I’m Maddie’s Bampa, Heather’s dad. Heather is out of town this week speaking with members of Congress on behalf of the March Of Dimes and has asked me to try my hand at filling in for her.
Last week Heather spoke as a member of a panel at a conference in Asheville, NC regarding bloggers who write about difficult subjects (the loss of a child in Heather’s case). The participants in that segment of the conference were distressed to hear that after being so honest and open in her blog dealing with Maddie’s passing, someone would leave a negative comment. I, like so many readers from time to time, have seen those comments. Yesterday it happened again and the following comment was posted. “Didn’t you just lose Maddie? and your (sic) already pregnant again? did you even have enough time to mourn her loss? people just keep popping out babies and don’t think.”
The reaction from other readers was swift, emotional and articulate. I, as the grandfather who couldn’t protect my only grandchild and the father of my daughter who I can’t protect from the ongoing nightmare of losing a child, wanted to strike out at the commenter with everything I have. Thankfully others did that for me. It still leaves the unanswered question as to why someone would make such a mean spirited comment. Perhaps this person has had little control over her life and she’s attempting to impact the world in a way she feels she’s entitled to, much the same way someone might send a computer virus to unsuspecting victims.
But, in particular the commenter’s ignorant statement “did you even have enough time to mourn her loss” baffles me. Some people we know have actually said “Are you over it yet?” Mourning isn’t something with a finite time line or structure. I had a friend I attended kindergarten through high school with who was killed in Vietnam. His death occurred 42 years ago and I still mourn for Mark and make a trip to see his name on the Vietnam Memorial every time I’m in DC. Men I worked with who died in the line of duty 30 years ago….I still mourn for them and their families’ losses. Our good friend’s father still mourns for his miscarried babies that died more than 45 years ago. Everyday my wife and I mourn for Maddie with tears swelling our eyes. Mourning as a measurement of time, as if there was some sort of appropriate quantity, is a myth. It never stops, there is no closure. A period of mourning only exists for those not doing the mourning.
As for “popping out babies”… I’ve known that Heather & Mike’s newest daughter Binky has been planned for over a year. People who know Heather & Mike as most of us do, understand the agony they are going through. It’s the same agony that so many of you are experiencing with your own losses. I know we all have constant reminders that blindside us. We go to have our teeth cleaned and the dental hygienist asks about our children and grandchildren not knowing what has taken place. We went to an early season football game and one of the other season ticket holders asked if we didn’t bring Maddie because it was too hot. This is part of life’s stream. It keeps flowing whether we are mourning or not. Part of that life’s stream is having children. The most important thing in our lives is our children. I’m very proud of Heather & Mike’s skill as parents. It would be a shame to waste their potential because of someone else’s expectations.
I can’t believe the nerve of some people. That is just wrong. People are so ignorant
.-= pamela´s last blog ..A Precious Angel. =-.
Jennifer Travis says:
Wow, I can only imagine how these comments make you all feel. And you are so right, we cant follow along with what other people expect. We MUST do what WE feel is best. I pray that this baby brings some healing to all of your hearts and souls, although I know you willalways mourn her. I for one, support and admire that you are ignoring other’s expectations. Kudos to you for making your own way. I read your blog regularly and I cry everytime. I cannot possibly imagine the hurt, but I have a son who was born premature and his birthday as i understand is only a few days differenct from hers. They are so close in age and when this happened to maddie, i have never cherished my son more. Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts so candidly. God Bless you and your new baby. I pray you have a full term birth and a healthy and happy baby whom you can cherish as you grow old.
I am so sorry that strangers who know NOTHING about you are making such hurtful comments. I am the mother of twin boys born at 27 weeks. They have developmental delays due to their early arrival. Right after they turned one (they were not able to sit up yet) some woman asked how old they were. I excitedly replied that we just celebrated their first birthday. She looked at them and said well, what’s wrong with them? I said, “nothing is wrong with THEM but they want to know where YOUR manners are!” Unfortunately, we get comments like this a lot. Most days I ignore it but some days I get really fed up. God bless you and your family. You all are amazing people. Keeping you and Maddie in my prayers.
I love your response to that rude lady! Very clever, and oh so true! You just have to wonder why some people just don’t have the common sense to know that they are being rude.
.-= Katrina´s last blog ..Our Sandbox =-.
Anne Y says:
Some people just don’t have a heart. I, like 99.98% of the people who read this blog, support you, Mike, Maddie and Binky. The loss of a child is something that you never get over, your life is forever changed so you are never really ready to move on but you have to do what is right for you and your family.
We love you you wonderful Multiplying Spohrs!
.-= Anne Y´s last blog ..10 Ways to Support Boobies Today =-.
Sara Joy says:
I just love that picture.
And I just love what you say here. Thank you for addressing these careless thoughts by a person who so clearly has no idea what it is like to lose a child.
Thank you for so clearly articulating how and why there is no “getting over it”.
I’m a big fan of Heather and Mike, and I’m glad you are in their family. Even though I don’t know them or you in real life, it comforts me to know they have such great support at home.
Well done, Bampa.
.-= Sara Joy´s last blog ..It Isn’t Easy Being Green =-.
I couldn’t have said it better myself! We love you, Spohrs and Buchanans!! Yay for Bampa!!!!!!!!
ps. Mr. Buchanan, (I mean, Bampa), you mentioned you have lost colleagues “in the line of duty”. Whether that means police work or fire fighting, we THANK you for your service!!!!
Love and hugs to your entire family.
A N N A says:
What a beautiful, eloquent post. You are so right; there is no deadline for mourning. We ache for as long as we will, and it is no one’s business or pain but our own. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
I second everything that Anna wrote and I’ll just reiterate the thank you.
The fact that someone could come to this blog, read about Heather, Mike, Maddie and their friends and family and then leave something negative in the comments is incomprehensible to me.
Well said. I am afraid my emotions (anger) get the better of me when comments like that are made and I have a hard time articulating my thoughts in an adult and mature fashion.
Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
.-= Avasmommy´s last blog ..Signing and Whining =-.
thank you for writing this. we (my family and friends) are mourning a child as well and this is excellently put. we will never, ever, NOT miss Ollie.
love to you and yours.
Rebecca Zhang says:
Very well said. I greatly admire Heather and Mike and your whole family for their strength and ability to keeping moving on.
“A period of mourning only exists for those not doing the mourning.”
So true. Well spoken, Bampa.
.-= Alicia´s last blog ..Weekly WrapUp: October 4, 2009 =-.
Those were my thoughts exactly!! That was a very well written piece. No truer words could have been spoken. God Bless you Bampa.
.-= Gail´s last blog ..Week 6 Day 2 =-.
So very very true. I still mourn the loss of my best friend who died 2 years ago. I’m so grateful to have people in my life who still allow me that space when it takes my breath away. Y’all deserve the same.
Bampa, you rock!
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Got something on your mind? Say it. No worries. =-.
This is very true – and beautifully written. Some people can’t begin to understand that while death is a normal part of life, no one is ever taught how to handle death naturally, especially the death of a child. No one has any right to say or judge Mike and Heather, or anyone else grieveing for that matter. It takes time to heal…and time never ceases. So how can the healing ever really cease?
.-= mommaruthsays´s last blog ..What’s In a Name? Vol. Two =-.
nic @mybottlesup says:
oh bampa… your wisdom and words were so needed and appreciated. thank you for writing this, for loving your family so much. your words are so needed right now, as are heather’s. the strength she gathers within herself to speak at these conferences never ceases to amaze me. i take it that she gets that from you.
.-= nic @mybottlesup´s last blog ..coming up for air =-.
I couldn’t say it better if I had tried. You are a great father and grandfather. Maddie and Binky are so lucky to have a Bampa like you!
.-= Magda´s last blog ..6 Months =-.
Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] says:
Heather, you are a very lucky daughter to have a father who can so eloquently “stick up” for you.
Maddie & Binky are very lucky daughters to have a mama who sticks up for them.
And dad, thank you for taking the high road (I did not) and speak to the idiots who troll here.
.-= Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s last blog ..I LOVES me some Old Navy. So much so that I get to give you 50% off coupons. I KNOW! =-.
Deb on the Rocks says:
Eloquently said. So sorry that the mourning end up having to teach the naive and senseless about grief and grace. Peace to you.
Megan @ Mama Bub says:
Like father, like daughter. Beautiful post.
.-= Megan @ Mama Bub´s last blog ..Moved =-.
Hi Maddie’s Bampa, it’s nice to read a post from you.
I just wanted to say that I don’t think you even need to have an explaination for the terrible part of the comment yesterday about ‘popping out babies’. It doesn’t matter how long Heather and Mike were planning for. It doesn’t matter if it was a year or if they decided to have another baby right after Maddie passed, it doesn’t matter because you are so right that grief has no timeline and they will always grieve for Maddie, as do you and your wife and family and friends and readers and as will Binky. Every child is a blessing and some people yearn for a child even more after the loss of one of their own, while others just continue with their plans to have another even after their loss. Regardless, this second daughter of theirs is not a replacement, she is just an added joy to their lives, another piece to their puzzle and a piece that will help their grief to cope a little more.
I hope Heather has a safe journey and she is able to finish what she went for!
Lots of love,
.-= Krystle´s last blog ..Onesie. =-.
Well said, Bampa. Heather, Mike, Maddie and Binky are SO lucky to have you and Linda.
As am I.
.-= AMomTwoBoys´s last blog ..This Kids? Are NOT Good For My Ego. =-.
I really don’t “get” people and how on earth they can sleep at night after leaving a cruel comment to someone like Heather! It’s amazing that Heather and Mike open themselves and their pain up to the rest of the world and they deserve NOTHING BUT love and support from us as they go through this terrible thing that happened with Maddie as well as this wonderful time as Binky gets ready to be welcomed into the world! Lots and lots and lots of love from AZ, Patty
.-= Patty´s last blog ..I Am =-.
Well said, Bampa. Well said.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Cheap Sunglasses =-.
Lynn from For Love or Funny says:
.-= Lynn from For Love or Funny´s last blog ..While we’re trying to scare each other… =-.
I was so glad to read this post. So touching.
My children and nieces/nephews call my dad Bampa as well. My heart just melted reading this.
Bampa, Maddie has your eyes!!! She has YOUR eyes through your amazing daughter, Heather!!! This picture is BEAUTIFUL It made me smile As for those rude folks out there, not even Jesus could make everyone happy. You remember that………….you and your entire family are amazing. An inspiration to all!! Can’t wait to see precious Binky in February!!!
Maria @BOREDmommy says:
I’m so sorry that your family has to deal with such disgraceful, inconsiderate comments. A beautifully written post.
.-= Maria @BOREDmommy´s last blog ..Top Ten Thursday – My Favs =-.
Susan (woo222) says:
That picture just kills me. As do Heather’s stories of the adventures Maddie went on with her Bampa. Thank you for writing this and thank you, thank you, thank you for having the guts to write about the hateful, ugly people who attack your beautiful daughter and son in law. How dare they presume to know grief? Clearly they don’t. I’m sorry I am angry…I read Edgy early after it was posted and missed the hate spewed at Heather and Mike. So many of us out here in the blogosphere love your family with a passion that cannot be put into words. We love Maddie, we love Binky, we love Heather and Mike, and we love you. I admire all of you, everyday, for going about your lives facing the painful yet innocent questions of well meaning people who ask about your children and grandchildren. Anyone who has half a brain knows Binky could never replace Maddie. But is it so darn wrong for you all to have another grandchild to love too? It doesn’t mean you didn’t love Maddie or that you don’t grieve for her daily…at all. Much love to you, Bampa, thank you for writing while Heather is gone. ~Susan
.-= Susan (woo222)´s last blog ..Simple Earth =-.
So VERY true and well written. Mourning never ends. The feeling of loss is always there. Thank you for your eloquent post. I think of all of you often.
Hi Carrie, just curious but was it you yesterday that their referring too?? Probably not but I just hope your not because that person needs to disappear.
no – THAT Carrie has been banned by my server. THIS Carrie is more than welcome!
Ok, i’m glad to hear you can to that. Sorry Carrie! Hope all is going well with Heather. Have a good night
Certainly not me. I am so sad that another Carrie said such incredibly hurtful things. I am so glad she is banned from your server Heather.
You can ban people from your server? Nice! That can be a very usefull tool in a day in age when every SOB on the planet can read your blog if they want to.
And as someone who has no children (yet) but has seen another mother lose one of hers, I can totally understand that the best consolation to losing a child would be having another one in the house or getting pregnant with another one. Not that I’m saying I know how hard it is…
I’m so glad I had the chance to read this. And so very sorry that cruelty in the comments toward Heather, Mike, Maddie and their family continues. Perhaps there are some very lost souls among us who have never had the gift of love that Heather’s family gives so freely (and not just to each other, but to most everyone who reads this blog). You are very special people. I do not know how you manage the grace and courage that you share with all of us. I can’t imagine what you are going through every single day. My words will never be enough, but I think about you, pray for you, hope that some peace shines on you every day even if it is fleeting. Thank you for continuing to let me be part of your journey.
.-= Casey´s last blog ..Flashy cake =-.
I hate when people imply that mourning is something that just ends. My friend lost a *very* dear friend a year ago this month, and it haunts her, every day, whether it’s a song she hears or a picture she looks at…
Perfectly written, Bampa.
.-= Aisha´s last blog ..Music Monday: Songs to Get Stuck in Your Head =-.
You go Bampa! Binky is a miracle (period) and she will bring more love and different love to Heather & Mike. She is not taking anything away from Maddie, just adding more love to the mix :).
People who write such negative posts are hoping to inflict pain on others. Why? Who knows. Perhaps their own life is full of pain, and that is all that they have in them to give to others.
.-= Katrina´s last blog ..Our Sandbox =-.
Kat @ DrawingCowboys says:
I cant imagine anyone not realizing that mourning lasts for a long time. I also cant imagine anyone thinking the Heather and Mike are just brushing off Maddie by having another baby. You are all amazing and wonderful in your resiliency and willingness to share what has happened with us. Thank you for your post.
.-= Kat @ DrawingCowboys´s last blog ..Meme Post =-.
Bampa so beautifully written.Ignorant people will be that! You nor Heather should have to explain that Binky was planned a year ago. It’s no ones business. I am so happy for Heather, Mike and the rest of the family that soon Binky will bring some joy back into your lives and that Maddie will always be loved and never forgotten nor replaced.
Way to go Bampa! Great post, great words!!!
Love to you all!
.-= AmazingGreis´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Vacation edition… =-.
Maddie and Heather and Mike and Binky are so blessed to have you.
The one thing that death has taught me is that to actually survive it you HAVE to go on, no matter how much your heart is breaking. I’m so proud of Heather and Mike every day that they get up and manage to put one foot in front of the other. I said it earlier this week, they DESERVE the happiness that Binky is sure to bring them. Screw anyone who thinks otherwise.
