Little Beaner, Rest In Peace

January 13, 2009

Hi Catherine,

Don’t know if you remember me, but it’s Marie. You helped me with my beautiful baby girl Beaner. I had been wanting to let you know about this, but I know you have your own stuff you are going through and well I didn’t know how to say it… But I just wanted to let you know that my baby girl Mia passed away On Oct 27, 2008 due to SIDS. She was 13 1/2 weeks old and getting so big! Its so hard to believe that its going on 3 months that she’s been gone. I would tell myself, “tell Catherine next week” but next week turned into well this long…. Thanks for all you did for us when I needed people there for me… I just thought you would want to know….

Always,

Marie

I never met Beaner. I never held her hand or touched her cheek. I knew her only through a story that her mother told me, pictures that she sent me, the fragments of a life that she shared and that became, somehow, strangely, briefly, intertwined with my own.

You can read her story here, and here. It’s a beautiful story, the story of a child who was so loved that her mother fought back all of her fear to keep her, for better or for worse, for the sake of a life that she wanted to nurture as her own, on her own terms. Her mother reached out to me, and to you, to all of you, for support and guidance and she drew some of her strength from that and she made the bold step of clasping Beaner to her heart and deciding to never let go and that, that was amazing. Deciding to never let go can be a difficult choice – for some, the wrong choice, an impossible choice – but she made it and she was happy and she kept her Beaner and Beaner was loved.

And now Beaner is gone, and I don’t know, I just don’t know what to say, because this was the story that was supposed to have the happy ending and although I tell myself that Marie had her Beaner for all the time that Beaner had on this earth, and that that is wonderful, that that is a gift, it remains that to have such a precious gift and then to have it snatched away is tragic beyond measure. So I don’t what to say. And it is not, in any case, my place to say. It is not my right, to sing an elegy for Beaner, to wring philosophy from her death. Not my right at all.

I didn’t know Beaner – little Mia Catherine – but she found her way into a corner of my heart, and there she remains, this child I did not know and will never know but do love, a little, from a distance, from – now – a tragic distance, nonetheless. There she remains, and there she is mourned, and there she will be remembered.


Rest in peace, Mia Catherine. You touched more hearts than you could know.

You can leave condolences to Maria in the comments. She’ll be reading, and I know that the support will mean so much to her.

Then – as I insisted last week, not knowing how soon I would be confronted by the demands of my own words – hug your children. And your moms. And anyone whose heart touches yours. And be grateful.

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    { 155 comments }

    Her Bad Mother January 14, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Anonymous – I’ve deleted your original comment. Please don’t take this as censorship – my reason for removing it was not to close off inquiry but remove anything that might hurt Marie and in any way tarnish these condolences.

    EarthyMama January 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    I’m so sorry Marie. So very, very sorry.

    The Grown Up Teenager January 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Marie,

    I’m deeply sorry that your little Mia was only with you for a painfully short amount of time. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child, and wish you and your family healing in this incredibly hard time.

    Heaven has a new little angel.

    All the best,

    The Grown Up Teenager

    Kelley January 14, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Wandering over from your Twitter, Catherine.

    The outpouring of love from this sad story is proof that the internet can be a wonderful caring place.

    Yeah, there are idiots that just set out to hurt under the guise of anonymity, but I feel sorry for them too, because what sad little life they must have to try and tear someone else down.

    My heart breaks for Marie, but soars that so many people are sending their love and thoughts to her.

    I am sending mine too, for what it is worth.

    CharmingDriver January 15, 2009 at 12:01 am

    (Sorry-for-the-poorly-formatted-comment-My-space-bar-is-borked-for-the-time-being.)

    Marie-I-know-this-is-going-to-sound-odd-but-please-don’t-take-the-doubting-of-your-story-personally.

    I-know-BELIEVE-ME-I-know-there-is-nothing-more-personal-than-the-loss-of-a-child-but-I-think-the-death-of-children-particularly-babies-is-so-horrific-to-some-that-it-is-easier-to-doubt-than-to-accept-that-horrible-things-happen-to-the-most-innocent-among-us.

    That-or-they-are-so-cynical-that-their-doubt-has-nothing-to-do-with-you-or-your-precious-baby.

    Either-way,-please-take-care-of-yourself-and-your-kids-and-please-don’t-let-random-internet-queries-rob-you-of-honoring-your-child’s-life.

