Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My baby turns 4 in Heaven

Once again, I am blown away and humbled by all of the support for my baby boy.
It means SO much to me.
I'm sorry I've been away for so long.  
I honestly don't even know if I can still write.  
I've sat down so many times in these past few months, but I just couldn't find any words to write.  
At least not any positive ones.  It just feels so wrong not to write about Tripp... and how his day was and the new things he learned or how he is doing.  I would give anything to be writing about those things again... and to be sharing new videos of his little spoiled rotten personality.

This Mother's Day was harder than last year.  To be honest, I feel like I was in such a dense fog last year that I don't even remember it.  Sometimes I impress myself at how strong I am.  But it's dangerous.  It's unhealthy for me to be so strong.  Because now, it's been a year and a half... and I'm flat-out exhausted from being strong.  It's tiring to act like you're okay when you're dying inside.  It's exhausting to smile on the outside when you are crying and screaming and kicking like a baby on the inside.  And the worst thing that I've done is pretend with the people closest to me, that I'm strong and I'm okay.  Because the people closest to me are the people that I should be the most honest with. 

My baby would be 4 years old today.  
I don't even know how to grasp that.
Today, 4 years ago, was the day that made me the happiest woman alive.  That's no lie.  I had waited my entire life for the day I would have a child.  And now, it's so wrong that this day makes me so sad.  I know there's no better place for my baby to be, than with Jesus in heaven... but I want him here, with me.  In my arms, blowing out candles, and opening presents.  
Moms, can you imagine only getting 2 birthdays with your baby and then never being able to see them again? 
 I'm heartbroken.  I'm nauseous.  I'm sad.  I'm empty.  
I'm all of those things and more.

This video was his second birthday.  
In the back of my mind, I thought there would be a chance that I wouldn't get to spend his 3rd birthday with him.
But I didn't want to believe it.  So I refused to believe it.  
We lived for the day... actually, we lived for the minute. 

I'm haunted by the fact that my baby suffered so much.  It haunts me every day and it's so hard to cope with.  I know in my heart that I did everything I could... but did he know that?  Did he think I was a good Mommy or did he look at me as someone who would inflict pain by bathing him and bandaging him and suctioning him?  I just think how wrong and unfair it was that I lost my child and had to hold him as he took his last breaths... but also that our time together was interrupted by so much pain and suffering.  This is what I'm struggling to get past now that the shock has worn off and reality is pounding at my door.  As a mom, I did what I had to do to make my child happy and comfortable.  But as a mom, it also weighs SO heavily on me that Tripp had to endure all of the pain that he did.  And the fact that I could do nothing... just wears and tears at my poor (already broken) Mommy heart.

I sometimes try and picture what our life would be like if he were still here with us.  Stephen and I trying to decide what to get him for his birthday... and trying to decide where to have his party and what theme it would be.  But then I remember that he would be 4 years old.  We wouldn't have to decide those things... he'd be able to tell us exactly what he wanted and where he wanted to go.
God, how I long for that.  

It's hard to comprehend that I should have a 4 year old.... here, with me... every day.
That we should be starting pre-school and t-ball practices.  I should be washing little dirty boy-clothes.  I should be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet during the day instead of a dead silence.  I should be teaching him how to ride a bike.  I should be listening to my baby tell silly jokes that don't make sense, I should be waking up in the middle of the night because he's afraid of monsters,  I should be having to wake up at the crack of dawn to fix my baby breakfast instead of opening my eyes every morning, holding back the tears, realizing that it's true... it's not just a bad dream, that my baby really is gone. 
And EB took all of those things away from him, and away from us.
And the reality is... that maybe one day I will get to do some of these things with another child, but I will never get to do them with Tripp.  And as much as people try to tell me that it's okay- that I'll get to be a mom again one day- it's not okay for me.  Maybe one day it won't be the first thing I think about when I wake up, or the last thing I think about when I go to sleep... but it will never stop hurting.  It might hurt less... but that aching, empty feeling of missing my baby... will never go away completely.  
You cannot replace the loss of a child with ANYTHING... ever.  No matter what anyone says.  
Another baby will never replace Tripp.  Ever.  

And even though Stephen was already the most amazing "non-official" step-dad to my baby boy that I could have ever asked for, knowing that Tripp will never get to officially know Stephen as his step-dad, breaks my heart.  How is it fair that I finally meet the perfect man and someone who will one day be an extraordinary dad, and I don't get to share him with my very own child?

You know, I've been thinking hard about what I could say to help people understand.  
How could I possibly put into words what a bereaved mother goes through, just to simply try and help others even just for a minute... try to comprehend the pain.   
I don't think I can... but that doesn't mean I won't try.  

I've suffered a lot in the past few months with seeing other kids and other moms with their kids.  
And I really, really hope that no one gets offended by this, because I'm truly not trying to offend anyone, I'm just simply trying to explain how I feel.
Someone who has never had a baby of their own or who has healthy babies, or has never experienced the loss of a child... will never fully appreciate what a blessing it is to have a child.  I'm sorry, they just won't.  No matter how much they try, no matter how much they say they do... It's just human nature.
Of course they love their children and appreciate them when bad things happen to other people, but you can't fully appreciate someone until they are gone.  
For an example, I will never fully appreciate what it means to be a healthy human being- because I've never been seriously ill, or disabled, or paralyzed, or had a disease or been in a bad accident, etc. 
Or I will never fully appreciate what it means to have my eyesight... because I've never known what it's like not to be able to see. 
 However,  I believe that I fully appreciate what it would be like to have a perfectly healthy child, because not only have I experienced having a child who suffered a cruel and debilitating disease... I've also experienced the loss of my child. 
It's just a fact.  
You don't appreciate something or someone until they are gone.
And I'm not going to lie, it hurts to be around other moms and their children.  
Especially ones who aren't sensitive to your feelings.  Who (figuratively) dangle their children in your face ...or feel the need to talk about their children constantly in our conversations.
  It's just not appropriate.  I'm sorry.
And no matter how much someone thinks I should be over it... like I already said... 
I will never be over it.  
And I'm sorry if it makes you uncomfortable, but I'm uncomfortable every day.  

