My mom wrote this and sent it to me yesterday:
In the weeks and months after Maddie passed away, I found myself constantly looking at pictures of her on Heather’s photo site. Heather had them all set up by her age, family gatherings etc, so it was easy to look at any picture I wanted. She also had videos of Maddie and I watched them obsessively, usually late at night on my computer, before I went to bed. I loved seeing her move around and laugh, those big eyes were so expressive, they just pulled you in. I got lost in all of them. My favorite video was her interacting with her cousins at Christmas. She was so incredibly happy, it was a joy to watch her every move.
And then after that first year, I just couldn’t watch anymore. Instead of joy, I just felt such sadness and emptiness, I started crying through every video… I still looked at her pictures, though, she is all over my house in frames on the walls, on the night stands and in one of those moving frames that Heather and Mike bought for us. I see them every night, and I always smile when I see my Maddie. But the videos became so painful…to see her so alive and happy and then know she wasn’t, it was too much…so I stopped watching. But I felt so guilty, like a betrayal, I was shutting her out.. I prayed every night to her that she would understand, that I still loved her.
Then a few months back, I was babysitting Annie and we were watching “Annie Videos” (her most favorite thing to do) and after it ended another video came up with a picture of Maddie. I froze, hoping Annie wouldn’t notice but of course, she did, and wanted to watch it. I held my breath and hit play…it was the video of Maddie as a Rock Star, singing with Heather and then crawling over to her Daddy, looking up at him with those big, adoring eyes. Annie LOVED it, clapped her hands and said “Again!” So I played it again and this time I watched Annie enjoying her sister and I felt at peace for the first time in a very long time.
It’s amazing she sent this yesterday, because all day long Annie was asking me to “watch Maddie.” It’s been so hard for me to watch them, for all the reasons my mom stated above. But I can’t deny Annie just because it’s hard for me. If she wants to see her sister, I have to get over my emotions and let her. I set her up with a playlist and put the screen in her lap.
Rigby heard Maddie’s voice and jumped up next to Annie. I think she wanted to see Maddie, too.
She sat in the chair and watched the entire playlist I’d set up, twenty minutes of video. When it was over, she asked to watch it again. I sat in the hallway and took deep breaths.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to watch with her.
If I miss her so much, never having actually met her, I can’t even fathom what it’s like for you. My thoughts, prayers and tears are with you.
This, this. Much love to you and yours, Heather. This week, and always.
This is what I always wanted to say. Im so, so sorry for your loss. I never knew her and watching her rock star video brought real tears to my eyes.
Sending you love this week and always.
XOXO from GA.
I can’t begin to pretend to know how hard this is for you. But I love how much Annie loves her big sister. And that’s sweet Rigby jumped up to watch too!
My thoughts & prayers are with you and your whole family.
I am nothing but an insignificant blog reader – but I miss her too. You have amazingly special little girls.
It hurts to feel your pain but my little hurt is NOTHING compared to your & Mike’s. I miss Maddie too. I miss the stories about her, seeing her pictures & video’s, etc. I know you miss them too. I wish I could make your hurt go away but sadly, I know nothing I say will do that. I’m sorry. Heather… I’m just so….Sorry!!! xoxo
So sad for your little family…but so happy that Maddie brings such joy to her sister. Breaks my heart that Rigby jumped up there…she misses Maddie too! Keeping you all in my thoughts…
This just rips me apart, Heather, even tho I know how wonderful it is to let Annie watch Maddie’s videos.Thank God that she wants to! I’m sure, just like you said, that Rigby wanted to see Maddie,too, and is wondering “where did my little, best friend go?”
No words seem good enough so instead, all the cyber hugs I can send for you. ((HUGEhugs))
I have been thinking of you guys so much this week. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain this time of year brings. However I hope it helps knowing that myself and so many others are around to help support and encourage all of you! Keep breathing and you Are making it!
Sara T. says:
I feel the same way lately about watching my son’s videos. I used to watch them obsessively after he passed away. There aren’t many since he only lived 3 months but I watched every single one every day. Now I’m at the point where it makes me sad to watch them. To see him alive and know he isn’t hurts.
Awww..big hugs here too. I think it’s very sweet how much Miss Annie loves her sister though. Very touching.
My heart aches for you. I know this is hard for you, especially this week, just know that I love you and I’m here if you need anything!!!
Sending love and BIG Texas hugs to you, Mike, Annie, Gramma, Bampa and the entire family this week and always!!
I came across this blog on Maddie’s second birthday and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m so sorry for your loss but I’m so grateful for your honesty on your journey.
