The life and death of my niece

This week I had to say goodbye to my niece.

The life and death of my niece

I wrote about my niece being born with Trisomy 18. After months of dealing with hospital visits, numerous needle sticks, medications, all sorts of breathing apparatus, it was enough.

My niece's little body decided it was time. Her parents respected her decision and said no more medical interventions. They allowed her to go.

The family gathered at the hospital to say our goodbyes during the final moments. I was grateful for both my moment to say hello and welcome......and goodbye and thank you.

I hugged my sister. Older sister to younger sister. Mother to mother. We both know the pain of child birth and having a child with special needs. But now only one of us knows the pain of losing a child. As our tears mingled, I whispered words of encouragement. Then I hugged my brother in law as he held my niece. Whispered words to him also.

Then I touch my niece and silently say my goodbye. I know she feels and hears me.

I return outside to my son, who doesn't really understand why everyone is sad. I take him to the play area. While death is a natural part of life, he has a few more years before needing to learn about it. Innocence is a precious thing.

The life and death of my niece

Soon, my niece is gone and the family is left to deal with the aftermath. My sister and her husband do the necessary things at the hospital and then gather the family for the return to their home.

At their home we do what families have done for thousands of years when dealing with death. We eat, we drink and we share stories. Some about Hannah, some about the family, some about ourselves. We laugh. We remember. We argue. We bond. In all that we start the healing process.

My sister started a blog about her motherhood journey and coping with having a child diagnosed with Trisomy 18 - http://footprintsofhannah.blogspot.com/

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14 comments:

  1. My sincere condolences, Nikki. I remember when you first posted about Hannah's birth. Such a gorgeous baby. I know your family will never ever forget her.

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha

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  2. Wow I'm so sorry for you loss. No mother should have to make the decision but what an amazing strength they had to respect baby Hannah's body. Your sister's lucky to have you for support.

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  3. I'm really sad to hear about your loss, Nikki. It sounds like you all are really celebrating the time Hannah was here with you all. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family all during this time. ((hugs))

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  4. My heart and prayers go out to you, your sister and your entire family. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss xoxo

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  5. My condolences go out to you and your family. May your sister and your family find the strength you need to heal from this tremendous loss. :(

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  6. Hey sis, thank you for talking about Hannah i love seeing her name and reading other peoples experiencing with Hannah it harms my heart. Thank you for being a big sister and for being there for me from beginning to end, teeth and tongue may bite (old guyanese saying) but at the end of the day we are always there for each other i love you sis. Thank you everyone for your prayers and sympathy my little Hannah showed me how strong i am and i will continue to prove her right

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  7. I am so sorry for your family's loss......

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  8. Im so sorry to hear that she has passed. My condolences to you and your family. Keep your head up.

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  9. I am sending my condolences to you and your family and am lifting you all up in prayer.

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

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  10. So sorry about your niece's passing. What a touching post, and I'm sure she knew her family and their love was surrounding her.

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  11. Beautifully written, Nicki. I've been thinking about your sister and your family. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers...

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  12. I was so sorry to hear about this. I have been praying for your family...especially your sister. The thought of losing a child is just so heartbreaking. *Hugs*

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  13. So sorry about the loss of your niece. My thoughts go out to your sister and family. Beautiful post.

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  14. Anjanette AlexanderAugust 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    I'm so very sorry about the loss of your niece! Its good that you have a lot of support from your family! My condolences to your sister and her husband!

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