Happy Birthday Charlotte

I woke up very early this morning and it was almost exactly the time that Charlotte was born.  I wished her a  silent Happy Birthday, and lay there thinking about that beautiful morning.

As this day approached, I have been working hard on my heart. It is so easy to let myself slide into heartbreak and loss, and while there’s no getting around that,  I really wanted today to have some measure of joy, to focus on all that went right that day and how perfect things were for a little while, and spend time thinking of how lucky we were.

 

I remind myself that some people never get to know that kind of happiness, the kind I felt when I watched Meg give birth to Charlotte, when Alex held his daughter for the first time, when Elliot welcomed her – when she settled warm and soft into my arms, so heavy and perfect and present. I don’t think I’ll ever forget exactly how it all was.

Not everyone gets that, I remind myself. Some people will never be that happy. Even as we have dragged ourselves through this horrible pandemic grief year, I have never wished that day away – I’ve never wished it didn’t happen. It has been hard to watch my daughter suffer, but I know that for all the pain she’s endured, she’s grateful for every moment we had with Charlotte too. No matter how much it hurts now?

Goodness, what a wonderful day that was.

Happy Birthday my little Charlotte.

132 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Charlotte

  1. Thank you for these heartfelt words and beautiful photos. You and your family have been much in my thoughts as this day approached. I am glad you can experience some joy amidst the sorrow. Sending love.

  2. We have a daughter, Anna, who was stillborn in 1987. I think of her every day. Never held her. Only in our hearts. And I often think too how her brothers are somehow different men because they have their sister- they have tender hearts and always remember her birthday too. Charlotte will always be loved and missed and celebrated.

  3. Happy Birthday, Sweet Charlotte.
    Sweet Memories to all of you-the pain will never disappear-but it will lessen a bit-except on March 16 & every other day.
    From a mom who knows.

  4. How do you manage to put so perfectly into words the emotions that many of us who have lost a child felt, and are still feeling? Even though it has been 37 years and I never held him, the two days we had him were a blessing. Love you Stephanie and I thank you. Into each life, some joy, some rain.

  5. My family and I were just talking here about how the anniversary of Charlotte’s birth was coming up soon. I don’t know if it helps, but we of The Blog remember and are thinking of you and your family.

  6. Happy Birthday to little Charlotte! Much love, light and hugs to her Mama and Grammy. I will remember her birthday too. Such precious memories on this day. Love to you all!

  7. Charlotte’s birthday today will, I hope, be the light showing the end of the tunnel that has been this past year. I look up, breathe deep, and smile as I look at the pictures of her and your family gathered around her. Thank you for sharing and giving us all a reason to smile this morning.

  8. Happy birthday little Charlotte Bonnie. Your life was short, but so huge in blessing your family. You are still surrounded by their love, and always will be.

  9. Sending prayers for a precious little girl and her family in remembrance of one perfect, beautiful day. Wishing Meg and Alex (and you all) blessings and peace.
    May your memories retain the joys shared and grant you strength to somehow bear the sorrow til you shall meet again.
    Happy birthday, little Charlotte; you were surely loved.

    Bonnie aka Knitsiam

  10. Oh I tried to post some hearts but apparently emojis don’t work. ((hearts)) to you and your family…

  11. May her memory be eternal!

    Hoping that you, Meg, and all the family find a measure of peace –and that the brutally wrenchingly painful days begin to diminish in frequency.

  12. Thank you, so much, for sharing your words and joys and pain and heart with us. You and yours have been in my thoughts a great deal these past days. I hope that all of you can feel the care that is being sent your way, and that in some small measure, it will bring you comfort and joy.

  13. Happy Birthday sweet baby Charlotte. You were here for a short time but left a life time of memories in the hearts and minds of your family and friends. Prayers go all.

  14. Beautifully expressed..
    The wonder, the beauty, the joy, the love, the gift of Charlotte… may the sweetness stay with you every day and continue to grow and blossom.

  15. We are all a part (albeit distant) of the web of her precious life through your words. And every nexus in that web sends you love and support, and weaves you into each of our hearts as well. Bleseed Birth Day, Charlotte Bonnie, and love and grace to all who held you so close in their arms and hearts.

  16. Happy birthday, Charlotte. <3

    Different situation but still true:

    {{It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.}}

  17. Oh the joy of that one perfect day. Oh the sorrow of the heartbreaking loss.

    I cannot express how much I wish you all did not have both of those emotions wrapped in that one precious little girl whose name is Charlotte Bonnie.

    She is a glittering golden thread on the loom.

  18. Happy birthday beautiful Charlotte. You’re a star that burns brightly, love and light to your amazing family and we’re honored to know you.

  19. Happy birthday, Charlotte.

    I recently shared the links to your Charlotte posts to help someone (third hand, I came across it) with a recent loss of an infant shortly after birth. I think your words were and are beautiful and painful and helpful and true and they are helping others get through similar situations. There was nothing I could personally add having not experienced anything like this, but I was grateful to be able to share your words and thoughts. Thank you.

