Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Natalie Evelyn Teegarden passed away unexpectedly the afternoon of October 16th. She was in my arms and in no pain. I suppose that is the most one could hope for.

I so appreciate all the love and affection people have shown our daughter this year. Our family is blessed to be surrounded by the strength of others.

If I could, I would like to ask that when people share with us in the days to come that it is not suggested that there was a reason for her loss or that God needed her more than we did. Natalie was a very loved and desired child, she would have shared a wonderful life with us here on earth and that is all we wanted. Please forgive me my candor. It is just that I am broken in a million pieces right now and do not have it in me to nod along and agree when I do not. My child should still be here in my arms looking forward to an abundant life. I know it may be hard to find words, so please do not worry trying to find the perfect thing to say. What we need is to know that Natalie is loved, that she will be remembered and that her life meant something to others.

I have one other request. Over the past several months, we have been humbled and amazed at the people who knew Natalie, cared for her from afar and supported us. If you think of her in the coming days, please consider sending a postcard with the words "I know Natalie" to
Natalie Evelyn Teegarden
120 Parkwood Rd
Rochester, NY 14615

As I am here trying to make myself understand that she is physically no longer with us, I am so afraid that our daughter will be forgotten, or that proof of her life will not be known to others. It would mean the world to me to hold in my hands evidence that Natters is still in the hearts and minds of others.

Thank you thank thank you for never letting me think we were on this journey alone. I am so very sorry.

111 comments:

  1. Dear Teegarden Family,
    I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Natalie will always be a special part of each of you and of your family. I pray for peace in your hearts, the hearts that hold many memories of a precious little girl. God bless you.

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  2. She will NEVER be forgotten. I am so sorry.

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  3. I know Natalie, and I'll never forget her!

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  4. I will never forget Natalie...

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  5. Jennifer I don't know what to say. Natalie has touched my life more than you will ever know. I have always felt you were my NICU sister and I have never prayed, rooted, cheered or wept more for a baby I didn't even know like I have for Natalie. Please know she WAS incredibly LOVED, and she will NEVER be forgotten. I am so very sorry. You all will be in my prayers going forward. God bless you and your amazing, warrior daughter!

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  6. Jennifer, Steve and Annaliese, Your friend Dana brought your family and your lovely Natalie to my attention as one of the Morgan friends she has on FB. Thank you for letting me share your journey with your family. Natalie is a beautiful little girl. She touched my heart. It is difficult to type through the tears, but please know you will continue to be in my prayers. Natalie is very special and very loved. Always loved. Sincerely,Carolyn

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  7. Prayers for you...may strength be yours, may God be with you...

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  8. You're right. Your daughter should be here with you and no where else. Thank goodness she had someone who loved her so much. She needed you and you were there to comfort her as only a mother can. I will carry both of you in my heart.

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  9. We definitely KNOW Natalie. I am so sorry Jenn, Steve and Annie for your loss. She will be missed and always remembered. Much Love and prayers.
    Cassandra and Haydon

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  10. WE KNOW NATALIE. Jenn, Steve, and Annie, we are so very sorry...she will be loved always, and terribly missed. Sending our prayers and love.

    Crissa and Hannah

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  11. I know Natalie, she was absolutely beautiful in every way and such a fighter. I truly am sorry and my thoughts are with you.

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  12. I am so sorry to hear this devastating news... I have been following your story for several months now. I first read about it on Dana's Facebook. I have diligently checked Natalie's status several times a week. I have never met you or your beautiful daughter but felt like I knew you both. I KNOW NATALIE!!! She will always be in my heart. What an amazing little girl. My thought are with you at this difficult time.

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  13. I will never forget your sweet Natalie, nor will I forget your perseverance, dedication and love for her. The road that you have walked is so very hard. I have followed Natalie's story since January as I also pprommed before viability and we have the same due date.

    Natalie has touched many hearts and will always be loved. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    - Wishesforfish on Inspire

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  14. I KNOW NATALIE. She will always be loved and remembered. Jenn, Steve, and Annie I am so sorry.

