she would have been 19 today. Reflecting on Sara

Editorial by David Kellin, editor@pantagraph.online

Occasionally I get asked about who Sara is. My photography business is Sara’s Dad’s Photography. This is when it get tricky for me and many other parents. Sara is my Daughter. She was born on February 25th, 2000, and died February 29, 2000. She lived 3 and a half days.

The tricky part becomes is or was. Was seems like she is no longer important. My last car was a __________, the last place I worked was__________. Somehow my daughter was__________ doesn’t work for me. I am not ready for her to be a was.

I am always a bit reserved when I sit down to write about my son and daughter. I force myself to do so, for me. I need that chance to speak about them. The phenomenon for parents of children who have died early is that there are social barriers to talking openly.

For the first year of an adult who died, there is discomfort of sorts, but soon it seems to be okay to ask them to tell you about the person who died. It becomes socially more acceptable.

It does not ever get socially acceptable to ask a parent about the death of their child. “Tell me about your child ” is one of the first things I say to another parent who is facing child death. It often leads to a rich and loving discussion of our children.

My daughter Sara died at the age of 3 and half days on February 29, 2000. She died in my arms. She was born at 25 weeks at CMC. She had a class 4 bleed in the brain and a pulmonary embolism. She was born too early.

She is loved and remembered daily. Her short life has taught me so much about life and relationships. One of the first lessons was what it meant to be a father. Sara was brought to us to hold at the end. Her breathing was being done by a nurse. The prognosis was terminal. She had minutes to live by the nurse’s and doctor’s estimation. She was not going to survive. As I was holding her, I asked the nurse to stop and let Sara be at peace. I had to make that decision to allow my daughter to be at peace and for me to let her go. I had to admit there was nothing I could do. I remember that moment was when I understood what it meant to be a father, and that I was her father.

That moment is one of the those that I will never forget, and it changed me. Yes it is intense. It may be uncomfortable for you. I struggle with just how much to share with people. Mainly because I am not sure they really want to know. Kind of like that “How are you” greeting we use constantly. People are not interested, but have to say something.

Oft times I think my life is still in that room holding Sara. I exist there. Things never returned to normal for me. I feel like if I leave that room, that Sara will be gone forever and be forgotten. So as her father, I keep her memory alive and try and let the world know who Sara Elisabeth Kellin is. Sara would have been 19 today.



Categories: Editor Thoughts

2 replies

  1. Thanks for sharing Sara’s story. While it is a sad story, it is also a beautiful love story. I can only imagine how hard losing her was. I am sorry for your loss. Keep telling her story.

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  2. I love you my friend, I cry as I read your words, I understand them in ways that I wish that knowledge on no one. I have a brother the cord took his breathe as a full term baby , he and I looked the same- wecweighed the exact same 9.6 but God gave me breath and not Kevin, I can’t forget him, my mother had pictures and talked about him and I am thankful for that. I had my first precious grand daughter live from sunrise one day to sunset the next- full term dark haired girl , she looked like me, the placenta tore loose during delivery and she went without air long, I will never forget that bruised beautiful child- they had worked in her – shot her up with steroids – transported from Kentucky and did other treatment at Cincinati children’s hospital but they brought her back to the hospital she was born in for her to drift from us. I will never understand all the emotions that are born from pain but I pray for peace and comfort for us all

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