We are honored to have Tiffany share her story about the loss of her precious Kiera. She has inspired us through her example of strength and faith and to live each day like it’s your last. When we think of amazing women and motherhood, Tiffany always comes to our minds. She is a mother to 3 beautiful girls and an inspiration to all mothers. Thank you, Tiffany for sharing.
A good friend told me that, “Everybody tells you that when you have a child your whole world changes.” And that you think you know what they mean, but you don’t.”
I was pretty sure I knew what he meant.
… I didn’t.
Kiera’s birth didn’t just change my world, it created an entirely new world. This world – now had an Angel;,and her bedtime was 8:30. This world became brighter and more fascinating. I became a hero, conquering a drain to save a tiny toy Zebra, hugs and kisses were the only reward for such a valiant feat. This world gained magic, where a mommy could be turned into a kitty, rhino, or a dinosaur. And whether we liked it or not – there were going to be unicorns all over the world.
Kiera has a warming spirit, like a campfire at night she would draw anyone close, ensnaring their eyes and attention and preventing anyone from leaving – because the further away you were – the darker the world was.
Kiera drew unmet friends to us. People would strike up conversations with us to spend a few moments with her to increase their joy for that day. Her captivating qualities were many. The most striking to me were her eyes, her love of animals, and the importance of sharing love. She had the most beautiful blue eyes with tiny flecks of gold. I get to see those eyes every day when I look in the mirror, she had my eyes. Through Kiera’s love of animals I learned the difference between leopard and jaguar spots – that peregrine falcons are the fastest creatures, and that a winged unicorn is different than a Pegasus – they are in fact alicorns. The Most captivating and precious of her traits to me is how every parting demanded a hug and a kiss, if not a full attack of hugs and kisses. With Kiera, forgetting to show love was never an option.
On January 19, 2015, my husband and I took Kiera to the local Urgent Care Center. We met with the practitioner at the Urgent Care, who examined Kiera, diagnosing Kiera with a “Cold,” and telling us to take her back home.
Two hours later, my world shattered. Kiera stopped breathing. Within seconds she had lost consciousness. I immediately called 911 and began rescue breathing, and then when her heart stopped, CPR.
The rest was a blur. She was rushed to the local ER. They managed to get her heart to beat again, but she remained unconscious. Within hours I was told that if she lived, she would never be the same girl again.
Then a day passed and she remained unconscious. I was then told her brain had died and she would never wake up. Kiera went into cardiac arrest later that evening and passed.
The people my husband and I were that day died with her.
Kiera’s funeral was attended by nearly 1,000 people. Many faces I recognized, many I did not. But the funeral and her burial were the easy part. We now struggle without our “Little Goosie.”
Some days I still come home and think I will see my smiling girl there, excited to greet me. I still think I can hear the tip tap of her footsteps on the wood floor upstairs as she runs. Her room is still decorated with the rainbows and drawings she put up herself, over three years ago.
I cried almost every day for the first year after she died. I have been on my knees, begging God to let me see her again, just for one second. I just want to hear her voice one more time. But I know that would not be enough.
At some point after she passed, the day came where I realized I had to continue with my life, but it was not the life I had before, it was a new life. I slowly and somewhat painfully adjusted to the “new me.” I learned who I was. What I had become. I then decided who I needed to be.
I wouldn’t call myself “strong” for proceeding with my life. But I have experienced life where it takes all that you are to put one foot forward. And in that single step your faith grows, and you discover that you now have enough faith to take another step, and so on.
This new me was somewhat of an introvert, for the first time in my life, I realized I needed friends. I needed people to get me out of the house, to smile at me. To be with me when I lost it at the grocery store because Kiera’s favorite candy was on sale. Friends asked me come over for dinner so I didn’t have to stare at an empty place at the table in my own home. Friends were not just people who I like to spend time with, they were the people who supported, and at times carried me. These people are wonderful.
My husband and I decided to have a “Rainbow Baby.” A Rainbow Baby is a baby conceived after a loss of a child. Felicity was born on November 15, 2015. We named her Felicity because she brought us “happiness.” She was the silver lining to our gray cloud of 2015. Felicity does not replace Kiera. But the love and joy she brings helps soothe our heartache. I knew Kiera was there when Felicity came into this world. I felt her there with me as I do many times now.
My Faith has taught me that the central goal of this life, and all that we experience, is to have joy and happiness. That there is a plan for happiness. My Faith also teaches that families are a very important part of this plan, and that our family bonds can carry through this life and continue. I have learned for myself through some very intimate experiences that this is true. Because of this I do not fear death, but look forward to the day when I see Kiera again.
In Kiera’s short time on earth, she spread more than an entire lifetime of joy. Though Kiera’s passing has shattered the world her birth created for me, the joy of raising her was worth it. My husband and I are rebuilding this shattered world together. And there will be unicorns – all over this world.