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  15. I know Natalie!
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. Our hearts are broken for you and your family.

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  16. I'm so sorry for your loss. I KNOW NATALIE!!!!

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  17. WE KNOW NATALIE, and she will never be forgotten. Thank you for letting us love her.

    I am so very sorry for you, and no words seem right. Sending our love and prayers.

    Cecile & Sarah

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  18. I KNOW NATALIE! Thanks to Emily M. Natalie will always be remembered as a beautiful baby girl and a fighter for life and love! May you and your family find peace and strength during the sad times. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  19. Natalie Evelyn Teegarden will never be forgotten..... You will never know how many peoples hearts have been touched by her heroic battle...

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  20. I am so sorry. As everyone has said Natalie will not be forgotten. I have been following your blog ever since you put a link to it on The Babycenter pprom support group. I lost my son during labour at 31 weeks 10 weeks after pprom. I am amazed at Natalie's fight. She fought very very hard. And you and your family are an inspiration, you are so very strong.

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  21. My heart breaks with you. So sorry. Natalie made an impact on so many people.

    Thinking of you in Ontario, Canada. Hugs and prayers.

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  22. You are an amazing and wonderful mother. Please know that you did not let anyone down, most of all not Natalie. You were her champion, a never tiring tower of strength, her most trusted ally.

    Natalie will forever be a part of our lives. Although we don't know your family in person, we love you & we love Natalie. You will be in our hearts and thoughts in the days, weeks and months to come as you journey through this time. I am so very sorry that this happened.

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  23. Rachel (21MrsE)
    I know Natalie. I am a fellow PProm mum and I have been following yours and Natalie's story from shortly after her arrival in the world. There are no words to express how many thoughts are with in your time of grief. You were the best of mums to her and her very greatest advocate through her tough journey. I am sure she felt the love you, your family and all the special medical staff had for her and she must leave a very big hole in your lives.
    I will be thinking of you in the coming future.

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  24. We Know Natalie and love her deeply. She will be missed beyond words by so many people.

    Bethany and Christopher

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  25. Natalie will be forever in my thoughts and you will always be in my prayers. We love you guys.

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  26. I know Natalie! I have been following your journey since we met on PROM many months ago. I write this with tears in my eyes. As a mommy who is walking around with a huge hole in my heart I know there are no words I can say except I am sorry. Sending love and hugs.

    Kathleen
    Mommy to angel Sophia

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  27. i have been following your bolg for a while now. Natalie will always have a place in my heart. She had an amazing family. I am praying you all with all my heart!
    With Love,
    Christine

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  28. Jennifer, I'm so so sorry. I Have no words and I should really know what to say in time like this. Please know that Natalie will never be forgotten. She was very brave baby and we were all rooting for her to get better. I'm so heartbroken for you as you helped me so much during my 3 week fight to keep Matilda in.

    I KNOW NATALIE!

    Stana



    I

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  29. For the rest of my life I will say "I know Natalie." Although we have never met, as a fellow PPROM mom I felt so connected to your family. There are no words to console, I know. Continuin to lift your precious family up in prayer...

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  30. I was so saddened to read about the loss of your daughter Natalie on Inspire. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

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  31. My heart broke when I heard the news this morning. There are no words to say other than I'm so deeply sorry. Natalie will NEVER be forgotten!!! She showed us all what it means to really fight! I pray for peace for you, Steve and Annie. Your family is loved more than you will ever know.

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  32. I am honored to say that I know Natalie and will never forget her. My heart, thoughts and prayers are with all of you right now!

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  33. I am so sorry for your loss. Natalie will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

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  34. I'm devestate for your loss. I want you to know that there have been so many times on this journe we walked simiar paths. Natalie gave us hope. We found comfort in your strength and in the fact that we r no alone. Thank you for everything. Nat will always be remembered by us. I will send a post card as soon as I can. <3

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  35. This is heartbreaking and I am so sorry that she did not stay with you. I agree that she should be with you and no family should have to go through what you have been through. I am thinking of all of you today and these many difficult days head.

