Some have made comments about my post script about Shane's jeep. It was not my intention to be offensive or insensative in any way or to take away from our agony over the death of our precious daughter. I simply meant to convey that it makes me happy to see my husband smile...if only for a moment. Please don't question our grief and devastation.



  1. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    You don't have to explain anything.......

  2. Oh girl, I'm sorry you had to even address that.

  3. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    You don't have to explain yourself at all. Those people that posted those comments on your blog are dumb! They need to realize that you have to take small steps on your way to recover from this tragedy! I am happy for you and Shane to have a little reprieve from the pain. I love you and support you!! You do not have to explain yourself to anyone. Especially your friends
    Jamie Golab

  4. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I'm so sorry you even had to take time out of what must be the lowest point in your lives to address such hateful, judgemental, arrogant, bitter, most likely lonely human beings.....you are nicer than me; I won't post what I would say! ;)

    Thank you for sharing Avery Mae with us. She has been an inspiration. I'm sorry for your loss, and I have such respect for the unselfishness and love you showed that little angel. I can't imagine having to make such a decision....but I hope if I ever do I will face it with the grace you've shown.

  5. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    As someone who has been in agony over losing a loved one, I firmly beleive you have the right to do and say whatever gives you peace and happiness in this time. No one can tell you what is the "correct" way to grieve except yourself. If buying a jeep is the right way for you guys, more power too ya! I am glad to see you all celebrating. I love you no matter what and am behind you 110%.

  6. I hate that people think because you have opened up your life that they can say whatever they want... I am sorry you have to deal with that! I think it is great that Shane bought something for himself. I know you guys could use a "pick me up" however brief it is. We continue to pray for you guys.


  7. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    As someone who lost my 6 week old baby a little over a year ago, I have learned those who have never walked the walk have no idea what it is like to experience the roller coaster of grief. Surviving the tragedy means doing whatever you have to do at the moment - it's not as if you crawl in a hole of grief and then emerge all better a few weeks or months later. You have days where you do perfecty normal things and on those days, people think "thank goodness you're all better" (or in this case, "how can you be better alreay") and days where you can hardly crawl out of bed. On those days people wonder why you're like that when just the day before you were seen smiling. So do what YOU have to do to make it through. Sometimes that means teaching others what it's like if they don't know. I recall reincorporating myself into society after so many days spent at the hospital in limbo not knowing what the outcome would be. I recall just wanting to do normal things - going out to eat, sitting in the sunshine, cleaning my house, etc. So I completely understand where you're coming from. I'm crushed that you lost little Avery, and I pray for your strength not just for the next few days but for the next few years. Live your grief journey YOUR way. God Bless you all and God Bless sweet Avery. I imagine a huge jungle gym in the sky where my little one climbs and plays and yells without his tubes and with lungs that give him plenty of air.

  8. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I hate it as well that you EVEN had to address such a ridiculous statement. If they knew anything about the two of you they would know that it is about Shane's new job and the fact that anything that is a distraction at this time is a relief. As someone said above, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SO NICE ABOUT MY RESPONSE.

    Love you guys

  9. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I'm so sorry you have ANYone questioning you guys or your decisions. Please know that was a rare instance of one who would think poorly of you -- and know that the rest of us (who don't even know you!) think so highly of your faith and strength in this trial. The anonymous above me said it best: until we've been in YOUR shoes, how can anyone of us judge?

    Still lifting you up daily.

  10. I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am about your Sweet Little Avery. I will be praying for your whole family as you deal with your loss!! May God Bless You All!!

    Nashville, TN

  11. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    All I have to say is the Nerve of some people. They obviously know nothing about you or what you are going thru. First of all you have every right in the world to continue living and enjoying the small joys that your way! You have every right to do what it takes to support your family, and if they knew Shane at all they would know that supporting his family is always his focus! If he bought a new Jeep he did it for a reason not just because he wanted a new jeep he just doesnt work that way.

    I love you guys and I for one am very happy that Shane loves the new Jeep!!!!


  12. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    With all that you are going through you do not need to explain yourself to anyone. I'm sorry that they are some rude people.... I'm glad that your hubby loves his new jeep!!!!!


  13. I am so very sorry you even felt the need to explain yourself. How incredibly insensitive for anyone to comment on that! We all know how great your love is for Avery and what a horribly difficult time this is for you.

  14. I'm so sorry...I have been following your blog and praying for your sweet family. I have been away for a few days, and was so deeply saddened today when I caught up with all your news. I can't even imagine what you are going through right now. You and Shane are amazing, and owe NO ONE any explanations. I will continue to pray for you! Thank you for sharing your lives with us!!