Sometimes I just wish that people would be a little bit more aware of their surroundings and the people that they are associating with.  If you are hanging around someone who recently lost a child, you wouldn't gripe or complain about having to do something for your child or talk about how bad they are.  You wouldn't talk about how much you miss your child who's been away for the weekend (when the person who lost their child has missed them every day since they have been gone and will miss them for the rest of their life).   That's like being around someone who is blind and asking them to look at something you see.  It's inappropriate.  That's common sense... or at least to the mother who lost her child or the person who is visually impaired, it seems like common sense.  I know It's hard for people to understand, because the fact that I have lost my son and that I'm sad all the time, is not something that is constantly on other people's minds (like it is on mine).  And like I've said, I know that before I lost Tripp, I was also oblivious to other people's feelings.  But now that the unimaginable has happened to me... it's hard sometimes to think how people can be so oblivious, especially people who have children and KNOW what that type of love it is. 
 Imagining having that love and then losing it.
That's a hard thing to imagine.  And trust me, it's a hard life to live.

My goal lately has been to try to be more open about my feelings.  To try and let other people know when I'm upset or when something they say is inappropriate to say to someone who has lost their child... to be HONEST... but I'm failing miserably.  It's hard.  It seemed so easy to tell other people how I felt when Tripp was still alive.  It was so easy because all I cared about was what was best for him... and if someone didn't like that, well then too bad for them.  But it's not as easy when you're trying to take care of yourself and what's best for you.  At least not for me, it's not.  

So as I celebrate my son today (with an aching pain in my heart and in my arms),  I ask you to celebrate him, too.  By hugging your children extra tight, or telling someone you love them, or just being extra nice to someone today.
Stephen and I, along with my parents and his parents... will plant a 4 year old cypress tree in the back yard today, in honor of my baby's 4th birthday.  And I will watch it grow.
And then we will watch his videos... and laugh and cry.
And I will wish -so desperately- that I was able to watch my baby grow.

I'm so sad that I will never have new videos or pictures.
Even though I took thousands, it will still never be enough.
Oh, how my heart aches to hold him again.

Happy 4th Birthday, my Bubba.
Mommy can't wait until I see you again.



  1. It's supposed to break your heart every day, you're human. And you're a mom without a baby to hold. It's unnatural, against the order of life, for a mother to have to bury her child. Be angry, be sad, be tormented. Because if nothing else, you deserve to feel everything you're feeling and the world can get over it. As a military wife, I never could understand the friends that wanted me to sympathize with them that their boyfriends were away for the weekend, when mine was in Afghanistan for 15 months. People who haven't struggled don't understand struggle, it's as simple as that. But there are moms out there who know what you're going through and I'm glad you have them to lean on as well as your precious family.

  2. I pray for you and your broken heart. I pray the pain will one day ease. Thank you for your thoughts and for helping others learn to be better mothers because of yours and Tripp's testimony.

  3. Praying for you today, and think of you all the time. Happy 4th Birthday to Tripp in Heaven!

  4. My thoughts and prayers go out to you-I know time doesn't mean it's easier or that another baby can "replace" the child you lost. Nothing can replace a person we lose. Sounds like you are working really hard to deal with things and be looking out for yourself! It's hard, but with practice it gets easier-then the ache isn't quite so acute because you can pinpoint triggers and sidestep them or be able to stand up and tell someone when something hurts. These are huge steps to make-it takes time, and you're not giving up-that in itself says a ton. :) Lots of prayers and hugs.

  5. You have been in my prayers for years and you remain in them even now. I am so very sorry for your pain. Grief is so strange and such a long, unpaved and jagged "process". I lost my Mother a few months before you lost Tripp and this Mother's day was also harder for me than last year. I suppose I wasn't as prepared as I was last year (getting through that year of "first's" was a process in itself) and it kind came outta left field and knocked me for a loop. I think grief for most of us gets easier to bear (at least MOST of the time) eventually but it will never go away completely. You feel however you need to feel and you get through these first years however you need to and please dont ever feel like you owe anyone an expanation! Like Dr. Suess said, "Those who mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind."
    Happiness will come again. Please know that you and Tripp will both be in my heart and in my prayers forever.
    Kelley from MO

  6. I am so glad there is an update. I stay on the blog all the time, and I am always checking to see if there are new posts. I hope you know how much your posts touch our lives. Because you write about your pain, you show those of us who have never been through what you're going through what its like and even though we will never KNOW your pain, your blog and your words effect us. You can make me cry and then smile through the tears. Thank you for continuing your blog, I really hope it becomes easier to write more, its such a good therapy. Happy Birthday to you're beautiful little boy who taught all of us to cherish our lives and those of our children as well. Thank you. I hope this day brings you more smiles than tears. - Brittani

  7. Oh Courtney. I have no words. But am thinking of you.

  8. Dear Courtney, I have been thinking so much about you and Tripp, and especially on Mother's Day and on that special day that is today. I am wearing red in Tripp's honour, and a scarf with orange butterflies and I increased my monthly contribution to Debra hoping that it will be a further drop to create that big ocean that will allow for a cure against EB to be found soon. You touched again my heart so much with this post... reading back your previous posts and looking at the pictures and videos I am always so moved by how cheerful and fantastic Tripp was despite the unbelievable amount of pain he had to bear. He was a beautiful and amazing angel from the very beginning, so wise beyond his age, such a blessing. Happy 4th Birthday in Heaven Jesus' little drumeer boy <3

