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My First Lesson From Tripp

When we first started our journey with Tripp, Hugh and I received dozens of calls and emails from friends and family sending us messages of strength and support.

In the days after Tripp passed away, we had visitors, food, and gifts to go along with the increasing number of phone calls and emails.  We needed the support of those around us to help us through our most difficult days.  We were bombarded and overwhelmed with the support.  It was exactly what we needed.

In the following weeks, we continued to get emails daily and sympathy cards would arrive in the mail on a daily basis.  We weren't bombarded anymore, but instead we were getting daily messages of support.  This is exactly what we needed, daily reminders that were were in someone's thoughts and prayers.

Next Monday will be two months since Tripp was born.  We are still getting messages, but we have the odd day that we don't get one.  This is exactly what we need now.  When Tripp first died I was fearful that not only was I going to forget him, but that other people would forget him as well.  On top of that I was afraid that people would forget about us and our grief.  Now, I am not as afraid of that happening as I was before.  It is okay when a day goes by that we don't get a card in the mail or an email from someone unexpected.  I know we are not forgotten.

In the last week, I have gotten 2 separate emails from friends.  For both of them, it was the first time they had been in touch to offer their condolences.  Each of them talked about how bad they felt that they hadn't contacted me sooner.  The thing is, now having been through a loss, I know that it doesn't matter when you give your condolences.  I was exactly like my 2 friends before this.  I didn't know the best thing to do for people and I didn't want to do anything to upset them.  For me, this meant that sometimes I did nothing.

What I didn't understand then is the importance of showing those experiencing the loss that you are thinking about them.  Here I am, almost 2 months later, and I still need to hear from people.  My close friends and family are amazing, but there is something special about getting an email or a card from someone that we haven't heard from yet, someone unexpected.  I just think, if that person is thinking about me, imagine all the other people who are.  It feels just as good getting those cards and emails, now, as it did getting the ones in the days surrounding Tripp's death.  I know in the past, I would have thought, it is too late to send my condolences.  Part of me wouldn't want to be judged poorly.  But now I know that there is no judgement from those on the receiving end.  It just feels good to be thought of.

Hugh and I are lifelong learners and although we didn't want to have to lose a son to learn lessons, we are learning anyways.  One of the first things we have learned from Tripp's death is what what to do when someone dies.  We won't get it right every time, but we will try and show people the love and support that we have been shown.   I won't be afraid to send a card to someone I barely know.  If I am thinking about them, I am going to send it.  I won't be afraid to send a card months after someone passes.  I know won't be judged and if I am, I won't care.  I won't be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone.  If they don't want to talk, they won't answer.  I won't be afraid to drop off food or a gift, if it is something that I want to do.  I have learned what to do for people when someone dies.

I will thank Tripp for my first lesson when I see him.


  1. Sometimes learning is just hard.
    You guys are doing an amazing job.
    You are also teaching all of us by sharing your thoughts.
    Thank you.
    Love Aunty Pat

  2. Every night when I sit down at the computer (dial up, you know), I immediately go to your blog. In spite of your hurting, you have been able to come up with many profound comments, showing how deeply your thoughts have been impacted. Hang in there girl (I think we have heard that phrase before, back in the good old ball provincial days). Andrea

  3. Jordan,
    You and your family have not been forgotten. I think about you everyday! I would say that I am 'addicted' to your blogs. From one mother to another,I can't imagine what you are going through, although I can say that you show great courage and you are probably one of the strongest people I know! I feel, through reading your posts that I am continuing to offer my condolences and show that I do care. Please continue to write. Your raw truth puts life and it's meaning into perspective for me and I'm sure others.

    Becky Epple


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