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  36. I am devastated. I know Natalie. I adore Natalie. I love Natalie.

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  37. Know that you were never alone. I followed Natalie and your journey before she was born and now...I am devastated. Your family and Natalie will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing her story and know that your family is loved and Natalie will NEVER be forgotten.

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  38. Jennifer and Steve my name is Dawn. My husband David and I just lost our precious Chloe to similar issues as your Natalie on September 21. I believe that our precious girls are playing together in heaven. She is not alone and is not forgotten. I don't understand it either...I am here for you. I am grieving as well. I don't know why they went but I do know we have hope that we'll see them again. We are praying for you and your family in the hours, days, weeks, and months ahead.

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  39. Sometimes there are no words.

    Hugs and prayers,
    Donna

    I KNOW NATALIE!

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  40. Jennifer ChristensonOctober 17, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Jennifer and Steve,

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I know Natalie, I love her fight and her spirit and her beautiful face. Thank you for sharing her with us. You are in my thoughts and prayers and you and Natalie will always be remembered. Peace to you in this difficult time.

    Jennifer

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  41. I'm so so sorry for your loss. May you find peace in your heart as you lay your baby girl to rest.

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  42. I am so sorry for this loss. I found your blog months ago when someone posted about Natalie on another blog. I've prayed for her every day since then, and loved her, even though I only know her through this blog. I am so sorry.
    Love,
    A reader in PA

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  43. Jennifer, I was so sorry to read of Natalies passing on the trach board this morning. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with your family at this sad time.

    Julie (trach board mom) UK

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  44. I will never forgot your sweet, little Natalie! I am so sorry...
    She will stay in my heart for always :*

    Marta (from Poland)

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  45. JT - I'm so sorry. Our prayers are with you and your family. Natalie will always be remembered...

    Wei

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  46. Natalie is a true warrior and she will NEVER be forgotten. I'm proud to say that I KNOW NATALIE.

    -A fellow pPROM mom

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  47. I am so sorry for your loss. I will not forget Natalie. I Know Natalie.

    Another pPROM mom.

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  48. I know Natalie too! She will not be forgotten.

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  49. Natalie will never be forgotten. What a beautiful name and a beautiful little girl! My thoughts are with you and your family.

    You are right to ask people not to say those things. I have had two miscarriages and having to endure people saying those things made it very difficult. Your loss is of course much more difficult to bear as it is. I think you are very brave.

    The truth is this that is a terrible tragedy and I am so, so sorry this happened to you. You certainly don't deserve it! No one does.

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  50. I KNOW NATALIE

    I have been following your blog for a long while now. Natalie will never be forgoten.

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  51. Jen & Steve,

    Please know that Natalie will never be forgotten. I have been following your blog daily and we are heartsick over Baby Nate's tragic passing. There are no words that can express how sorry we are. We will be thinking of Natalie fondly, remembering her courage and cuteness. Love and prayers to all of you.

    Robin, Phil, and Alyssa Squadrito

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  52. Jennifer,

    I am deeply heartbroken for your loss. I have never met you or your beautiful girl but we have got to know each other over e-mails, blogs and the tracheostomy site. You and Natalie have touched our lives more than I could ever express. When talking about Gemma to others I often mention Natalie and the journey that our little girls have gone through. Your daughters story has got me through so many things, Gemma and Natalie have inspired everyone around them. It sits so close to home and today when I found out I sat beside Gemma's crib in the NICU and just weeped. It had been months since I have cried, I couldn't be the rock that I normally was, I felt devistated for your loss. Natalie has GREATLY impacted others Jennifer and always will so I hope that will bring you some peace. It is unfair and it is the deepest pain you will ever feel and there is nothing I can really say to make you feel better other than I believe that one day you will be together again.

    If you need anything, anything at all please let me know.