  9. Tripp knew you were a great Mommy, Courtney. He knew he had the best Mommy he could ever have wished for.
    Thinking of you today xx Happy Birthday Little Man xxx

  10. happy birthday to a beautiful boy in heaven. I. sure he has met my sweet Dylan by now because I believe all the babies play together. I am one who really does understand everything you said my words that I could never find you did. I lost my boy 5 years ago this July. his birthday is June 25th. where did those five years go? he was born too soon a little sweet 1lb perfect little boy, that just couldn't get well. I had my sweet boy 5 weeks, only held him 3 times. bug his suffering was over and he is pain free. and everyday I miss him, not one day goes by that I do not wish he was here. tripp had butterflys, Dylan had grasshoppers (long story but its his sign for mommy that he is happy) bless you sweet momma we are mommys of angels and that is very special

  11. Loving you something fierce today Courtney

    With my whole heart, I agree with everything you said. People don't seem to understand. I have been on the receiving end of so much of it over the past 4 years. My severely disabled child will be sitting right there next to me, unable to do ANYTHING and they will rattle on and on and on about what a GREAT Christmas it's going to be...the opening of the presents, the stockings, the this the that, the school activities, and programs, and then continue on to even take out their phone and show me pictures of the child DOING things. All of which they KNOW my child cannot. The list goes on...

    These people knew our daughter before, they knew all the details of the accident, they know she never recovered. I know these people even care greatly about me/us. They just don't think. I think they get uncomfortable. At least that's what I chalk it up as. I have a feeling they walk away from me and think...what the heck did I just do? But then, the next time...they do it again?!? And I am the one who feels all the pain, on top of all of the normal pain I already feel, on top of pain, all.year.long.

    I think you are right, what does Maya Angelou say...something like, "you teach people how to treat you." And that is exactly what you are doing. I understand it is hard. It's hard for me too. I tend to excuse people and that kind of behavior, because I think sad/tragic type stuff is tough to navigate, for everyone. Before our daughter's accident, I was the worst at handling other people's grief, not because I didn't care (I cared greatly), but because I didn't know what to say. I don't think I EVER would have ran my mouth off in ways I see and hear people doing though. It BLOWS my mind!!

    Courtney ~ I have seen many blogs in my time and you my dear are hands down the sweetest, most loving momma I have ever laid eyes upon. Without a shadow of a doubt Tripp knew you loved him every second of every minute of everyday! I like to think in some cosmic sort of way, he was shielded in knowing, that all you were doing for him was out of love and nothing else but love...always! I completely understand though how those thoughts start creeping their way in...

    Please give your mom a big hug for me : )

    Love to all of you,


  12. I don't see any way that Tripp could have though of you as anything but the wonderful mother you were to him. He completely lit up in your presence. Anyone can see that! His smiles, clapping, and drumming all happened because you believed in him and encouraged him. As mothers, that's what we do! Discovering  your blog and "meeting" you and Tripp through video and photos has changed me forever. And I know I'm one of many, many people all over the world to say that. I bawled reading your post today, and there's a lump in my throat and an ache in my heart today, knowing you're hurting even more than usual. Why did Tripp have to suffer so? Why did he die? NOBODY can answer that question (except maybe God) but I do know this: Tripp LIVED for your love. And he beat the odds, living 2 years 8 months, because you fought WITH him! I can never understand what you're going through, but I once came extremely close to losing my older son (at age 6 from a retropharyngeal  abscess that they told me he had a 15% chance of surviving) and I have never been the same since then. I try not to take one single moment for granted. I think of you often, and today I'm hurting along with you as I'm sure many other mothers are. I will pray and hold you and Tripp in my thoughts and prayers. How lucky we mortals are on earth to have such a beautiful angel watching over us. Thank you so much for sharing him with us. His legacy lives on!

  13. "Sometimes I just wish that people would be a little bit more aware of their surroundings and the people that they are associating with. If you are hanging around someone who recently lost a child, you wouldn't gripe or complain about having to do something for your child or talk about how bad they are. It's inappropriate. That's common sense... or at least to the mother who lost her child or the person who is visually impaired, it seems like common sense."

    You hit the nail on the head.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  14. Courtney... You just DID tell us how you feel~ you stood up for YOU! I just wish I could hug you in person, for there are no words to comfort your heart. I DO celebrate your sweet baby Tripp, for he is light for me. You are the best definition of a MOM! I do watch your blog for ANY updates~ when you post, I will cry, laugh or just marvel at what you write. I watch for posts about Tripp, to see more videos, any news of your wedding, the birth of your second beautiful baby(one day), maybe even a third?! You have so much love to share Courtney and Tripp is to thank! He has sent lots of love your way! Your heart is full, even heavy, VERY heavy, but when you lean on those that love you... please count me in.
    Diana a.k.a Meme