  15. I am afraid that you will hear a lot of very stupid stuff in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. People are incredible stupid sometimes. I am amazed still at what some people tell our family - nine years later. On behalf of the human population - I am sorry.

  16. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    To be able to find some happiness in a dark time is a quality we should admire.

  17. i'm with everyone here!!! It seems that so many of us know first hand what you are facing...so we also know that it was in the small things that we had to see the joy...you know what!? That jeep can/will provide memories for all of you and i remember that being JUST WHAT WE NEEDED...memories to build upon and help us cope with the memories we thought we'd have with our Cana. My heart hurt as soon as i saw that..as IF you need THIS to carry too? I'm sorry you had to address it.

  18. I'm very, very sorry to hear of your loss. I can't imagine the grief that you and your family are experiencing.

  19. You shouldn't have to explain yourself. I am so sorry for you loss! I continue to pray for your family during this time.

  20. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I hope this doesn't discourage you from sharing your family with us... We all prayed for your family and your sweet Avery... God is good!!! Amen!

  21. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I found your blog through a friends blog and have been following it for awhile. I think you being happy about your husband's Jeep is awesome. You are still able to find HAPPINESS amongst all the sadness and loss. Go on and rejoice, that is what God wants you to do.

    Many Prayers for you and your family.

  22. Dear Carissa and Shane!

    I'm appalled that anyone would have even commented about that! He is deserving of that jeep, and we totally understood what message you were conveying. It's time to surround yourself with balcony people, not basement dwellers! :)
    Our hearts and prayers are with you and your family and will celebrating the life of such a precious girl with you long distance on Saturday.

  23. Carissa,
    There is little to be said about some of the negative comments I have been reading. You definitely do not owe the non-well wishers any sort of an explanation. It is quite insensitive of people to write mean things or question any of what you are going through. In fact, after reading your post about Shane's new Jeep, I kind of got a chuckle out of it. It is the little things in life you have become so appreciative of. Regardless of what you have been through, you deserve happiness and peace. Thank you again for continuing to share your story.

  24. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I am so sad yet so grateful you and your family can grieve and move on and that Little Baby Avery is in Sweet Heaven. It broke my heart to see her picture with all of the tubes and being sedated all of the time. For someone to question you and your families actions is absurd! You did what you (God) felt was best for little Avery and your family! If you can find some happiness for one second after months of agonizing grief,pain and suffering than I am happy for you! Avery will be remembered always and her memory will live on forever!

    God Bless and many of prayers from Ohio

  25. Allison in TXJuly 16, 2009

    Surely there is no question that in a heartbeat you would trade every material possession for your daughter. I hope you can forgive people's unkindness. I too was once the same way (and I was miserable!) until I let God's grace and love change my heart.

  26. I am so sorry to hear of Avery's passing- I pray for peace for all of you! Avery was quite a fighter and I admire and respect you for doing what was in her best interest. Please know that the negative comments deserve no more attention but I join the others in sadness for those who made them! take care!

  27. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    So many people have been touched by your sweet baby girl, and your wonderful, loving hearts. Please don't let anything negative from anyone hurt you, you are hurting enough as it is. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us!

  28. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    Hi Carissa,
    I am w/ everyone here. You do not need to justify anything. We are very lucky to have you and Shane shared your most personal experience w/ us.
    Thank you!

  29. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    Unreal! You should not have to clarify yourself at all! I have followed your story the past few weeks - I am so sorry for your loss. Your strength is amazing. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers!

    Nichole from Cincinnati, Ohio

  30. Carissa,
    Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers during this time and especially on Saturday. May you find pleasure in the simple things of life and peace in your memories of sweet Avery. Take care of yourself!
    Courtney Connelly (Meredith Fields sister)

  31. AnonymousJuly 16, 2009

    I am so sorry for your loss. I have followed your story for several months and I was heart broken when I read Avery was not going to make it. I think very few people understand or even comprehend what you guys are going through, but I want to say that I admire you. It takes an amazing amount of strenght to be able to make the choice you made. You are in my prayers.

    God Bless,

  32. I am with everyone else. Those comments that were given were uncalled for and unwarranted. We each deal with grief in our own ways, ways which shouldn't be questioned. Not many people can say they have been through what you have, and I think you guys have a great and an eternal perspective on the whole thing. Avery is so lucky to have had parents like you!

    I am so happy that you have been able to find something to bring some joy into your lives during this trying time.