.-= Jamie´s last blog ..Not the only one… =-.
I can’t even begin to fathom what you all are going through on a daily basis. And while I don’t know any of you personally, my heart breaks for you and mourns with you every day. I can’t imagine how anyone would think you were “done” mourning. I just don’t get it.
.-= Karen´s last blog ..Irrational Fears =-.
Bampa, well said. You have raised an awesome, strong, beautiful daughter. Job well done
Some people are heartless and spiteful. I can’t understand why anyone would say something so mean and ugly. I applaud Heather and Mike for having the strength and courage to continue with their plans of having another child, because you are right, it would be a shame to see their parenting skills go to waste. The love that they will give to Binky cannot be measured, nor can the time it takes to “Mourn”. My father died 17 years ago, and I am still mourning, and I will until the day I die.
It seems as though I am leaving something unsaid, but I can’t think of anything else to say…
OK. So I kinda of read every single day you post. But I have to admit, as much as I love LOVE love LOVE your posts, it’s also nice to hear the voices of people around you. It paints the picture of a beautiful family. One that Binky will be forever grateful for.
XO…. a daily reader.
.-= OHmommy´s last blog ..Making Polish cuisine posh, one blog post at a time. =-.
I *love* that picture.
An important message, eloquently said. You are a wonderful dad to Heather and Mike and Bampa to Maddie and Binky.
.-= Alison´s last blog ..Numbers =-.
Angelina Smith says:
This immediately made me think of a song I was listening to earlier; What It’s Like by Everlast.
There is a verse that says, “God forbid you ever have to walk a mile in her shoes, cause then you really might know what it’s like.”
These people say these hurtful things and judge without knowing what it’s like. All they can do is assume, and we all know what that does.
Queen of Quite-a-Lot says:
Aww, what fun to have you guest post and to share that sweet picture of you and Maddie. :o)
You’re an awesome Dad! Heather and Mike are so blessed to have you in their life and Maddie is blessed to have such an amazing and strong Bampa. I can’t wait to see a picture of you with Binky.
.-= Queen of Quite-a-Lot´s last blog ..Three Years. =-.
The negativity that comes from some people is absolutely horrifying at times. It’s such a shame that someone would come here and post such vitrolic words.
People like that are not wanted in these parts, and I hope they realize that by messing with the Spohrs, they mess with all of us!
.-= Ohmygoshi´s last blog ..The one where I hate on WMATA =-.
As I sit here feeling particularly heavy with grief on this five year memorial date of being told my young daughter would die (she did 42 days later), I appreciated reading your message.
Thank you for posting today…with a message I truly needed to read.
.-= won´s last blog ..He Would Come =-.
Unfortunately, with a public blog, it’s very easy for people who lack sensitivity chips to make comments like the one you mentioned. Be confident that *most* people who read your blog are there to support and encourage you in this rough time. A nasty “commenter” here and there is not worth the time and effort…I’m sure they are pretty pathetic to begin with. Keep your head up and be reminded that you have A LOT of people out there who love you guys and wish you all the best!
ever since i read an article including interviews with trolls, i’ve suspected that a lot of them are mean-spirited anarchists who revel in the chaos and bad feelings generated by their comment.
on a theoretical level, one would think that ignoring them would be the best solution. but in real life, this is all but impossible to do (and sadly that’s what trolls are betting on). i am glad, though, that there are people who stand up to the trolls, especially when they word things so eloquently.
oh, those eyes. you have the same eyes. i’m so happy that you all have each other. what a beautiful family.
.-= mommymae´s last blog ..badges of hotness =-.
It just encouraged me to make a donation to Friends of Maddie.
I love that picture! And Bampa, you’re the best!
I am so sorry that someone would say that to you. hugs. I lost my son 19 months ago and have a 4 month old, I was afriad that people who think or say that about me, but anyone who does dosent know how it feels. We are still mouring the loss of our son and forever will..
I am very touched by what you wrote. I literally felt sick to my stomach reading the comment that, whoever it was, wrote. That is just so horrible. I have no words to describe what I think or even feel about that, so I can’t even begin to imagine how it has made you and your family feel! I am so terribly sorry on behalf of that comment and that person who left it. Being through grief myself, but a lot less of what you and your family are going through, I can understand what you are saying. Mourning does not have a timeline. And for those who have never experienced it, they think it’s just a period, that is so true.
My blessings and prayers are still ongoing with you and yours. Take Care.
.-= McKenna´s last blog ..Rest In Peace. =-.
To come here and say such mean things is, just so wrong!! Obviously these “people” missed the “If you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all” day in their rearing.
Bampa you are awesome and I have to say those blue eyes on the two of you melt my heart.
Well said – beautiful post.
My dad died 18 months ago, and I like Heather quite a bit, I may have to sign up to have you adopt me.
(laughs at self and finds the point)
As I was waiting for Alex to fall asleep tonight, I realized that it’s the day my friend Christy died while we were in college. It’s still that stab of regret that she’s gone.
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..BFROTN: Tattoos & Drool =-.
Hi, I’ve been checking in on this site frequently since Maddie died and it was posted on whymommy. I’m one of the ones that quietly follows what’s going on and now that Heather’s pregnant my heart goes into my throat while I read each post hoping that nothing is going wrong.
I would never have thought that Heather needed to explain herself to anyone and yet she did, eloquently, when she talked about the due date.
I am totally astounded that anyone would be so horrible as to comment negatively at any time.
Heather, Mike, Maddie and Binky, you are all in my thoughts and I love coming over and getting the updates. I love that Heather so generously shares Maddie with us, it is a joy to see her smiling face in photos and videos and to read about her.
Bampa, I really admire your post. You do an awesome job of being a guest blogger and you are obviously a fansastic dad and grandad as well. I completely agree in regard to mourning those special people who were around us. It doesn’t stop even if life and grief blend a little more as the years pass and it’s not so raw. The eloquent way you have addressed the subject is a credit to you. I’ve also got to say that I *love* the photo of you and Maddie.
To the rest of Maddie’s family & friends, I know that you too are hurting. Please know that you are in the thoughts of people you don’t know and will never meet.
Tracy M says:
I despise how many people believe grief comes packaged in a cute little box with a pretty bow on it. Grief is messy & grieving is difficult. There’s no “time limit” on grief & if you think so then you’re seriously delusional.
It sickens me to read the horrible, careless things some people say. As if not having Maddie didn’t ALREADY take away from the absolute joy of having Binky, someone has to throw their awful two cents in?
I feel sad for that person. They’re a giant jerk and they probably don’t even know it.
Oh, and ITA that Mike and Heather are great parents. Heather’s loving, hilarious, heartwarming, fun-filled parenting style was the reason I started following her in the first place.
Very well said! Not only is it none of their business, but way beyond out of line. I’m glad you addressed it!
What a beautifully written post. Like I said before, Maddie is looking over you and is with you everyday. She would be proud of the two of you. I think of you often and wish your family all the best!
I am so sorry you have to deal with these mean people. I read your words because you are so heart felt and meaningful with them. You don’t just slap words on a screen. You inspire me as a parent and as a friend. I just wish that if people didn’t agree they would just stay away.
Have a nice trip.
ohh and to add…Heather you look so much like your Dad.
‘Tis unfortunate that some people must insist on causing pain when we have such a capacity to love and accept. Sorry for the rude ones…we hope they figure it out someday.
Here’s something from one who is ahead of you on your path. Her child has been gone for two and a half years and she is very eloquent about the truth:
All I can do is post a positive comment here so that Mike and Heather (and Bampa) will know there are still people rooting for them. Hopefully the positive continues to outweigh the negative. Heather is so brave to keep putting her heart here for us to share. I’m so sorry that some people abuse this privilege.
Very well said Bampa! You should have never had to explain any of that, but you did a great job anyway!
And I agree, Heather, you look just like your dad:)
I can’t pretend to understand Heather and Mike’s and your pain – I have lost family members but I am not a parent. I know how crippling grief can be, and I pray that everyone has the strength to keep moving forward.
I am glad that all of you have a new baby to look forward to, and it’s 100% crystal clear that the baby is not a replacement, it is 100% crystal clear that Maddie will always be a part of your lives.
.-= Angela´s last blog ..The girls =-.
I am a total stranger to your family…but please let me say this- your daughter and son-in-law are so blessed and fortunate to have you and your wife.
I am so sorry that society can be so cruel and judgemental. Grief is not something one “get’s over”, I imagine it is something one attempts to “get through” on a dialy basis. Im not even sure I have the right to believe this since Ive not been through it. I am just so dumbfounded that anyone could be so uncaring, rude and disrespectful. Its downright inhumane.
I was happy to learn about Binky andI hope your daughter has a healthy, full term pregnancy and an easy delivery!
Best wishes to you and your family,
Anna Marie Hinnant says:
Bampa, you rock! Your post brings tears to my eyes and pain to my heart. Thank you for reminding us all to be kind.
Seriously, there is something wrong wtih some people. I think its more than clear how you still feel about Maddie. And why would someone think that conceiving has anything to do with the fact that you are of couse still mourning your loss. The absolute need to bring joy and hope into your life is the the best way to truly honor what Maddie brought to you. When Binky is here, while you will still of course be in mourning, you will have to do some things that perhaps you would not have had to if she were not. Things that are wonderful and fun, but hard to do when in mourning. Those acts for Binky will be the highest form of self sacrafice and I have nothing but admiration for you and how you live your life!
As always this family handles even negative comments with such steadfast grace. Thank you for the update on Heather. She’s doing very important work and I commend all of you for pulling together.
As far as “getting over it”…I remember years ago after Sally Jesse Raphael’s daughter passed away in a car accident…she said “you never get over it.” And her point was…that once you realize that…you begin to build a life around it and sometimes that makes all the difference.
There’s this crazy expectation that we have to “get over” loss. I think this is, in a lot of ways, is how grief starts to affect us negatively. Clearly, even in the early stages of such a horrific loss your family is already making something positive out of losing sweet Maddie. I think it’s beautiful and wonderful and I hope you never “get over it.” Peace be with you.
.-= Chrissy´s last blog ..Defining Moments =-.
Hi there Maddie’s Bampa. I have often worried about how terrible it must be for Maddie’s grandparents to grieve and see there beloved children grieve for their precious daughter. It must be horrifying. And, as you so eloquently explained, not something that one “gets over”.
Heather is your dear baby girl. It is terribly beautiful to see you speaking out for her, while she is off doing important work for babies and their parents. How I wish you didn’t have to do so. As always, I wish you all peace, comfort, and a safe delivery in the new year for binky.
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..I Miss My Thumb – A Sucker’s Lament =-.
I have read this blog for over 6 months now and have never posted a comment but your family is in my thoughts, heart and prayers every day. It is sad (but a very common reaction) that one thoughtless person can cause such pain and ire. Really, there are so many good, supportive, helpful and wonderful people out there; how can one obviously not-too-bright person be the center of so much ill-deserved attention? Why do we, as humans, let that negative person or comment get under our skin when there are so many positive, intelligent and thoughtful people who know, love and care for each other and for this family? The best option seems to send them prayers for their own healing and then just ignore them. Stay focused on the positive intentions and don’t spend a second of your precious time on those that really don’t matter. We all know what is in our hearts and that is what matters.
Bampa, may I call you Bampa? I guess the ability to tug on heartstrings is genetic because, just as everything Heather has written, your post made me cry. I read every day and usually cross my fingers that I and everyone else gets to do a happy-dance because of good news. But there are definitely the days that I end up crying. I never knew I was such a crier until I started reading this site! I honestly didn’t know someone had written something so terrible until I checked for today’s/tomorrow’s post and read what you wrote. I am pretty proud of the internet community for jumping on that. Your post is beautiful and everyone has said it before, but for every one person that is soulless and cruel (maybe 1/2 person because can you really call someone so empty a whole person?), there are probably 10,000 people that would bend over backwards to support y’all. Thank you for writing and we are certainly happy to read any family member’s thoughts, if for no other reason than to reassure you that we would support you.
I’m so sorry about such insensitive posts. It speaks to the relative anonymity of internet posting and commenting unfortunately. I know it hurts to read. If I had to guess, its a high schooler or college kid with no real life experience who doesn’t understand or has never experienced grief. I give Heather and Mike so many heartfelt thoughts as they struggle with this, it is truly unimaginable and defies definition. As someone who likes to crawl under a rock when dealing with struggles, I have been awed by their ability to write about it, but I feel that it is probably much more healing and healthy to be able to talk about it and share it and hope.
The comment that was left yesterday was definitely harsh and ill written. However, I think it’s wrong to demonise everybody who raises concerns about Heather’s choice to have a second child so soon after Maddie died. By writing her blog and documenting their life online, Heather and Mike should expect feedback — both positive and negative. I donated to the family after Maddie’s death, and I raised my eyebrows when Heather announced her pregnancy.
As somebody who has lost a child and is expecting her second any day now, I feel as though I can speak from a fairly informed place. Of course, each situation is unique, as are the ways we all cope with loss.
I always knew I wanted several children, and when I lost my first I was struck my this awful, empty loss. Almost immediately, I wanted another child… I wanted to continue to grow our family. *I* NEEDED a baby. It was, frankly, pretty selfish of me. I wasn’t thinking about the baby’s needs, I was thinking about mine.
I was also struck by depression… the ”normal” sort of stuff one would expect when one loses a child. I wasn’t thinking straight, and emotionally was in no place to look after a child. Thankfully, I managed to see sense of some sort, and postponed pregnancy until I was healthier, until the baby wouldn’t be stuck with two messed up parents, until the baby wouldn’t be born with a role to fill.
Mourning the loss of a child never really stops, but that intense pain does ease, the ”I can’t get out of bed” feeling eases, life starts to normalise again. From what Heather has been writing, she is still very absorbed in Maddie’s death. Of course she is, it’s only been 6 months. At some point, it will be much easier and she’ll be more healed. It’s a cliche, and it’s frustrating to hear, but it’s true… time is a great healer.
The question, really, is how much Maddie’s death will impact the way they care for for their second daughter, how much of a shadow she’ll live in. If Heather still has issues getting out of bed, is that a healthy environment for a child to be in? I think that’s where a lot of the criticism comes from… losing a child is a massive thing, a new baby is a massive thing, both so close together is mind blowing.
Heather and Mike had a choice when they conceived, the baby didn’t have any choice… grieving is a LONG process, but I think in this situation, Heather and Mike most definitely do have a duty to get their acts together more quickly than other parents who have lost a child. They need to be emotionally healthy for the sake of the new arrival.
I hope it works out. I hope Heather and Mike are in a better position emotionally by February. I hope the baby doesn’t have to live in Maddie’s shadow.