  15. There are no words. Only prayers for your broken heart Courtney.

  16. I've lost both of my parents, within 5 years of each other, before I was 28. i watched my mother, who suffered from bi-polar disorder, commit suicide. Then I watched my father literally drink himself to death because he couldn't live without her. I know this is nothing compared to what you have lost, having three children of my own. However I will say that you learn to deal with the insensitivity of people. It used to crush me when people would bitch about their moms or complain about their dads. I would think, how can they say this to me??? I didn't have my mom there for my wedding, or for any of my children's births. she's not there for me to call when i'm having a bad day, or want to share with her something my children did. It used to crush me when people would talk ugly about their parents. Don't get me wrong, I bitched about my mom too, of course before she was gone. You're right, you don't know how to truly appreciate something until you can't have it anymore.
    I will tell you this: it still stings when someone complains, but I can handle it now. I've learned that people who have never faced tradegy have no idea what it is to truly hurt and they are insensitive to others, but without meaning to be. They truly can't understand what I'm feeling. They just don't get it. I've learned over time to let it go, because I can't expect anyone to walk in my shoes, nor would i want them to. It may hurt a little, but not like it did 10 years ago. There is a sting there, but with age and some wisdom, I have learned that it's just the way life is sometimes. They aren't doing it in a vindictive or mean way, they are just talking about their problems, which will never mount to mine.
    Like i said, what i have been through is nothing compared to you. I'm sorry that you are suffering so. I wish I could say that time heals, but it doesn't always. Keep your faith, dont' be afraid to say what you feel, and keep your family close. Much love sent your way.

  17. I cannot imagine the pain you have endured and still have!!! I'm sooooo sorry!!! I will say that I KNOW that Tripp knew and still knows that you are the BEST mom in the world! You had to go through so much at a young age and you did an incredible, amazing job taking care of him, loving him and fighting for him every moment of every day. I don't know of anyone that could have done a better job! I hope you get comfort and that Tripp sends you a sign that he is watching you and still loving you!!! God Bless you!

  18. Thinking and praying for you Courtney. I have Tripps shirts on so i can celebrate him today. Happy 4th birthday sweetheart.

  19. You know, for some people I think they just don't know how to find the right words or have the ability to empathize, but you shouldn't worry about them or what they say/think. It is hard to put yourself first, especially when you're a giving person who is used to doing for and taking care of others. But you need to take care of YOU and if that means being honest even if it doesn't feel "nice" then so be it. Time will help, but I don't think it ever HEALS the hurt from the loss of a child.

  20. I'm so glad we got to hear from you. My daughter and Tripp share a birthday and while I'm here celebrating her 4th birthday I know that your heart is still breaking. I'm so sorry for your loss. Tripp inspired so many and you continue to do the same. Keep your head up, Happy late Mother's day. You're in our thoughts and prayers. - Lauren

  21. Praying for you Courtney. I always think of sweet Tripp but especially today on his birthday - remembering what a special little boy he is. (HUGS) from Virginia

  22. I hope all the best in your life! God do things what we can't understand.

  23. little Tripp would be so proud of you... you did an amazing "job" by doing all the stuff (like the medical needs, bathing and much more).

    I always admired how you did all those things, putting yourself totally behind your own needs...

    Be sure... he knew how dedicated you were and how much you loved him...

    Hugs from Germany


  24. Happy Birthday in Heaven, Tripp! I still think of you often and pray for your family, especially your sweet mama.

  25. Happy 4th Birthday sweet Tripp! My heart aches for you mama. Thinking of and praying for you.

  26. Such a beautiful and heart-wrenching post--just as it should be. You are amazing and you are loved and you never cease to inspire us all. Thank you for writing with so much honesty. Happy Birthday in heaven sweet Tripp.

  27. I will snuggle my children tight a few more times than I already have, in honor of Tripp. Happy Birthday in heaven, Buddy. <3

  28. I just wanted to tell you how much your blog post meant to me today! Thank you for all of your words- they were so authentic and heartfelt. <3 Celebrating Tripp's life with you today - Happy 4th Birthday to your precious son! <3 I know the ache of losing a child - and everything you wrote was so right on. I am grateful for the short time I had with my twin daughters - and so sad that we did not have more time together. I think we all have that "if we could have only had more days" feeling - for me, my children were stillborn, so all I wanted was to see them born alive. It is a hard thing no matter what. I just wanted to let you know how much your words meant to me today. Please keep being honest - it is refreshing to those of us who have walked this path and whose hearts ache for our children every moment of the day.

  29. Thinking of you always, Courtney. I follow the Butterfly Fund on Facebook and asked if they knew how you were doing. I agree with you completely. Shame on the people who think you should be over it. People need to butt out unless their opinion or advice is solicited. People are, unfortunately, ignorant and need to be more aware of their surroundings. I'm sure you already do, but please remember there are so many of us out here that think you are an inspiration and a beautiful person, inside and out. It is okay to break, we all do it. That, too, is human nature. Happy Birthday, Tripp!!!

  30. Happy birthday Tripp- I think you of daily as your birthday is the code to my phone - so I think of you each morning. Courtney you were a wonderful natural mum - never doubt that. I too do not understand why the horror of EB has to exist - maybe we will find out one day when we join Tripp. Until then, rest easy in his love x

  31. it's good to hear from you again. And I am truly sorry for the way people act around you sometimes :( ... it is totally understandable for someone who goes through a loss like this to ache for a very long time. and yes, it is hard to be open about your feelings, but practice makes it perfect... keep on trying... it will be good for you and for the ones around you to know what goes in your heart ... and how their actions affect you ... one of the reasons why i love reading your blog is because it really makes me stop and think about life... you are right, we are always so caught up in our own problems and petty things that we forget everything else going on around us... I know Tripp is there celebrating with you today and together with God, he will help you through these first years... don't stop giving us updates... you are always in my thoughts... i have learned a lot through you and Tripp ... people need a person like you to show them how to be more human, more sensitive... Life still has a lot of sweet things reserved for you... and Tripp certainly wants you to see them all....

    Happy 4th birthday to Tripp! Wherever he is I am sure he will never be too far from his momma!