    God bless!

  33. Nicole from RosemeadJuly 16, 2009

    Hi Carissa and Shane,
    I totally agree with everyone posted here that you should ignore those negative comments. Your family has been through so much pain and at least someone could have done was to say something positive. I am sorry for their rudeness but I am glad you spoke up. You guys are allowing us to be a part of your life and I am so appreciateive. May the Lord Jesus watch and bless you continuously. I hope I can get the same amount of strength you guys have to deal with my family issues.

  34. Girl those are the people that do not matter....and will never understand..don't think a thing about it again.
    Enjoy the Jeep!

  35. I'm so sorry about Avery. I don't know you, but I know a friend of yours and heard about your family. I have a friend who lost her little girl, Lucy, a little over a year ago. I wanted to give you her blog address. http://jacksonparkcity.blogspot.com/. She and her husband have blessed so many lives by sharing their story, and I know your family has done the same thing. I know you will see Avery again someday, but it's a long wait. You're in my prayers.

  36. I have followed your blog through Carter and Sophia's blogs. I have never left a comment but wanted to extend my sorrow for your loss. I'm so sorry that while trying to find some comfort in a familair place (like a beautiful lost smile from your husband), that someone could be so cruel. It's amazing how insensitive people can really be.

    After losing my grandmother a few years ago, we were all standing outside the hospital and started making fun of a big oak tree. Did that mean we were done grieving? No, it was an outlet that was needed.

    This is your blog and I hope that you will keep blogging and don't worry about what the rude ones think. It they were offended, maybe they should stay off your blog and just keep it for the positive people.

    Sorry for the rambling, I just want to see you two heal in whatever way you need to. So get in the jeep and smile away. You have a wonderful angel looking down and smiling with you!

  37. I can't believe someone would leave a comment about something as ridiculous as that. It is a shmae that you have to take the time to explain yourself. There should be no need for that. I agree with all the previous posts. No explanation is necessary. Having lost my son to CDH 2 years ago, thes days any little thing that can bring a smile to any one of the faces of my kids or husband or myself deserves a kudo. If that jeep put a smile on your husband's face through his pain, then I say "way to go jeep" People who can't see that do not need to be leaving comments, they just need to be leaving. God Bless you all.

  38. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    Like so many others, I found your blog in late May and have been checking it constantly on a daily basis. Though we do not know each other, I have cried with you, hoped for you, prayed for you and now simply admire you. Your beautiful angel Avery taught us so much in her short life. As I read about her fight everyday, it made me think of how much we all seem to sweat the small stuff. Each day we have on this Earth is truly a gift and that is how we should treat it...spending our time with those we love and fully appreciating the love we have in our life. Thank you for sharing her life with us...I know your intention was to use this for your dear family and friends..but along the way, you picked up some strangers :) and in our own way we fell in love with your daughter too. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you peace in the coming days, months, years...I can only imagine there will be lots of pain but I hope for well deserved smiles and laughs too. I pray for God to help you heal and I hope you feel the ever present light of your sweet angel in your life today and always.

  39. not for a minute did I think poorly about the jeep comment; these events just happened to fall at the same time. I'm glad there is something that makes life a tad easier and nice for Shane- reliability on new wheels is another load off the mind when your energies need to be focused elsewhere.

    Constantly thinking about y'all right now and what you're preparing to do & celebrate tomorrow. You are strength personified.

  40. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    I cannot believe the audacity of some people. I believe that someone must be very unhappy with their own lifes to be able to even make a neg. comment about anything at all to you,and I am sorry that you ever felt you had to address the issue. Any moment of happiness for you guys is well deserved. Praying daily for you and preparing to leave for Avery's 9 week celebration.Love and prayers,The Givens

  41. Mommy_of_YaDaJuly 17, 2009

    Avery loves you! Smile!

    Much love to that sweet princess warrior by the name of Avery --wherever you are sweet thing.

  42. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    You don't have to apoligize for anything that makes you happy. You and Shane deserve any happiness you can get. I am so excited for Shane, he deserves the Jeep, two if he wants. Thank you for sharing this with us. Miss Avery Mae wants her parents to be happy.
    Best Wishes and Love to you all.
    Lilly's Nannie

  43. AnonymousJuly 17, 2009

    I haven't posted here before, but I have been following your journey for quite some time now. I lost my daughter to CDH 3 years ago as well. Her name was Avery Mae too, so I've felt a special connection to your family and I was hoping and praying that your Avery Mae would come through.

