In His Memory

We’ve passed the year mark, what’s next?

No more firsts, and now life begins to fade into the second spring since he left, another day, another new moon, another sunset.

Although his physical life may have ended that March 11th just before sunset, his real life and purpose didn’t end there. The celebration of who he was to us or the legacy he left us with, will never be gone. I hope it never even fades, and that it just continues to grow as the years pass.

I am a firm believer that he chose Gina and I for his mamas. He wanted to be here with us, but the physical body that he ended up inhabiting just wasn’t strong enough for everything he needed to do in life. This powerful soul, chose us.

He’s part of us indefinitely.

As I continue along this life in hopes of growth and connection and more love flowing into my family, he too grows, causes more connection, and is a catalyst for more love between our family, our friends,  and within our community.

Luca has inspired so much.

Most obviously, he has given me the courage to put it all out there, to share this vulnerability with our community, and to let others going through this deep grief  and immense love know they aren’t on this path alone.

Writing has been therapeutic for me. It’s given me the opportunity to chronicle my new life. And in this writing, I have been able to type Luca’s name hundreds of times. It flows directly out of my fingertips, his name does. It’s so natural for me to write about him and what he’s doing in my life at that very moment.

One of these times, I wrote a piece in response to a call for submissions from parents who had lost their children. There was a plan to put all these stories together into a book.

I sat down and listened to music. Listening to the melody and lyrics of certain songs, pulled and continues to pull at the very back of my heart, and elicits a memory from listening to that same exact song when Luca was growing inside of me. This physical and emotional memory brings me to a place where I feel cracked wide open, and the words and love flow. This happens every time I write, and it happened that 10th that I sat down to write my submission.

Several months later, I found out that the piece I had written was going to be published as part of this anthology. It has been so amazing to think that Luca’s name and our story is going to be in print. Other people, strangers I would never meet, would know of Luca D’oro. He will have been gone for years, but his story would continue to be told. It brings a smile to my face. I am so proud of him.

The book Three Minus One has an official publication date of April 19th, and you can reserve your copy on Amazon. The kindle book is also available for pre-order. If you would like to purchase the book, you can visit : http://www.amazon.com/Three-Minus-One-Stories-Parents/dp/1938314808/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395018869&sr=1-1&keywords=three+minus+one 

This book is full of love stories, of love and of loss. I wish there had been something like this a year ago when we were searching to find others who had been through this, but I am so grateful to now be a part of this collection of stories for other parents to connect with as they figure out life after their children leave this earth.

Then of course, as part of Luca’s birthday month, and with the idea planted in our minds from our dear friend Annie JoJo, we have gotten together with a company called Hugg-A-Planet®Earth, a family owned company in Vermont that makes all organic toys here in the USA, to donate small, organic stuffed animals to the UCSD NICU. The UCSD NICU was where Luca stayed for the majority of his time on earth, and was loved and taken care of by the staff there. These toys will be placed in or near the hospital bassinets for the duration baby is staying in the NICU, and will hopefully go home with that baby when it’s healthy enough to join its family. If the sweet baby doesn’t make it, the stuffed animal will be added to that child’s memory box and be a tangible memory for their family. We cherish anything that touched or was near Luca, so we understand how much this would mean to those families.

We had originally shared this information at Luca’s celebration, but wanted to share it with the folks that follow us from afar.

The two items you can purchase are “Totally Turtle” and “Save this Whale”. Click  on this link for instructions on how to order: Luca Loves

Then visit http://www.peacetoys.com/foundling.html to order. We’d like to get all these orders in by the end of the month, so they can all ship at once.

Thanks for spreading the Luca love. ❤

 

Luca’s First Birthday: Lessons From Our Son

Monday was the anniversary of Luca’s birth, his first birthday.

Our friends gathered in celebration of our sweet boy, and it was so beautiful, more beautiful than anything I could have ever imagined. I will be posting pictures later this week, as we are still gathering all of them together. The moments captured, so gorgeous each of them, with the sunset Luca created that night and even a heart cloud to boot.

Floating Lanterns into the Sky for Luca D'oro

Floating Lanterns into the Sky for Luca D’oro

Before his birthday, I spent time contemplating what it is I would say. I was to speak on behalf of my son, but I wanted to do it just right. This was my chance to speak of him, for him, to the people who loved him, and were a part of his community.

So this is what I came up with. This is what flowed from my mind and heart.

“I wanted to come up with something so profound, that I could feel I had honored Luca properly, to give this little guy the spotlight and respect he deserved. To remember Luca as so much more than a baby lost, a neonatal death, an unspoken uncomfortable topic for many of those in our daily lives. 

 

He was so wanted long before he ever even arrived. He exemplified love before he came here.

 

And I miss him everyday. Tremendously.

 

Who he would have become.

 

What he would be like today, on his first birthday.

 

How different our family portrait would appear.

 

But in this last year of grief and sadness, of pain and longing for what was supposed to be, came the peaking in of light, a heaviness that lifted here and there. We found ourselves time and time again surrounded by love, by this community of people wanting to help us, to carry some of the load of this grief, and transform it into joy and love.

 

And from this, came our Lessons from Luca. 

 

If there is someone around you in need of help. Help them.

 

If someone you care about, or maybe someone you feel a connection to needs an ear or a shoulder, be there for them if you can. And so many times, you can.  Just simply acknowledging their experience and what they are going through, will make that one person feel a little less alone.

 

If they are stuck in a whole, climb into that whole and remind them that they aren’t alone.

 

Try not to judge. You don’t know what another person’s experience has been like, and their life circumstances are likely nothing like yours.

 

Pain is pain, and everyone’s story on how they arrived to pain though possibly similar, is likely completely different.

 

We all experience loss at sometime or another. Don’t compare your loss to there’s. 

 

Just be there. Hold space for them. You’ll create greater connections that will last a lifetime. You’ll have invited more love in, and sent more love out. You’ll have made a difference in that person’s life.

 

We only live once in these bodies. Make a difference. Do it in honor and remembrance of Luca, of Elan Vie, Anthony, Milla, Joey, Paul, Isabella, Anne Marie, Gus, Delaney, Kenley, Noah, and Violet.

 

Remember to love. Share love. Give love. Spread love. “

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It’s been a year since the last day that I carried Luca D’oro in my belly.

I want to rewind back to last year and have this completely different story than what actually happened, about how I gently birthed him into this world, how he came out breathing and alive, and was placed immediately in our arms, and our eyes met for the first time.

How at that moment, both Gina and I fell in love with the newest member of our family.

And as I sit here typing on the eve of the anniversary of Luca’s birth, and two days from the anniversary of when I first laid my eyes upon him, and held him while he took his last breaths, I reach for the one thing that outweighs the depth and heaviness of the grief of losing him.

I find myself in this moment, completely overwhelmed by the amount of love Luca represents, and continues to show us everyday.

I’m at a loss for words, my heart heavy, and my throat tangled up in one big knot. My fingers too, feel uncertain of what to write.

So instead of trying to figure out what to say- I will go step into the sun, surround myself with that Luca love, and carry him in my heart for the rest of the day.