  32. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful, raw, honest update. I still pray for you every time I see an Elmo, wishing you moments of peace and light in your grief. Reading about your journey has inspired me to be a better mother, and I intentionally appreciate so-called little things even more because of what I've learned from you. Sending you love, and Happy Birthday wishes to Tripp!!!

  33. You have every right to feel the way you do. I can't imagine and I pray I never know the pain you feel. Tripp was a very beautiful little boy and I'd be willing to bet my life he knows how much you love him. I bet he loves you just as much. I'm sure he's still loving you from Heaven. Happy Birthday Tripp! I pray the angels are spoiling you extra today.

  34. You're in my thoughts and prayers. Tripp was blessed to have you as his mom.

  35. I came upon your blog one day, before Tripp went to be with Jesus, and it was near the final days of his life. I just couldn't stop checking my feed to see how things were going with you. It broke my heart to see not only Tripp's pain, but your pain as well. It was incredibly hard to read, especially when you have a child. Every night, I would read your blog and go give my daughter a big hug and kiss. I would read your blog, even when it broke my heart to do so. You lived it, we all just read about it. But even when I was crying and tears were streaming down my face, I felt like it just wasn't fair that I could look away and you couldn't. I appreciate each and every thing you said in your post. You are so right, being aware is a really hard thing for people to do, in all types of situations. And as Christians, as people, as friends, people always try and make you feel better, and I am sure that nothing anyone ever says makes you feel better. The only thing I can say is that I suffered with you, and we all suffer with you, as much as we can possibly do. Your son is not forgotten in this world, you made sure of that. People still remember him. I check my feed every day, looking to see if you've written anything new. Happy Birthday Tripp. I am sorry if my comment sounds at all disrespectful or crass, I just wanted you to know that you and your son have made a lasting impact on my family and my views as a mother, for whatever that is worth.

  36. Happy birthday Tripp!
    You are inspiring. I'm sure Tripp knows he had one great mom. Thank you for sharing your story, spreading EB awareness, and showing how to be a strong, loving, generous, and courageous mother

  37. thank you so much for writing today, for reminding me that today is tripp's birthday.

    happy birthday tripp... loved like their own by so many moms out there... loved like no one else by his own wonderful mommy.

    my son was stillborn, and would have been four this past year. around the time he was born, i found your blog somehow, and connected immediately to you and tripp- here was a *beautiful* baby boy, my own son's age, and here was his mommy, who was doing exactly as i felt so deeply in my own soul- everything and anything she could to love on her baby boy, no matter what. tripp had his EB, but he was and is so much more than stupid EB. he was the essence of life and love and what it means to live on this earth.

    i am sure you have come across the poem by raymond carver?

    Late Fragment

    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth.

    it reminds me so much of my babies who have died (i have said goodbye to two children, a son and a daughter). what did it all mean? so many regrets and lingering questions... this poem has helped me immensely. what does it mean to live? to be loved. to be beloved. it reminds me of tripp. despite all of his challenges and pain and suffering, and your own suffering... he was loved. i hope this means something to you. the terrible memories, the trauma and tragedy that you have experienced... these are things you have to work on and find a way to incorporate into your current life, to heal and move forward... and i hope that one day, you will be able to completely separate the sad, bad, and terrible memories- apart from the true love you had and continue to have for him. your bubba. sweet, sweet tripp.

    please don't stop talking and feeling and writing- keep it all fresh and current and on the surface. it is so hard to do, but so good for your grieving process.

    tripp will forever be loved by us all! i think of him almost every day- there is a tree outside my house that has a marking on it that totally looks like tripp to me :) xoxo

    thinking of you. stay strong.

  38. Happy 4th Birthday Tripp! We think about you every day!

  39. Keep trusting in your faith! People don't know how and/or what they should or shouldn't say because they havent experienced what you have. Trust that the Lord will grant you some peace! Happy Birthday Tripp!

  40. How our hearts ache for you, sweet Courtney...how I know so many of us wish we had words to soothe the pain...to dry the tears...to make you smile...

    Thank you for writing. I've been wondering how you are doing. I think about you on holidays. I thought about you this past Sunday. I know we've never met but you're on my heart a lot. As difficult as it is for you to be open with your feelings, you are giving those of us on the fringes an education in this subject. Your words will one day spring to our minds when we are faced with the unthinkable. You are still making a difference.

  41. Happy 4th Birthday to Tripp!! And HUGE HUGS for you sweet Mama!! We just celebrated my daughter Karinne's brief life on her 3rd birthday in heaven May 10th. I too look forward to that one fine day when we are reunited in heaven. Until then....

  42. Courtney,
    Today is my little girl's 4th birthday, too. I've been following your blog since our babies were two. I know there is nothing I can say to make you hurt any less. But just know that every year on this day, I will celebrate your precious boy. Because of you and Tripp, I hug her tighter, don't get as angry at the small things, and remember how precious life is. You are an amazing woman and mother. No one should ever have to feel the pain you feel every day. My heart aches for you. I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your beautiful boy's life with us.


  43. I, too, am a mother who only had two very short years with my Angel in Heaven, Jessica. I can relate to just about everything you wrote; she was hospitalized 22 times in two years. Although she has been gone 16 years, I can STILL go back to THAT DAY in my mind and feel all the pain I felt the day God called her home! It actually took my husband to make me realize that we would be selfish to want her back here on Earth because of the way she suffered, and although I KNOW she rests in God's arms now, I don't care; I will ALWAYS miss and love her and my heart will ALWAYS hurt for her. I hope you draw on the years that Tripp blessed your lives and know that even though WE don't understand it, he is in a better place and more importantly, his body is WHOLE, once again! My thoughts and prayers are with you. Happy 4th Birthday, Tripp; please tell Jessica her Mommy says HI and I love her very much! ♥♥ (A heart for each of you!)

