Letter to Wheeler
by Jennifer M. Soos, Wheeler's Mom

March 9, 2004

Dear Wheeler,

While this is not exactly what I expected to be doing with you today, my official due date, I do have a few things to say to you. Only twelve days ago you left us – before you had really even arrived – and I want you to know how sad we all are about that; how very much you are missed…how many people were waiting so anxiously to meet you and hold you and love you more than you could ever imagine.

Your father and I both held you in the hospital on the day you were born and I remember feeling like I wanted to talk to you – to try to tell you all kinds of things you would never get to know – but no words seemed appropriate, nothing seemed significant enough for those moments. It was so quiet; the air was heavy and when the sun broke through the blinds in thin, warm rays it seemed like a giant smile pouring in on you. It was beyond surreal in those precious moments with you – and simply too difficult to say both “hello” and “goodbye” to you all at the same time. Gratefully, I have come up with a few things to say to you since then…

The most important things are probably the simplest. I love you and I miss you. All the things I worried about – the sleepless nights, the anxious moments, the countless sacrifices that come with a new baby – they all seem so trivial now and I apologize for ever feeling reluctant about any of it. We were not prepared for how much we already loved you and for the huge void that has been left by your sudden departure.

I'm believing that what we have gained through this is our own little guardian angel. I love to think of you, peaceful and free of any earthly discomfort, in the glorious presence of God, being doted over by all those we love – Aunt Bertha and Granny and PawPaw and so many others who were waiting for you there. I know that you are well taken care of. I know that you will always keep a watchful eye on us and could you please look out for little Sam, too – the best friend you would have had.

I also need to thank you. I feel so grateful for what you have done for your father and me already – to further prove to us how much we love each other and how strong we can be together – I know there is still much ahead of us and I hope you have allowed us to never take that for granted ever again.

Thank you for teaching me such important lessons – ones I trust I won't ever forget. I feel sorry for taking such an enormous blessing so lightly and I still can't believe that it can be gone so quickly. You have forever changed how I look at the gift of children and the value placed on family. You are teaching us so much without even being here – I'm humbled to think of how much we would have gained if only you could have hung around for a while – I know you would have shown us what life is really all about. I'm so sad that we are missing that.

I'm claiming this prayer for all of us – from Isaiah 61:

God will proclaim this to be the year of His favor over you…to comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…they shall be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Thank you for being part of God's plan for our lives – for making us stronger, like the “oaks of righteousness,” and helping to mold us into the people God hopes for us to become. You will always mark a huge turning point in our lives – one that I hope I can look back on someday with appreciation and understanding – someday when I'm not quite so sad anymore.

Please know how much you are loved and missed by all of us. I think of you constantly and expect that I always will. Your father and I can't wait to see you again someday and when we do meet, I hope you will be proud of us.

Until then, all my love –

Your Mom

About the Author
Jennifer M. Soos is a native Texan who feels right at home in the Pacific Northwest; writer, fundraiser, non-profit addict and therapist; keeper of two dogs and a terribly spoiled cat; married to the funniest man she knows; and mother to Wheeler Wood Soos, stillborn at full term on February 27, 2004.

Editor's note: If your experience with G-d or your own faith or spirituality in any religion or belief set is something you wish to share with others, please be in touch with us. We are open to publishing as many varied stories as possible to show how wide ranging grief experiences can be. No single story is offered as a prescription or answer for anyone else or everyone else. If your story differs, from backgrounds of Muslim to Hindu, Buddhist to Christian, Wiccan to Atheist, we'd like to hear it! Send email with "Loss Journal Submission" in the subject line to editor@kotapress.com!

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