Say Her Name

I read a letter by a fellow momma in grief not too long ago. She was desperate for her village to acknowledge her baby’s first heavenly birthday. I found myself nodding along to everything she wrote and to everything she asked.

Just like me, she was scared her baby would be forgotten. I know you won’t forget Kate’s sweet face or her cute little glasses. I know you’ll remember the stories I’ve told and the letters I’ve written. But, selfishly, I need more. I need more on this day than for you to hover over the options of whether to “like” or “love” something. I need details. I need to save them all up for a rainy day, publish them all in a journal or keep them for my own quiet reflection. I need to know about her…from your heart to mine.

We, as mothers…our lives change irrevocably the day our babies enter this world. The day of her birth changed me. The day of her death changed me more. I will never forget either, but this Sunday, I want to deeply, deeply remember her birth. Her LIFE. Because my baby girl was way more (oh so much more) than a pediatric cancer patient. My baby was more than the death that has come to define this page. My baby LIVED and I need to know that you know it, too.

So I ask you…will you join me?

Say her name. Speak of her and tell her story. Perform a random act of Kateness and tell me all about it. Tell me the look on the faces of those you serve when they hear her name. Tell me how you felt in honoring her sweet memory.

Do you have children? Tell them about her. Talk about her. I’m not suggesting you open up the “introducing death” can of worms to your kids right now…but if they know her or if they know OF her. Do you talk about her? Tell me what you say. Tell me what THEY say.

Do you have a favorite story about Kate? Tell me about it. Even if you think I’ve heard it. How did she affect you? How will you always remember her? What is your favorite memory? How did you meet her, or how do you know of her? Are you a more “distant” follower? Tell me how you came to know of our page, and why Kate’s story touched you. Do you have a favorite quote of hers? A favorite outfit she wore? Tell me.

Take your family out for ice cream with long rainbow sprinkles. But don’t stop there. Tell them WHY. Bake a cake with them. Blow out a candle and tell them WHO the candles are for. Looking for a way to pass a lazy, rainy Sunday morning? Take them to Dunkin Donuts and tell them about a girl who so loved a chocolate frosted donut that we told her she’d turn into one if she wasn’t careful.

Write her name in the sand. Whisper a message to her out into the ocean. Write her name in giant sidewalk chalk. Paint her name or draw a picture. Light a candle. Sing her favorite song – have a dance party to “Happy” in your living room and hold hands with your kids. Snuggle them and breathe in their scent when you’re done.

Her birthday is Sunday, June 5th. Send me a video, a photo, a note. Talk to her. Wish her a happy heavenly birthday. And be sure to tell that her mommy & daddy love her very, very much.

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