I found out the news while going through my Facebook feed. My friends, Adam and Laura had just given birth to a baby boy. They knew that he had Trisomy 18 and the prognosis was not good. They were hoping for some time to hold him and love him before it was time to say goodbye.

The good news is that Adam and Laura and their children got to meet baby Sam and they had two glorious hours with him. The sad news is that they had to say goodbye quickly after meeting him.

I looked at the pictures. There was this gorgeous family with their new addition, pride filling their smiles. There was Laura, looking gorgeous and rested, although I am quite positive she has not had much sleep. There was Adam, whom I’ve been friends with since the seventh grade, holding this tiny baby in his hands, falling in love, sharing his dreams with his new little man.

Then the tears came. Harrison looked up at me and asked, “Momma, are you sad?” I told him I was, and so he climbed up on the couch, away from his bulldozer and his tractor and wrapped his little arms around my neck. He looked me in the eyes, which I later noticed were smeared with mascara, and kissed me. Shortly after, he climbed down and tried to resume play. But, he kept glancing at me, and to be honest, I just couldn’t stop crying. He climbed up again and curled himself in my lap and said, “Are you still sad, Mom?” I told him I was. He then announced that he needed his blanket. I wasn’t surprised, because he uses his blanket to cover any booboos that he has, and there seems to come an instant healing afterward. I knew he knew I was hurting, and he thought I might need some comfort. Once he retrieved it, he wrapped me in it, and said, “This will make you feel better.” To be honest, it did.  But then, he caught sight of my phone, where I was still scrolling through pictures of baby Sam and his family. He wanted to see. So I showed him.

I showed him Sam with his sisters. And Sam with his mom and dad. And Sam with his big brother. After that picture, he noted, “Mom, MY baby is bigger than that.” And I giggled because, of course she is. She’s 15 months old. But I looked in his eyes and noticed that he understood something I hadn’t mentioned. He didn’t know that Sam wasn’t here anymore. But he knew. He knew something. He knew there was something different between this baby and his baby. He searched my eyes for an answer, but didn’t ask any questions. I decided it wasn’t quite time to explain. But when it is time, I’ll tell him that Sam is in heaven with our kitty. And I’ll hope to God that that’s enough of an explanation for now, because in all truth, there’s no answer.

Author: livefromtimeout

When I'm not refereeing my two children, I like to workout and drink wine. But not at the same time. Teaching happens to be my vocation and my passion.

9 thoughts on “Sam”

  1. Katie, this post trumps all others. Perhaps because I know the story of Sam, perhaps because I just adore Sam’s parents, perhaps because I know how close this little family is to your heart. No matter the reason, my heart is breaking tonight too. I fell in love with Sam by reading the blog you shared with me. I will be in love with him the rest of my days.
    Sam and his family will survive this in a way that none of us mortals can comprehend. At least, we cannot comprehend it the way that Adam and Laura can. I do think there will be grieving, but it will give way to peace for all of them. I’m not sure I’ve ever a greater love.
    I feel so honored to have a peek into this family life and I’m feeling blessed that you, Katie Clark, shared this window into your soul with me.


  2. What a heartache. I can’t imagine a worse pain. I am so very sorry for Sam’s passing and you are right, there is no answer. Your little Harrison is precious and so empathetic at a young age. So sweet he wanted his blanket to help you feel better. I’ll be praying for Sam and his family.


  3. There is no good answer for why this happens. I did read these responses about what to say when a child asks about death yesterday. I’m not sure they’d apply in this instance, but I wanted to share them with you since I saved them in case I have to use them in the future.
    When your 5-year-old asks if kids her age can die, you say…? (From’s 6/15/15 Facebook posting.)

    “*Yes, some children get very very sick and die, or horrible accidents happen. Why would you lie. Kids may need extra support to understand but they need to just us much as an adult
    *People die when they are all done living their life. Usually that happens when someone is old, but some people are finished with life quickly.”

    All that said, losing a child is an unimaginable loss.


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