  44. Thank you for being so honest and open with your feelings. I love your writing style, and I've been following your story for a while. I pray for you daily, and even though I can't imagine what it's like to lose a child, YOU have definitely inspired me to be more patient and tolerant of the 3 year old stage. Those of us with healthy children often take so much for granted, and we NEED to hear your raw emotions to put us in our places. Thank you.

    Happy 4th birthday Tripp!

  45. Happy 4th Birthday Tripp! I'm sure that smile of yours makes Heaven a little brighter for everyone.
    Courtney, my heart breaks for you having to celebrate Tripp's birthday without him. I wish any of us knew what to say, how to say anything to comfort you. I think God is the only one who can truly comfort a grieving mother. He is the ONLY one who knows all the whys and what fors that we aren't supposed to question. As long as you are honest with God about your feelings I know he will help you to heal. He sent Stephen to you, BEFORE Tripp went to Heaven, DURING your most difficult times and keeps him close to you AFTER the end of each and every difficult day you go through. Whether Tripp really knew Stephen doesn't compare to the fact that Stephen really knew Tripp. That Stephen can watch these videos with you today and appreciate them in some small way as you do as someone who was there, is one of God's gifts of healing. That he asked to spend the rest of his life with you, is another gift of healing. God likely spent hundreds of years planning and grooming the lives of many people for Tripp's arrival. He already knew the day you were born, that YOU and only you would be Tripp's Mommy. You were never in the running with anyone else for that role. I believe Tripp existed with God even before you. God gave YOU life to deliver His angel on earth. But His plan doesn't stop there. For it is in God's will that you remain here and continue to use your words...the words Tripp never had, to speak. Let God, Tripp and your words continue to lead you where God has called you. For when you speak, things happen all over the world. Good things. God knew you would suffer tremendously, as he knew Mary would for Jesus, but he knew a mother's love will carry on, keeping Tripp and all that he stood for alive forever.

  46. I think of your sweet boy often, you as well. I pray that God will continue to comfort you and grant you peace. I cannot understand the pain and loss but please know that your sharing Tripp has caused me to hug my children tighter and appreciate all the days. God be with you and your family.

  47. As crazy as my daughter sometimes made me when she was growing up, and still does now that she's grown, you're right, I cannot begin to grasp what it would be like to not have her, or worse, to have had her and lost her. I hurt for you. Grieve in whatever way you need to. You feel what you feel, and there is no "should" when it comes to feelings. Those who say you should be "over it" by now can be cordially invited to kiss your ass.

  48. I believe in my heart that Tripp smiled so often and fought for life for 2 years and 8 months because of the love of his mommy. You are so right, Courtney, I cannot fathom your pain. When I read your posts, especially the last two, I cry gut-wrenching, even painful tears. I feel just an ounce of your pain...if that...yet it feels big. Thank you for being real. I feel I know better how to pray for you. Which I do. Which so many of us do. I won't try to say something to try to help you feel better or more whole. There are no words that can fill the hole in your heart. But may you feel just a touch of peace and love and strength from us who pray so fervently for you. And who remember your beautiful little boy and try hard to honor his memory. (((((Hugs)))))

  49. You and your sweet boy remain in my thoughts and prayers. I'm hoping to meet him soon.

  50. Your beautiful little boy has touched my heart like you cannot imagine. Be kind to yourself and grieve when you need to. What happened to Tripp was beyond unfair and unimaginable. Be proud in the fact that his life has made such an impact on so many strangers.

  51. All I can say is Happy Birthday to sweet Tripp-he knows you are celebrating him, and I see him pain-free, and happy...and wanting you not to ever think he didn't know every second that he had the BEST mommy ever.
    And, bravo..for putting into words the true feelings of us bereaved parents-I swear sometimes, it seems as if there isn't anyone with common sense anymore, or maybe it is just everyone is so incredibly self-involved that they don't stop to consider your feelings, I just don't know. But, it hurts so incredibly much, and there is nothing to soothe that pain-except having our child with us again. For all of us living with such grief, I wish you peace-and sensitive kindness wherever you go.

  52. Happy 4th Tripp. You're the same age as my twin boys and I know they would have had a blast with you. That day will come soon enough. I continue to pray for you regularly Courtney.

  53. Courtney,
    Thank you for posting this although I know it must be incredibly hard for you. You are right, those of us that have healthy kids will never truly appreciate it the way you do because we haven't walked in your shoes. I will remember your words as I deal with my sometimes difficult four year old son and appreciate that he is alive and healthy despite how challenging a four year old can be at times. I will remember this when I am up in the middle of the night again with our newborn daughter and thank God I get to hold her. I hope you will be able to find some type of peace over time. Thank you for posting.

  54. Thank you for posting. And please, keep writing. Sending love and hugs and prayers.

  55. Happy Birthday sweet Tripp, from all your friends on the blog world. You made us all different people and for that Thank you. Your Mom was and is amazing but I don't have to tell you that you witnessed it first hand. What a lucky boy as she was lucky to have you also. I can say that I look forward to reading your blog but will continue to be patient because you have given me so much, that you don't realize. Thank you for that. I can not wait for wedding and new house pictures. Once again Thank you so much .

  56. Happy 4th Birthday Tripp! You are truly missed! I know you are looking down at your mommy with a big smile on your face! You know you have the best mommy in the world and you will see her one day in heaven! But now you have no more pain! You can run, jump and ride a bike. You can be a little boy in Heaven. Have a great Birthday Tripp.

  57. Thank you so much for sharing on this day. I don't know you personally but have been following for a while a continue to pray for you every day!