    Finally-I-am-so,so-sorry-for-the-loss-of-your-daughter.-I-lost-my-son-in-2006-when-he-was-a-month-old.–If-you-ever-need-someone-to-talk-to-please-don’t-hesitate-to-email-me(charmingdriver@gmail.com).

    Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 12:01 am

    No need for apologies HBM…Thank you for being there. I can honestly say it just makes the hurt worse knowing that there are people out there who would think someone would lie about something so heart breaking… thanks again hbm. Marie

    geenalyn January 15, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Marie, my heart goes out to you for the loss of your sweet little girl

    Amy January 15, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Marie, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 12:38 am

    Dear Marie,
    I am so, so sorry to hear of your sweet Mia’s passing. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Perksofbeingme January 15, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Marie,

    There are no words that I can write or say that can take any of the pain away. There are no amount of hugs and kisses that can give Mia Catherine back to you. There are no right things to do, no perfect solution. This is when things get hard and un-perfect. This is when love comes in. This is when you see the love that you have found so quickly through people you never have met face to face. This is where you see how you and Mia have touched lives. This is when I send my love to you and say that if there is anything I can do to help, just ask. I know that there might not be anything that I can do other than say “I’m here and I care,” but know that I am here and I do care. I’m keeping precious Mia Catherine in my thoughts and I know she’s waiting for you to be able to hold her in your arms again. She’s smiling at you right now, and whispering, “Momma, look at how much you are loved. Look Momma! They love you, and I do too.”

    kittenpie January 15, 2009 at 1:04 am

    This is every parents worst fear and nightmare – I hate that it’s come true for you. I only hope that you and your other children find some solace and healing.

    flutter January 15, 2009 at 1:13 am

    Oh, what a little angel

    sweetsalty kate January 15, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Marie, I’m so deeply sorry for what’s happened. I know that pain… not of the same circumstance but I also had a baby who died at six weeks of age.

    I know it’s meant well but the “your baby is in a better place” thing makes me grimace. The ‘better place’ is in the arms of mama. Period. And this is hard, so hard, to have those arms empty. It’s just an awful, backwards thing and Marie, I’m just so sorry you’re there, in this darkness.

    If you would like the company of other mamas who understand – and who have found some light and love again in life (or who persist in chasing it) – you can find us gathered together at http://www.glowinthewoods.com.

    Thinking of you.
    xo

    Ali January 15, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Oh, I am so sorry Marie.

    carrie January 15, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Oh Marie, my heart breaks in a thousand pieces for your loss.

    Jenn @ thatpsychofamily.com January 15, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Marie and Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Gina January 15, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Marie: I’m just so very sorry for your loss….

    MadWoman January 15, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Maria, my deepest, heartfelt condolences to you. I cannot even begin to put myself in your position. Know that we are all thinking of you and sending all the most positive thoughts and living prayers to you through cyberspace and the universe.

    Meg

    k_sra January 15, 2009 at 9:57 am

    @>–>–>—–

    Parent Club January 15, 2009 at 10:03 am

    There are no words…
    I wish courage to you and your family.

    Merrily Down the Stream January 15, 2009 at 10:18 am

    Dear Marie
    I can’t pretend to know what you are feeling – but what I imagine makes my heart ache. I am holding you and the little beaner close to my heart. Sending you love and hugs. xoxox Merrily

    Erica January 15, 2009 at 10:28 am

    I’m writing this through tears–I’m just so very very sad and sorry, Marie. She was so lucky to have you as a mother. My thoughts go out to you and your family.

    Anonymous January 15, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Oh, Marie, I am so sorry, I don’t have words, only tears. Sending so much love and condolences your way. She was just beautiful.
    Audrey
    Alexandria, VA

    kenzie January 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    marie~ i’m sorry for your loss. mia was such a beauty and she touched so many hearts.

    Bon January 15, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Marie, i’m so very very sorry. Mia was a beautiful baby…to have her taken from you – especially after you searching your heart to keep her – is cruel.

    i know that your story and hers touched a lot of us out here, and that Beaner/Mia will be remembered.

    if you find that you might want the company of other babylost mamas as you grieve and heal…feel welcome to join us at http://glowinthewoods.com

    wishing you strength, sending you love.

    Tracey January 15, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    Oh Maria… I am so so sorry…

    The Estrogen Files January 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    I’m so sorry. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Loralee Choate January 15, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Marie-

    This breaks my heart. Truly. I have been there and know how devastating and shocking SIDS is.

