Friday, March 19, 2010

Dear Janell, Liz H. Allen

Dear Janell
by Liz H. Allen

If I had known that our first hello
would also be good-bye
I would have tried a little harder
to keep you by my side.

I wish your perfect face
filled more of my memories.
But, as everyone keeps saying,
it just wasn’t meant to be.

How is it that a little life
can just be taken away?
I’ll never get over it,
no matter what they say.

You used to make your Daddy smile
even though you were never born.
And now, when I think of those times,
it feels like my heart is torn.

Sometimes I wish I died with you,
just so you’d always be there.
But I could never leave your Daddy,
it just wouldn’t be fair.

I know you’re always with us,
always watching what we do.
But this is not how it’s supposed to be,
we were supposed to watch over you.

written September 3rd, 2004


about this poem.
In Liz's words, "I wrote this poem about a month and a half after my firstborn daughter died. Her death was the first (and only) experience with baby loss in our family and friends. No one understood and neither did my husband or I. It felt like the world was moving on around us and we were left behind. I wrote this poem to try and explain to those around me how I felt and how we could grieve so deeply a child that so many considered to never be "real." The last stanza is particularly a favorite of mine because I was tired of people telling us that she'd always be with us - I knew that, I feel her all around me but that is nothing considering what should have been."

about the poet.
Liz H Allen keeps a personal blog at Can't Wake Up, which chronicles her journey from loss to now. She also maintains a writing blog at Writing Mommy. Liz describes her story, "On July 25th, 2004, my first daughter was stillborn due to multiple complications, but mostly because my body failed at pregnancy and the doctors failed to notice. Her name is Janell Victory Allen and, despite her short life, she is a victory in every aspect of the word. Her website is Janell Victory. In her memory, my husband and I started A Small Victory, which is currently on hiatus due to my returning to college."


  1. Love you much, Liz...and always remembering our kids...xo k-

  2. I love that last stanza too. What should have been as opposed to what is. It is so hard to accept

    Thanks for sharing



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