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I love you, Chrislyn

by Brandi Clark

My name is Brandi Clark, my daughter Chrislyn died from a congenital heart defect (transposition of the great vessels) and a ventricular septal defect. I too held her while she died, I had just made the choice to turn her machines off and let her go peacefully rather than suffer through the day only to die anyway. I felt I could make it less scary for her if she was held by me. I know she felt my love.

I saw that Jan asked about other children in the families. My daughter Briclyn was 3 when we had Chrislyn. Briclyn got to see Chrislyn in the hospital a few times and touch and kiss her. She knew she had a sister. To explain it to her I told her that her sister went to heaven with Baby Jesus (Chrislyn died Dec. 22, 1994 so Briclyn saw Nativity Scenes with Baby Jesus). She just took what I said and put it away for a later time. The worst part was at the funeral when they closed the coffin because Briclyn couldn't understand why they were closing her sister in that box. She is almost 5 now and talks about "her Chrislyn" quite often. She understands most of what happened now, and asks freely what she needs to know. She looks up at the stars at night and blows a kiss to the brightest one and says "I love you Chrislyn". I guess she deals with it in her own way.

I had a baby Dec. 29, 1995, exactly 13 months younger than Chrislyn. Briclyn now realizes that not every baby dies, and that many come home. It is something that we will never get over, but time does go on and the happy memories stay with me and make me smile instead of cry. Now when I remember the way she looked up when she heard my voice makes me happy to know that she knew I was her Mommy. My memories cannot be taken away.

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