9.11.17: Grandparents Grieve Too

Our parents were thrilled they day we shared news of our pregnancy! After all, each of our five siblings had established families of their own. Furthermore, we had been married more than four years and were taking our sweet time to finish school, settle into a home and establish careers. And while we were comfortable with this timeline, little hints from our parents made it clear they were anxiously awaiting another grandchild.

Little did anyone know, a phone call six months later would leave them devastated – my shill cries on the other end uttering “We lost the baby, I’m so sorry… we lost the baby”.  As Grandparent’s Day (Sept. 10) approached, I began thinking more about what they went through. They had been so strong for us as parents it didn’t naturally occur to me that they were grieving too. Buried in my own grief, I had neglected to understand and acknowledge their pain. With this new realization, I asked our parents to write their stories so I could gain more insight. They kindly agreed and shared the following…


Everett’s Grandma “Lo” (Lorena Ricca)

FullSizeRender-5The joy that Skyler and Kevin felt as they inched closer and closer to Everett’s due date was shattered when doctors confirmed that his heart was no longer beating. As soon as I received the tragic news I began praying for Skyler and Kevin. I asked God to give them the miracle of a live birth, after all in the Old Testament of the Bible He had breathed life into dry bones, and in the New Testament Christ resurrected Lazarus and the daughter of Jairus. I focused on this prayer until Everett Coleson entered the world on the night of Dec. 16th. My prayers then shifted to Kevin’s and Skyler’s sorrow. I prayed for strength and healing, and for Him to make His presence known to each of us whose lives had been touched by Everett’s life.

The next day family members joined Skyler and Kevin at the hospital to meet Everett and say our good-byes. As I held him in my arms I knew I was looking at the face of an angel. He was perfect in every way, tiny hands and feet, 10 fingers, 10 toes. As I gazed at this little boy hot tears slid down my cheeks and onto his; in that moment I was so proud of who he was while also grieving the loss of never knowing who he would become. I would never see or hold him again or hear him call my name; no sleep overs with his cousins, and no pictures capturing his little capers or milestones. Presents that were already under the Christmas trees of many family members would not be opened this year. His due date in March would not come and go unnoticed but instead of invoking joy it would remind us of our tragic loss. So many events that we would not experience with Everett came to mind. But, in a nanosecond I knew that he had already brought so much joy and despite all of the things we would miss with him, he was enough just as he was, an angel among us.

My love for Everett cannot be erased or taken away. I will always treasure the stories Kevin and Skyler shared during her pregnancy and all of the times I felt him kick and move while in Skyler’s womb. He had already given us so much and as his family we will always keep his memory alive.

Everett’s Grandma & Grandpa Grubbs (John & JoAnn)

FullSizeRender-4Grandparents Day is a perfect time to share our story of Kevin and Skyler Grubbs and our precious grandson Everett. Our story is still very emotionally difficult for us to put into words, but important for us to  honor our grandson.

Kevin and Skyler waited to start their family until they felt settled. They had recently purchased their first home and  both had great jobs and careers. They did everything right. When they shared with us they were expecting their first baby we were beyond excited, we were elated. We had been anxiously  awaiting this for a long time. We both knew they would be amazing parents. They shared all the little things with us such as morning sickness, baby’s first movements, gender, names and ideas for the nursery. Kevin had spent countless hours painting the nursery and putting up chair rail. He did an awesome job and put so much time and lovE into it. Skyler and I spent time on the phone or on-line picking out comforter sets and accessories for Everett’s nursery. We couldn’t wait for his arrival.

John and I will never forget that heart-wrenching phone call from Skyler on December 15th. She was so distraught and overcome with grief we could barely make out what she was saying. Her anguish cries of pain are forever etched in our minds. There were no words to adequately express how we felt or to comfort her. John’s first thought was to jump in the car and go to be with them. However, he was undergoing radiation treatments and had his last session the next morning. After his final treatment we went to the hospital to be with them and offer any comfort we could. The next 24 hours were difficult for everyone. Skyler finally delivered Everett on December 16th after thirty long hours of labor with Kevin by her side every minute of the time.  

John and I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to share some time with Kevin, Skyler and our precious little Everett. When we held Everett in our arms knowing we would never be able to spoil him, rock him, read to him, play with him or watch him grow up it was heartbreaking and so overwhelming. To look at him so tiny, so fragile, but so perfect was like looking at his father thirty-five years ago. He was truly a mirror image of his dad. It took our breath away.

Our precious grandson Everett may not be with us physically but will always be with us in our hearts in that special place meant just for him. Grandma and Grandpa lovE you our precious grandson Everett. We know that you are now flying with the angels.


To our sweet parents, thank you for so bravely sharing your story and for honoring your grandson, Everett. You are amazing grandparents and we are forever grateful. We offer our deepest sympathies and are with you every step, as you are for us. Together we grieve. K+S

 

Knit Heart Photo Cred: http://www.sands.org.nz/

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