Abstractly, i don’t agree with the idea of conceiving a child so soon after one dies, not because it’s an insult to the first — just because I think parents need a prolonged period to grieve without it impacting a new baby. But I wish Heather and Mike well.
I hope you’re not in any way suggesting that Heather and Mike would schlopp all their sadness onto Binky or bring Binky into an environment where she will not be cared for properly. From what I’ve read, all she has is love to give. I can’t think of a better couple to be blessed with a second daughter.
i could not agree more, Sue. the Spohr’s are amazing people who, i am certain, will continue to be amazing parents to their second daughter and who so richly deserve the blessing of Binky.
even having gone through a similar situation (Carm), i don’t believe that you (or anyone–Carrie) can or should question their decision to add to their family or suggest that in some way it was wrong…..it is THEIR decision and no one else’s. i am sorry for your loss as well, Carm but you made the decision that was right for your family and Mike and Heather made the decision that was right for theirs.
to maddie’s bampa…..this was absolutely beautiful. thank you so much for sharing and please know that many of us are praying for and thinking of all of Maddie’s family.
This blog’s title is not “The Spohrs Are Multiplying…what do you think?” I’m sure Heather, Mike, and their family love and appreciate all the outside support they are getting on a blog they originally set up to keep their friends and family updated on Maddie. Heather is an amazing mother and individual and frequently asks for suggestions when she feels it’d help her. With that said, that is not a license to spout unsolicited personal opinions on what they’ve experiencing or how they’re dealing with in their lives. As CJ stated, every decision is made from a personal position that none of us, however empathetic, can ever fully appreciate, and we all need to respect that distance. If you wouldn’t ring her doorbell to say it in person in good conscience, you probably shouldn’t be saying it any other way either. I think most of us here would rush to a neighbor’s door to offer love and support and share the joy of a new baby…it just happens that Heather & Family have inspired an outpouring of love and goodwill from too many people to fit in the apartment next door, so this blog is the only way to reach her vast support network!
Bampa – what a strong, wonderful, and wise post! Clearly ‘amazing’ runs in the family! Glad we get to keep you for a week!
Dear Maddie’s Bampa and Heather’s Dad,
I often think about you and your wife and wonder how you both are. Thank you for this so very moving post, as I read your words about you and your wife mourning for your precious Maddie every day with tears swelling in your eyes, my own tears started to fall. I have tears falling as I type these words now. I’m just a stranger to you and your family, but you and your family have such a very special place in my heart and I think of you all every day. For me its been such an honour to read Heather’s blog and I have learnt and continue to learn so much from your amazing daugter. Your daughter and son-in-law are indeed wonderful parents, they have learnt from the best! You and your wife are wonderful parents too.
I read yesterday’s comment and straight away disregarded it. Please know that your daughter has so many loyal readers and supporters all over the world who admire and love her so very much. We surround her with our love and support by reading her words and holding her hand on this journey.
Thinking of you all every day and mourning your loss with you every day. Your precious Maddie made such an impact on this world and will never, ever be forgotten.
Erica in Luxembourg
catherine lucas says:
You are a wise man Bampa… I am sorry that the lady yesterday said such infantile things. I have never doubted that your whole family is in mourning, and that has nothing to do as you say with time… The day Heather posted the little handprint on your glass door I nearly choked. Lucky for Heather she is surrounded by people like you, who value children and give them unconditionally love. Bampa, you did a fine job with Heather, and Heather will do a fine job with Binky, just like she did with Madeline. We should forget about trolls, and give them no attention at all… Maybe just report them to the police! What a shame that this blog straight from the heart is also visited by mean spirited people… We have to live life though with the good people, and lots of those around here…
.-= catherine lucas´s last blog ..If I were a princess… =-.
Aww, never realized that Maddie has Bampa’s eyes Sooo sweet! And those people who keep making horrible comments are just plain cruel! I can’t even imagine why anyone would want to say something hurtful. Maddie was obviously very blessed and very loved by mommy, dadd, bampa, grandma, and anyone else who ever met her. And Binky will be too!! And thank goodness for Binky that her mommy and daddy decided to be brave enough to bring her into the world and give life a chance again after such a horrific tragedy! I wish you all nothing but the best!!!! HUGS!!
Very well written. Some people are so ignorant. Gosh, I wish they could just follow the old adage, “If you don’t have something nice to say….”
.-= Candice´s last blog ..Kindermusik =-.
Hi Heather’s Dad,
That was most beautiful declaration of love I have read from a father to his daughter. If my dad loves me half of you love your Heather, I am so lucky.
It is so nice to see you on here writing on behalf of Heather. I do not, however, think you need to spend an ounce of your time explaining anything. That idiot from yesterday doesn’t even deserve an explanation. My coach was killed in TWA Flight 800 almost 15 years ago, and I still mourn his loss and cry and feel pain and anger about it. It was a profound and life changing event for me. And I think you should never have to explain your grief or pain to anyone. If they don’t understand, they most likely, soon will. Quite honestly, I feel the ignorant people who write these things represent the crap that can be the ‘bad’ in life, like the yin/yang theory. They come out and they test us, and they push us to stand up and keep fighting, and not take shit lying down. I wish people didn’t do wildly hurtful things, such as these horrendous blog-haters, but in the end, I always go back to what my husband says: FUCK ‘EM. Just saying it feels good. Go Bampa! We love you and your amazing family! Binky will be so happy to meet her Bampa!
Mary in the NY says:
For Bampa, Gramma, Mommy, Daddy and everyone else –
I wanted to say – I look at Maddie’s pictures all the time, because her gorgeous little face and often hilarious expressions make me so happy. It’s still really strange to me that I look regularly at pictures of someone I’ve never met, but I can’t seem to stop. She’s just too delightful.
I am terribly, deeply sorry for the agony that you’ve all endured, and clearly, I didn’t know your child, but I really am so happy she was here, even if it was just for a little while. Thank you for her. That beautiful face makes my day.
Hi Heather’s Dad. Thanks for writing for Heather. I missed that comment yesterday and I’m not sure I want to read it. … Your family are in my thoughts and heart every day. (((Hugs))) to you all.
I did look at the link because I thought your quote was just a part of what the troll wrote. If that ‘person’ meant what she wrote and she isn’t just a troll amusing herself in a sick way, she is very mentally unstable. I can’t feel sorry for her though. She attacked someone all of us here care about. So you little troll from yesterday, may you enjoy your karma. You earned it.
One more thing and I will drop it. … And troll, while you are spouting your nastiness, Heather is traveling all the way across the country to HELP OTHERS in the middle of her own tragedy and feeling very physically ill on top of it. Take a good look at yourself before you judge anyone else, much less Heather and Mike.
Scary Mommy says:
It would be tragic not to bring another child into a family so filled with love. You all are an inspiration, and that person is disturbed.
Gah. Beautiful post. *sniff*
The idea of a finite period for grief is baffling — as is the mean-spirited behavior occasionally found online.
Mourning as a measurement of time, as if there was some sort of appropriate quantity, is a myth. It never stops, there is no closure. A period of mourning only exists for those not doing the mourning.
Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, and for helping Heather with her workload. I’ll be thinking safe, relaxing thoughts for her on her travels.
Bampa, Heather, Mike, Binky and family,
Some people have no idea, some people are so crass, some people have no brains, or if they have they don’t engage them before writing or speaking.
That said, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother said of her beloved husband that, ‘Grief doesn’t get any easier, you just get better at living with it’ I’m paraphrasing, but I think that sums it so well.
Be strong all of you, life gets in the way of everything, no matter what you try and do. Don’t let other people upset you, smile serenely and let it wash over you. Either that or tell them politely to poke it!
.-= Maddie´s last blog ..Happy Anniversary! =-.
I agree that there is no time limit on grief. My beloved grandmother passed away 11 years ago, when I was 10 years old. I still miss her. I still think about her everyday. I’ve lived more of my life without her than with her, and yet I still catch myself thinking that I’ll drop by and see her or send her a cute card or something. Not that that compares in ANY WAY to losing a child, but I totally do get it that there is no “getting over” losing someone you care about. You learn to step around the hole that was made when you lost them, but you can’t fill it in.
What a beautiful picture! And so beautifully written about the process of mourning. It breaks my heart to know there are individuals that feel they need to give their two cents when it is not needed or welcomed. I pray that those that have left mean-spirited remarks are very few. It is so unnecessary to judge others when you are not in their shoes.
So many followers of this amazing blog love and adore Heather and all of her family. Heather is blessed to have a wonderful father!
~Hugs from TX
.-= Alli´s last blog ..Long Time No Blog =-.
J from Ireland says:
It amazes me that some people can be so horrible.
You are such a wise man. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all.
.-= J from Ireland´s last blog ..Yummy Mammy needs help. =-.
I think people say mean, rude, or outrageous things because the attention they get makes them feel powerful. Part of me hates to see them get attention from posts like this one, but another part of me is relieved that people are willing to call others on their obnoxious comments.
But most of all, I think it’s wonderful to hear from another of Maddie’s family members. It makes me so happy to know that Maddie had such a loving, dedicated family. Great post, bampa!
I bet the vast majority of people had the same reaction I did to Binky: how wonderful for Heather and Mike! In some ways, a new baby will make certain hurts more acute, I think. But a new baby is about expanding the love in your heart, not erasing previous experiences or trying to “get over” a loss. Maddie’s family will always miss her, and it will always hurt even though the nature of the hurt will change over time.
.-= J.´s last blog ..Second Birthday =-.
A couple of years ago my husband was talking to a woman and she told him about her daughter, who died in a car accident. Her grief was so fresh and raw and he asked her how long it was since the accident. It ws more than 20 years earlier. You never get over loosing a child. Hugs to your whole family.
Well said; you’ve done a wonderful job of filling in!
I’m a long-time reader but have never commented before. I am a labor and delivery nurse on a high-risk unit where most of our patient’s have stories like Heather’s when she was pregnant with Maddie. I have followed their story eagerly, almost as though I were following some of my own patients into the NICU and beyond. I can’t fathom the pain of losing a child, and therefore would never attempt to fathom a family’s choices that occur after that loss.
As for the mourning timeline, I can relate. Your post reminds me of my own dad who died nearly eight years ago. I still miss him all the time, and would give anything just for one more conversation with him. Heather and Mike are lucky to have an involved and supportive family, especially a family that supports them without judging their decisions.
Well said Bampa! I am amazed at the audacity of some people. Heather and Mike you do not owe the world any explanations at all. I think it is wonderful that you have chosen to use your blog to share your memories of your precious Maddie, your grief and your life. You do it with such grace and love that you have allowed us a glimpse of your soul that should be honored and celebrated even in your depths of your despair. You do not owe the world an explanation for Binky – she is God’s gift to you and Mike.
Whatever happened to the saying – if you can’t say something nice then don’t say nothing at all?
.-= Tracey´s last blog ..I’m bothered and upset….this is long. =-.
I think the only way a person could be so evil as to leave such a nasty comment is if they have never been through something like that, never knew someone who has, or if they simply are so miserable with their life they have to bring everyone else down.
Oh and Bampa – what a wonderful writer you are.
Hugs to you all oxo
Oh, Bampa – You DON”T have to explain why your daughter and son-in-law are going to add to the family by having another daughter (and you another granddaughter). Or, fer chissakes, the fact that you are still in grief and mourning. The sensible, humane, rational and intelligent in the world get this. But, sadly, I know that you are not talking to us alone and that the ignorant, the stupid, the misinformed and the just plain mean have opposable thumbs and dexterous fingers and have learned to work a keyboard over the years as well.
.-= stephanie´s last blog ..About those bearings? =-.
Kristen McD says:
What a beautiful post.
My heart just breaks every time I read Heather & Mike’s feelings since Maddie’s passing. When she says that this new little one, that she’s carrying, has saved her life; it’s truly a wonderful thing to hear!
It’s sounds like they have the most loving, supportive family, surrounding them, that anyone could ever hope for.
Bampa; the picture of you & gorgeous little Maddie is absolutely breathtaking. I know that she will be in your thoughts every day of your life. I can hardly wait to see this new little one cuddled in Heather’s arms!
Eric's Mommy says:
What a wonderful post.
Bampa. Heather looks like you! You beautiful, eloquent man. I have been wondering how you are going, ever since Heather mentioned once that you would perch Maddie atop your shoulders and walk around your house.
I’m so deeply sorry, at everything you and your family are going through. Thank God for Binky. I think Heather’s pregnancy is a miracle, a blessing, an utter gift. I think the timing is PERFECT.
Love to you xo
.-= edenland´s last blog ..I Will Never Have a Daughter =-.
Just another lurker coming out to give hugs and support. It’s so nice to see family support through all of this. You all will remain in my prayers.
Well-said, Bampa. some people have no class and this individual surely is one of those. Thanks for writing!!
Jen @ lifelove'n'wine says:
Heather and Mike, I am so sorry that someone was so hateful to you. Know that so many of us out here love your family and support you…people like that apparently get off on hurting others and love the attention they get for it. Thank you for sharing with us.
.-= Jen @ lifelove’n’wine´s last blog ..Simply Fabulous =-.
I need to go back and see that comment, I am a long time reader and first time poster
That made me clench my fists in anger taht someone would be so insinsitive.
I can’t say that I know what Heather and Mike are going through, but I could probably imagine what I would go through if it were me.
Binky is a miracle and blessing and I sure it makes waking up and getting out of bed a smigen easier for Heather
That person who left that comment is a jerk, and far worse, but I won’t tarnish this wonderful blog.
You are so strong, Heather and You, Mike, Maddie, and Binky are in my prayers
Cindy in Canada says:
Beautifully said, Bampa!
Bampa- You are an amazing man! You have always been so kind, caring and loving. Heather learned her loving and kind ways from you and your wife and it shows. This post was very well written. As Ava’s mommy posted above, when I get angry, it is hard to think like an adult and push my emotions to the side. You did just that and out came a loving post about your precious daughter and granddaughter! I think of you and the Mrs. often. Please come back and post again.
.-= Sara´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday =-.
Very nicely said, Bampa. So glad that Heather, Mike, Maddie, and Binky have you all during this incredibly difficult and incredibly joyful time.
wow. What a beautiful post. Heather and you both have a gift for writing. I also agree, that Maddie has your eyes Bampa! So well said. My eyes welled up reading it and I could not agree with you more.
My thoughts are with Heather as she speaks on behalf of March of Dimes.
Nellie - New York says:
So brilliantly and lovingly written from a parent who’s heart is full of love for his children and grandchildren! Your words touched me deeply and reaffirmed how loss is never about a time period – loss is infinite and how we deal with it is our way of dealing or handling it and should never be judged against another’s.
Cruel words from others only proves to us that their hearts are not pure, their spirits are broken and struggling with right and wrong. It’s a shame that they need to spread it over others instead of seeking the help they so desperately and obviously need.