    You are in my thoughts,
    Love Amanda

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  53. Jeremy, Lisa & Reagan know Natalie...and love her. Words can't express how sorry I am for your loss. Nothing that I can say will ease your pain, but please know that I am thinking of you, Jen, Steve and Annie. I pray that Natalie is at peace, now.
    With so much love,
    Jeremy, Lisa and Reagan

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  54. My heart broke when I saw this post this morning... I have been following your story for a few months, I can't even remember how I found you, but I am so thankful I did. I have never met you or your beautiful daughter but felt like I knew you both. I KNOW NATALIE!!! She will always be in my heart. What an amazing little girl. My thought are with you at this difficult time.

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  55. I'm so sorry! There are no words that I can offer you to make it better, but she will never be forgotten.

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  56. I am so sorry to hear this news. I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and I was so desperately hoping you would be bringing Natalie home by now. My cousin never got to bring to her son Tristan home, so I would imagine that he and Natalie are playing together now. My prayers will forever be with you and your family.

    I KNOW NATALIE!

    Amy
    Poughkeepsie, NY

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  57. I know Natalie now, and for the rest of my life. She has completely changed my perspective on everything; the world will not be the same without her. I am so, so sorry to hear of this great loss...

    Jeanette (Nettie)

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  58. Where she counts most she will not be forgotten. My son Tristan entered the NICU on 6/19/2005 and left us on 8/31/2005 and we remember him everyday just like you will remember Natalie, with sadness of what you wanted for her and a smile for the brightness she gave while here.

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  59. Thank you so much for sharing your daughter's life with so many through this blog. I have been absolutely inspired by her and by you. I can honestly say that both of you have changed my life forever without ever even having had the privilege of meeting you both in person. I am constantly in awe at your strength and your commitment as a mother. I strive to be a better mother myself when I think of the two of you and your journey. She will never be forgotten. I pray that you will find some peace as you realize the impact that her life has had on those who have shared in knowing Natalie Evelyn.

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  60. I am so SO sorry. My heart is broken for you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.... I pray you find comfort.

    I also agree that you are right to ask people not to say those things.

    Candice

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  61. I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for your family. I pray that your family stays strong in this most difficult time.

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  62. I came here from Inspire. I am a fellow pPROM, preemie mom-- whose firstborn son passed away at 3 days old, due to (among other things) sepsis.

    I will apologize for the insensitive comments made by others thinking that they're helping...

    But I *will* say, you are not alone-- many, many are thinking of you with love tonight, and that your daughter will not be forgotten.

    Blessings of peace and comfort at this difficult time.

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  63. I know Natalie. Prayers ...

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  64. I know Natalie. I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words to console your broken heart.

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  65. I am honored to know the strongest, beautiful girl. She has the most loving family she could have asked for. A big THANK YOU for sharing her with us. She will forever be a Teegarden, always be remembered, always be loved. The world is a better place because of her influence. Love you Jennifer.

    Love,
    Yamel

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  66. I admit I went upstairs and I cried and then came back to write that I care and loved that you would reach out to seek help from us before. I only wish that this were not the end and that others were going to reach out and ask you for your advice. She will not be forgotten she was a fighter and she taught all she came in contact with something about living in the face of struggle beyond most of what the rest of us can endure. Your family too are amazing in the face of enduring. You have done it with such pizzaze. I have loved being able to keep up by your blog please say something once in a while. See look at you already being able to tell us all of her strength and yet her leaving. Hugs and loves your family to will make it through this you have taught many about not ever ever giving up and enduring to the end what ever that becomes. You can do Hard Things.
    Love Brooke

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  67. Words can not express how sorry I am for your family's loss. I KNOW Natalie and she will never be forgotten.

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  68. I'm so sorry for you loss. I've been following your story for a long time and my heart is breaking for you all. Natalie was a beautiful little girl who WILL be remembered ALWAYS by so many. May you find peace in the days/weeks/months ahead. Aimee from Minnesota.

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  69. My tears for you know no end. Jenn, I am so sorry. I wish you all the hope and healing in the world. I wish you vivid memories of happy moments with Natalie and no recollection of the sad times, with the exception of your blog.

