Sunday, May 20, 2012

tragedy

I ended my last post to Quincy with the words, We couldn't imagine our lives without you. Two weeks ago today our lives were shattered. I remember it as if it were happening now. Sunday May 6th we were on our way home from an enjoyable vacation with great friends, our first trip without our beautiful darling Quincy. We got a text from a friend wondering where we were and he told us there was an bad accident in Provo canyon. We were just getting to the canyon and decided to keep going. We passed two ambulances and saw life flight and the terrible thought hit me as I said out loud, Wouldn't that be horrible if that was our family? We knew Val and Kathy were on their way up the canyon from a baby blessing to meet up with us to pick up Quincy. Brady quickly dismissed the thought saying that was a horrible thing to think.

About 5 minutes later we got the phone call that no one wants. A horrible accident, head on collision, life flight, one dead. I remember Brady's face as he asked, Was my daughter in the car? and the pain in his eyes and he asked, How is she? I knew it wasn't good as he closed his eyes in pain and put his head back on the seat. My heart sunk. My heart stopped. This wasn't happening, not to us. Speeding to the hospital and passing the horrific scene of the accident I saw my sweet angels car seat on the side of the road, fear flooding through me of the unknown. An image I will never forget. So hard we worked to get this little one here to this earth, an answer to so many prayers. She'll be ok, is what everyone kept telling me. And I believed it.We got to the hospital to find that Kathy had already passed and Q was being loaded into a helicopter to be transported to Primary Children's Hospital. We had just a few quick moments to see her and kiss her and give her a blessing. I was so horrified I didn't even hear a word that was said but was so grateful for that brief moment we had to bless our sweet baby girl.

The next 24 hours were the most tragic, exhausting and horrifying moments of our lives. We spent hours in silent waiting rooms, waiting for news that we didn't want to hear. During that time Brady's father Val also passed away. Something we were somewhat grateful for. He wouldn't have wanted to be without his dear wife Kathy. Our bishopric was at the hospital with us and gave Brady and I blessings before the doctor came in and I knew at that time that Quincy wasn't going to make it. The blessings focused on The Plan of Salvation and blessings that come from tragedies and that Brady and I would make it through this. Those were not the words I wanted to hear. I prayed and I pleaded and I begged with my Father to save my sweet baby girl. I knew He could do it, He wouldn't take all three. Not my baby too. But I wasn't surprised when the doctor came in with the worst news possible, the blessings had prepared us for this. Our sweet little girl was alive, but only because of the machines. Her skull and spine had been separated resulting in massive swelling of the brain, therefore leaving her brain dead. We were left with a choice. How long do we prolong this. When do we let her go. We made the hardest decision a parent should never have to make, to let her spirit free of her broken body. She looked so perfect lying in that bed, not a bruise or a scrape on her tiny, fragile little body.

As I cradled her in my arms for that last hour of her life, an honor my wonderful husband let me have, I couldn't believe this was happening to us. This was the one challenge on this earth I always said I could never overcome. Amongst all the sorrow and tears as I watched the life slip from her body I felt we had made the right decision and there was peace in that room. A peace that everything will be ok. A peace that we will see our darling little spitfire again someday. I have always known this, but it is a knowledge I now treasure more dearly.

As the next week came and went in a blur and funerals were planned, somehow I was ok. We were surrounded by family and friends and there was laughter and reminiscing and I felt like everything was going to be just fine. The triple viewing and funeral went beautifully and the support from family, friends and the community was and has been overwhelming. I cannot believe how much everyone has rallied together for our family. It truly is unbelievable. The love and prayers have been felt and I will never be able to repay everyone for their kindness.

But today, two weeks later, I am hurting. I am not ok. To be in this home without my beautiful baby is just what I never wanted to imagine. I am so horribly sad that I am physically sick and in pain. I wake up every morning realizing this is my reality and I'm not ok with it. I needed that girl so much more than she needed me. She kept me going day to day. Her perfect, flawless spirit was so strong and so alive that I feel dead without her here. I read about people who have lost children and they seem so strong, but I feel so weak. I need her. But as I sit here and write this, feeling so lonely and so broken, I realize that I do still have her. She will never leave me. I may not be able to kiss and hug her and dress and bath and feed her, the things about her that I know and love, but I can feel her. And maybe that's what I need more. I know that we are not in charge of this life and that I will somehow make it through this, but it seems impossible right now as I am buried in my sorrow. I know the only way I will ever make it through is to turn to the Lord, to let him carry me, which is not always easy to do as I am hurting and angry.

I received a beautifully comforting letter in the mail from our beloved Prophet Thomas S. Monson. In it he expressed his and Sister Monson's sorrow for our losses and counseled me to remember these words; "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6) These are the words I need to remember. I don't understand why this has happened, why a beautiful happy little girl was taken away from a family that loved and adored her, along with two kind, loving, wonderful parents. I need to remember that I don't need to understand. I just need to trust.

"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you...Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (John 14:18, 27)

17 comments:

Amylee said...

How do you comment on this? We've talked so much about how no one knows what to say. Not us, not you. I can't imagine your pain, but even as a friend I wish that I could just take it all away. I pray every day that you will feel some sort of happiness. Some sort of peace. There is only one friend that can do that, and that's our Savior. So many of us are pleading to him in YOUR behalf. There is much love to give. I hope that at times you are feeling buoyed up by it- even if only for a moment. I haven't been texting or calling because I feel so lost as to how to help you. I'm praying, pleading, so much for you. I love you Angie, and my mother heart aches for yours. Take good care of yourself. You have that other sweet spirit that is coming- and this surprise blessing will need you- and you him- just as much as Quincy.

