Submitted by Brett
My daughter, Harper Grace, was delivered stillborn on November 3, 2022. The day before was like any other – I went to work where I had a conversation with a coworker about my excitement for our impending arrival the day after Thanksgiving and my wife stayed home with our two-year old daugther Emerson. That night, after putting our daughter to bed, my wife told me that she hadn’t felt our baby moving and that something was wrong. She went to the ER by herself while I stayed with our daughter. Within a few minutes of arriving at the hospital, my wife called with the devastating news – our baby didn’t have a heartbeat. The remainder of the night is a blur – my parents rushed to our house to babysit Emerson while I gathered myself to go to the hospital so that I could be there when our daughter was born. Delivered via c-section, I vividly remember how quiet the operating room was – there was no sound of a baby crying – only the voices of the doctors and nurses as they worked and the quiet sobs of two grieving parents.
Now, two months removed from our loss, life around me is slowly returning to normal. I’m returning to work, chores still need to be done, and Emerson is getting bigger each day, but yet, life remains at a standstill as I wonder if the void of Harper will ever be filled. I’ve grown to accept that there will be days where I need to hug Emerson a little closer or need to slip away and cry – those emotions, any emotions, are okay.
To Harper: Daddy loves you. Even if you aren’t with me physically, I commit to living my life with you always at the front of my mind. I will be the best father and husband possible because that’s what you deserve.
To Emerson: I can’t imagine how confusing the last few months have been for you. So excited to welcome a sister in to the world, you would climb onto Mommy’s lap and kiss her belly. You are an amazing big sister with so much love and joy. You bring me to my knees with both sadness and love when you ask to kiss and hug the urn that contains Harper’s ashes. Mommy and Daddy love you so much.
To Grieving Parents: My heart aches for your loss. Find comfort in each other and in life’s little joys. Grief knows no timeline – don’t rush it.
To Grieving Fathers: Welcome to a club you never want to join, but if you do, you’ll be surrounded by the only men in the world that have been in your shoes. Feel your emotions – sadness, anger, disbelief – any and all feelings are acceptable. Seek out support when you need it – you can’t tackle this on your own. Lastly, love like you have never loved before. Live life like you don’t know what is happening tomorrow. Remember, you are not alone.
Our baby girl is beautiful, she is loved, and she is always with us. Harper Grace – Daddy loves you, Daddy misses you, and I’ll see you again one day.
One thought on “Harper Grace”
My heart is with you and your family. Our life with our sweet Harper Banks, who was born and died in October, is similar. Her big sister was at home anxiously awaiting her little sister to join her. Our lives are forever changed in the most precious and heartbreaking way. We love and carry them forever.