Sending prayers, hugs and love to all of you and may you always be wrapped in peace and serenity.
Amazing post. You did such a great job. I am so sorry for your loss, and appreciate you being so open and honest about your feelings and protecting your daughter. I cannot believe people could be so cruel. Makes you wonder what kind of miserable life they must have.
Shannon Kieta says:
You Go Bampa!!!!!!
My name is Shannon, I have adopted Heather since my sister passed away last Janurary from Lung Cancer. So I am ver protective of my “niece”. So that would make you my adopted “dad” right? Well, dad, I tell you, I would like to reach through cyberspace and shake the sh@# out of these ignorant no good for nothing people, but I let God handle them because, one: They have to answer for what they have done…one way or another. Or two, they have had something horrific happen to them and were never able to come to terms with it themselves, so they lash out at others to deal with their own problems. I know it is hurtful, but we know how wonderful Mike and Heather are, and we know how devastating this has been to them. No one could EVER replace beautiful Maddie Moo, not that we ever want them to. She is Binky Boo’s guardian angel. You are a phenominal father and grandfather, but I am sure you already know that! Heather and Binky,and(Maddie) are lucky, lucky ladies to have such a charming Bampa! Thanks for keeping in touch! Shannon (your new adopted daughter)
Your words bring tears to my eyes. Your gentle way of relaying your feelings is better than any curse or ill wish towards an obviously troubled person (the writer from yesterday). Your daughter is lucky to have you, and blessed to have another child — I pray for the ongoing strength of your family and the health of your grandchild.
Midwest Mommy says:
Great post. I really can’t understand why people say the things they say. Breaks my heart that Maddie’s family is being hurt with such hurtful ignorant words.
Good luck Heather when you are speaking this week! You are doing an awesome thing for MOD.
.-= Midwest Mommy´s last blog ..If I wasn’t so ticked I think I would cry. =-.
Go BAMPA GO!!!!
This is an absolutely beautiful, heartbreaking post. Thank you. I can’t help but feel for your family everyday, let alone when someone is being so hateful.
Momma Uncensored says:
i almost vomited when i read this post, which i don’t attribute to morning sickness.
this carrie is clearly jealous of the love within heather’s heart. oh i’m just fired up now.
.-= Momma Uncensored´s last blog ..YES+ =-.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Bampa. I’m so sorry that others can be so insensitive to the pain that your family is going through.
((((hugs to you all))))
.-= Deborah´s last blog ..More Sketching =-.
Dorothea Richards says:
Thank you Maddie’s Bampa – I can see where Heather gets her compassion, insight and strength from.
Thanks for the beautiful, eloquent post Bampa. Why in the world would someone say something like that? What ever happened to what my Mom and Grandma used to tell me – if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Have we really all become so focused on ourselves we can’t see anything else?
I feel sorry for the commentor. Sorry, she is so selfish, sorry she is so self righteous, sorry she is so uncompassionate. Even in all the sorries, I hope she never has to experience what Heather, Mike and your whole family is going through. If the commentor ever does though, I hope she remembers this comment she made to Heather.
Love to all of you.
Stranger/friends in the STL
First of all….I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I first found Heather’s site the day Megan announce Maddie had passed. I lost the site after that until I stumbled upon it again. Since then, I have sent daily messages to Heather and sometimes, Mike too.
As for the Dumb Ass who wrote such an insensitive thing yesterday, she isn’t worth our time. Those of us who “know” Heather, walked besided her during this most difficult time, knows Binky was NOT conceived out of anything BUT love.
I for one am very proud of Heather and I am in awe of her strength, how she is making an impact in this world and the love she has for Maddie.
I never Maddie….never had the honour yet through this site….Heather’s pictures, words, raw emotions….I feel like I not only know Maddie but I have fallen in love with her and now, I too mourn for her.
Heather is lucky to have you as a father, just as Maddie is lucky you are her Bampa. I believe with my whole heart Maddie is still around all of you and I just know she is as proud of all of you as this stranger friend from Canada is!!!!
It breaks my heart that these things even need to be said, that anyone would ever have to defend people who have been through the hell that Mike, Heather, and all of those who love Maddie have been through. Don’t people understand that if Mike and Heather waited until they were “done” mourning Maddie, they would never have another child?
They are lucky to have you. You are a gem, Bampa. I’m sorry for your loss.
.-= kgirl´s last blog ..Heaven =-.
now i see where heather gets it from…it being her strength, poise, and above all else, grace.
sending nothing but well wishes to you all as you continue down “life’s stream” as a united, loving, and inspiring family.
Kristen – You pretty much took the words out of my mouth. Wonderful Bampa, wonderful daughter, wonderful family.
I can’t believe that there are people out there with such negativity towards your situation. I’ve been reading/lurking for awhile, and I keep your family in my thoughts on a daily basis. I don’t have children of my own yet and can’t even imagine what you are going through.
Thank you for including all of us in the internet world in your struggle, sorrow, happiness, and Binky!
I have nothing but love and support to give you guys. And I have confidence — confidence that when your second daughter arrives, she will be in the strongest, most loving hands.
If only every baby could be born into such a warm, caring, and responsible family.
Go Heather’s dad…You hit it right on the head…I often think of Maddie’s grandparents..how difficult Maddie’s loss must be on all of you as well.
Shame on those few people who choose to critize rather than praise the gift of life…Nobody’s business!!!
Peace to all of you.
So eloquent Bampa! You said it all so brilliantly. It breaks my heart that Heather and Mike have to read and hear stuff like what was posted yesterday from such ignorant people. You’re right, the only people who think there is a timeline and an end to mourning have never mourned themselves. I lost my almost 11 years ago, it still hurts today, that doesn’t end, ever.
Hugs to all of you. All of you are always in my heart and on my mind.
.-= Lisa´s last blog ..Miss Maddie =-.
I don’t know you, Heather, or your family but the love that you all have for one and other is the kind of love I hope my kids grow up with you are a great family and a example to us all!!!!
Bravo! You are exactly right about the negativity. There is too much going on in my life and in my family for me to ever criticize the decisions of others or how others grieve. That’s not to say that I don’t have time to support those who are hurting or celebrate the joy of others. I always have time for that.
I have often thought of how awful it must be for the grandparents and aunts and uncles having lost Maddie. You loved her no less than Heather and Mike did, yet somehow your grief is different because you also see your own child suffering. Praying that you all find peace and comfort today.
.-= Megan´s last blog ..My life. Right now. In bullet points. =-.
Like many others, I’m so very sorry that any of you have to deal with unkind people. I will never understand why some people are like that or how that could possibly give them any pleasure. And as much as we all want to just ignore it, turn the other cheek, and all that stuff, it still hurts. Hopefully the huge amount of love and support that the rest of us have for all of your family helps make that hurt slightly less. I had someone tell me that you never get “over” it; you just somehow get through it. Love to all of you. I hope Heather’s travels are safe and productive.
I’m sure that the loss is extremely hard for everyone that personally knew Maddie…I find it hard and I only knew her from this blog. It disgusts me how heartless and thoughtless others can be. I come to this blog everyday to check on Heather and Mike, I don’t know them other than their blogs but I want to make sure they are still surviving the best they can.
As a Mom I can not imagine losing my child and as a Mom to a 26 week Preemie I know how easily it can happen. I get choked up just thinking of the babies that passed away while my daughter was in the NICU, I don’t think a day will go by that it won’t bother me.
Very well said. I’m not a person that gives out hugs very often but please hug Heather and Mike for me. They are two people that don’t deserve negativity. Take care.
.-= Barb´s last blog ..Winter Hat Season is here! =-.
Awesome Post Bampa! I can’t believe someone would say that my heart goes our the Heather and Mike and the family.
I am so sorry someone said that
.-= daisybv2´s last blog ..5 Years Ago Today…. =-.
Very well said! Heather is blessed to have such wonderful parents and family. I can’t believe someone would make such a horrible comment when they are suffering so!
We love you too Bampa – Thank you so much for writing to us.
The people who would hurt Heather and Mike are mentally ill – seriously.
We know that you and your entire family now have a grand canyon size hole in your hearts for Maddie that can never be filled.
Big hugs to YOU and St. Grandma
.-= deej´s last blog ..Don’t Look Back =-.
I am not surprised to learn first hand what a wonderful, loving, supportive, compassionate dad Heather has.
My own dad is Papa to my 2 girls. I am so grateful for the role he plays in their lives.
I cannot imagine living with the nightmare left by Maddie’s passing.. your family is prayed for by ours every day.
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Super KK =-.
Well Bampa, I see where Heather gets her way with words. This was a beautiful and eloquent post. I have so much love & admiration for your family.
Thanks for the guest post. I hope that Heather is successful in her trip this week (and feeling better, too).
I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Maddie’s passing really is a loss for the whole family, not just Mike and Heather. I know that nothing can “fix” your pain and grief so please don’t take this suggestion as such. I wondered if you’d reached out to any local support groups, such as Compassionate Friends. I understand they welcome parents and other family members grieving for children. I find it incredible that people think you’ll ever “get over” such a huge, aching, missing piece of your life. That is unreal.
God bless your family.
.-= JAR´s last blog ..The Week in Pictures =-.
Again…I am just absolutely sick to my stomach that people can be so …..I can’t even think of a word that best describes the thought I am trying to convey. I am so terribly upset..I just can’t form the words. To Mike, Heather, Bampa, Binky, Rigby, and all of your entire family: I am so sorry for little Maddie not being with the world any longer. She was a beautiful girl, and her passing saddens me greatly. I can’t imagine what you all have and will continue to go through, but I hope that this blog continues to be some sort of healing mechanism for you. I do know that you help so many with the sharing of your personal lives; you’ve helped me a great deal. Please don’t let the heartless get you down. Keep your heads high, and never forget that you are all tremendously loved!
Well said Bampa!!!!! I’m lovin’ that picture of you two! Hugs and blessings!! We are here for all of you!
I love that picture of you and Maddie! Thinking of you all – you have so much support!
.-= Meredith´s last blog ..What it doesn’t look like =-.
Proof that grandpa’s are some of the most wonderful people in the world
Jennifer M says:
Well said, Bampa.
Thank you Bampa! You’re completely right.
heather is lucky to have such a wonderful father, and your granddaughters a wodnderful grandfather
Heather, You are so lucky to have such amazing parents. I am thinking of the post you wrote a while back about envy and jealousy. I am definetly jealous of that relationship. It is beyond awful what you have to deal with everyday, but I am so happy for you that you are surrounded my amazing people. Enjoy them.
.-= Beth´s last blog ..My First Movie =-.
That bond between a grandparent and a child is so special. It’s like they have their own love. When I see my dad holding my child and just stare in awe it warms my heart to no end.
I started reading here the day before Maddie’s passing and not a day goes by I don’t think of all of you. The pictures of Maddie and you are priceless. I guess I don’t have to tell you that. Thanks for filling in for Heather today. You did a great job! I’m sure Heather is proud
Much love to all of you and keeping my fingers crossed that Miss Binky stays put in that belly till 2010!
Lindsay from Florida says:
I ADORE both of my grandfathers (one whom I lost at age 10 and one who is still with me): a granddaughter’s relationship with her grandpa is a wonderful thing, and I ache that it was cut too short for you and Maddie and pray with all my heart that it will be fully realized with you and Binky.
What a beautiful post. You and Heather look so much alike it takes my breath away, and based on your eloquent and insightful words here, you two ARE so much alike. You have raised an astoundingly amazing daughter.
It is not just Heather and Mike that deserve to have their boundless love and talents as parents shared with a new child. That picture of you and Maddie is LOVE, and I can’t wait for you and your wife to share that with your new granddaughter.
Binky is one lucky, lucky, lucky baby.
My mother died 14 years ago. I finally realized somewhere around year 10 that I’ll never be “over it”. All we can do is try to move on in ways that make sense to us and work for us. I think having a child is a wonderful start.
Perfectly said. Love to all Spohr/Buchanan clan. I mourn Maddie every day too – it just isn’t fair.
I don’t understand those who think you can just “get over it”. They obviously have never had to deal with a loss of a loved one.
It is not something you “get over” but something you eventually learn to breathe through….13 years later this Thanksgiving from when I lost my brother and I still think of him daily, I still grieve for what could have been and I still cry. You never “get over it” and life as it was before is unalterably changed.
Heather and Mike are in my thoughts daily and I was so happy for them when I heard they were expecting Binky. Binky will never replace Maddie but she will help bring back some of the joy.
april in NJ says:
Beautiful post from a beautiful man. I’ve come to know Heather, Mike, and Maddie from this blog but always wondered about the grandparents and how horrible/devestating this all must be for you too. I can only hope that Binky brings some small measure (or great big measure) of happiness for all of the Spohr/Buchanan clan. We all miss Maddie… even those who did not know her.
And that troll should be found and shot. Some people are heartless. I hope one ignorant comment does not outweigh all the love and support that I see here daily on this blog. If I had even 1/10th of this support or love… Heather is a lucky woman.
god bless you all.
love and hugs from NJ.
What a beautiful and loving post. There is no accounting for some people’s viciousness. When I read comments like that, I immediately feel, more than anything else, sad that someone would be so consumed with negativity that that is all they can spew.
Please know that there are thousands of us out here who are grieving with you, who want in some way to shoulder part of the load to assist you and your family. God bless you all.
Judy Oyhenart says:
The pain of being asked about your missing loved one is being reminded of the loss. The joy of being asked about your missing loved one is that someone else, too, remembers them and says their name.
So thankful that Heather, Mike, Maddie and Binky have such wonderful families.
I too read the comment yesterday and was just too disgusted to even respond. It’s just unfortunate that there are those out there that feel the need to trash people when they are down.
Sending hugs and love to you all.
.-= Kristin´s last blog ..Yes, Big Families CAN Go Out to Dinner =-.
Thank you Bampa. You words were beautiful. I know that losing someone isn’t something you EVER get over. You just learn how to keep living.
.-= Keyona´s last blog ..Bursting To Let It Out =-.
You are Awesome.
The fact of the matter is-
all of us who are here as parents-even though we have never physically met you or your family-
we all are grieving for your family-for maddie. Sometimes when I look at my children (i have a baby who just turned 1) I think about maddie and another mommy who lost her son about the same time. And my heart aches for the parents and for the children too. The children we have lost have amazing parents and grandparents such as your daughter and you.
Peace be with you.
Nice to meet you Bampa!
You have a beautiful family and we think of you daily. I’m so sorry, over and over, for the loss of Maddie. Her beauty and spirit radiates, even though she has moved on, and we are forever changed.
I’m sorry for mean people. They suck, and they are worse off then you and I will ever be. Can you imagine being stuck in such negativity all the time?
Thanks for sharing today.
.-= Heather´s last blog ..Bad Hair nap =-.