Your story has given me tremendous perspective in my own journey. I’m a single mother of a 4 year old, and while I know that in no way compares to your story, there have been several times where a comment or a story or a picture of yours has given me the pat on the shoulder, hope, and/or encouragement that I’ve needed to keep keeping on when the world is crashing in.
Sending you peace, love and hugs. Know that you are all in my heart this week and every week.
It occurred to me this morning, as I read your post, what a a beautiful gift it is that Annie can love Maddie so fully, but without the pain of loss that the rest of you have to carry.
I wish you comfort during this most awful time of year, Heather.
I was thinking the same thing. Annie just feels the joy in seeing Maddie. How blissful!
I just wanted to say that I think you are a wonderful mother and both your girls are lucky to have you!
Catherine Vu says:
How bittersweet. I am happy that Annie loves watching her sister, but I am so, so sorry that this is the only way she knows Maddie.
Why do I read blogs at work? WHY? Because its one of the first things I feel that I HAVE to do when I get here. Check emails, look at blogs or I cant think. Obsessive much? And sometimes they make me cry like today, and then people wonder what the hell is wrong with me. This post makes my heart hurt. But just like Maddy Logelin does for Matt, Annie has been leading you through this in her own way. And pretty much at your pace as well it seems. They are asking about things and then giving you the time to move onto the next painful memory. Baby steps. Amazing how they are both so little and yet so good with helping you all move forward. May you find peace in the videos today.
Everything I wanted to say has been said in the comments above, but I also want to say I’m thinking of your family this week too.
Just know you guys are in our hearts. This week and always.
I think Annie loves her Maddie. I can only imagine how much it all hurts. Love to you all, and to dear Rigby.
I love what Lisa said…(not because we have the same name either!). Because Rigby and Annie are there. To help. To cope. Not heal because I don’t believe you ever will. Not because I wish that on you, but because how do you heal? Reading Mike and your journey…that it will always be a journey. I just hope for peace for all of you. I hope that makes sense.
I love that (for now) Annie can love and watch Maddie with pure happiness and bliss. I love that she loves her big sister. I love that on her the only way she knows how right now: by looking at her pictures and watching her videos. How sweet for Rigby to hear Maddie’s voice and be able to cuddle next to the warmth of Annie.
And it absolutely breaks my heart for you and your mom and Mike and other family members that your heart stops and you must catch your breath as you hear and see Maddie’s little voice and face~ that for you it is bittersweet while for Annie right now there is nothing but sweetness.
But I find it interesting that Annie is so much wanting to see her sister this week, during this time. As others have said, perhaps it’s a little bit of healing coming your way through Annie’s love and joy.
What a good mommy you are to set her up with that playlist even though your heart was breaking inside. I can’t imagine!
Sending you love and strength and tenderness this week. Joining with you as you grieve your Maddie. Hold Annie close for all of us “voyeurs” who can’t but who love you all!
My gran passed 4 days after my 21st birthday from cancer. I was messing around with my video camera and took a video of her. I asked if she had anything to say and she said she was so happy I had my friends and that she loved me so very much. I replayed it every night before bed just to hear her voice. Then I had to stop because it hurt too much.
Last year I put it up on youtube for myself. I play it every so often just to see her, to hear her voice.
March 27th hurts. I think it always will. March is a bad month for my family. March 13th is the passing of my older brother (he was 1 day old). March 27th my gran died. My birthday is right in between (March 23).
You asked if it gets easier. It’s been 9 years since my gran died. 34 since my brother died (I just turned 30). It doesn’t disappear totally. It never, ever will. But it gets easier to breathe. And you walk a little easier. And your head gets a little higher, the smiles come easier. But it never disappears.
Oh damn Heather. Sobbing for, with, near you all. xoxoxox
I am so far behind on your blogs and when I went threw them and this one caught my eye. My eyes filled with with tears as Annie watches Maddie. I belive she feels the spirit of Maddie. She truly knows that Maddie is her sister and she wants to know her sister. I know that Rigby remembers her voice. ( dog are so smart).
My heart goes out to you. Its never going to get easy, but we have to keep the memorys alive!! hugs
Debby Pucci says:
All over the world, people cry with you, and wish they could give you a big hug.
I am one of those people.
Keeping you and your family in my thoughts, Heather. And while I can’t hug you, reading your words about your little Maddie remind me of this poem, which I offer humbly, to share:
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
BY E. E. CUMMINGS
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
May you feel comfort in how much so many people are lifting you up at this difficult time, Heather.