and that Mark is playing with you. The thought of you two together makes me smile. There is no doubt in my mind that you are praying for him from heaven and keeping a special eye on him each day.

I keep a picture of your sweet little newborn feet in a large frame that sits on top of the tall bookshelf in Mark’s room. Each time I sit with Mark in the glider, I look at that picture and think about you looking out for him.

Tonight, I fed your brother in the glider and stared at that picture. As he slowly began to drift off to sleep in my arms, he grabbed my pointer finger – something he hasn’t done in quite a while. His little hand wrapped around my finger brought my mind back to those final hours with you. Although you weren’t able to do it yourself, I remember holding your tiny hand and curling your fingers around mine. This evening, my heart ached thinking about that memory. After a few seconds of dwelling on that moment that took place two years ago, Mark began to stroke my finger with his thumb. As he continued to sleep peacefully in my arms, I couldn’t help but imagine, just for an instant, that it was you rubbing my finger as if to say, “I’m doing ok. Heaven is pretty awesome.”

I think that is the thought I will play on repeat in my head as I try to fall asleep tonight. It has been a pretty solemn day for me, and the thought of you happy and loving heaven brings my heart some comfort.

Sweet Isabelle, I think about you every day. Please know that your brother will grow up knowing your name. You will always be my beautiful first-born baby girl. I love you with my whole heart and pray that I will see you again some day, God-willing.


Your Mom



  1. Sue O'Sullivan says:

    Beautifully and powerfully written. I was moved to tears. Stay strong and keep her memory alive in your heart. Enjoy Mark daily. They grow up so fast.

  2. Anne says:

    Sarah, I am so touched by your posts each time I read them, but today’s post is especially poignant. It has been a difficult day for all of us. During mass this morning, I lifted all of you up in prayer, that God will wrap His arms around you and give you comfort and joy. Mark is an incredible baby boy, full of joy and love. I know Isabelle will always be by her brother’s side, and she will forever be in our hearts. We love you!

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