Carrie M. says:
You are a wonderful father who has raised a caring , compassionate and selfless daughter. You should be proud of the woman and mother she has become.
All the Best,
Carrie (Oconomowoc, WI)
It’s hard to describe how some people touch your heart, and you mourn them forever…
You’re such a great Bampa and Dad. Thanks for writing.
.-= Bridget´s last blog ..Not So Bad After All =-.
what a wonderful post. I lost my Grandmother on July 30th, and while I know it isn’t even close to the same thing as losing a child, I appreciate knowing that I am not a failure for not being able to “just get over it”.
My sadness blindsided me yesterday as I was driving into town looking at a beautiful maple tree in its fall process. I missed my turn to where I was headed and ended up about 5 miles out if my way.
My heart breaks for Heather and Mike. Binky is and will be an incredible blessing!
.-= Jen´s last blog ..parenting failure #4,632….or something like it. =-.
Good morning. You and Maddie have the same beautiful eyes. I truly feel sorry for people who say things like that person said to Heather because they are clearly so unhappy in their own lives that they feel the need to spew verbal hatred to innocent loving people. Thank you so much for this post, you did a great job.
Will you be my Bampa too?
No wonder your daughter is so amazing.
.-= Maria´s last blog ..heart-twisty grin =-.
Lisa from WV says:
What a beautiful picture of you and Maddie, and what a beautiful post.
I think people who leave negative comments are just trying to get a rise out of others, so it’s best not to even give them the time of day.
I knew a lady whose son passed away at age 17, and for many many months someone would call her and pretend to be her son and say “I’m really alive, come and get me mom.” This went on and on and pushed her near the point of a nervous breakdown. I don’t understand how someone could even form the thought to do something like this. How could a thought like this even enter a person’s head?
I hope that for every one hurtful, hateful comment, there are a million positive comments from people who wish you and your family love, peace, and joy. Anyone who has a fraction of intelligence knows that Maddie will never be replaced. I don’t even know you guys, but that was clear to see from the moment I first started reading your blog.
Love & prayers,
I started following this blog shortly after Maddie’s death and I want to say how truly sorry I am that your family has had to face such a loss. As a mom I cannot fathom ever losing one of my children. You have been very inspirational with your honesty in dealing with so much sorrow. I pray for your family that God can give you peace one moment at a time and I pray that this new precious little one will bring so much joy to your family and I am so happy that you have another blessed baby girl on the way!
I’ll never understand people that make mean comments–it’s cruel and makes no sense…
And you’re so right–ni matter how much time goes by, mourning is never “over.”
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..Apple Picking =-.
Thank you for sharing this with us all. And thank you so very much for putting that horrible woman in her place. I don’t understand how anyone could say such horrible things to Heather. I cannot imagine the pain that she faces every single day.
My heart hurts for you and your family everyday. You all are constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
Heather is extremely blessed to have you as her daddy.
Well said! I can only hope the love and support sent forth by the blog readers far outweigh the ignorance and heartless hatred of a few. I am so happy I started reading. Heather, Mike, Maddie, Binky, and Rigby are a beautiful family, I love you guys!! God bless!!!
Heather obviously comes by her awesomeness and writing talent honestly. How cool to get a post from you. I still have to think carrie is a kid, not that it excuses what she said but it was such a strange and unkind thing to say. It’s hard to imagine any adult saying something like that. Maybe (probably) I am being naïve. There are a lot of regulars here. Adults with kids and families and ordinary real lives who happened to find heather and who happen to think she and Mike are extraordinary. Heather is a gifted writer who happens to have experienced the worst thing imaginable followed by a most wonderful thing. Not a single one of us has anything but admiration for Mike and her. We all eagerly await the birth of your new gorgeous grand baby. And we will never forget Maddie.
Bampa – Thank you for your eloquent thoughts on mourning. And, for those of us who don’t actually know Heather and Mike and can’t do it ourselves, thank you for lifting them up and supporting them every day.
Great picture of Maddie and Bampa.
Binky will never replace sweet Maddie, but she may help ease some of the pain. My husband and I had started the adoption process a year before my Aunt was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, they gave her a year to live at the longest. We were called about the placement for our daughter in June of 07, she came home with us on July 22, 2007, and my Aunt died a month later, in August. I know it’s not the same as losing a child, but I know that Mea helped my whole family with our mourning. She gave all of us hope. I know that having Mea really helped my Mom, who will never be “over” the loss of her best friend and sister, none of us will be over it. What a cruel thing to say. As others have stated, you never get over the loss, it just becomes your new normal.
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Monkey Sooooouuuuupp =-.
Mama Cas says:
Thank you for writing. I can only begin to imagine the pain that you and your wife are in. Thank you for reminding us that other people are hurting for Maddie, too….not just her parents. There’s a whole group of people who are missing her and crying for her. My thoughts are with you.
And to the persons who fill this blog with their poison…..you are less than human. You are filled with cruelty and judgment. Go away. Find someone else to torture. This family has had enough of you.
First I would like to say that I was shocked to see someone wrote such a rude comment. I never go back and read what other people write, but now I am going to. It is no ones business if any one lost a child and gets pregant right away. If this person would of read Heathers blog she talked about how they were trying when Maddie was still with them.That would of made her 31/2 months to 4 months along when they lost sweet Maddie.Bampa the post was well wrote. MIke and Heather are amazing parents. I applaud them both. To the ones that write rude comments write something nice or dont write any thing at all. Hugs,
I am a grandparent too and cannot imagine the ongoing nightmare your family wakes up to and falls asleep with every single day since losing that precious little girl.
The nasty comment was so obviously made to get some attention for herself. The content is ridiculous and cruel. So very cruel. I wish I could feel sorry for that poster for being the kind of human who is so sick they could hit the submit comment button after writing that. But I can’t.
Keary Naughton says:
Wow! So articulate and true.
There are so many more of us in the world that think what Heather and Mike are doing is wonderful than the negative ones! Love from all of us strangers who think of your whole family daily!
.-= Lindsay´s last blog ..Cousin Love =-.
Thank you for responding to this!!! Whoever wrote that nasty comment is obviously is an idiot. Maddie can NEVER be replaced.
Heather is so lucky to have a father like you.
Aren’t Bampas and Gammas the best? Ours are Babci and Dadek – yet the love is the same…so powerful.
I’m always shocked at the cruelness of the human race. They will never “get over it” and the time to mourn.. well that’s forever. That will never end. How in the world could it. The person that said that is just heartless and mean. Binky will give them a reason to get up in the morning again, a reason to laugh, and a reason to go on living, when their whole world was taken away. I’m just speechless and really mad at the stupidity of some people to say such things. Too bad someone else can’t read the comments and then delete the ignorant stuff so they don’t have to deal with it.
Every life is as individual as a snowflake; so too is the grief that wounds every loving heart.
My prayers and thoughts are with you and your families everyday. We are always mourning the loss of my big brother (he was born into the world sleeping 40+ years ago).
Sarah B says:
It’s great to hear from you and see the perspective of someone so close to Maddie, Heather, Mike, and Binky- someone else who knows the struggle but also the joy in a profound way.
Not that the nay-sayers are worth much time, but I would point out to them that Mike and Heather have never had the easy road…with the heartache and worry they felt for preemie Maddie they still proceeded to be (and this is why this family has so many fans, including myself!) AMAZING parents who showed nothing but LOVE for their child. They did not let the concern for Maddie’s health problems overshadow Maddie herself- she was an exceptionally happy baby with love, support, family, and friends! With Binky, though Heather and Mike have been through so much, and miss so much….they will continue to be those people, those parents who inspire the rest of us.
We wish their burden was not so great, but we support them and send lots and lots of love.
Awesome post!! Well said.
Down with douchebags!!
Thinking of all of you daily.
I can’t imagine how you feel. Not only have you lost your granddaughter Maddie, but it must be so hard as a parent to watch Heather suffer and not be able to make it all better. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this. I’ll be praying for you.
well said Bampa!!
Now we can all see where Maddie (& Heather) got those beautiful blue eyes from =)
Aunt Becky says:
Beautiful. We will all always miss Maddie. Always.
.-= Aunt Becky´s last blog ..I Was Almost A Lesbian Once =-.
I love this blog!!!! Great job to you bampa! You really never know what it is like to grieve until you have lost someone so close. I have been down this road with people making these comments to me! I lost my husband 5 weeks before our second daughter was born. it has been 1 year and it amazes me the things people will say to me!
Heather and Mike you are amazing!!!!
MICHELLE in mo says:
you are one awesome bampa. i still cry over maddie and i am but a stranger. my husband of 8 years recently walked out on me. maddie upsets me more.
Wow Bampa – Maddie looked just like you! Very cute picture.
I don’t know why people would be so cruel. That’s a pretty strong personality flaw. I’m sorry you guys had to endure that.
you are a wonderful granddaddy.
.-= houpley´s last blog ..Mail Call! =-.
Thank you bampa! Much love!
.-= Jenny´s last blog ..Family Photos – Oct 2009 =-.
God bless you Bampa! And Heather Mike, and Binky. Maddie will always be loved and missed. Good for you that you have the courage to bring another beautiful life into this world after such a tragic loss.
Well said. Some people have a lot of nerve but no guts b/c you won’t be finding their name associated w/ such trash that they spew. They feel they can do that b/c they are posting anon but I hope that somewhere deep down they eventually feel bad about bringing pain to someone else that they don’t even know. No one deserves to go through what you all have been through.
.-= Kellie´s last blog ..Awe-Summm!!! =-.
well said about grief!! there is no right way or wrong way.
the world would be a kinder place if everyone had a fathers love like was shown in this post!
I really can’t believe the immaturity and ignorance of people who comment negatively like that without actualy understanding the situation! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you! God Bless
.-= Courtney´s last blog ..All the little things! =-.
It will be a year ago this month on the 21st that we lost our daughter to premature birth. A friend said to me shortly after that the pain doesn’t get easier, but with time it gets easier to cope. My friend said it better. I am currently pregnant again and as this baby is brining us much joy, we will never forget our sweet baby girl. Like everyone else has stated, this person, fortunately, does not understand the horrific loss of a child. People can be so cruel, but what they don’t see is that they are the ones that need to stop and think. I think about your family everyday and wish you well in the months ahead. Time doesn’t heal, but it brings comfort.
Well done Bampa. I’m sorry that Heather and Mike have to hear any negative comments but there’s no accounting for some people.
I feel as though I mourn for Maddie every time I read this blog and I feel as though I mourn for Matt’s wife Liz right along with him. Matt’s blog is how I learned of Maddie.
Take good care Spohr family, you’ve been amazing.
Kristi F says:
I never had the joy of knowing Maddie in real life, just thru the blog. I was, and continue to be, heartbroken that such a sweet little thing was taken from her family. Every time I see her picture my breath catches and I think “how can that lively little girl be gone?” I cannot even imagine the sort of person who would say hurtful things to this family. I pray daily for little Binky to be born at full term and healthy. The loss of Maddie will never be “done” for any of you. Please know that most of us out here want only the best for the Spohr family and would never dream of being unkind in any way.
I have been a silent reader for about 6 months now and felt compelled to comment on this, i think this is really well written and heartfelt! I wish everyone could understand and feel for people the way it’s described here.
That was an incredibly thoughtful and helpful post. Those kinds of things can only be said by the ignorant or the immature.
I got pregnant after loss within days and many friends laughed and called me “fertile mertile”. Yes, I was sooo lucky. I guess it was just meant to be.
I had people pull that baloney on me and I just ignored it. I had to, in order to move forward. I think that Heather is on solid ground, even as the struggle continues and I don’t know her, but if her words are any indication, All of you will be okay and I have faith that you will make the best that you can of it! Have a great day!
I hope that hatelful person gets whats coming to them. They don’t know anything about you guys. Im angry and for you at them, I just don’t think your family has any time to waste on anger. If only we could sacrafice the bad people in the world and bring back the ones we want….Sorry I am just so appalled by that person I hope they read this and realize their error. No one is trying to replace maddie…. your love for her lives everyday and will now also touch the baby sister that she would have loved so much.
“A period of mourning only exists for those not doing the mourning.”
So true, and well-said!
What a beautiful picture. What a wonderful, supportive, and loving Bampa.
My parents lost their daughter 20 years ago and now they’re dealing with watching one of their other daughters deal with the loss of her daughter. My parents lost a daughter *and* a granddaughter. They hear “You aren’t over that yet?” more often than I care to admit. They still mourn their daughter and they are also mourning their granddaughter. (It’s only been 2 years.) I, of course, mourn my sister and niece but I know it’s not the same as what my parents and my sister and brother in law are feeling. Anyway, such a long and rambling way of saying I really enjoyed reading your guest post and I pray for Heather, Mike, you and your wife all the time.
It shocks me that people actually say “you aren’t over that yet?”
You mean, the LOSS of a CHILD? Is that what they mean by the word THAT?
There is no “getting over” living without someone who is a part of you. The loss is always there. I just don’t understand why EVERYONE in this world who lives and breaths doesn’t GET that. It’s almost inhuman not to understand that.
.-= Katrina´s last blog ..Our Sandbox =-.
Katrina, YES. I mean, doesn’t being human kind of me you should get it? Even if you’ve never experienced it, come on!
Well said Bampa! Such a shame that people are so ingnorant and insensitive.
Jenny from Madison says:
I am glad Heather had you post on the blog Bampa. Yes, people can be so cruel. They must be very unhappy people to lash out like that.
I appreciate Heather’s blog- sharing so much of herself & her thoughts. Even though we will probably never meet, she has made me a better person & mom. So thank you for that Heather! Bampa- I am sure you are so proud of your daughter. She is amazing. I hope we will hear from you again sometime. Lots of love to your family & to little Binky growing!! XXOO Jenny
Bampa ~ You are so right about grief. No one knows each individual’s emotions and feelings. I still grieve for a friend that died almost 20 years ago. I found out he had died about 2 years after his death………. It was horrible and there are days that I still think of him.
Heather and Mike will hopefully have the strength to move forward and be wonderful parents to this new little one. The negative comments are most certainly from someone in a lot of pain, and they want to pass it on.
So many are praying for Heather and Mike and little one, now you too Bampa!!!
What an amazing piece of writing. Though I don’t know Heather, Mike or Maddie “IRL” but I’ve cried with them, laughed with them, and I constantly remember with them. My baby girl was born 1 day before your Maddie, November 10, 2007. Heather’s writing, her words, her honesty, has made me the best mom I can be. I’ll forever be thankful to her for that.
With warmest regards,
Colleen in Toronto
Dear Maddie & Binky’s Bampa-
While I despise the fact that there are people who say unthinkably spiteful things out there, I am so very very heartened to hear that Heather & Mike have such champions in their blood family, and the web-connected “family” that Maddie’s glowing spirit has united.
