Friday, December 2, 2011

In Memory of Our Baby Duck

Earlier this week, we sent out memorial cards for the anniversary of Eliza's birthday.  Mostly to our family and a few friends.  I'm a big fan of the old fashioned correspondence, and David and I have sent out Christmas cards every year since we got married.  (Except for last year, when our photo cards featuring our smiling faces and my pregnant belly arrived the day after our daughter died (Irony, you are a cruel mistress)).  This year, I knew holiday cards were off the table and I never got to choose birth announcements, but I wanted to do something to commemorate our December baby, and memorial cards felt right for us.  I owe special thanks to to Leslie and Brianna, whose memorial cards for Cullen and George inspired this idea, and from whom I borrowed some of the wording.  Funny how I've been writing about Eliza here for almost a year, and when it came to writing these cards, I felt like I didn't know how to begin (except with tears--plenty of those to go around!).

I wish I had enough cards and postage to send one to everybody who reads this blog, so please consider this the online version.  The cards featured the same photo I'm posted below, and I'm also posting the text we had printed inside.  I mean every word of it, because the comments on and e-mails about this blog have been a real lifeline to me this year.

Several months ago, I posted this poem by Rabindranath Tagore, and this line still comes to mind every single time someone extends a kindness to me, especially when it's someone I wouldn't have met or someone I wouldn't have become close with if it weren't for Eliza:  "They who love me do not know that their love brings you to my heart."

I hope you guys know it.  How much it matters, what a difference it makes, how your kindness brings Eliza close to me.  Every comment, every e-mail, every note, every gift.  You've helped me hold my Baby Duck in my heart all year long, and you've listened to every whispered hope and every agonized cry that I've spilled out on this blog.  I cannot thank you enough for keeping Eliza close in my heart and in yours.


In loving memory of
Eliza Taylor Duckworth
December 6, 2010

Please join us in remembering
our sweet Baby Duck
on the anniversary of her birthday.

Though we cannot hold her in our arms, 
we carry her always in our hearts.


Thank you for the love and support we've been given in the past year.  The sorrow we feel for our daughter's loss can only be matched by the love she brought into our lives.

You are invited to join us in celebrating Eliza's brief but beautiful life by lighting a candle, by sharing a moment of silence, or by performing an act of kindness in her honor.

We'd love it if you would share with us how you choose to remember her.



34 comments:

  1. This is beautiful and sweet and perfect- everything you could ever want a memorial card to be.

    Sending you so much love.

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  2. What a beautiful thing to do. This must be a very difficult time of year for you, you and your family are in my thoughts.

    ~Laura

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  3. Beautiful! I most definitely will be remembering Eliza on that day & always!

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  4. Perfect -- just perfect. You & Eliza have been much in my thoughts lately. (((hugs)))

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  5. I absolutely love this.

    I'd like to remember her on the 6th by having our older son practice writing her name and drawing a picture for her. He's four, but since his sister was stillborn last year, he knows about the loss of babies and I really think that sharing Eliza with him would be nice.

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  6. I will remember Eliza with you. The card is perfect.

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  7. Beautiful! This will also mean a lot to the people who receive the cards. We sent out similar cards after Elizabeth died and it turns out that lots of people saved and/or framed them.

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  8. Eliza Taylor Duckworth. She has truly the most beautiful name I could imagine.

    Remembering her, and you, her mom.

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  9. I love that you did this, such a beautiful way to honor and remember your baby duck, your sweet Eliza.

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  10. Beautiful:) I will definitely be celebrating Eliza's life with you on her birthday.

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  11. Beautiful memorial card. You'll be in my thoughts, as will your sweet Eliza.

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  12. The card is beautiful. I made a donation this morning to Ethiopian Orphan Relief in honor of Eliza. I specified that the money go towards their projects with an organization in Ethiopia called Children's Heaven. They provide education, food and medical care for over 80 girls in Addis Ababa. The girls are an inspiration as are you and Eliza, so it seemed like the perfect place to honor a mother and daughter. Sending you love!

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  13. That is just beautiful and so perfect. I created and sent birth/memorial/name announcements for our twins, an idea I had in the first couple of weeks after our loss but that took me until October 14th, to create, have printed and mail. Even then, I could only send them in small batches because it hurt so much, but knowing that our loved ones have a physical "something" to remember our children by, and feeling so good ourselves walking into their homes and seeing our babies' cards on refrigerators or in frames means the absolute world to us.

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  14. Remembering Eliza with you. (Did you see the posts about the ice laterns earlier this week? I always sit out on Winter Solstice for Lucia's birthday and watch the night sky, thinking about doing it, thought I might share, since we share winter losses.)

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  15. This is just beautiful Brooke. I wanted to stop by and let you know that I continue to think of you and your precious Eliza. I will light a candle in her honor on Tuesday my friend and send you love and strength as her first birthday approaches.

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  16. I love this. So sweet and tasteful.

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  17. dearest brooke: i am so sad that we have to be sharing this journey together, but i am so grateful to have found you in this mess. i love that you have done this, what a beautiful card and message. i will be borrowing from you when we send out cards for jonah in february. i will take some quiet time this weekend while we are in the country and remember eliza for you -- while staring at the stars, and soaking up the winter sun, watching the light reflect on the water - as she is in all these things, surrounding us, forever. xo

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  18. beautiful. Thanks for inviting us to celebrate her with you.

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  19. We sent a thank you card/birth announcement card for Hope in December 2008, four months after she died. I couldn't do Christmas cards, no way.
    The quote we used:

    "Hold tenderly that which you cherish, for it is precious... do not let the fear of dropping it cause you to hold it too tightly, the chances are, it's holding you too."

    I will always remember Eliza, your precious first born baby girl.

    xo

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  20. Remembering your Baby Duck...and lighting a candle in her memory. I will say many prayers for you and your family while the candle is lit. We Love You Baby Eliza, We Love You Baby Duck!!!
    Deena

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  21. What a gorgeous, sweet tribute to such a loved little girl.

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  22. How beautiful. I, too, will remember your precious daughter tomorrow and every day. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. An ol' friend, KellyDecember 5, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I will light a candle for Eliza and I will also pray for all three of you. Thank you for opening your life when so many can't. Brooke you are an inspiration. You have always had a gift.

    Bless your sweet baby girl, Eliza.

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  24. thinking of you and your beautiful baby duckling
    xoxo
    lis

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  25. Dear Brooke,

    I've followed your story for a while now, and I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you, David and Eliza today, and how sad and unfair it is that she is not where she should be - with you.

    xo

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  26. Remembering Eliza today and abiding by you as you mark one year without her. I hope you have some gentle moments.

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  27. I woke up at 5 a.m. today to work out. When I realized it was Dec. 6, I instantly remembered that today is Eliza's birthday. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts to help you get through your day. A year ago today you became a mother. She's not with you in your arms, but she IS always with you.

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  28. Thinking of you and your beautiful daughter today. Those lines by Tagore are so touching ...

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  29. Here from LFCA.
    Remembering with you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  30. Even though you cannot hold her in your arms, may you find peace and comfort knowing that Jesus is holder her in His. Much love and prayers on this difficult day.

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  31. Thinking of you today and lighting a candle for Eliza.

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  32. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I lit a candle and said a prayer in honor of your sweet baby duck tonight. Your love for her is a light to us all.

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  33. Brooke,

    I came across your blog around a year ago or so and I read and wept with your words.

    My heart still breaks for you even more so a year later as I myself am 3 months post-miscarriage.

    I am praying for you and David. Lots of love. xoxo

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