Only 5 Days

This morning, once again, I didn't want to get out of bed.  I eventually flipped on a light and picked up the book Empty Cradle, Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis that was lent to me by a wonderful woman, Doreen.  (Doreen helped us through our emotional ride in NICU)

Until this morning I had not wanted to pick up this book.  I was sad and didn't need more sadness.  This morning that changed.  As I lay in bed I started asking myself some questions that I didn't have answers to.  I knew I needed help finding those answers.  I am a reader and have read about every other thing in my children's lives from what to eat during pregnancy, how to get them to sleep and most recently what to do about hitting!  Tripp's death won't be different.  I am going to read to learn about the death of an infant and hopefully I will begin to have a bit of understanding and eventually healing.

This book won't be cruised through like many of my other reads.  I already found this morning that I am going to need to spend time thinking and writing about many of the different points.  I read 2 pages and cried the whole time.  Thus, I know I need time to process the points I am reading.  They are making a connection with me.

I have been thinking about my  statement of "only 5 days" ever since we got home from our counseling session with Brad.  Where did the only part come from?  Why would I say that?

This morning I got a bit of an answer on the very first page of the book.  The first page talks about death and how as a society we aren't exposed to it as much as we were in the past.  Death has been taken away from the home and family and placed in modern, sterile institutions.  (page 1)  Not only do people not die at home any more, we don't talk about death, especially the death of a baby.  Modern medicine has aided in this as well.  

I remember speaking with my Grandma Fritshaw about her mom, Grandma Carswell.  Grandma Caswell lost an infant daughter, Mary in the early 1920's.  I remember being crushed and saddened when Grandma Fritshaw told me this.  She responded that when her mother was of child bearing age many woman lost infants.  It was common.  

It isn't common any more.  

The death of a baby is even more hidden because it violates our expectations. In addition, when we hear about the death of a baby, many of us do not recognize the depth of the loss to the parents.  The fact that the baby was in the womb or in the parents' arms for such a brief time add to their pain and isolation (page 1 - 2)

I realized after I read this that I was in some way trying to put my grief on a scale.  I was trying to figure out whether my pain was greater or less than someone who has lost an elderly parent, teenage sibling, spouse or toddler.  That is where only was coming from.  

Grief is grief and I need to embrace the pain I am feeling and not worry about its depth.  There is no way to compare one death to another and therefore you can't compare the depth of grief a person feels either.  

Although the amount of time that passed from Tripp's birth to death was brief, Hugh and I loved Tripp long before he was born, long before he was even conceived.

I loved Tripp since I was a young girl daydreaming about my perfect husband and perfect 3 children who would be 2 years apart.  I loved Tripp since I met my perfect husband and we started planning our lives together.  I loved Tripp since the test came back positive and I first felt those butterfly flutters of him kicking. 

I loved him when I first got to first hold him in my arms.  I loved him while he was sick in NICU and when we begged him to let go and be with our grandparents.  

I loved Tripp's future.  The dream of our 2 boys pushing trucks around the sandbox and playing street hockey together.  The dream of Tripp growing up strong, compassionate, empathetic and hardworking.  The dream of him getting married and having a family of his own.

I will be loving Tripp forever.  

Today I learned that there isn't a grief scale (as much as my math mind would like one).   There isn't only 5 days.


  1. Jordan...
    just me stalking you again. This post is so incredibly amazing. Thank you for sharing your strength and journey with the world.

    Just wondering- did you ever get your ring you'd talked about getting?

  2. Very touching and true. Your words are so powerful, thank you for all the sharing.

  3. You have grasped a very complex concept...the grief scale. I agree with you 100%. I think I will read that book one day. Sounds very insightful. There is no limit on love, no is forever. Love will have a new will feel it well from deep within. It will be your own personal love.
    I am always listening to music and absolutely love Josh Groban. Listen to To Where You always makes me cry but I still love it.
    Hugs, Bonnie

  4. Well said, Jordan. I always thought of Tripp being "only" 5days old in the way that it wasn't enough. He was only here for 5 days, even though there was and is enough love for him for many lifetimes.

  5. While I don't admire the difficult experience you've been through, I do admire the strength that is radiating out of your blog. Everyone says they don't know how they would deal with certain situations until they are in it and I can't help but fall into that same mind of thought by saying, "I don't think I would handle it as gracefully as you are". Does that make sense?


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