    Your entire family is a family of warriors who have endured so much. I have admired you since the day our virtual lives crossed. You were my anchor, my "week" friend, and my "birth day" buddy. You will always be my inspiration and my friend.

    We know Natalie!

    Love, Wendy and Timmy

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  70. I know Natalie, through the loving words you, her mother, have written about her for so many long months. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Natters with us all - she has forever touched my heart and changed me for the better. I will never forget your sweet Natalie, nor will I forget your perserverance, dedication, and love for her.

    ~Tiffany from Georgia

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  71. My cousin Natalie passed away 22 years ago after living for almost six months, she has never been forgotten. I'm sure your Natalie will never been forgotten either.

    ~Jennifer

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  72. I'm so sorry for your loss. You're right; words just do not express what I want to say. I just sat here and read your blog from beginning to end in 3 hours after I saw the link somebody had posted on BBC. It's now 1 a.m. and I have to get up to go to work at 7 a.m.

    My son was born at 32 weeks, 4 lbs, and spent 35 days in NICU. He was a feeder and grower, but I remember how terrified I was. I have been healed by your telling. It doesn't change anything but I hope you take comfort in knowing you have helped me heal a little bit. Bless little Natalie Evelyn. She has touched so many and it was only through your writing that we came to know her.

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  73. The angels are singing at the homecoming of your little angel. May God comfort you in this time of loss. He has a beautiful plan for her, she is now in his arms....

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  74. I KNOW NATALIE!! Thank you for sharing her life with us, she will not be forgotten.

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  75. We know Natalie. We will never ever forget her. Thinking of you always. Love, Kelly, Vlad and Anya

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  76. I know Natalie!
    Tears are streaming down my face as I type. I've never met you or your family, but I definitely know you!

    Love,
    Parker & Amy Hendrix

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  77. We are friends with Vlad and Kelly and Kelly has shared your story with us. I had been keeping track of Natalie's story as it had really touched my heart. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of such a special little girl. We are thinking about you and praying for you and your family during this extremely difficult time.
    Love, Chris, Kelly, Zachary and Caleb

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  78. So sorry. Our prayers are with you.
    I know Natalie!
    Your inspire friend,
    Regina

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  79. I know Natalie. I get to work this morning and check on this amazing girl, and now I am hearbroken. I can not imagine the pain you feel. I will continue to pray for you family.
    Love,
    Nicole M. (from Dallas, Texas)

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  80. I know Natalie!

    I am just a stranger who stumbled upon your story, and your daughter touched my heart. It is obvious just by reading the comments above that Natalie was a very loved little girl, who touched many people's lives and she will never be forgotten! After reading this my heart broke and I cried for your sweet baby. I wish I could do something, anything to help your family during this time. xoxo

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  81. I KNOW NATALIE and its my honour to know this little angle. She will always be remembered.And she'll be really proud of you for being her mother.
    GOD BLESS.

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  82. I am so very sorry for your loss. I just learned of Natalie today and now I know her. My preemie daughter Ashley died 25 years ago and because her life was so short only a few people knew her. That has always made me so sad. So what you are doing...collecting tangible proof that your daughter was a loved, valuable, beautiful being touches me deeply. I will tell you that even without those cards, you will carry your daughter with you every day for the rest of your life. She will not be forgotten. My daughter is with me...loved and cherished...just as Natalie will be with you. Sending you love and healing energy.

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  83. I know Natalie and love all of you!

    Love,
    Amy Panella

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  84. Jennifer and Steve, I know Natalie, and so do the many people I have shared her story with. I will never forget this amazingly strong baby girl. May she someday know what an equally as strong mom she has. Thankyou for sharing your journey. Melanie Lewis

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  85. I know Natalie.

    I'm so so sorry that we couldn't know her longer.

