Saturday, December 7, 2013


How can I soothe the soul of a grandmother who just lost the only grandchild she's ever known? The one she loves more than life itself? The one who meant everything to her? I can't. I try…by keeping her busy, taking her to the movies, to lunch, baking. But truly there's nothing I can do to fill the void. To fill the emptiness of where the most beautiful little girl used to reside.

She knows the logic of it all. She understands the blessings. She grasps all the reasons why it's better for Aviana to be there, and not here. But beyond all that, sometimes it just plain sucks. And she misses her dearly, and wants so desperately to hold her. To love her. To have her back like she was before all the bad came knocking. I can't blame her. We have those moments too. 

My mom is one of the strongest people I've ever known. She has taken all of this far better than most ever could, but this week - she's struggling. She knows she will get through - but still - it hurts me to see her hurt so deeply. This is an unresolvable situation. So all I'm left to do is talk, mostly listen, and most importantly - offer comfort.

I love you mom. 

As we always have, together - we will get through.


I did not think for one moment my mom, of all people, would stand up and speak at Aviana's service. As I said though - she surprises me when I least expect it, and is tough as nails, but also the sweetest little momma too!


Thank you all for coming to celebrate Aviana's life with us.

I would like to share an intimate moment I shared with Aviana.

If you knew Aviana - energetic, strong willed, and very independent.  Hard to keep down.

I would hold her little hands, look into her gigantic, bright, sparkling brown eyes.....who can forget those long, long, eye lashes too, and sang to her:

You are my Sunshine
My only Sunshine
You make me happy when sky's are grey
You'll never know dear how much I love you.
Please don't take my Sunshine away.

She would look at me with even larger eyes, a smile on her face, then with a questioning look on her face, in her little voice and say SHUNSHINE??  I would say yes, hug her, and off she'd run and play.

My Sunshine is gone.

I miss her....

Jen and Dave call her all sorts of names, ie Mekey, Coo Coo, etc.
Nana calls her HER SUNSHINE

Jen and David, the greatest parents and best caretakers have done a tremendous job with her.  Now...the most powerful caretaker is holding her in His loving arms.  Aviana is FREE and at peace.

SUNSHINE thank you for your love, the best of times, the happiness and joyful MEMORIES.


  1. So heartbreaking Jen. Hugs to every single one of you. You are a wonderful daughter, friend, and mother.

    1. Thank you Sarah…you are so sweet, in so many ways : )

  2. Of Avi's entire Memorial Service, the part that brought me to tears was when she sang to her. While everyone's grief was obvious, hers was what touched me the most. Maybe you and Brenda should take a road trip down here for a day.
    Love you guys,

  3. You know this is an "unresolveable situation" (did spell check tell you that wasn't a word too?) yet you are a fixer. It's impossibly hard to sit there and watch your mom in so much pain, I can't imagine what YOU are going through nor what your mom is going through. I can't begin to. The first 12 months after Trina died mom just sat on the couch every single day and sobbed/wailed/cried/whimpered/GRIEVED for her daughter. She would just blurt out "half of my children are dead!" I couldn't do anything. A hug only got my clothes wet and although that sounds cold that's all it really did. It didn't help her. It didn't comfort her. It didn't help take away her pain. Nothing can. But you are doing the absolute best thing you CAN do. You are being there for her. Just knowing that mom KNOWS I know how she feels (you know? haha) helps her. Knowing she knows how I feel is enough for me. It has to be.

    There's nothing else to be done.

    I love you and I love you her and I can't imagine what either of you are feeling.

    1. Gosh…when I wrote this, it wasn't even bad. She has been grieving so hard core lately! I feel awful! I feel just terrible for her…and all I can do is be there for her….

  4. Sending hugs and lots of love to all of you that miss your Sunshine,
    Cindy in nc

  5. Most times when a child is lost, it's the parents that we feel for the most. The mother and father, their pain. I think that becomes the natural focus. But if you think deeper into to, the grandparents have twice the pain, in a way. Because not only do they grieve their precious grandchild, they also grieve for the pain that their child is going through. As a mother myself, I only want happiness for my children. To even think that one of them may lose a child...that's an unbearable thought. I would grieve for my lost grandchild and I would grieve for the pain that my child is going through. It's a double whammy for the grandparents.

    Your mother's words at Aviana's touching. I'm so sorry for her loss.

    1. Thank you Trina. You are so right…I can't even imagine….

  6. Though I know my situation was very different, I can relate to watching your mom suffer with her grief. I lost my brother in 2006 to a sudden heart attack. This was four years after my sister-in-law passed away suddenly. My brother was 57, a year younger than I am now. Though I was going through my own shock and grief, losing my only brother (I have a sister who's between us in age), truly one of the hardest parts was watching my parents grieve. They were 78 and 82 at the time...and in a very needy place with such grief at that age.

    When I got the message he had suffered a heart attack, I didn't realize he was already gone, as my nephew hadn't wanted to tell my daughter who took the call that he had already passed away. When I couldn't reach my nephew, I called my sister to ask how my brother was. I will never forget the compassion in my amazing brother-in-law's voice when he told me how sorry he was, that my brother hadn't made it. (Later, I remembered that he had lost his own brother to a shooting in Atlanta, GA that was never solved. He knew what it was like to lose a sibling.) Only then did I realize the odd sound I was hearing in the background during my call was my sister wailing. Having my sister so grieved was also very difficult for me. Watching my two nephews and niece once again walk through the loss of a parent was very overwhelming.

    Again, not the same at all as you losing Avi, but the same in watching a parent or loved one grieve. I pray you will all be a support to each other, able to encourage each other through your shared memories of your beautiful daughter and grandchild.
    Nancy in the Midwest

    1. Hi Nancy ~

      Thank you for sharing. I really appreciate it. I am so very sorry for all of your losses. While stories are never the same, how could any one be the same, right? What they all share is pain, loss, and grief, and isn't that just universal?

      I loved how you told of the compassion of your brother-in-law. Once some have been through tragedy, it sure transforms them for the best in how to handle any in the future. A gift which is nice, but I'm sure wished not to have. I love the love and forethought he showed. I felt such sadness in his brother's case never being solved. I think that would be so difficult. What an inspiring person he must be.

      Yes, it's so very difficult to watch her grieve, as you know so well. And gosh I thought it was bad when I wrote this post! Sadly, as the holidays approached she got so much worse. She is one strong woman though and will hopefully be okay. She knows everything logically and is at peace with all of that, she just misses her desperately. Thankfully, we have a lot of family in the area and she has a lot of friends as well to help her through. Aside from listening and loving her, I have been trying to also help her find other ways to fill the void.

      Thank you so much for being here Nancy and thank you again for telling me your story.

  7. I'm so happy for you & your mom that you have each other. I pray that she can feel God's love all around her, holding her up.

    1. Thank you Channe! I share in your prayer…it's a good one, for sure : )