Jen L. says:
Well said, Bampa! Thank you for writing to us.
.-= Jen L.´s last blog ..Mama Like =-.
Bampa rocks. And Heather , you look just like him ! You all rock.
Love to all of you all the way from the East Coast.
.-= ruth´s last blog ..Random stuff =-.
Lovin this pic of you and Bampa. You are so bee-utiful little Maddie!
cindy w says:
Perfectly said, Bampa. You, Maddie, and your whole family are always in our prayers.
.-= cindy w´s last blog ..Random Friday =-.
Marti from Michigan says:
Wow, what an awesome blogging family! I recall my niece and nephew calling their grampa (my dad) “Boppa” and “mema”, so cute! My own daughter called grampa “papa”. Bampa is so precious! I love the picture you chose with Maddie, she is watching over you and your wife as well.
I’m so sorry for the unkind comment. Some people don’t think before putting the keyboard in gear. Open mouth insert foot kind of moment.
I am an adult and still grieve my parents who died in 2005 and 2007. I still grieve my nephew who died in 1988 at age 3 months. I definitely still grieve my own 26/28 (they weren’t sure) week gestation son who died after only hours in 1973. I ponder the 2 miscarriages I had and wonder if I will ever meet them some day. Grieving is a journey and sometimes it lasts a lifetime. Maddie will NEVER be forgotten.
I love this blog and I’m thankful I found it (through Flotsamblog). God bless all of you!!!!
I hate that evil Carrie garnered such attention, but it was a beautiful post.
My cousin passed 17 years ago when he was 18. That loss has NEVER left our family. I can feel the tears welling up just writing about it.
The loss of a person in your life is traumatic, let alone the loss of a child. That kind of loss transforms a parent. I am sorry that anyone has had to be transformed in such a way.
I applaud what I view to be Heather & Mike’s EXTREME courage in their decision to move forward with their plans to add to their family in the wake of Maddie’s passing.
Corinne Cooper says:
well said Bampa oh & now I know who Heather looks like….
i’m glad i missed this comment, as i have had the same ones just different meaness. probably from the same person.
my heart bleeds for you and your family. everyone!
.-= gorillabuns´s last blog ..give me a medal or at the very least, raise your drink in my honor =-.
To her Heather’s dad:
You write so beautifully and eloquently and I can see where Heather got it from (even though I am a new reader). And I can also (even though I don’t know you in person) can see where Heather gets her strength from. How brave and strong of you to come over here to write, after Maddie’s passing and instead of bashing the person who wrote that mean comment; you instead saw their viewpoint and you didn’t let it boil you over. That speaks in volumes of a person’s character.
I’ve commented before to Heather how I am so sorry for her loss (as we all have) and now I want to say it to you: “I am so sorry for your loss.”
Bampa, you are a class act.
.-= Zakary´s last blog ..A Post Where I Cheated And I’m Still Too Sick To Use The Internet =-.
When I read that Heather was going to have another baby, I was so happy for her. A friend of mine told me once that her baby healed places in her heart that she did not know were broken. I hope this baby does that for Mike and Heather. Not that anything could ever replace Maddie, but they will have the chance to be parents again. That is such a blessing.
Denise Jones says:
Yes, Bampa, it’s obvious where Heather got her writing ability. I do not know Heather and Mike, but have come to love them as I would love my own children. Yes, I share in Maddy’s loss even though I didn’t know her. I pity those who seek to hurt others by making hateful, insensitive comments. It matters not when Binky was conceived, only that she IS and she WILL BE. I can just see Maddy now, clapping her hands in utter joy as she watches from Heaven. Blessings to all!
Thanks, Bampa, for your wonderful words. I loved your thoughts on mourning, something some don’t completely understand as they haven’t had the tragedy of experiencing it. My Dad lost many friends in Vietnam, as well, and tears well up in his eyes whenever he talks about them.
People will always and unfortunately be spiteful and rude in their comments on other people’s lives, but it’s the rational, classy, and honest retorts that will stand the test of time and be remembered.
Dear Bampa, You are awesome. Truly.
One thing I know has been said, but I’ll say it again, is this: there are always going to be ignorant trolls who leave hateful comments everywhere. They are jealous and mean. They don’t think before they speak and I doubt they were ever taught manners, kindness or respect. However, for each one of them, their are hundreds of us, who adore Heather and Mike. Who will never forget that beautiful granddaughter of yours. Who will never see a purple balloon and not think of her smiling face. Who can’t wait to “meet” Binky.
I’ve only met Heather once, this past summer. But even if I never see her again (which I doubt) I will never, ever forget the light and joy that is Maddie. I promise.
.-= Issa´s last blog ..Guest Post: Anyone know a good joke? =-.
I may not be the most articulate commenter, but I hope that I think before I type. How could anyone say something for hurtful? Heather, I am sorry that people are so insensitive.
.-= Christiana´s last blog ..Booty-liscious =-.
Bravo. Very well said.
Sending white light as always.
.-= Cat´s last blog ..As Opposed to a Wrestler =-.
People say mean things to people they don’t know on the Internet because (1) they don’t know them, so they don’t care if they get hurt, and (2) they LOVE to get a huge reaction to it. I think someone should moderate Heather’s comments for her so she doesn’t have to read anything mean-spirited. These people should be ignored. Acknowledging them only encourages them.
This irritates me more than anything really. When people try to put a timetable on grief and try to tell you how and when you should grieve and what is and isn’t appropriate. No one knows what is right for you except you. I love this post. I have talked to my parents and in-laws about how losing my daughter has impacted them, but it is nice to read it from yet another grandparent. It gives me new perspective.
And to those readers who don’t know what they are talking about…SHUT UP.
.-= Kim´s last blog ..A Day at the Orchard =-.
Very well said, and what a beautiful picture.
.-= Erin´s last blog ..Thinking Back =-.
well said Bampa..
my husband and I lost a baby in 2007. Though not in the same way as Mike & Heather. Regardless, you are never done grieving for your child. They are and will always be a part of you. Having a new baby is bittersweet, but the best thing that can happen after the loss of a child. This new baby is not or will never replace the child you lost, but he/she will bring back a smile to your face and happiness back into your house. I wish both Heather & MIke the best.
I love your family and can’t imagine why anyone would ever want to say such bad things.
I pray for them. I pray this baby stays in Heather’s womb a few days past her due date and is born healthy. Strong and healthy.
Heather and Mike are fortunate to have such an inspiring support group with people like yourself at the base of it. I’m sorry people choose to bring more distress into their realm w/comments like those that were posted. All children are a blessing from a God; and He chooses the timing of each and every one. (As an individual w/a “plan” who endured 3.5 years of infertility in trying for out last one, I can attest to this quite passionately.) Good job, Bampa and God bless you, Heather, Mike, Binky, and angel Maddie.
.-= Angie´s last blog ..Burt’s Bees =-.
Joe @ Irrational Dad says:
It would take me a week to read through all the comments on this post, and I’m sure I’m just re-iterating what others have already said…
People that leave comments like that are ignorant. Plain, simple, and true. They don’t know truly what is taking place in the Spohr household, and are passing judgment without taking the time to learn what they can. It’s ignorance of a situation, and the anonymity of the internet that give these folks the voice to say mean/thoughtless/insert-word-here things. And although you, Mike, and Heather know the truth, it doesn’t stop the sting of what the trolls say (troll is an internet term for these types of people) from popping you right in the emotional heart.
It’s unfortunate that people, whether intentional or not, would say things to hurt another person. It embarrasses me, as a commenter, to know that people stoop to this level instead of doing something more fruitful, like learning the proper use of “you’re” and “your”.
By the way, this was written very well, Bampa. Great job. Maybe Heather will let you throw in some guest posts now and again.
.-= Joe @ Irrational Dad´s last blog ..No Tyler, No Tyler, No Tyler =-.
Binky will be blessed by having Heather and Mike for parents…God said children are a blessing from Him…hope they can not let thoughtless people affect their happiness in having another beutiful child….I loved their post about their dreams they had of Maddie…I too lost a niece and had a dream about her…I know where she is and Maddie is there too…walking on streets of Gold.
Well done, Bampa. Mourning doesn’t ever end. I’m just hoping it evolves into something not so raw and painful. I lost my dad in July, and so I’m just waiting it out, day by day, trusting it will get a little easier.
I’m sorry there are such mean people in the world. There’s a lot more nice, understanding ones. Knowing that makes me happy.
My niece died at the age of 5 months 13 years ago. We still mourn her loss, we will NEVER be “over it”. And, yes, one year after she died, my sister had another baby because she felt it would help her heal. And that new baby helped ALL OF US heal, not “get over it” but help us move forward in this life. The scar from losing my niece will always be there but often new life helps us get through. What in the world could be wrong with that?
.-= mythoughtsonthat´s last blog ..What I Wanted To Say/What I Said Instead =-.
Well said, Bampa. This reminds me of the expression about how we don’t get over grief — we get through it. Heather, Mike, you, and Maddie’s other grandparents are getting through it as best as you can. Keep your chins up and know there are plenty of us readers who love and support your family.
.-= Pattie´s last blog ..My Happy for the Day: Craig Ferguson & the Craigettes’ MMMBop =-.
Dear Maddie and Binky’s Bampa –
I had to come back again and check in on you. (My second comment, first was this morning)
Maddie and Binky are very lucky to have an awesome Bampa like you.
Hugs, hugs and more hugs to you sir.
.-= deej´s last blog ..Don’t Look Back =-.
Jodie Brooks says:
What a wonderful Bampa and Dad you are!!! How lucky Heather, Mike, Maddie and Binky are to have you in their corner. The ignorance of people sickens me. I’ve miscarried and although this is NOTHING compared to what you and your family are dealing with, it’s something that I still mourn and I’ve had 2 children since. I think these people who say these things must be pretty lucky to not have experienced death or a loss in their life. Hasn’t anyone ever taught them, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’? Your family is in my thoughts and prayers ALWAYS!!
“A period of mourning only exists for those not doing the mourning.”
Wow, very well said.
I’m so sorry for you loss.
Michelle Pixie says:
Beautiful! The Shohr family is very blessed to have such a great Dad & Bampa. Hugs to you all. I am just so sorry there are such dim-witted people in the world who fell the need to say such a horrendous thing.
.-= Michelle Pixie´s last blog ..Classroom Help =-.
Very well said Bampa. Have you ever considered blogging? I think you’d be good at it.
Momma Uncensored says:
i am in awe of the resemblance!!
.-= Momma Uncensored´s last blog ..YES+ =-.
Nobody has the right in my opinion to tell anyone how long to grieve. I read this blog all of the time and I feel Heather’s pain through her words. I truly feel that Binky is a gift from God.
Heather is a wonderful person who has shared her life with us. It is ridiculous for someone to judge her or tell her to be done grieving already.
I still mourn my grandparents from time to time, and they have been gone 20 years.
Bampa, you and your wife are a blessing also!
I too have a daughter Heather..and a son in law Mike….
…….Julie in Ohio
Debra @ A Frugal Friend says:
Bampa…….. “Well Said”!!!
Those who haven’t mourned, don’t understand. I used to be in that group, but sadly am no longer. Even the closest of friends can expect you to be back to your old self after a few months of an unexpected loss. That old self doesn’t exist anymore. There’s no going back to the old self, there’s just learning to go forward, one day, one month, one year at a time, as a different person.
I know that a new baby will bring much needed joy to a hurting family. My little girl has done that too.
Blessings to your family!
.-= Debra @ A Frugal Friend´s last blog ..Fiction Friday =-.
Domestic Extraordinaire says:
What a thought felt post Bampa. Thank you so much for sharing insight into the grieving that you and Linda also are doing. Sometimes it is so hard to forget the others around something like this.
much love to you all.
.-= Domestic Extraordinaire´s last blog ..Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs Diamond Edition Review =-.
I have written on this blog more than I can count and NEVER once did it occur to me to be rude or hurtful.
The hurt you all have already endured is more than I can bear to think of at times.
It is very unfortunate that others are so ignnorant and desperate for attention that they would strike out and try to hurt you more. As hard as it is for me to even type this, they need our prayers too.
Bampa you are a wondeful father and grandfather. Maddie was a lucky girl for so many reasons and I feel blessed to get to know her through all of you.
As always, in my prayers.
What a wonderful post- Binky is so blessed to have such a wonderful grandfather waiting to love her. You are all in our thoughts and prayers as you continue to miss Maddie and wait for Binky’s safe arrival.
.-= Carrie´s last blog ..Would someone please direct me to the desk where I can turn in my resignation? =-.
Eric's Mommy says:
Not sure if you read ALL of your comments but I am commenting again.
It is so true that mourning never ends. I lost my Grandmother 5 days after my son was born and my 39 year old Aunt 9 years ago and the mourning will never be over. It’s so hard.
What a great picture of your Dad with Maddie, she makes my heart ache.
Seriously — I posted it before, but what is wrong with people? Didn’t their Mamas teach them, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all??”
As for “over it” – I don’t think a family ever really gets over a loss like this. The pain receeds slowly, but never really goes away.
Heather and Mike are the ONLY people who can decide when the time is right to add to their family again.
I am so proud of Heather and Mike for speaking on behalf of the March of Dimes in D.C. They are using their voices and knowledge to help other families. They are amazing…truly amazing.
K- You are an amazing dad, bampa, and friend. You will always have our love and support.
Really well-said. You and Heather are both great writers and amazing people. I’m so sorry for all of your pain. Thank you for writing.
Micaela C. says:
I’m 17 years old, and a little bit over two years ago, i lost one of my friends, she was 14 at the time. i mourn for her everyday… it’s so hard to run (cross country) without her by my side. it’s been two years and i’m not “over” it… i dont think i ever will be. i heard about madeline from the newspaper back in april, and i’ve been reading heather’s blog ever since… i feel like i even knew madeline… i bring her up daily…
so, whoever writes that sort of crap… you have no idea what the sphors are going through.
“time doesnt heal things, it just makes them different”
I cannot comprehend anyone who would leave such mean-spirited and downright evil comments on a blog such as this. Your response to this is much more eloquent – and far less swear-filled – than mine would be.
xo from CT,
.-= amanda´s last blog ..weekend. update. =-.
Well said, Bampa
Your and amazing person, father and grandfather. i wish there were more people out there like you, heather and the rest of your family.
I cant comprehend how anyone would leave such mean-spirited message!
.-= jackie´s last blog ..nothing like I thought =-.
The more glimpses I get of Maddie’s family, the more I understand why she was such an incredible child. She truly is from good stock. Like others I have no explanation for the judgemental comments of other- I just know that this new baby is another gift from God to your family and despita all the anguish that each of you have gone through you amaze me with your resole, fortitude and love. There is no better place for the beautiful baby in your daughter’s belly than in Heather and Mike’s arms, surrounded by each of you.