  20. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos and words.
    As others have said, you and your family have many readers around the world thinking of you.
    Spring is coming.
    Keep very well!

  21. May this day always be a day of Joy for your family.

    The way you have all dealt with the shock and sadness on top of the isolation and pandemic has been life affirming. All of us wish you all the strength and hope you have shown us.
    With my Greatest love, Happy Birthday Charlotte.

  22. Your grace and fortitude throughout is honestly so admirable, much love to you and your lovely family. The picture of Elliot with his sister….xxx

  23. Happy Birthday Charlotte Bonnie.

    Much love and peace for you, Meg, Alec, and all of your family.

    Thank you for all of the words you have written about Charlotte this past year and the photos you have shared.

  24. Thank you for sharing Charlotte’s memory and your family’s love with us. The past year has been a nightmare and you had already lost people who were dear to you. I hope that clear skies are on the horizon for us all.

  25. Happy Birthday Charlotte Bonnie! You all are in my heart and have been during the past year. Thank you for sharing the joys and the sorrows with the Blog. We love you and we share in your sorrow.

  26. Happy Birthday Miss Charlotte Bonnie!
    Hugs are being sent for all of you.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures, the one of Elliott holding Charlotte is so precious, I love the look on his face.

  27. So much happened in 2020. There were joys and sorrows that should not be forgotten. They were both real things. Hopefully, there were lessons learned that should not be forgotten. Our scars will show that we have healed.

  28. Happy Birthday, Charlotte! Perfect and perfectly beloved child. She deserves to be remembered for her own shining light and the joy she brought, not just the pain of losing her.

    So even though I (a stranger on the internet!) sobbed through this post, remembering the fear and darkness of March 2020, I will also work on my heart so I can join you in celebrating the moment she was here. That moment lives forever in your hearts — and in our hearts, thanks to your beautiful commemoration.

  29. Wishing you and your family peace and healing. Even though Charlotte was only here briefly, I’m sure that she knew she was loved.

  30. Memory eternal, Charlotte Bonnie.
    Thank you, Stephanie and Meg and Alex, for allowing us to participate in your joy and sorrow. We in the blog family have loved Charlotte since her birth and death and continue to love her.

  31. Thoughts with you all right now and beyond. Thank you so much for sharing. I have no doubt that someone reading this who goes on to face similar trials will be helped by your words to hold on tightly to the light and to savour the good however brief it may have been or may be. Xxx

  32. Thank you for sharing your feelings and memories. Little Charlotte is surely missed but the love for her grows. Prayers to you and your family.

  33. Happy Birthday, Charlotte.

    Thank you for sharing her, and your photos and memories of her brief but perfect time with you all. With tears and hugs to your beautiful family. May she always be remembered with love.

  34. It is so amazing how a small beautiful being who was here for such a short time has filled so many hearts who never got to physically touch her, with the miracle of love and compassion. Charlotte, you are so loved.

  35. Such smiles. Thank you for sharing your marvelous pictures from such a fantastic day. It does not ease the heartache of your loss but seeing them helps to celebrate the time that she was here.

  36. It is so hard to understand why sometimes the greatest of blessings come with the deepest of sorrow. I am sending warm hugs and prayers for peace with all of you.

  37. Charlotte Bonnie lived her life enveloped in love. Her proud parents, her enchanted brother, her smitten grandparents. Charlotte knew nothing except love.
    How I wish we were seeing photos of a wee toddler wearing hand knit outfits and following her big brother around. It’s so sad.
    My heart hurts for all of you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful girl with us

  38. Happy Birthday Miss Charlotte… May you still feel the love of your family as you look over them from afar. Hugs to you Stefanie and your family…

  39. How incredible that such a tiny being can bring so much joy in such a short space of time. I’ve been thinking of you all with love.

  40. There is not much in this world harder than trying to comfort your child through the loss of their child. Your family has handled this with grace and poise. I wish I knew how to make this easier for your entire family. I love that you are celebrating Charlotte’s life!

  41. Happy Birthday Charlotte Bonnie Wolf. Your story a year ago changed me forever. I had just learned my daughter was expecting her first child and suddenly I realized how that could be important in ways that were yet to be revealed.
    Love to you all.

  42. A friend posted this the other day. I thought it was a beautiful way to look at grief.

    Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in the hollow part of your chest.

    Grief is just love with no place to go.

    –Jamie Anderson

  43. Happy birthday Charlotte – what joy you brought even in a short time. You were a blessing. Your family will always think of you, especially on your birthday. You share this day with my mother – the 16th would have been her 103rd birthday. I miss her too. Blessings whether brief or long live within our souls.

  44. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful life. I cried reading it, as I’m sure you did writing it. Much love to your whole family.

