Empty House, Empty Heart

January 19, 2010 at 11:32 PM 2 comments

Josh and I left IL at 4am Monday to drive back to our home in AL. It was the drive that I had been dreading since we arrived in IL to bury our little Hailey. For one, I had to say goodbye to my dad who is dying from cancer and only has a week or so left, but I had to deal with coming home to an empty house, to a house without my daughter.

I knew it was going to be difficult to be back in the house where we had spent about a month with Hailey. On the day Hailey passed away, after the hospice nurse had carried her little body out of the house and into the car and before we left for IL, Josh and I slowly and sadly moved all of Hailey’s belongings into her room. (I knew that when I came back that if I saw her crib by our bed or her bottles in the kitchen cabinet or her little bed that we kept in the living room…that it would be too much for me – and it was the right decision in looking back). But I really had no idea how hard it would be…

The house was so cold and empty when we walked inside. Josh had gone in with Opie before me…and he told me that Opie was going around the entire house looking and sniffing for Hailey. My heart broke. Josh told me that Opie laid down outside her bedroom door and whined for her. My heart broke again. Tears began to well up in my eyes. I had not remembered how bare our house was before we had Hailey. I was in the house alone as Josh unpacked the car. I looked around. Her pink bed was not on the coffee table, the pink organizer we kept her diapers and supplies in was not on the end table, her crib was not next to our bed, there was almost no sign of Hailey ever having been there. The emptiness overwhelmed me, and I immediately began weeping. I walked around the house – in and out of every room like I was looking for a sign of her. There were the pink roses our friend had brought us on the day she passed away still on the kitchen table and there was the sign I had made her on her 5 week birthday…more weeping. I just kept thinking she should be here… she should be here… I guess Opie and I did the same thing when we came home…

Then, I went into Hailey’s room…that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be…it was actually comforting to see “her” again. The first thing I did was go to her hamper – that had one blanket and one onesie she had worn. I held her blanket to my nose and breathed in… a little piece of Hailey… her smell…what comfort to have again… But I know it won’t last…

Our mail was laid out on our kitchen table and there was a stack of sympathy cards that awaited us. I sat down and opened and read the cards…another comfort to know and read about how many people are thinking of us and Hailey and to know people are praying for us. And in all of the mail on the table was an envelope that contained the CD of photos “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” had taken of Josh, Hailey, and me during our stay in the hospital. Another comfort – new photos of Hailey…and they were beautiful…

So as Josh and I unpacked and got ourselves settled back into our house, the ache and emptiness in my heart was unbelievably overwhelming and tears continued to flow…I longed for my baby girl…I longed to hold her in my arms again and rock her and feed her in the glider that had been in our bedroom…but I was home without her… and my tears came and went all night until I fell asleep…

The immediate rush of grief I felt when I walked into our house could not have been anticipated. Neither could the momentary sources of comfort that I found. And in the end, I had to remember and find comfort in the fact that Hailey is in a better place where she doesn’t suffer from any of the effects of Trisomy 18 and where she is perfectly at peace and joyful. She is in a better place… I just can’t wait to be with her again…

…and today was a better day…


Entry filed under: Me. Tags: , , , .

The Loss of a Child Yet I still dare to hope…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Ilea  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:57 AM

    I hope that you'll post the pictures from the hospital here or on facebook somewhere-I would love to see them! I am happy that today is a better day and you can find some comfort in all of this badness. Continue to think of you and Josh, and your dad, and Hailey with nothing but love 🙂

  • 2. Jennifer Bailey  |  January 20, 2010 at 3:23 AM

    And tomorrow will be a better day…and they will keep getting that way. Not becasue you are forgetting or anything, but just because God is allowing you to grieve, but He is also allowing you to grow and be strengthened through all of this. Every once in a while, you will have a "bad day" where upsetting memories come flooding back, but those days will become fewer and farther between. The good memories will remain, the sunshine will return to your days, and sleep will return to your nights. Smile…God (and SO MANY friends) love you!!


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"God gives, God takes. God's name be ever blessed." ~Job 1:21

In Loving Memory of Hailey Marie

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