Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our letter to Frannie

Many thanks to all of you who were able to join us this past Sunday for Frannie's memorial service. We were honored to have you with us to celebrate Frannie's life. A very special thanks goes to our generous and talented friends who shared their gifts in order to make the service such a fitting and loving tribute. Zac, Laura, Heather, Paul, Dan, Kristen and Jason - you are treasures to our family.

A number of people have asked that Matt and I post the letter to Frannie that we composed for the service, and we've been touched by those requests. Accordingly, we share the letter below. Peace to all.

Our dearest Frannie,

As we gather with our friends and family to honor you, our hearts are shattered and our pain knows no depths.

Never has there been a baby more wanted and more loved than you. Through many difficult challenges and with much assistance, we worked so hard to bring you into the world. We longed to meet you. And then you were here, fulfilling a fervent dream we’d had for so long. Letting you go after such a short time on this earth was, by leaps and bounds, the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do.

We mourn the loss of our time with you, and ache that we’ll never get to know you, never get to snuggle with you and read you bedtime stories, never get to take you to the zoo or the park, never get to watch “The Sound of Music” or sing songs with you, never get to watch you grow and learn. We mourn the loss of Ellie’s time with you, as she was so very excited and so ready to be your big sister. But also, we mourn the terrible loss of all the good you would have done in the world.

At the same time, we’re infinitely grateful for the gifts you gave us. You gave us the absolute happiest hours of our lives; because of you and your sister, we understand what it is to be unabashedly joyful. You reminded us what a good decision we made to spend our lives together, and you renewed our gratitude for that decision. You showed Ellie the happiness and gratification that comes with loving a sister.

But it was not only our lives that you touched; already, we are mindful of your multi-faceted impact. All who had the privilege to meet you, and many who didn’t, have been moved by your presence on this earth. You inspired parents to hug their kids a little tighter, to give them extra kisses, and to express their love more freely. You reminded people how fragile and unpredictable life is, and caused them to navigate their relationships differently in light of that reminder. You demonstrated that our time here is valuable, and must not be wasted. You evoked from people new levels of kindness, compassion, and empathy that they didn’t know they were capable of.

We know that as time goes on, we’ll continue to recognize all the ways your impact will be felt, and that gives us some comfort, but there is no denying that our pain will always be with us. Our view and experience of the world will always be different because we’ll never stop missing you, never stop thinking of you, never stop appreciating how you changed us. But our hope is that we will come to understand compassion, goodness, love, and grace in new and richer ways than we could have before – and that we will live differently because of it.

We commit to you that we will work to lead meaningful lives – lives full of love and purpose that would make you proud to be our daughter. We will seek earnestly to discern the ways that we can be instruments of good because of our experience as your parents. We know that this won’t always be easy, and so we ask for your help. We need you to watch over us and guide us as we move through our journey.

We look forward to the reunion of our souls someday, and until then entrust you to God, to Grandma Jo for whom you were named, and to all those loved ones who have gone before us.

As our friends Paul and Dan so beautifully noted, nothing here will ever be the same. You changed our world forever, and we will always celebrate your life with the deepest pride and love.

All our love to you, our precious baby girl.

Mommy and Daddy


  1. This is so beautiful Lyndi. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks very much for sharing.


  2. Lyndi, you and Matt are an inspiration to parents. I've read all of your posts, and I feel humbled by your grace, compassion, strength and vision - and your quest to make things meaningful.
    With love,

  3. What a beautiful and thoughtful letter of gratitude and sorrow, love and joy, and peace. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your process, and thanks to Frannie for all she's done to open new lines of communication, kindness, and compassion.
    With love and peace,

  4. What a moving and eloquent letter. Thank you for sharing with those of us who couldn't be there in person, although our hearts were there with you. We continue to lift you up in prayer every day.
    Love, Aunt Susan

  5. What an amazing letter...pain, strength, love and faith shine through in your words. I am impressed by your perspective and continue to feel grateful to be part of your journey. We think about you and pray for you all the time.

  6. Thank you for sharing such an intensely personal letter with all of us, particularly those of us who weren't able to be with you for the memorial service. I am coninually amazed at your eloquence, strength, and love throughout this unbelievable process. All of you continue to be in my thoughts.
    Love, Christina

  7. Thank you for sharing your achingly beautiful love letter to Frannie. Although we were unable to be here for Frannie's memorial service, we continue to hold you tightly in our hearts and prayers. Lyndi, I think of you so often.
    With love, Leslie (Ivy's mom)