Stories from those that have grieved with us
I asked my BF Ashley, my sister Vanessa and my Mom to write their story about the day Averie passed away. I know that Averie’s passing didn’t just hurt Zach and I. From the moment we told people we were pregnant she was loved. I have this hope that our story, and reading others accounts of the day, will continue on through history. That when we are long gone, that our ancestors will read about our sweet Averie and she will continue to touch others lives.
On this post I’ll share with you Ashley’s (far right) and Vanessa’s (far left) stories. I hope they know how much I appreciate them doing this. I know how many emotions it brought up to remember the events of that day. Love you both so much.
I will never ever forget the day that sweet Averie was born. The night before, Crystal and I had been texting about contractions that she was having and that they weren’t going away. I told her to walk around and if they got worse or didn’t go away to go get checked out. I never heard from her again that night. The next morning I found out that Crystal was in the hospital, I get a call from Vanessa and the first thing she said was “Hi Aunty!” I couldn’t have been more excited I was freaking out! Vanessa, Crystal, and I were group texting and at this point it all becomes a bit blurry and I feel like I have blocked a lot of it out. All I remember is Crystal saying that she hadn’t heard any updates about Averie and they were thinking they needed to transfer her to Syracuse to get checked out. I felt so helpless because I wanted to go out and grab a nurse and make her update Crystal and tell her exactly what was going on, obviously that couldn’t happen because I am hundreds of miles away. I never ever thought that I would receive the news that I got next….Crystal and Zach had to make the decision on what they wanted to do with Averie. The heavy decision that I just couldn’t imagine being in charge of. We all knew what was about to happen. Vanessa called me and told me the news…we cried and cried on the phone together. Neither of us had any idea what to do or say. Did this really happen? No way, I didn’t and couldn’t believe it. We just wanted to drop everything and fly to New York to help Crystal get through this. I didn’t want her to be alone. When I got off the phone with Vanessa I knew that I had to call Crystal, I didn’t know what I was going to say but she is my best friend, I needed to be there and be strong for her. When she answered she was holding Averie, I could hear her sweet noises and wanted to just jump through the phone and be there with them. I told her how sorry I was and that I loved her so so much. We cried on the phone together and didn’t say much after that. I knew I needed to let her be with Zach and enjoy every last second she got with Averie. I just wanted to make sure she knew how much support and love she had from me. After that it really was all a blur. All I wanted to do was go to New York, having a 1 and a 4 year old of my own, I knew that wasn’t possible for me. After hearing that Vanessa and their mom was going to go and see her, I felt better knowing that Crystal wouldn’t be alone. The entire day I made sure to talk to Vanessa and Crystal as much as I could because if there was anything that I could do to help in this situation, I would’ve done it in a heartbeat. But what do you do? What could I do? Luckily, I have an amazing husband and family who let me cry and helped me try to stay strong for Crystal. It felt like a bad dream that I couldn’t wake up from. I will never forget that day, where I was, what I was feeling, and the days to come after all of this happened. It will stay with me forever and I wish more than anything I could’ve been closer to be there for them. I know that after Crystal was released from the hospital, it only got harder from there. All the reminders and going home without Averie was devastating. Not being able to take that pain away from her was awful. I just wanted to say the right thing and make her feel better, but there was nothing I could say. I have never felt so helpless. Averie has a HUGE place in my heart and she always will. She was only here for a short time but she impacted us all in such a positive way. Crystal and Zach are so strong and so amazing, I love them both so much!
It was about 5 in the morning and Quin and I had just gotten home from being up all night at the shop making valentine treats. I went to lay down and Crystal called me. I knew it had to be something urgent for her to be calling me at that hour. She sounded completely exhausted and told me it had been the craziest night of her life and that she had had Averie! I was so excited and so worried at the same time. As she told me all of the details of her emergency birth as we talked we both laughed and I cried, I was so happy for my little sister! She assured me that Averie was ok and that they were just going to transfer her to a bigger hospital to get better care since she was born so early! A few hours later Quin and I were back on our way to the shop to make some more treats for valentines day. I remember we had just pulled out of our neighborhood when Zach called me and told me that Averie wasn’t going to make it. I remember grabbing Quins arm and just starting to cry. He wasn’t sure what was going on so he pulled over to the side of the road and I hugged him and cried as I was still on the phone with Zach. I can’t explain the heartbreak that I felt at that moment for my little sister. It didn’t seem right or real. I then talked to Crystal for a short time as she was holding Averie. I could hear Averie’s breathing as Crystal was crying and telling her it was ok. I didn’t want to take away from Crystal’s last moments with her sweet baby so I told her I loved her and to be with sweet Averie and we would talk later. Quin and I sat on the side of the road and just cried and hugged. One of the first things I thought and said was I have to go. I have to go be with my sister!
Quin asked me if I still wanted to go to the shop or if I wanted to go back home. I told him we should go to the shop because Marcelle and Ashley were there and I wanted to be with them. I remember just sitting in the warehouse with Marcelle and Ashley just crying and crying. I booked a plane ticket right then to leave that night! I was going to bring Marcelle but then we decided it would be better if mom went with me. So I think Genevieve and Brendan brought mom from St.George to my house so that she could fly out with me that night. Mom and I cried and hugged when she got to my house. We had a long night traveling and anticipating our arrival and what each of us would do or say to sweet Crystal and Zach to comfort them.
It was bitter bitter cold when we arrived I remember the bite of the wind on my skin when we got off the plane. Driving to the hospital was the longest drive of my life. I couldn’t wait to comfort and be with my sister. When we walked into the hospital room I remember the empty feeling in the room and Crystal sitting in the hospital bed with a glazed look on her face and Zach sitting in the room with the same look. They both looked so devastated, and exhausted. Mom and I hugged her and and told her we loved her so much and we all cried together. We helped them get things together to be discharged from the hospital and then headed home with them. I am so thankful I was able to be there with Crystal and Zach during this impossibly heart reaching time for them. We spent the rest of the week crying, laughing and tending to Crystal with her healing physically from a c section and with her milk coming in and also trying to comfort her and Zach as they were barely surviving emotionally from their feelings of emptiness and loss of their sweet Angel Averie. I am forever grateful that they allowed me to be with them during the hardest time in their life. I gained so much respect, compassion and love for them that week. I love you more than words can say Crystal, Zach Averie and now sweet Izzy!!
I read their words and it brings me to tears. Zach and I have suffered an unimaginable loss but others felt the loss of our sweet angel too. I’m so thankful to have such wonderful friends and family that love us, cry with us, grieve with us and support us through our heartbreak.