Letters to Norah // 28 Months

Letters to Norah, Our Story, FundraisingJoanna ZuidemaComment

Hello, Norah. 

Baby girl, June was a full month for us, so let’s jump on in. 

This month: 

We kicked off Team Norah 2019. We officially launched this year’s fundraising effort as Team Norah for the Ronald McDonald House - Upper Midwest. (Read about our experience at RMH here). We launched two new shirt designs and brought back all previous designs as well. So far we’ve already raised almost $250! To get your shirt, click here!


We solidified plans for the MN Loss Mama Meetup. And OF COURSE it falls on the 13th of July. Subtlety is not your forte, babe. (We associate the number 13 with Norah because of her Trisomy 13 diagnosis). The official details are as follows: we’ll meet at 9:30am on Saturday, July 13th, at Smith Coffee + Cafe in Eden Prairie. I’m so looking forward to connecting with other loss mamas over coffee. Friends, if you’d like to join, RSVP via the Facebook event. All types of pregnancy/child-related loss are welcome; we’re gathering in love. 

We celebrated Father’s Day. Lora’s daycare mama even made a couple of gifts for your sister to ‘give’ to daddy. Those little creations are precious and treasured, but Norah they are oh so bittersweet; they will always leave us looking for yours. 

While we celebrate the life of your sister and honor your daddy’s earthly fatherhood, we also remember that you are the one who gave him that title. The strong arms that now rock your little sister to sleep are the same strong arms that held you tenderly as Jesus took you into His. Those strong arms will always ache for the weight of your life, fierce girl. 

For our family, Father’s Day didn’t look like a Target ad; there was no barbecue on a shiny new grill, no whiskey glasses and leather chairs, no new TV and no new watch. 

Our Father’s Day celebration did include all of your Grandpas. 

It also included a trip to the cemetery. 


Your memorial was installed the week before Father’s Day and this was the first time we saw it in person.

There was a deafening finality standing in front of your bench, Norah. It was no longer just a design, a piece of granite, or a project. 

It was real. 
Installed a cemetery. 
In memory of you, our daughter. 
Who died at 5 days old. 

Those polished blocks of Minnesota granite now mark the sacred ground that holds your tiny white casket. The casket that cradles your earthly body, lovingly swaddled in the only blanket we brought to the hospital, with a bow positioned in your hair just so, snuggled in safely next to your Fox. 

There’s no denying the finality of death when our feet are planted at the foot of that bench. The grass on your plot blends into the surrounding land now, the borders completely indistinguishable. Time screams at me through those short green blades. It feels like nature’s betrayal, letting your life fade into the field. 

There was a strange duality watching your sister explore the bench - the physical representation of an older sister she’s never met. This is as close as we’ll ever get to having both of our babies together this side of heaven, this odd little moment where life and death stand hand in hand.

Your bench is so much more than a place of mourning, Norah. Your bench is a place of celebration. A place to honor all the ways your life laughed in the face of death. A place to acknowledge the mark you left and continue to leave on this world.

It’s a place for us to rest in the hope of heaven and dream of the day our family will be whole again.