  58. My heart aches for yours Courtney. Thank you for sharing you heart and for reminding us all how precious and fleeting life is. I WILL hug my children a little tighter and love them harder today and everyday in honor of your sweet Bubba!

  59. I have followed your and sweet Tripps life for along time and always prayed for your family. There is no way unless you have lost a child that you could "understand" what they are going through, there are no words. And I am sure that hearing people talk or complain about their kids can be frustrating, but I am sure they don't mean to rub their kids in your face, its their life and bragging about our kids is what we do, negative or not. I just don't think people mean any harm. I am so happy that your life with your new man is happy, you so deserve it!

  60. We ♥ you so much Courtney! I can't imagine the pain you feel, but I too cry alongside you. Praying for your happiness!

  61. Happy belated birthday to your angel baby. And to the folks who say "you'll get to be a mom again someday?" You ARE a mom. You're Tripp's mom. Just because he is no longer physically here with you - doesn't change that. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. ((( hugs )))

  62. Happy Birthday, Tripp! Sending you lots of love today, Courtney.

  63. I just want to let you know that you're not alone Courtney. Sometimes being a mom without a child is the worst. People who don't know you think you've never had any kids and don't view you as a mom, yet you are a mom and you have this aching sadness in your heart because a piece of it is in Heaven with your child... SMA took my little girl away from me at 21 months old, and I feel your pain - not in the daily care of EB and what that was like, but in the daily pain of emptiness and broken-heartedness. I wish we lived closer so we could hang out, but if you ever want to chat, I hope you'll contact me. Peace and comfort to you.

  64. Happy Birthday Tripp! We all love you and miss you. Mama Courtney - I am sending you an email. I hope you don't mind. xoxo

  65. Happy Birthday Tripp!

    Courtney, there's no doubt in my mind that Tripp knows (and he knew when he was here on Earth too) that everything you did for him was out of pure love. Even if the baths and bandages were painful, babies knows that their mama's are there to help. And with a mama like you, there's NO way Tripp didn't sense that on every single level. And now that he's in Heaven, he knows it on EVERY level.

    I love what you said about taking care of yourself more. It's hard to stand up to people on your own behalf (I have a hard time with that too), but keep going. Tell them to be more sensitive.

    Lastly--I was outraged to hear that people tell you that having another child will make it all ok. I've never lost a child, but even I can see that having another child is NOT a replacement for Tripp. I do hope one day you have more babies and that they bring you and Stephen so much joy and love. But replace your sweet boy? Never. Impossible.

    Hang in there mama. Even though we're only out here on the internet, we love reading your updates.

  66. I don't even know what to say. I've never lost a child, but my youngest son has autism, and I struggle with it every day. My heart hurts for you so tremendously because you are right. Tripp should still be here with you. It just doesn't make sense for someone so young to suffer that much and then leave this Earth so early. No mother should EVER, EVER, EVER have to lose her baby. Tripp is beautiful. I can't get over his smiles in his pictures. Thank you for reminding me to cherish every moment I have with my children. I will NEVER give up on my special needs son, Andy. NEVER, EVER, EVER. I will fight and advocate him with every breath I take for the rest of my life because I am his mother. I can only imagine what it was like taking care of baby Tripp every single day, 24/7. People say to me all the time what an amazing mom I am because of my dedication to Andy's development, but I don't feel amazing. All I can think is that I am doing what any other mother would do for her own child. My heart truly aches for you. It truly, truly does. Lots of love, hugs and prayers for you and your family!

  67. You are an amazing Mom. If I may be so bold to say I think he looked at you as love. He knew you needed to do what you were doing. I honestly believe children understand things differently than we think. he knew what you were doing was out of love for him. He saw you do everything else as love, why should this be anything different.

    My prayers are with you.

  68. Courtney, I obviously never got the chance to meet the perfect, amazing Tripp and yet here I find myself for the second day in a row with a broken heart and tears rolling down my face unable to sleep thinking about you and him. I use to follow your blog- then do to the craziness of my life- took a long break. Last night as I sat in a rocking chair you guys randomly came to mind and I logged on for an update- I spend well over 3 hours reading all of your posts, and the last 24 hours unable to get you guys off my mind. Needless to say- I can only imagine how you are feeling if this is how I'm feeling. although I don't know you- I wish nothing more then for you to live close so I could just give you a giant hug and cry with you. You are an AMAZING person and an AMAZING mother- if only this world was full of more people like you... and I have to say the only person possibly more amazing then you- Is Tripp- He is sooo Adorable- and his personality even simply through pictures and short video clips... what a doll. I can only imagine how tough life has been for you the past 16 months- but I'm sending you wishes of "rainbows and butterfly's" although God gave you the priceless gift of being Tripp's mommy- you deserves so many more gifts just like that- and I really hope you get what you deserve. You are one very special, amazing, extraordinary person. Sending lots of love and hugs your way.

  69. Your in what I like to call your "new" normal. You had a baby that you lost and nothing will ever be able to replace that child. You are right people who have never lost a child can not fully comprehend your pain no matter how hard they try. I can't fully comprehend your pain, but to the mothers that complain about their children in front of you have no common sense. Every time I read your blogs I hug my two babies tighter. I would take a hundred bad days than for them not to be here at all.

    I hate the comment "you will have another child one day." This statement has strong feelings for me. I miscarried three babies (1 single and twins). That comment would drive me over the edge because you just wanted to scream I WANT THAT BABY!! So when I read your comment those emotions stirred in my heart. I lost my three babies early, I never held them in my arms or even had a birthday. There are three holes in my heart for those babies I never got to meet. I had cousins who literally had babies on my due date for both pregnancies. You will always wonder right now I will have a four year old. I wonder what they would have liked. I go through these emotions with miscarried babies, I can't even imagine how it would be to have my babies for two years and then had to lose them. That is much worse!

