The Family





Heather
I started writing one day after my daughter’s stillbirth and haven’t stopped.  I’ve found so much catharsis in processing my loss in this space, and I’ve also found a wealth of support from other women who are walking this path with me. 

My day job is in higher education, working with college students.   Before earning my Master’s in higher education, I lived in Colorado.  My sister called me a part-time ski bum with a real job  - a middle school English teacher.  Next I lived in Australia, working as a substitute teacher and a high ropes specialist.  And I don’t particularly like heights either.  We now live in Columbus, Ohio, but my other hometown is in Canada, where I was born and where my family gathers every summer at our cottage on Lake Huron. 

Before kids and grief and multiple back-to-back pregnancies, I enjoyed long runs, playing soccer, and a glass (or two) of white wine.  



Justin
Also known as The Husband and The Dad.  I’m so grateful that I met this man when we were paired as double-Twister partners at a party in January 2008.  (Yes, really.)  We spent that year falling in love… and driving back and forth between Indiana and Ohio.  Years later, I’ve fallen even more in love with him after the birth of our first child and the death and birth of our second. 

When he’s not busy designing Excel spreadsheets and crunching numbers in his day job, playing endless choo-choos and blocks with our son, or finding new ways to honor our daughter, Justin likes to brew his own beer and play disc golf.  As you might imagine, he gets to do neither often. 

He’s also found writing therapeutic and is one of the few voices of grieving dads out there.  You can read his writing here or here or follow him on Instagram at justinkwelliver.


 

Benjamin Johnston
Our first, born alive in April 2013.  Full of personality, he’s strong-willed, tenacious, and stubborn, as well as funny, athletic, and smart.  Currently a fan of garbage trucks, school buses, Daniel Tiger, and his beloved stuffed animal “Mama Kangaroo,” he also loves to jump and climb and swim and run, and in general, keep his parents on their toes. 

  
 



Lydia Joanne
Our second, born still in November 2014 at 34 weeks, after a completely healthy and uneventful pregnancy.  A cord accident, we later learned.  The day we were told her heart stopped beating was the worst day of our lives.  Born with a head of dark hair, she was beautiful and perfect and dead.  We had so many hopes and dreams and plans for her, and we have no idea how we are supposed to live the rest of our lives without her.  What we do know is we will continue to honor and love her. 






Our third, our rainbow, whom we called "Bowie" throughout the terrifying pregnancy.   Born screaming in October of 2015, she has brought light back to our lives.  










Family of Five.

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