    I think that Anonymous, who lost a baby last year at 6 weeks, sums up grief perfectly. So interesting how it is different for every individual yet all too familiar. I will be praying for your beautiful family as you begin the next part of this never-ending journey. You will never, as you know, ever forget your perfect little angel, but I want to reassure that as time goes on, things do get easier.

    Your little Avery will always be remembered. Praying for you now and always.

    Lauren from Canada

  44. Kim Klingbeil ldkbaby00@sbcglobal.netJuly 17, 2009

    You don't know me but I wanted to convey my heartfelt sympathies in the loss of your daughter. I lost my daughter Madeline Emiley, to CDH three and a half years ago.
    Please know that you do not have to explain any smile that comes on your face or anything else for that matter. You have the right to smile and see your husband smile anytime you want. As they say, life goes on. Hard to think about that now, but your smiles will multiply in time.
    Kim Klingbeil

  45. Dearest Carissa - I am so very sorry to hear that you are feeling the need to justify your words & your feelings to people. Anybody who knows you should understand that your loss of sweet baby Avery has surely ripped you to your core. Try to forget about the nay-sayers and allow those of us who are here to offer support & kindness to be the ones to lift you up. You probably hadn't been aware that in January of 2008, we lost one of our cradle care (foster) babies to SIDS. We had picked her up from the hospital @ just 2 days old on New Years Day and just after she left our family we recv'd a call that baby Hope had died. So I feel in my own little way that I just might know a bit of how you are feeling. How I wish I could be closer to you now to hug you and to lend a shoulder to cry on. Please know that I, along with my family, have you & Shane & Kaitlyn in our thoughts & prayers. With love, Cheryl Cusolito

  46. No one has a right to question your grief! I will be praying for you!

  47. I just wanted to say that i'm praying for you and your family. My heart is just broken for your loss.

  48. AnonymousJuly 18, 2009

    Thinking of you all today - hope the service is as beautiful as Little Miss Avery!

    Prayers, love & support sent your way
    Nichole - Cincinnati, Ohio

  49. AnonymousJuly 18, 2009

    I am thinking of you and your family today. If distance were not a factor, I would come and celebrate your precious Avery's life. I wish only the best for you in the days and months ahead.

    Carolyn (Nashville, TN)

  50. AnonymousJuly 18, 2009

    I pray that God might forgive those that made such horrible comments and ruined your uplifted spirit for that moment! You have agonized and suffered for way too long and now it is time to take a deep breath and start on the road back to some sort of "normal-ness". You finding joy in your husband being happy is part of being a spouse. It is important that you find joy in each other so that this doesn't tear you apart. I am appalled that someone would insult your grief and your commitment to remaining strong and uplifted so that you can help your oldest Daughter make it through this as well. God will bless you always for your grace and dignity. You and Your family is Truly an inspiration to us all and those people who commented on the "Jeep"... Shame on you!!!!!! I hope you seek forgiveness in this life from those who you offended in their time of grief!

  51. AnonymousJuly 18, 2009

    Thinking of you on this day of sorrow and celebration. I hope you were able to truly get out of this day the things that will help you get through the next weeks, months, years.
    Olga, Arizona

  52. Allison in TXJuly 18, 2009

    I prayed for you during the service today. I hope somehow your day was full of joy, peace and blessings, and that your life will be filled with many happy times in the coming days.

  53. Iam so sorry you had to say anything about this....This isnt anything yall need right now or have to explain

  54. I have never commented before,but I lost my daughter in May and the pain you are going through is the worst.. It is so hard for me to believe people out there are judging you or commenting on things like that.. I have times when I feel okay and I know to others it seems as though we are moving on, but there is no moving on without our children, and there is no one, wether they have lost a child or not, that can tell you how you should feel or how you should act.. what you feel is what you feel.. if it is joy, then share it! I am sure the last thing that our girls would want is for thier parents to be completely inconsolable and a mess.. anyway..prayers to you and your family.. and I am sorry you even felt the need to explain yourself..shame on them..

  55. I always tell families when facing this what we discovered 10 years ago - we also lost our daughter to CDH - "Perfect strangers become our best friends and there are some family and friends that become just strange." Then there are just people in this world - that do not deserve an explaination.

    All these comments sum up the majority - grief is personal - no two go through the journey the same. We laughed while holding our daughter for the first time at a comment made by one of the doctors. Cecilia had just died in our arms - and we laughed because sometimes the tears dry out and a laugh is the way to let out that tension and pain too.

    Be kind to yourselves!