Leaving Your Mark

Dear Livy,

The best place to cry is in the shower. It’s private, you don’t need tissues and you can just let it out without anyone knowing. 

When they told us your brain was no longer functioning and that the seizure you were having not only never stopped, but also took over other areas of your brain that had never been impacted before, my entire body felt empty. It felt as if my purpose and drive had been ripped out from under me. When they suggested that we let our family and closest friends know, so that they could come say their goodbyes, that it would make your passing less shocking, we followed their direction and did it. I’m not sure that it made it any easier for anyone. After all this was the first time that we didn’t let anyone know you were in the hospital the first day you were admitted. We figured it would be a big deal and like past visits you’d be out after 2 – 3 days. 

The day we had to discuss the DNR  was as difficult as they come. It took me back to when my mom, your grandma Donna, had a DNR and didn’t want it. She felt like she was forced into it because she needed Homecare and Hospice was the only option for her to get the help she needed, but in order to qualify she had to sign off on the DNR. It crushed her and pissed me off. 

Here’s the thing, I know what it feels like to have broken ribs. I couldn’t imagine your ribs being broken and especially not more than one if we didn’t sign off on a DNR for you.

Everything became very real that day. What seemed like our typical visit to the hospital for a seizure suddenly changed. 

Your dad and I had to make a lot of decisions in a matter of days. The four days you were in the hospital felt very quick. One of your nurses kept telling us not to lose hope, but it was hard after everything we had been told. I’ve been thinking a lot about your last 48 hours.

This morning we got a package in the mail thanking us for our donation. Although your major organs were not viable for donation, we tried, but all the medication that you were given to stop the seizure, but didn’t work impacted your kidneys and liver. We want you to live on in any way possible, so we chose to  donate your corneas and other soft tissues that could be used by someone else. 

The letter we received let us know that two people have benefited from your corneas. It brought us to tears. Happy and sad ones at the same time. Whenever I think I’m feeling okay and getting by something seems to come up. I know this is going to happen a lot, but I hope it gets easier over time. 

I love knowing that you will continue to bring happiness to more people in the world through that donation. It makes me so proud of you. 

Missing you,


One thought on “Leaving Your Mark

  1. Jessica says:

    Thank you for sharing the things you have written to Olivia here. Your tender, clear, genuine mama voice is so beautiful. May those two people who received Livy’s corneas be able to see love and beauty as clearly as you and your children do.


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