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The update on the one who isn't here

Often it feels like things stay the same when it comes to Tripp, but when I really get to think about it things are always changing with him as well. I don't have milestones to reach with him, but my feelings are forever evolving.

I can't tell you how my heart swells to tell you this. Calder talks about Tripp ALL THE TIME. He often says he wishes Tripp were here to play with, or wonders where Tripp would be sitting when we are all piled on the couch. Calder also will correct anyone who suggests he only has one brother and when he counts people in our family he always says 6 (new baby included). He also wanted to take a picture of Tripp to school along with our family picture (They are learning about families and Madam requested a picture). This feels incredible to me, because it was only about a year ago that I wondered if Tripp's life would have an impact on Calder's at all. I felt sad thinking it might not, but I also understood that it was Calder's life and whatever impact Tripp had on it would be just perfect for him.

I actually think about that more and more when I worry about things like "how I will feel about blank in the future". Tripp has definitely taught me that I will feel the exact way I should feel and that regardless of what those feelings are, they are the right feelings. In terms of Tripp, I don't need to worry about thinking about him less or having my heart ache less, because when the time comes that I do those things, it will be okay. I will be okay with it.  Even though the thought of not have tears on February 23 actually bothers me now - like somehow it means I love him less or don't miss him anymore - I know that when the time comes that I don't shed tears, it truly will be alright. I will be alright.

This pregnancy feels like the gift we get from Tripp's death. Hugh and I would have never planned for a 4th child with 3 already running around the house. This baby will arrive because Tripp left. I feel this deep sense of connection between Tripp and this birth and continue to look for a way to honor this connection.

Because of this pregnancy I get to mention Tripp lots. People always ask something to the effect of "What number is this" and I always say 4. That typically leads to gasps and people saying things to the effect of "You are brave". I think 4 is brave (and wonderful), but I will only have 3 at my house, so I share that I am not brave in quite the way they are thinking. I have come less sensitive to people's reactions to Tripp's death. I used to get quite upset when someone didn't offer any condolences or when they quickly changed the subject. I have begun coming to terms with the fact that their reaction is theirs to own. It doesn't demean Tripp's life when they shy away at his mention. It speaks way more for things that have (or have not) occurred in their lives.

This past week I have shared Tripp with my classes. I have explained to my students exactly why I will be gone once a week and why I have to get the treatments I am getting. When I was pregnant with Boone I only told my students that I had to get the treatments and left the "why" (and Tripp) out of the conversation. I wasn't in a place to explain to them about him. This year, I told them and it felt so wonderful to have the strength to mention his name to them. They listened intently and respectfully. I teach some pretty awesome kids . . . Makes me wish I had been in a different place while pregnant with Boone, but I wasn't and that is just how life is.

I am truly excited for this baby we weren't supposed to have and have Tripp (and Hugh) to thank for that. My journey with Tripp continues to grow and change.

Happy Monday!


  1. Jordan, you are an inspiration. You write with grace about a type of loss that is (in my opinion) too much of a taboo. Sharing Tripp brings strength to others. He will never be forgotten. And when you don't cry, his joy and strength and love will be forever present. Much love to you and your family. Know that I (a stranger) think of Tripp often.

  2. This is a great post Jordan! God bless your beautiful family of 6!

  3. This is all so wonderful and thought-provoking. I like what you said: "This feels incredible to me, because it was only about a year ago that I wondered if Tripp's life would have an impact on Calder's at all. I felt sad thinking it might not, but I also understood that it was Calder's life and whatever impact Tripp had on it would be just perfect for him." This applies to so many things in life and I need to remember that.

    I am always thankful for thoughtful people like you, who have taken the time to delve deep and provide insights. Your character grows because of it and other people benefit from your wisdom. Thank you for sharing.


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