JeNeal said...

Angie,
this was such a hard post to read. i could not stop the tears from streaming down my face. i am so sorry for the pain you are going through. You are so amazingly strong! you are an inspiration to me. I love you so much and i think of you so often! I pray for you and brady's comfort! What a beautiful angel little quincy is. love you so much!!

xoxox

The Staheli's said...

Angie,
You ARE strong!! As I have watched you these past two weeks I have thought how strong YOU are and that I couldn't be that strong. You are able to write out your deepest feelings and I know that it will help you to heal. Angie, we love you so much and wish we could take that pain away for you but like you said the Lord is the only one that can do that and it will be hard not easy. BUT he is there and will bring you peace. We love you and Brady so much and wish we could be closer to help. Love ya, Nikki

The Johnson Family said...

We love you

Heidi said...

I am speechless. I honestly don't know what to say after reading your sweet post. I can't imagine the hurt you feel, but know that your testimony and faith are felt through your words. You are an inspiration, whether you want to be or not. Thank you for doing the hard thing, and writing your honest thoughts and feelings out for us to read. How grateful I am for the knowledge that families really are forever.

Amberlin Bodily said...

Angie, Thank you for writing this..amongst the sorrow of it, it was absolutely beautiful. How wonderful of President Monson to have written you that letter. This was so hard to read let along I am sure write, but I am in complete awe of your spirit. You are A LOT STRONGER than you think. It's hard to see it yourself but we all see it. We all love you and always will..take it day by day. Thank you for your wonderful example.

Tracie Bramhall said...

Dang it Angie again...this time I am in Vancouver at a conference and I am crying in the convention center. I too had a hard time at first understanding why it all had to happen, why I couldnt do more, why my prayers and pleadings werent heard, but after alot of prayer I was comforted, like you by the plan of salvation. I heard in church yesterday talk on prayer (read the def in the bible dictionary...this is exactly what was revealed to me). My will needs to be the Lords will not my own wants. He has a plan and as hard as it may be for my selfish self to accept I need to, to find happiness. Angie I can't even begin to comprehend the pain you and Brady must be enduring, but like mentioned earlier you are amazing and strong and a great example to me. Please continue praying and recovering and take care of that little one inside of you. He will be such a blessing in your life! I love you guys so much...I stive to be like the two of you!
Dave

Kelsi said...

Hi Angie,

I don't know you but I do know of the Draper family. I have been following this story from the day it happened. I found your blog and just read your touching post. You are an inspiration to so many people that you don't even know! People who I talk to who also follow your story outside of Utah. You are very strong in my eyes. We pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Angie~We love U SOOOooOooooOooooooOOoooOoOOo
much! Let us know if U need anything. <3

~Darais'

Dean and Rachel said...

I went to school with Casey, and want you to know that we are constantly praying for you and your sweet family. There are no words to tell you just how sorry we are for your loss.
What a great thing to get a letter from the prophet that you can read over and over again!!!

Chris and McKell Provost said...

My sweet Angie and Brady we love you both so much and you are such great amazing people. You are so right she is always with her beautiful parents we are constantly praying and asking for you to be comforted you have always been in my thoughts since you and your sweet husband married I have always thought it was so neat how similar ard lives are both us going to school together and Brady being friends with Chris we know you will be together again and are so glad you have have the sweet testimony and knowledge you have you are such a beautiful family and will always feel her love love mckell

Chris and McKell Provost said...

I also need to tell you I have always loved reading your beautiful letters to your sweet girl what a treasured blessing and comfort those will bring to you are Brady please continue to write your sweet spirit touches and helps you and all who read your words once again love and pray for you all

Anonymous said...

Dear Angie~

You don't know me...but you and your family have been in our prayers! My Dad, Ralph Stevens is your Grandma Shirley Lee's cousin, they grew up together. We live in Woodruff and just last night you were in my prayers...oh I am so sorry for your loss and what you must be going through~I know a sweet young woman in Park City, who went through a very similar experience and she was a friend of a friend of mine...she has a blogspot that might bring you just a little comfort and would know exactly how you feel and I know would reach out to you...she lost her only little girl to a choking accident when she was almost 2...and has since had a little boy...anyway her blogspot is: jacksonparkcity.blogspot.com You will be in my prayers that you will somehow find the peace you need...Sincerely, Diana (Stevens) Sabey

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jocelyn said...

I do not know you, but I know Tiffany who lost her little boy. You amaze me! You are so strong and such a good example of how to be as a parent.
I am so grateful that if there was anything that was to happen to my children, I would be able to make it somehow because you and Tiff are doing it. What an awful thing to have happen, you certainly don't deserve it. I am so so sorry. Again I don't know you, but I certainly pray for you and your husband's pain each night. I am just so glad that you and your husband have God in your lives, otherwise I really don't know how you would do it. A human heart can only take you so far, God takes you the rest. Hang in there and remember others are learning from you daily.
Love, Jocelyn

KnottedFingers said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my daughter in 2007 at 3 weeks old

Clyde Family said...

I just came upon your blog. I am marrid to a Clyde. We just lost our son almost three months ago. I was looking at other mothers who have lost children and was reading yours and relized that my family new you.(related to doug and cindy clyde)as i was reading what happened i remember the day i was told about the accident. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you are findig peace as i am also trying to find the peace. I would love to be in contact with you. nicoledclyde@hotmail.com or facebook nicole clyde