    I think one of the most difficult things was the sadness and worry that my baby would be forgotten. He was only 3 months old, how could he possibly have time to leave his imprint on the world? Would anyone care or remember him other than my family?

    It was very painful for me.

    Enter the internet and the bloggity world.

    I don’t know how involved you are in the online world but as a mom who has been there and who has shared the story of my son and our loss with the web, I just want to throw my 2 cents in to see if it can be any comfort to you.

    I read all the comments and know that thoughtless remark must have stung and hurt. I know you are protective of your baby, as you should be and any hint of negativity must be extremely painful.

    I have also been there. I have had my share of negativity after choosing to share the story of my son online.

    BUT!

    SO many people have read his story and so many good, wonderful things have happened in memory of him and because of him. More than I ever thought would be possible.

    Because I shared his story he will not be forgotten. He is remembered and loved and his story has touched many, just as your little one’s has here.

    I am so glad Catherine shared your story with us. I am so sad for your loss.

    This story has touched many of us. I have thought of you often since your story first appeared and I know I will continue to think of you and your little one.

    She and you are cared about.

    Try to remember that the love and good vastly outweigh any bad. It usually helps my heart. I hope that it helps yours.

    Steph January 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I am terribly sorry for Maria’s loss. That type of tragedy is my biggest fear. My deepest condolences go out to her.

    (Along those lines, as the mother of a newborn, SIDS is my daily fear. I find myself worrying about it ALL DAY LONG. How do Moms get through that fear? I’m afraid to worry to little and afraid to worry to much. Any advice commenters? I hope this isn’t the wrong place/time to ask.)

    Again, Maria…My heart goes out to you and I wish you peace.

    alex January 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    She will be missed. I’m so sorry for your loss, Marie.

    Immoral Matriarch January 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I’m so, so sorry.

    mom2nji January 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss.

    Luann January 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Oh Marie. I am so, so very sorry for your loss.

    Hannah January 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Oh no. Like Catherine, I thought this story was going to have a happy ending. I am so sorry to hear that little Mia is gone.

    I hope for peace for you, and for your family.

    fruitlady January 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    I was so saddened to hear of the loss of this baby. My most heartfelt sympathies to her mother and her family and to everyone that knew about her and cared.

    Avonlea January 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Marie,
    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I remember your story and your beautiful little girl. As HBM said, your little Mia is mourned and will be remembered.

    There really are no words for such a loss. I have faced the terrifying prospect of losing my infant when he was in the NICU, but for whatever reason, he miracuously defied the doctors. My heart just breaks for other moms who do have to go through that loss.

    Kaitlyn January 15, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    Oh, how very sad. I am so deeply saddened by and sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences.

    momranoutscreaming January 15, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences. What a beautiful baby. How lucky we all are for the time we have with our children. No matter how long.

    Aurelia January 15, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    I’m so sorry Marie. I am another grieving mother who lost babies.

    This is a terrible loss, and it will never leave you. There is no closure, but after a while, a very long while, you will be able to deal with the pain and memories. It just takes time.

    Take care, and if you ever need anything, please email me, or look on my blogroll for any of the grieving mamas out there on the net.

    And if you need some real life support, please don’t hesitate to ask for it. Support groups aren’t always for everyone, but ohhh, can they work miracles.

    Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 1:41 am

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss and your family’s loss.

    Sam January 16, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Maria,
    I am so sorry. So very sorry.

    creative-type dad January 16, 2009 at 4:02 am

    No words could ever say how deeply sorry I am…

    red pen mama January 16, 2009 at 9:51 am

    My heart breaks.

    ciao,
    rpm

    Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Marie: I’m so sorry.

    kelly January 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Marie, I am so sorry for your loss.

    Adelas January 16, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    There is rock in my stomach just from imagining such a thing.

    The hardest part for me is not being able to find you for real and wrap my arms around you.

    The second hardest part is realizing that you probably have no idea how TRULY joined with you in sorrow we are.

    LAVANDULA January 16, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    oh Marie i’m so very sorry about Mia.i wish i was close enough to give you a big hug and shoulder to cry on.may God make this awful pain easier for you to bear as time goes on…

    LisaDuvall January 16, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Marie, You have my deepest, sincerest condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. Beaner was beautiful. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Mommato2 January 16, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Dearest Marie….I am so very sorry for your loss. To lose a child must be hell, and there are so many other Momma’s out there who have gone through it. Big hugs to you. xoxo

    Stimey January 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Marie, I’m so sorry. I am so sorry.

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