March 24, 2017


Mum shares how an innocent comment struck her deep and left her feeling defensive and angry.

Erin Crawford shares on The Mighty how an innocent discussion on what it’s like to miss a child set her blood boiling.

“No. I have never been away from my daughter, Ellie, but to say I have never had reason to miss her to a heartbreaking degree is not true.

Memories of a hospital room full of beeping machines and IV pumps fill my mind, reminding me of the many times she has been in a drug-induced unconsciousness, making the idea of holding her in my arms a distant and coveted dream. I missed her then.

I recall her playing in a hospital gown in the pediatric surgical waiting room while we awaited the arrival of the people who would inevitably take her away from us; my conscious little girl leaving me to be replaced with a shell of her former self while she recovered from her open-heart surgery. I missed her then.

I flash back to the look on the doctor’s face as he delicately tried to deliver potentially devastating news. The look that said, “We don’t know why this is happening, but you need to prepare yourself for the possibility that she may not come out of this.”

I was trying to figure out what he was saying to me when it suddenly occurred to me that what was happening to her was not routine. I was not supposed to see her eyes open and reveal a vacant emptiness that terrified me to my core. There was no Ellie behind those eyes, just a vast, empty space where my little girl had once been.

I held her tiny hand in mine and felt so far away from her, I wasn’t sure she could find her way back to me. I missed her then.

It’s easy to forget these moments if you are not her father or me. It is easy to see her as she is now and let these nightmares from the past fade away into oblivion. I wish for that sometimes. I wish I could un-know the terror, the sadness, the desperation. I pray Ellie doesn’t remember any of it. But all the wishing and prayer in the world cannot undo what has been done.

I will always remember it and be eternally grateful for the good days we are living and say my prayers every night that there will be many more good days to come. I will remember for everyone who forgets and try to be patient when careless things are said and know that the reminders aren’t as powerful for them.

I will remember those days and feel the familiar ache of my arms… And miss her.”

This post originally appeared on The Mighty. 

Can you relate to what Erin is saying?

Share your comments below.

Image supplied by Tracy Hardy

  • this was sad to read and i feel sympathy for the parents


  • Some people talk before they think. IT is a chronic condition.


  • It must be the hardest thing for a mum or dad to go through. Watching your child suffer during sickness


  • I cannot even begin to think how heartbreaking seeing your little just laying there with no natural sign of life as it should be. Obviously the surgery was not successful or the little one suffered other complications. Hopefully you will soon be able to cuddle your little girl.


  • Yes I can relate to what Erin is saying.
    I don’t think it’s helpful to try even compare yourself with what other people are going through


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