  45. March 16 is my oldest daughter’s birthday and I know she celebrates it in Heaven with her grandpa. We lost her unexpectedly in 2002 but she lives in our hearts. I know how it hurt you to lose that precious granddaughter–I also lost two granddaughters. We never stop grieving and we all grieve in our own way, always loving, always missing them

  46. Those photographs – worth way more than many thousands of words! Thinking of all of you – sending virtual hugs, light, and energy to you and your family.

  47. Thank you for sharing your family’s great grief and great love with The Blog. I admire your hearts and your strength more than I can say.

    Wishing you what there can be of peace and comfort.

  48. Happy birthday Charlotte. You brought joy while you were here. You still do, but it’s mixed with pain because you couldn’t stay, and you are missed.

    Blessings to all of you, and the hope that your memories comfort you always.

  49. Dear Stephanie, after years away from the blog I just stumbled back in because I bought a spinning wheel at a thrift shop and it made me think of you. I’m so sorry to read about the cruel losses you suffered I just have no words… Don’t apologise for writing about it tho’, you just do what you need to do to get through this. While there’s precious little we can do to help in any real way, we can at least read your pain and carry a bit of the load in that sense. With much love ❤️ J.

  50. I don’t know how one can break a heart and heal it at the same time. How many people you and your family and that beautiful child have touched and healed a little bit. Take comfort in that, if you can, and live with the joy she brought. xo

  51. Oh, my heart!

    My computer died about a year and a half ago. The cheapo replacement I got was exactly that, cheapo. It was slow and frustrating to use and I stopped using it. I also stopped reading your blog then because it was so difficult to read on my phone.

    A few months ago, I bought a new, not cheapo computer, but it had been so long that I didn’t think to check in until today. I’m so sorry for your (as in you and your family) loss.

    I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. I never know what to say other than “I’m sorry” which never seems enough because there’s nothing that can be said that makes loss easier.

    I’ve lost many, many people in my life. Many in just in this past year, sadly. I spend many moments crying and aching from the loss of them but I am never sorry to have known them. The joy they brought to my life will always outweigh the pain that their loss brings me.

    So, today, I wish Charlotte a Happy Birthday and will be thankful for the joy that she brought her family in her short stay on Earth.

  52. Don’t forget your blog brings courage and joy to your readers, and we need you. Thank you for your generosity in the past, and I hope to soon read another one. Bless you.

    • Please consider that this continues to be a difficult year — especially for this family — and it may be taking a lot of energy just to carry out the basics. She will write when the time is right for her, and it’s certainly not her responsibility to provide emotional support to strangers. In the meantime, maybe revisit old blog posts or some of her books!

  53. From another Charlotte, best wishes to you and your family in honor of your granddaughter’s beautiful moments in life.

  54. I realized starting to read today recalling Charlotte. However looking at all the pictures realizing how beautiful these moments were and the memories you all have. My thoughts and prayers are with you all today.

  55. The loss of a child or grandchild is just unbearable. I know because I have suffered both. I’d like to promise you that it will get easier but then I’d be dishonest.

    Being grateful for every moment you shared is the best cure we have until we meet again.

    Broken hearted and hopeful with you 🙂

  56. Hi Stephanie, most often, I am a reader rather than a commenter. So many have the same things to say in better words… but today, reading your post… I wanted to comment. Because I am someone who wanted children and life just happened and then when I was in a situation where I could try, I just miscarried. However, loss is hard… and even harder when perhaps one feels this child is safely delivered… so more of a shock to have a sudden death. But you are right, I too comfort myself saying I am not alone, there are others who cannot have children, and I think often it is worse to have a child and lose it, no matter what the age… once, I was pregnant enough, that we started to really dream and discuss potential names… but I have a friend who also lost a wee baby after it was born, suddenly, and her pain is something I cannot imagine. Once you hold a child in your arms… so, yes, there is a happiness, that you HAD that child, but the grief and the loss are also there and very valid, and I think perhaps different … it was very painful and took me years and years and in some ways, I can still tear up about not having children, but… to have one and lose it, might just tear my soul from my body. That is my view… my feelings… and not meant to discount anyone else’s… but I offer my warmest hugs and deepest sympathies for your loss, your daughter’s loss, your families’ loss… much love, Lynne

  57. You haven’t posted in almost six weeks. Are you giving this up? I know your recent time has been filled with heartbreak and you may not have the energy. Many of us know this because we also have been stripped of energy from heartbreak or just isolation. But I keep coming here for something fairly trivial but important at the same time. Yet time and again I see the heartbreak pictures. If you are giving this up, as you seem to be, let us know.

  58. Given the circumstances (and the price of admission), while presuming the question was asked with the best of intentions, this feels… unkind. I, for one, am very grateful for the shared life messages from the very beginning, and look forward to the next posting – if and whenever that may be.

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