    Best advice I can give you is don't be strong all the time. You are nicer than I am, because I would tell my friends, really you are going to complain about how bad your child is... at least he is right there, you can kiss him, you can hold him, you can watch him grow. I would want Tripp back being a terror as long as he was back with me. (Not that Tripp was a terror, but to make your point.)

    Your post even the negative ones always gives me a life a lesson or a different perspective on life.

  70. I really hope you are doing okay. I think about you often and wonder how you and your family are doing. Like so many out there, I do not know you but I have been reading your blog for some time.

  71. I don't even remember how I originally found your blog, but I read it from start to finish in one sitting when I did find it. At the time, I was pregnant with my son and though I can't relate to your journey with Tripp, I found myself reading your words of love for your child over and over again and thinking to myself, "THAT's what a Mom is."

    You're such an amazing mother. I had to post a comment today because it bothered me to read that you feel so much pain remembering the suffering that Tripp had to endure. I believe in my heart that though he most certainly did have to experience pain, he must have also felt so very cherished. Because that's the kind of mother you seem to be to be; a mother who recognized the perfect gift her son was and cherished him every single day.

    Never stop grieving for your Tripp. You loved him well and will continue to do so for the rest of your life. Don't let anyone try to "hurry you" along. Thank you for the honestly you share on this blog. As a mother who will never really "get" just how lucky I am to have a healthy child, please know that you still offer a lesson to me to seize the day and love my child well. Wishing you peace!

  72. I am sorry that you have to go through this. It is not fair to lose a baby. :( I can't imagine what you are going through. I hope that God can give you comfort and peace knowing that your baby is resting at His feet. Your baby is watching you and your family from Heaven.

  73. I understand your post all to well. I lost my sweet daughter, Dannikah, when she was 3. Sending my love to you. ~Anne

  74. Courtney,
    I've followed your blog for 2 years, I think. Please do check out Dr. Joanne Cacciatore... She "gets it". The loss of a child, your child, your precious Tripp, is indescribable... as you have so eloquently written in this blog post. I am so sorry for your loss...

  75. Hi Courtney!
    i know im late but happy belated birthday to beautiful angel Tripp<3 i just found out about your son this week thru Easton Friedels fb page and am absolutly heartbroken. I have read ur blogs and watched videos and seen pix of baby Tripp and my heart aches. He is the most beautiful baby ive ever seen with a smile that melts my heart and brings me to tears. I am angry and soo sad that he was taken away from u. I know the lord works in mysterious ways, and i KNOW baby Tripp is in a much much better place then we are and he is watching over u. It just hurts me that u cant physically hold him and be with him. I want u to know that Tripp has changed my life, he has made me realize what is important and taught me to not take things for granted. You should be a very proud mama that he has such a positive effect even from heaven. I know ive never met Tripp but i truly do love him, and i hope when my time comes i can give him a big BIG hug <3 God Bless u for being such a wonderful person and mom and bringing Tripp into this world to make it a better place. And know as long as i live i will always pray for u and say prayers for baby Tripp and i will never forget him .

  76. Courtney, you will never be "over it" BECAUSE you will always be Tripp's mom. Mom's aren't "supposed" to bury their children... and no, I can't fully appreciate your loss. But I can sit here with tears streaming down my face praying selfishly to God that I never do... and knowing that you must be hurting beyond any level of pain I can even begin to imagine. And I can offer you a prayer, and a hug, and to be here for you. And hope, in some tiny way, that helps just a teeny little bit.

  77. Thinking of you and remembering Tripp. You are in my thoughts & prayers so often.

  78. Dearest Courtney - I think about you often and can't imagine how heavy your heart feels. I don't have any words to take that away, but I can tell you this with 100% certainty. YOU.ARE.A.GOOD.MOTHER.

    And I know that hearing this from some random person in TX is not the same as hearing it from Tripp, but I pray that you'll be encouraged. I pray that God will continue to strengthen you and give you peace. Our family still loves you and prays for you.

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for Team A)

  79. Thinking of you and Tripp. Don't know what else to say, other than I'm thinking of you. Weeping with you.

  80. Wow, I just became familiar with your blog and the story of your precious son. I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful son. My son was born with a rare skin condition but is not as life threatening or serious. Your blog and writing are a beautiful testament to your love and dedication to his life. My heart goes out to you and I'll keep you in my prayers. May God bless you and help you through this.

  81. Just stopping by to let you know you are loved, prayed for, & thought of so often. Hold fast to God cause He's holding on to you.

  82. I still think of you and Tripp all the time, even though we never met. My heart aches every time I see the same little Elmo he had in my own daughter's hand. I came back to this blog today because I needed to check in with you. I am so sorry.i wish I had proper words of comfort to give you, but I have none because I have never experienced the anguish that you have. But I just want you to know that you've left a permanent footprint on my heart, and Tripp has not

  83. I hope u continue to blog, we are all connected to Tripp thru u <3

  84. hey Courtney .... long time we don't hear from you! Hope that means you are keeping yourself busy and have lots going on... keep us posted! Hugs!

  85. You are an amazing Mother. Tripp had an Angel on earth in you. Your life with Tripp was one that only you were strong enough for. The other mothers who don't understand, could never understand. Tripp was fortunate to have you, as you were to have him. I am so sorry for the loss of your son. Thank you for sharing your painful journey with us. Tripp will always be remembered, not by only you, but by a world of people who don't know you and fell in love with him through your writing. God bless you.