Child Loss Grief Kids Motherhood

Hiding The Tears

Written by Stacey Skrysak

This is a letter I wrote to my daughter, our lone surviving triplet. Born more than 17 weeks premature, she is now 19 months old and thriving. I often wonder what life would be like if her siblings survived. Here’s a raw and emotional look at what goes through my mind. 

Dear Peyton,

As I sit here rocking you to sleep, tears stream down my face. You are absolutely gorgeous, a perfect miracle resting in my arms. Your little hands are tightly wrapped around my fingers, as if you’re telling me it’s ok to be sad. Your eyes are fluttering as you fall deep into sleep. I can only wish that you dream of your brother and sister.   

Peyton SkrysakLife wasn’t supposed to be this way. The tears should be laughter, the heartache should instead be pure joy. But life didn’t turn out perfectly. Your brother and sister left this earth far too soon, and ever since, we’ve been learning how to balance grief with the happiness you bring our family. When I found out at 6 weeks I was expecting triplets, I began to picture life with three perfect children. I imagined you and your identical sister playing house, while your brother plays catch with your dad. I pictured me chasing after three toddlers, a never ending game of hide-and-go-seek.  I dreamt of an instant bond, a lifelong friendship between the three of you. But instead, you’re our miracle survivor, living here on earth without your two best friends.  

Nicu LifeFor the most part, I try to hide my tears from you. It’s been 19 months since my first child passed away and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or to feel uncomfortable around me. But to be honest, a little piece of me died those two days when I lost your sister Abigail, then your brother Parker two months later. I’m a changed person after dealing with the death of my children. No matter how happy I am, there will always be a part of me who misses P & A. Sure, it gets less difficult over time. But, there is no magic number for the days, months or years one will spend grieving. I will never get to hold my children again. Instead, I have to cling onto to the few memories I have. The soft stroke of Abby’s face as they called her time of death; the gentle rocking of Parker as he took his final breath. And I fear that those memories will become harder to recollect as time goes on. So when I feel sad, I find myself looking through their few belongings, even smelling their hats and blankets in hopes of remembering their scent and their warm touch. 

Peyton's 4 month pictureIt’s during the night as I rock you to sleep, that I allow myself to wallow. So, why is it that I hide my tears from you during the day?  You didn’t plan your life, you had no control of your beginning. You were a fighter since the start, your strong personality proving to nurses why you won’t ever give up. The sadness I feel for your brother and sister gives way to a full heart and endless love that I feel for you. Sure, I miss your siblings, but I don’t want you to ever feel like you are not the most important person in our lives. Your infectious giggle makes me laugh, and each morning, I wake up excited to see what new thing you will discover. Seeing life through your eyes, gives me life. And during those moments I need it most, your beautiful smile erases the sadness. So thank you my precious daughter. Thank you for defying the odds to be here today. Thank you for teaching me a new purpose in life. And thank you for being you…perfect in every way.

Much Love,

Mom

About the author

Stacey Skrysak

Stacey Skrysak may not be a native of Nebraska, but she called it home for many years. You may recognize her from her days as a morning and noon anchor on NTV in Kearney. She liked Nebraska so much, she even married into a Cornhusker family! These days, Stacey lives in Springfield, Illinois where she is a news anchor for WICS-TV. Stacey and her husband are parents to Peyton, their surviving triplet, who was born more than 17 weeks premature. Abigail and Parker are their triplet angels watching from above. Through her heartbreaking experience, Stacey has become a voice for dealing with grief, infertility and life with a micro-premie. Her triplets have touched thousands of lives around the world, thanks to Stacey’s blog “Perfectly Peyton”. Stacey looks forward to sharing the trials and tribulations of balancing work and home life, all with a little humor thrown in.

12 Comments

  • What a beautiful letter. Your darling daughter will treasure that for many years to come. God Bless you and your family.

  • This is a treasure and it shows that while we remember our losses, our current blessings are valued even more. My daughter died suddenly in 1980 at the age of 4 1/2 – part of me died that day also. While I was missing her so desperately, a deep bond was forged between my son and I forever. I treasure who he is. I’ll never forget one day while going through Jeni’s things that I saved, I felt a sensation of warm oil upon my heart and somehow the rawness of my loss was taken away. Yes, I still miss her but a deep healing was done that day. One other priceless treasure I received was having my second granddaughter born on Jeni’s birthday – their looks and mannerisms almost identical. No, she isn’t a replacement but a priceless reminder that God cares and remembers. She’s a gift that keeps on giving – I even get to see how Jeni would look if she were still here as my granddaughter is now in her teens. Just wanted to share. Keep up the posts – they are healing to you and many others.

  • Beautiful letter and I know that it took a lot for you to do it. Peyton will cherish it and remember her brother and sister. You are a strong person and your daughter will have that also as she has proven that already.

  • Stacey, This is a beautiful letter to your precious Peyton. You have a lot to be happy about with all the hurdles Peyton has cleared, but you, Ryan, Peyton and all of us will never stop missing Abby and Parker. I remember the excitement of hearing you were expecting triplets, and I do remember the heartbreak as you lost Abby and than Parker. I felt it was unbearable, so I know that your pain must have so much more. I am proud of you as parents because I think you will always answer honestly and with great sensitivity, when Peyton asks you what happened to Abby and Parker, You will never forget because your love for them did not die. I think it must have grown to the largest portions anyone of us could have for another person. The beauty of that love made their short time on earth someething very special. I can picture them walking around heaven and telling anyone who will listen “My mom and dad loved us better than any other parents on the earth.” You know there are several there who are their captive audience, your grandfather and grandmother, and Uncle Mitch. There are lots of smiles up there, though there are lots of tears on earth. One day we will all be together and what a party we will have there! Much love, Aunt Mary

  • Stacey – don’t ever feel embarrassed about your tears when your heartache will be with you always. You will never forget or stop missing Abigail or Parker. I know that you will keep their memory alive in all things you do with Peyton and I’m sure your little Princess will remind you of them throughout life. Miss P is so lucky to have you and Ryan as parents and with your patience and love I’m sure she will thrive to become a beautiful, caring and loving individual. She is a gift from God in every way and will bring you and Ryan much joy. Please don’t dwell on the negative and remember the good, positive outcomes you have experienced and keep the faith for future things to come. Miss P is your very special gift that keeps on giving. God Bless all your family – even Riley!

  • What a beautiful story Stacey ….. Not just for you but for the love of your life little Miss p. . She will cherish this as well as the learning of her lost twin and brother as long as you let them live on through out her life <3 I think every mother should right such a touching letter to be cherished the rest of her life and hand it down the family tree . God be with this family . And may you get those sings from the other twins when this weather breaks , Forever one who has fowled through out the good and bad with you , You guts are amazing and have made a big impact on many . God bless you <3