God bless each of you and always remember you’ve got thousands rooting for you- every day all day!
Bampa you rock. And don’t worry about trolls and people with no time on their hands but to cause drama. Heather and Mike have a group of friends who will defend them always.
This little girl I never met in person has touched my life in so many ways. I only hope that one day when I have kids I can bring them into the world with the love and support Heather and Mike have from you.
.-= Jess´s last blog ..Life is too short =-.
Hmm. Maybe writing is in Heather’s genes and she got it from Bampa. Well done, Bampa.
I am just shaking my head in disgust and amazement that anyone would find it appropriate to judge the choices of a total stranger. The most judgmental people are always the ones who don’t put enough care or thought into their own choices.
Your entry is so touching. Heather is so lucky to have such a wonderful dad to look out for her and protect her.
I lost my dad 6 years ago this December. I was only 18 when he passed away, and I miss him every single day, and I’ve come to accept that I’ll miss him every day for the rest of my life. The best thing we can do for our loved ones is to keep living life and honor their memories and be grateful that we even had the chance to love and know the people we’ve lost.
I will keep Heather and Mike and Binky (and of course Maddie) in my thoughts these coming months. They deserve happiness and their future children deserve the wonderful loving parents (and grandparents) that await them.
You are obviously a GREAT dad (+ “bampa” of course), just reading about Heather tells us she has a rock solid team backing her up. I seriously can’t believe how mean and ignorant people are…sad. I’m thankful for Heather’s openness and sad people write stupid things.
Well said Bampa, WELL said..
Beautifully written, apparently Heather gets her writing skills from you. So sorry that there exist human beings who possess such anger and disgust on others. You are a lovely family who deserve the best, including as many children as Mike and Heather want, as we all know they produce incredible babies
Very well said Bampa – I am shocked to read such terrible comments from others who expect this to all be over or forgotten – I lost my dad when I was 9 years old and 30 years later I still mourn for him every day and I think now that I am older some days are harder than when I was a kid because of what he is missing in mine and my family’s life. Regardless of time or age I think when you lose someone you love you never “get over it” you will always mourn them time doesn’t take that away. And to all those negative people “IF YOU HAVE NOTHING NICE TO SAY YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T SAY IT!” or in this case write it.
jill from upstate ny says:
thank you, bampa, for sticking up for heather and mike.. and writing so beautifully about what it means to mourn and how it’s not tied to a clock and that it’s an every day experience. This person who wrote so heartlessly must make Heather (and her family) question whether it’s been worth it to go public with Maddie’s passing and the agony you’ve all experienced in the aftermath. I hope the love, hope and sympathy the vast majority of us have for you and your family can drown out these ugly posts. We love you all and support you and when Binky is born it will be the biggest hip hip hooray across the blogosphere, to be sure!! xxxx
From a Nana to a Bampa
I heard somewhere years ago that “hurt people-hurt people”. I’d be willing to bet that this is the case with Carrie. While it does’nt excuse her behavior, maybe it explains it. I can only feel pity for her.
As a grandparent myself I have often wondered how you and your wife are holding up. My husband and I have an 18 month old grandaughter who is the center of our world. She has been very ill for the past two months and we thought at times we might lose her. I could’nt imagine finishing out my life with that much pain in my life. She was finally diagnosed correctly today and her disease is treatable! I just wanted you to know that I think of you and your wife often. It takes my breath away when I think of what your family has endured.
I think it’s amazing that we tend to remember the negative comments in life – which are usually few and far between, but we’re hard pressed to remember the hundreds and thousands of compliments received in a lifetime. I still remember the boy who told me to quit singing in church (7th grade). To this day, I still don’t sing in church (although I don’t go much).
I just wanted to say that I and so many others are a part of an army of caring individuals who would seriously throw down for you and your family. I’m awe struck by the sheer numbers of people who seriously love your family. When the negatives come your way, just imagine us all filling (and I mean filling) an arena, waving banners and shouting much love for you all.
I have learned so much by reading your blog tonight. I am a single mom, and I feel like whoa me right now. But reading about your story makes me realize that I should be greatful for my gift. I cry because my daughter doesn’t have a responsible father, and your tears are because you won’t get to see or hold your daughter ever again. I feel selfish at the moment.
I had my daughter at 32 weeks. I had no idea why I had her early or what was going on with my daughter. Now she 22 months old, and I swear she stays sick. From Pneumonia, RSV, and now an Upper Respiratory Infection. The doctor says that this is all because her lungs are not developed and because she has Asthma. What am I missing?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org..
Nicely said. Heather & Mike don’t deserve the negative comments.
Michele Wallace says:
Beautiful post, and great pic! I CANNOT believe people, reading your post has gotten my blood pressure going. I delivered twins in 04, losing one at 3 1/2 months at UCLA, to think that someone would EVEN think about saying such a harsh thing to a parent who has lost a child pisses me off. (excuse me)! I think of Heather and her family everyday and have never even met you guys.
(((hugs to everyone)))
I’ve followed Heather’s blog since shortly after Maddie’s passing. As the mother of a micro preemie, it has always struck so close to home for me and and I was SO HAPPY to learn that Heather was pregnant; it seemed so right for her. However, I’m still somewhat confused by the entire blog concept — putting your whole life out there for everyone to read. Perhaps this is a sign of my old age (43), and of course, I love to read them, but I can’t help but feel that if you choose to share your life with strangers, you should probably accept that not all the comments are going to be positive. So while it’s mean-spirited to post something so negative and hurtful, it seems to me that it’s part of the process and if readers are invited to comment, they should be allowed to be honest (for example, now I’m worried that I’ll get banned from the server or will get angry replies). In any case, as always, best of luck to Binky, Heather, Mike, handsome Bampa and the rest of the family!
Anita, really? Are you saying that they should expect and accept cruel comments about their daughters because they’re willing to chronicle their grief process? I would think that someone of your “old age” would understand the difference between honesty and horrid cruelty. I know I’ve learned this in my old age (62). The Spohrs rarely ask for opinons, they just ask that people remember their beautiful daughter. Bloggers don’t put their whole lives out there, just the parts they choose to share (as Heather herself has said in the past). You may be new to the blog world but you’re certainly not new to common courtesy and kndness. At least, I hope not.
Debby, of course I’m not saying people should be nasty, and also not saying that Heather should accept this cruelty, that’s a silly question. I tried so hard to pose my question in such a way that I wouldn’t get attacked, but the tone of your and Sue’s replies to me just shows how only the happiest and most positive of comments are “allowed.”
Anita, honey, Mike and Heather don’t deserve (and shouldn’t expect) to be mistreated or disrespected because they choose to share their lives. People have been putting it ‘out there’ far longer than the internet has existed. There have been hens at church who peck away at public testimonies, and critics who shoot down memoirs and autobiographies. Just because we’ve moved to a different forum of sharing that reaches a larger audience doesn’t mean they should welcome unkind ‘honesty’. They aren’t inviting unkindness, so they shouldn’t accept it, either.
Sue, I simply posed a question. No need to be rude and condescending toward me. I would never myself post anything mean and cruel, and as I said I’m very happy for Heather and Mike, and I think it was awful that someone was mean to them. I actually like your point about hens at church, etc. and that was exactly the type of answer I was looking for, it would have been nice if it hadn’t been clouded with the “honey” opening.
I honestly am a little surprised that you took such offense to the word ‘honey’. If you think my comment was rude and condescending because of that, then you have revealed far more about yourself than about me. Try reading my comment from a different angle. How interesting that you would turn it around this way.
Neither Debby nor myself “attacked” you. In fact, we didn’t say anything about YOU at all. We were both trying to point out that it doesn’t matter how or where Heather and Mike share their story, they’ve done nothing to deserve the comments they’ve received.
Thank you for coming here and sharing your eloquent words and heartfelt thoughts. I agree with the other commenters who said they now know where Heathe gets “it” from. You must have some great DNA in your clan for kindness, eloquence, poise, courage, perseverance, writing talent… the list goes on.
I am so sorry for your loss. The picture of you and maddy is just beautiful… and I couldn’t agree more that Maddy’s beautiful eyes came from you. While I know that nothing any one can say or do lessens the pain for you, your wife, heather, mike or the rest of your family, I hope that your memories of Maddy and the love that surrounded her will offer you moments of strength and peace.
P.S. heather, you are simply amazing. I am so touched by the knowledge that amidst your own grief and loss, and worrisome pregnancy, that you are reaching out to make a difference in the world by speaking out and supporting the March of Dimes… and through your efforts not only will Maddy’s legacy live on but you are also helping to save more babies than you’ll ever really know. As I said, you are amazing… and appreciated and loved by so many.
Thank you, Bamba.
Thank you to all the
Poppas, Pips, M’s, Mims, Nanas, Pops, etc……
Aunties, Uncles, Sissies, Bros, etc…
Friends, Colleagues, Neighbors etc…
Thank you for being there….
When others cannot , or choose not.
Those that know
Bampa, Mike, and Dear Heather: I care for you deeply even though I don’t “know” you. I am thinking positive thoughts for you as I do everyday, and I am so, so very glad you have each other to help you through these horrible times. I’m sorry people will hurtful to any of you, you all deserve so much better.
.-= Ginger´s last blog ..The new profanity =-.
I’ve gotten comments like that on my blog- people calling me “selfish” for wanting to get pregnant (and then miscarrying) and putting my husband through the emotional ups and downs. I try to ignore them, I know my motives why I want to expand my family, and to those I have to explain my motives aren’t with my breath.
Great post, very well said. Good job Bampa.
.-= Funsize´s last blog ..The Body Knows Best(?) =-.
Michelle W says:
Wow, so well so said Bampa. I’m so grateful Mike, Heather, and now Binky have you. It’s always been obvious to me in pictures of you and Maddie, just how much you adore her and I am always overwhelmed when I think of the pain and grief of all those who love and cherish her. While I have not suffered such unimaginable loss the very idea of grief having a time line is ludicrous to me. Especially when someone is taken much too soon or under very cruel circumstances. I don’t understand such ignorance in other people but Heather’s blog proves there are more good people than bad and I hope they lift everyone’s spirits.
There will always be stupid people, and it’s easy to shield behind a screen and a username. Forget about them!
It’s so easy to see where Heather got her spirit and grace. You are both remarkable, in the truest definition of the word.
Some people are not only born without a sensitivity gene, they are also born stupid! I can’t believe someone would say such a cruel thing. Maddies’ loss will never be forgotten. Binky’s birth will be a wonderful blessing. Mike, Heather, and family deserve every happiness in the world. My aunt lost her first baby 18 days after birth March 3, 1997. She mourns her to this day as do we all. It’s something you never get over.
What a wonderful Bampa you are – your grandchildren are fortunate to have you in their lives.
As far as the stupid comments, there will always be unhappy and unkind people in the world … they are in the minority, and best ignored and left to their own small-minded selves.
Most people do understand that grieving is an ongoing, unique and personal process, and unless one is going through it, one will never know what it feels like.
Sending a million good wishes to all your family …
ONE CRUSTY MOM-E says:
AMEN BAMPA! (and sadly, that is exactly what me and my brothers and sisters called my mom’s dad–matter of fact we made up a game called “Bampa and Man” in which my brothers would each be one of the “men.” Seeing your name has reminded me how much I miss my Bampa)..
which leads me to say..HOW DARE THIS PERSON!! HOW DARE THEY!! For any reason for whatever reason, and I don’t want to hear the word “Freedom of speech..” because this is just downright BULLYSOME! If we could take all the “blogging bullies” and put them in one corner of the world, lives that have suffered such loss wouldn’t have to hurt over words. Geesh. I’m glad you wrote this..and I do have to say that I have a feeling there are many women out there hoping to adopt you as their pseudo Bampa and Dad! Keep on keeping on Spohrs..and mourn as long as you need to. “When life is lost, time isn’t measured in minutes, it’s mourned in moments..and time never ends until our souls take flight.”
a blogging mom from the burbs of Chicago..
.-= ONE CRUSTY MOM-E´s last blog ..NOT ME MONDAY BUT ON FRIDAY =-.
Trisha Vargas says:
Word up Bampa!!!
(((HUGS))) to every one of you from Florida
How blessed Maddie was to have you! Beautifully written. Your entire family remains in my thoughts and prayers.
I would like you to come be my Bampa, too! You are a rock star and I hope that nasty troll gets it, but I know she won’t.
Heather and Mike and Maddie have touched the lives of Millions and so will Binky. You don’t “replace” a lost child, and anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together knows that.
I am saddened by hurtful ignorance. You spoke your thoughts so beautifully.
Hugs to you and and yours!
I am so sorry that anyone would say something like that to you and Mike. I read your blog daily and send prayers your way daily. I know you heartache remains and always will but i HOPE that Binky will fill you with joy. She will be so blessed to have you as parents and Maddie as a Big Sister! Keep her memory alive as you are!
I’m sure it is just as hard for you as it is for Heather and Mike. My heart aches for all of you. You are SO right that mourning has no time limit.
I can see where Maddie got her beautiful eyes!
.-= Dawn´s last blog ..Taken by storm =-.
I lost a baby at 15 weeks, and then one at 9 weeks, and then recently, an ectopic pregnancy at 8 weeks that took my right tube. I know people keep questioning why we keep trying, when we have two kids already. Well, they can question, but this isn’t their life, is it.
I am guessing, by the tone of the comment, “People keep popping out babies,” that the reader cannot do that herself, so she is striking out in anger. It is sad.
Mike and Heather do not need to explain their grief, or their reasons for doing things. I am honored to be able to read about it, but honestly, their decisions are their decisions. Heather doesn’t need to share ANY of this with us, and yet she does.
It’s obvious where Maddie’s beautiful eyes came from.
I can tell you love your daughter very much. I know it hurts you to not be able to heal tihs hurt for her. But being there for her, you are doing more than you know.
.-= Rach´s last blog ..Polly Pocket speaks =-.
I read often, but don’t usually comment. When Heather said she was expecting, my first thought was that no one deserved to be happy, or to love another child, as much as she does. I honestly believe that I’m a better mother because of your family…I don’t take things for granted anymore and realize that each day with my daughter is a gift. When people say things like “I bet you can’t wait until she can talk” I say that I’m enjoying every minute, and that she’ll never be 8 months old ever again–I’m sure Heather was the same w/Maddie and will be with Binky, too. Anyway, thank you. Your post is beautiful, Bampa and I hope that Binky helps to heal the hole in your heart from Maddie, though it will never close.
