Today I attended a funeral for a 13 month old little girl. I didn’t know her or any of her family but it felt as though I had a personal connection with all of them. Baby Hope was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome which basically means she had half a heart. Her momma, Amy Koslowski, began blogging about their journey before she was even born and it was through that blog that I and hundreds if not thousands of people across the globe came to know their family and what they were going through. Through Amy’s words we were there for the ultrasounds, the delivery, those first moments when they saw their little girl, through the heart surgeries, the blood clots, the vomiting, the giggles, the smiles, the great days and the not so great ones.
Hope’s journey ended on Tuesday night after a long struggle and as I sat in my living room on Wednesday morning reading Amy’s post about her last moments I found myself sobbing as I held my own little one. There were occasions over the past several months when I felt overwhelmed or stressed from some of life’s mundane activities and I would think of the Koslowski family. I thought about their strength in the face of overwhelming hurdles and I knew that I should be thankful to be dealing with teething, growth spurts, the sniffles, a bump on the head, a messy house and sleepless nights. I knew it was nothing compared to what they were dealing with and I continually felt uplifted by their perseverance.
So today I attended her funeral with a friend, who like me, had never met Hope or her family but had been impacted none the less. The church was full of friends and family and the service was streamed online for people across the world who had been reached by the blog and touched by Hope – it was truly incredible. I shed many tears and knew I could never understand the grief her family is experiencing but I felt once again in awe of their strength. It was a beautiful service, full of love from so many people who Hope had an impact on. It was truly a celebration of life and not a mourning of death. I felt and still feel privileged to have shared in their journey and will forever be impacted by a little girl named Hope.
I wish to thank Amy for allowing me to be a part of your journey, you are truly an inspiration.