Moving Forward

Over the past few days I have been slowly chipping away at my list of things to do. Shane keeps telling me that I can't get everything done in one day...he knows me so well.

The mornings are the hardest right now. When we wake up, we are both immediately hit with the realization that all of this was not a dream. Avery is gone. No late night phone calls from the hospital, no calls to the hospital to see how her stats are, and no talks about what it will be like to bring her home. For nine weeks straight I went to the hospital...walked through the maze to the CVICU...stood by her bed and held her hand. I have not done any of those things since last Tuesday. In the same way I had to adjust to hospital life, I now have to adjust to life without the hospital. It is so strange. It is most definitely NOT normal to spend day and night consumed by a newborn in the hospital, but for us, for those nine weeks, it was normal. I am now left to contemplate what my life will be like from this day forward. We fight daily to focus on the positive. It is easy to get caught up in the things that are no longer...the phone calls to check on us, family members in town, and attention in general. In a way, we got used to the mad rush of attention and now that it is not as intense, we miss it. It is time to move on.

Yesterday, I went to the social security office because some how or another, Avery's social security card paperwork never got filed. I was trying so hard to keep it together as I talked to the lady helping me. She told me we would have to just start over. I would need to bring Avery's birth certificate and some form of ID. She said, "you can bring her shot records...you've done her 2 month shots right?" I burst into tears and told her that my daughter had passed away. She of course was horrified. It is those kind of occurrences that I do not look forward too. It's nobody's fault and I wasn't mad, I just wish things were different. I have some business at the hospital to take care of tomorrow. Like I mentioned above, I have not been back there so I anticipate it will be difficult. We also plan to visit Avery's grave today or tomorrow. That too will also be challenging. Please continue to pray for peace and healing as we embark on a long list of "firsts". Thank you for all your kind words, your heart felt cards, and your cyber hugs. We cherish all the memories and hold so tightly to you precious friends.



  1. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    My daughter was also in the NICU for 3 weeks (to grow). I can relate to the 'normal' part of going to the hospital. I lost all of those friendships (with staff, nurses, doctores, etc.) immediately as I left the hospital for the last time. I'll pray for your tomorrow as you walk back into the hospital. . . I hope that you are taking someone with you?

    You are a truly brave person and I admire your courage. Not only for sharing your blessing (Avery) with the world, but also for having the courage to let her go in peace. I think about you often as I face the daily challenges of life as a mom.

    Friend in Pittsburgh

  2. Though things might be quieter, I know you are not far from anyone's thoughts. We're thinking of you! Much love.

  3. You're definitely being thought of. I come to this page a few times a day to see how ya'll are. *hugs*

  4. here everyday with you and your firsts.

    you may find that some days, reading words like these (where others have gone thru similar loss) are just frustrating because your loss will have parts that are all your own. Other days, and hopefully more of these, you may find that these words are just confirmation that that tiny float you feel you are on in the middle of the ocean as you fight your way back to the shore...that the float is bigger than you thought...and we are on it together, encouraging each other, maintaining the balance when one of us just wants to give up..paddling for each other when we just have nothing left.

    I have found this "support system" just recently...and it's reminded me to hold on..because out of the blue, someone might read my blog, or reach out to me thru some connection here...and it will be just what i need to keep paddling.

    peace and comfort in family and friends..and strangers..is my prayer for you.


  5. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    Keeping you in my prayers.

  6. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    Day after day you amaze me! Your stength is admired by many. Even on the days that you are not feeling strong, just know that you are an inspiration for many of us out here. May God bless the hard road ahead of you and your family.
    Hannah Ray

  7. I know you don't know me, but I think about y'all every day and keep you in my prayers.

  8. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    Still praying for all of you everyday - that God will wrap his arms around you and give guidance and comfort as you move forward.

    You all are still very much in our thoughts and forever in our hearts.

    God Bless,
    Robin Gaspard Cosenza

  10. We definitely have not stopped praying for your family. Nor have we forgotten you and your sweet baby Avery.

  11. i can relate to hospital normalcy. We spent 1 week prior to surgery and then another 31 days after surgery in the PICU. It was normal to be in the hospital. it was just "what had to be done" at the time. We were able to stay beside for all of those days. We also missed a time change, therefore it was really dark very quickly once we got home. That seemed to affect the start of depression. Once we left the hospital, it was hard to return to some form of normalcy. Friends just did not understand all that we had been through, could not relate and did not know what to say or do. My son did survive and therefore I do not fully understand your quiet. However, your daughter and counsiling (family and personal) we start to help. Holidays and anniversaries are always hard. I will continue to think of you often and pray for your healing.

  12. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    Continuing to pray for you and your family...I can't imagine how hard the next year or more might be....but remember, you and your family made the best decisions you could make at each moment in time for sweet Avery, and she is now in a better place, free of any pain or suffering...Life will be hard for you all, as you tackle all the firsts, but she is watching and now cheering you on and wanting you to be happy again...settle for nothing less, in her name...praying for you all:)

  13. Carissa,

    Your heartfelt posts are so moving. I'm so sorry that you have tough times ahead of you. I'm praying so hard that you are able to find peace and understanding through this.


  14. I am still praying for you!!!!!!!!

  15. God cares for every Lily in the field, how much more does he care for you and I? I'll be praying for your complete peace and healing in this hard time.
    ~Claire Griffin (just a reader)

  16. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    Continuing to pray that God brings you peace and comfort in the days ahead.


  17. AnonymousJuly 22, 2009

    1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 We can experience grief and hope because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we believe in the hope of Jesus Christ, then heaven becomes a place of wonderful reunions with our loved ones. Praying that God is by your side through everything. Thinking of You, Shane, and Kaitlyn- Love and many prayers, the Givens

  18. Take it one day at a time and remember there is no timeline here. Do what you have to do, when you want to do it. Take time for yourselves and take care.

    God Bless!


  19. keeping you in my prayers!

  20. Carissa,
    Just want you to know that I am praying for you and your family. There are so many "firsts" that you are experiencing without your sweet Avery, but it is part of the grieving process. Allow yourself the freedom to cry when you need to- even if there are others around. I know that's hard sometimes, but being authentic and transparent is so very healing. God will lead you through this. I pray your sense His presence in a very real way.

  21. AnonymousJuly 23, 2009

    I am thinking and praying for you to have comfort and peace. Much love, Wendy

  22. Praying for you and your family!

  23. Carissa and Shane, I am so sorry for everything. My heart breaks for you guys. Please know that you are in my prayers.

  24. Mommy_of_YaDaJuly 25, 2009

    Remembering Avery this rainy night in MD. Miss you miss thang! Will continue to pray for the Keirseys.