Mean spirited comments are a lot like road rage. If people are face to face they do not lose their humanity, for the most part. But you hide them in a car or behind a computer screen, they lose all their sense and they will do anything to gain any kind of attention. They seem to forget that this blog is being written by real people and that they are really living their lives. It’s not a reality show where people feel they can critisize the characters. There is nothing anyone can say to the mean commenter to make them think more next time because mean commenters are too selfish to learn. and no matter how many names we call them, it is not stuff they have not felt about themselves already. You can’t be that mean & not have a lot of hate for yourself Yea, we may never know who wrote that mean comment, but Karma has a beautiful way of evening it all out. I can only hope, for the mean commenters sake, that when Karma does find them, they realize when something bad happens to them that they can remember how they started the ball rolling by their selfishness and maybe learn what goes around comes around.
Bampa, the pictures of you and Maddie say it all. I wish my kids had a Bampa just like you. Any child that has a Bampa like you have hit the jackpot! And if you look at any picture of Maddie you see ultimate happiness. She was full of love and fun. It would be a shame if Mike and Heather did not have more beautiful little people like that! There is just TOO much there to let those parenting skills go unrealized.
Seven years later, I mourn the loss of my father every day. For reasons like this post…the love and support Heather has from her dad, the love you have for your grandchildren. It is such a precious gift. Thank you for filling my heart today.
Heather, Mike, Maddie and Binky are so blessed to have you!
.-= Brittany´s last blog ..Whoever said the jobs you have as teenagers don’t shape who you are as an adult was obviously a gigantic liar. =-.
Undomestic Diva says:
I *instantly* loved your parents upon meeting them and I’m thankful you have such an amazing support system. They are obviously kind, caring people – and not just toward you – but toward everyone they meet.
Thinking of you always,
.-= Undomestic Diva´s last blog ..Back on the Mainland =-.
You sir are an amazing father and grandfather! Way to stick to the unwanted commentaries! Why people are so cruel?!?! Only god knows, they can’t handle the good nor the bad that happens to others and have to say something! Karma!
Do not let the ignorance of others take away your joy. Having this baby so soon after Maddie’s passing only shown how much you DID love her…and how much you loved being a mother. Blessings to you!
You know what I think? Its up to Heather and Mike to have their second baby when they want to. Its not up to me or you to judge them for that-in fact, I admire their ability to reach their potential as parents and to do so in spite of such harsh judgements coming at them from readers of this blog.
I can’t imagine what it is like to lose a child-it has to be the most horrifying experience one could live through. But I also know Heather and Mike are dealing with this day by day. Good and bad.
We should be encouraging them and the beginning of Binky’s sweet life. I am certain that darling girl is not coming in to ‘fill the role’ of dear Maddie-to suggest such is ignorant on your part.
As always, thank you for sharing your story Heather and Mike. We are here to support you.
Kathy K says:
Just wanted to let you know that all of you and all of your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am so sad that people would have the audacity to leave mean or unkind thoughts for you. If there is one couple that deserves nothing but the best it is you, Heather and Mike. Much love to the both of you.
Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy says:
Bampa is hot.
.-= Amanda of Shamelessly Sassy´s last blog ..Ambiguity: The other white meat. =-.
you go bampa!
to all of the people being nasty to heather and mike-“screw you guys” (apply the cartman voice)
Mike and Heather have invited us into their world, and as someone who reads every post, i can see that these two people are loving parents and amazing people who should be allowed to grieve and experience joy at the same time if thats what they want to/need to do to get through this. They have every right and reason in the world to extend their family whenever they want. Anyone with half a brain can see that they adore Maddie, and could never attempt to fill her shoes with another child, but just want to have the family they always wanted.
Andrea's Sweet Life says:
I didn’t realize until I saw this photo how VERY much Heather looks like you! If you were to put on one of Maddie’s wigs, you could be be Heather for Halloween.
Thanks for your eloquent words on such a tough subject. I think all of us get pretty punchy when the trolls come out, I can’t even imagine how hard it is for you to read such insensitive, hurtful comments.
.-= Andrea’s Sweet Life´s last blog ..Findings and Failures =-.
I think about Heather and Mike often and the incredible incomprehensible loss they (and you and many others) have suffered. The post like you mentioned can only come from someone with a mental illness or deficiency. That person lacks compassion – or some sort of filter that prevents them from understanding the impact of their venom.
I along with so many readers – am so happy for Mike and Heather. Children deserve parents who love them more than words could ever express and this little peanut on the way has no idea how lucky she is. If only all children in the world could be loved that much (there would be far fewer hateful comments in the world).
Thank you for sharing Maddie’s story with us. Her life has changed many.
I can see where Heather gets her writing chops. Well said, Bampa!
I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and never commented. It honestly never even crossed my mind that there was anything wrong with you having another baby. The only thought I had was that your new baby will be so lucky to have you as her parents and to have angel Maddie looking over her. Your pain is obvious – and no future child will replace Maddie. But your future children will be loved and I hope they bring you happiness and some peace. Bless all of you.
I’m sorry people have been hateful. It’s completely normal for people to begin planning for more children once they have one. Two years is a fairly standard spacing, had Maddie not passed away people wouldn’t blink an eye at another pregnancy at this point… why her passing makes a difference to some people I’m not sure.
Bampa, way to go Papa Bear! These kinds of comments amaze me, too. There appears to be some assumption that you’ve chosen to put yourself “out there” and therefore should be able to take it. What these trolls seem to completely miss is the huge gifts blogs like these are, as resources, as real human experiences. Too bad many are not able to confront this pain with empathy but try to make it go away through judgment. I am so greatful to Heather for her blog and her poise, because I know that one day I may be in her shoes, and I will know that others have been there and gone on to tell the tale. You all have my sincerest gratitude, respect and sympathy.
My brother died June 7th, 2008 from a sudden illness. I have lost many family members–it’s part of the hazards of living where I live–but I didn’t really understand mourning fully until it happened. I have been accused of not caring because I don’t outwardly cry or tattoo his initials on myself, but every day I remember again that he’s gone, and I don’t get to see him this side of eternity.
I also could never begin to understand the loss of losing a child until I saw what my father went through. My brother was a grown man, but I realized that my dad saw that grown man and remembered being present at his birth, diapering him, rocking him to sleep, reading bedtime stories, teaching him to fish…and I don’t know how Dad gets out of bed every morning.
This is all to say two things:
1) People need to stfu, we all mourn in different ways, and you NEVER forget the loss. You carry that person around with you the rest of your days, and you think it should be a visible mark upon you, but it’s not..it’s inward, and it’s part of you.
2) I’m so, so, sorry for your loss. I wish the best of health for you new child, and am proud of you for honoring Maddie by fighting to keep this from ever happening to another precious baby.
I think there is alot of hypocracy in the blogosphere. Hundreds of you rally behind the Spohrs to defend their right to do what they want and not apologise nor explain themselves. And yet you demand that all people visiting this blog either
a) hold the same opinions and yourself and the Spohrs
b) not comment if their opinions differ or if they judge what has been done.
You are for total freedom of action and expression in one case, but totally against it in another.
Many of you have commented that the Spohrs do not invite negativity and judgement. Well, I’m sorry but the entire concept of the internet and blogging in particular is THE PUBLIC DOMAIN. You are allowed and encouraged to put your thoughts, ideas, and actions out there, with the important caveat that you have to accept or ignore what comes back at you. You can’t put your ideas out there and not encounter both positive and negative responses. Its the world, its life, its a population of 7 billion people with different opinions and values.
People don’t have to be rude and people can keep their opinions to themselves and alot of the time, if they did, it would save major drama and probably save alot of friendships as well. But all of us have created the internet and all of us need to live by it’s strange intricacies – we need to, the people that agree with us need to, and the people that don’t agree with us need to as well.
I am not going to state my opinion on the subject at hand, because regardless of how i feel about Heather and Mike deciding to concieve another child, 99.9% of you have already jugded me. I don’t consider myself a troll, I’m not trying to invite cursing and vitriol, and I’m certainly not trying to start a fight.
Heather and Mike and all the family around you, I wish you the absolute best of everything in the coming months and years. I hope this comment hasn’t upset any of you.
Thank you for posting, Talia, much better put than when I tried earlier. Sorry to say, though, I’m sure mine will be the only positive reply to your comment…
Gray Girl says:
The internet is indeed public domain. But the distance and anonymity it affords people can make individuals downright perverse. And that degrades us all. When someone overlooks–in fact, tramples over–basic human decency with their comments, it’s understandable that a lot of emotions spill over. Regarding the specific comment being discussed, would that person actually walk up to someone and say that to their face!? I would guess not. But when a person can hide behind a computer, s/he has no problem letting the vitriol flow.
Talia says that people don’t have to be rude. Well, the specific comment in question was crafted out of pure viciousness. That’s not just expressing an opinion–it’s saying something for the sake of wounding another person, plain and simple. Of course we’re allowed differing opinions, but I would like to think that some basic human compassion would prevail.
Heather, Mike, and your whole family: I’m thinking of you and wishing I could help ease your burden.
You make an excellent point, Gray Girl.
Sharing an opinion is vastly different than being downright insulting.
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Why Reality Love Shows Fail =-.
I know it’s hard to not want to respond to people who suggest Heather and Mike ‘asked for it’, but when we stop fueling the negative comments (giving them attention), they will lose their strength.
Dealing with a loss is hard enough, Heather and Mike and their families shouldn’t have to put up with unkindness. It doesn’t matter where they share their story, or how. Like it or not, this little slice of the internet belongs to somebody, and they have a right to choose what is published here, including the comments (so long as the laws aren’t being broken).
For people to say that they should just ‘suck it up’ (paraphrasing) because it’s the internet, well, you’re all lucky we haven’t unleashed our inner bitches on YOU and told YOU to suck it up, because I’m sure if the tables were turned, you wouldn’t like how the internet can work against you. But, hey, it’s the internet, and you should expect that, right? After all, when you choose to comment…
But, you know, that’s just my ‘opinion’.
Heather, Mike, and Bampa, you have all been in my prayers since I first came here. Binky, too, now. Here’s one big virtual hug for all of you. (((((HUG)))))
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Why Reality Love Shows Fail =-.
I’ve known a few people in real life and through blogs who have lost children. I hear their stories and always think about the torture I would feel going through that hell. But, selfishly, I’ve never thought about how the grandparents would feel. Thank you for writing this and reminding me that all of our family members are so important as we experience both joy and loss.
Good Job Bampa! You said it all! Some people open their mouth and just don’t think. Until it’s happened to them, they have absolutely no concept of what it means to mourn, especially for your own child. People like that are a waste to this world. Have some compassion people. Didn’t your mother ever teach you, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Try practicing some tact! Best wishes to you Heather and Mike and little Binky!
This is so beautifully written. Fortunately, 99.9% of the people that visit this blog are here for the right reasons. I’m so honored to “know” your family. Warm thoughts to you all.
amy d says:
Well said Bampa!
I was outraged over that comment last week, and heartbroken that Heather and Mike had to deal with something so insensitive and malicious.
Please know how many of us support you and your growing family Heather!!
Lisa Marie says:
It’s nice to see family sticking up for family. Bampa, your post was so uplifting and it makes me happy, just as a reader, knowing that the support system in this family is so strong.
I agree with you… mourning should never have a timeline. I mourn every day for my step-father… He died 8 years ago. He was the only father I had and every day I am reminded of him somehow… and some days it hurts and some days I can deal with it a little bit better than the day before. But you get through it whatever way you can. Just because we don’t yell out “I’M MOURNING” doesn’t mean that we’re not. But life goes on and we’re the ones left behind. And that’s always the toughest position to be in.
I love reading this blog. The support is unreal. I pray for the Spohrs every day. They deserve all of our prayers and well wishes because they are good people and deserve happiness.
My prayers will stay with all of you forever. You’re a great family and you deserve every great thing this world has to offer. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. God only knows how many you have helped…
.-= Lisa Marie´s last blog ..I Learned to Depend on Me… =-.
Lori in STL says:
Long time reader/lurker….
I just wanted to send love & well-wishes to Heather, Mike, Binky, Rigby, Bampa, and Grandma. I think about all of you often.
Love & Hugs,
Lori in St. Louis
What a fantastic dad and grandpa. Bravo!
.-= Danny´s last blog ..If You’re Ever in a Jam, Here I Am =-.
You go, Bampa! Loved your post!
mom, again says:
planned or not, I think it’s beautiful and a testament to Heather and Mike’s love and committment to each other.
Perhaps that mean commenter’s experience mourning involves debilitating depression and being unable to go about their daily life, unable to seek comfort from their partner. Or perhaps they are just expanding from some notion from Victorian novels presentation of mourning. Hmph! We’ll never know for sure.
But I do know that should I ever face such a loss as Heather and Mike have, I hope my husband and I don’t lose each other too, temporarily or otherwise.
Kelly Maguire says:
This is an excellent post and so many parts of it have really struck a chord with me….the way we weave losses into our lives, but they never go away; staying true to ourselves and not someone else’s expectations, and then your amazing support for Heather and Mike. You seem like an amazing person with an amazing family that has suffered more than most do in a lifetime.
.-= Kelly Maguire´s last blog ..He’s parenting ME =-.
You’re a sweet Bampa, and as excellent a writer as your daughter.
Two words: sick people. Not to mention inarticulate. Your response is in such a different world of class to the original post that the comparison is laughable.
I have to admire Heather for not leaving all that stuff up there, knowing how many would rush to her defense. I guess it’s kind of silly to let people like that run your site, though. Enough attention going to them and more would come to get their hate fix and moment in the sun.
Good for all of you keeping your dignity, not that you were ever in any danger of losing it!
.-= Maile´s last blog ..Food, fun and philosophy =-.
I LOVE this post and cannot believe how mean spirited people can be. From losing many friends and having friends lose parents/siblings, I’ve learned how important it is to keep the person’s memory alive. And while people may go through the stages of loss – no one ever “gets over” losing someone they love. It just takes a different shape that allows people to move on.
Sue Mills says:
Well written Bampa. Binky is going to be a lucky little girl to have a grandpa like you.
.-= Sue Mills´s last blog ..Prop 8 =-.
I’m so sorry you guys have to deal with such ugliness on top of the terrible pain. I hope that the beautiful, supportive and loving comments people leave here help counter that kind of hate and remind you that the vast majority of people are supporting you and pulling for you every step of the way, and thanks for sharing your journey here! I can’t visit this site without tearing up, but lately there are more smiles as you prepare for Maddie’s little sibling to arrive You guys are in my thoughts!
.-= sirena´s last blog ..If You Believe They Put a Man in the Moon =-.
Melanie B says:
I’m sure it’s already been said but, I new life is a reminder of just that…LIFE.
Human beings live and pass on. As for me, I believe the soul has a forever but, even so, people don’t live forever and don’t have a certain time frame. We make the most of what we have.
I think it’s wonderful that you have chosen to “live” even in your darkest days. Please try to avoid the ugliness of ignorance and do what you’re doing.
.-= Melanie B´s last blog ..Greeting Card Winner! =-.