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  86. I know your pain first hand as I two have experienced saying goodbye to my beautiful twins Heather and Joey, I actually was visiting their grave today, yesterday was their birthday and I stayed in bed all day just because. With tears for you I tell you, your love will never end, you will always remember holding her little hands and praying with all your heart for a miracle. I have no pictures of my two but their faces are clear to me and I still feel the love the sorrow and all the joy that I could have them for at least a little while. Natalie will always be apart of my life now as I send my prayers and love to my two I will also send prayer and love for Natalie. God Bless you and your family.
    Peggy

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  87. My heart is broken. I know Natalie and love her.

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  88. I know Natalie. As a fellow PROM mom I appreciated your candor in your blog. A fellow preemie mom shared your story with us. If only there were adequate words.

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  89. I'm so terribly sorry for your loss and there truly are no words. I know Natalie and have prayed for her. I have followed your NICU journey from afar and sent the link to a dear friend of mine after finding out she PPROM'ed early on. My heart breaks for you as I've been amazed by your strength and the awesome fight that took place here. From counting down the days on bedrest to pleading with the docs for what was best for Natalie, you have shown every single day what an selfless and amazing mother you are. Your family will continue to be in my prayers.

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  90. I Know Natalie. Through your words she has been an inspiration to me and will never be forgotten. My heart just aches for your family. Love and prayers to you.

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  91. I just found you and now I Know Natalie too. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  92. I have been reading your blog since July I found it through inspire. I have thought of Natalie everyday since and my heart is broken for you.... I know Natalie and her story and life will inspire everyday. She is an amazing little girl.

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  93. I am so sorry it has taken me this long to send you a message, but I am at a loss of words. I am filled with saddness and cannot imagine what you are going through right now. You are loving parents and words cannot express how deeply sorry I am that you have to endure this loss. I hope that your friends and family bring you strength and comfort during this difficult time. I hope you know that we love you and you are in our thoughts and prayers. I feel truly blessed to have met you and your family and I hope that eventually some of the pain will get easier.

    I KNOW NATALIE

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  94. Thank you for sharing Natalie with us on the Trach Board. Because you did, I can say, I know Natalie. My heart breaks for your family and I wish you all the strength and love in the world as you continue this journey.
    Monica (momoffive)

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  95. Natalie,
    your story has left me not knowing what to say to you. But i do know that many people loved you for the story you left them. It was your mothers love for you that touched the hearts so many people with you story. thank you mom
    love jeannette

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  96. Natalie will always be remembered... Sending love.

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  97. praying for your family and sending (((HUGS)))

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  98. Oh Jennifer, I am so sorry.

    I know Natalie - she was beautiful and strong and so very loved. She will not be forgotten.

    I wish there words that could bring comfort at this time. May you find yourself surrounded by love and find some comfort there. I know we've never met, but your family is in our hearts and thoughts and prayers.

    Ann & Chris

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  99. I am so sorry, she will never be forgotten.

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  100. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter Natalie. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. ((HUGS)) She will never be forgotten and "I Know Natalie."

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  101. Brenda Hayes (Beth's friend from Geneseo)October 19, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    Thank you for allowing me to get to know Natalie. She has forever touched my heart.

    I know Natalie.

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  102. I know Natalie.

    I followed your pregnancy while I was going through my own difficult one, then followed Natalie's incredible fight in the NICU. She has inspired even those of us who are far away to be brave and to love deeply, in the face of whatever life may bring. Natalie was loved in every moment of her life, I am so sorry for your loss.

    From one NICU mom to another, you are in my thoughts.

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  103. I'm here from Michele's blog, and just wanted to say how terribly sorry I am for the loss of your precious Natalie. Sending hugs and prayers as you face the difficult journey of loss ahead.

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  104. I am a friend of Nicole's and had been following this story on the blog. So sorry for your loss. Please know many people have been there pulling for Natalie and her memory will live forever.

    I know Natalie!

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  105. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  106. I KNOW Natalie. Sending peace and comfort today, tomorrow, and beyond. Tommy's Mommy

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  107. Thanks to you and this blog, I now know Natalie. I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts.

    I know Natalie!

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  108. I know Natalie and her story thank you to this blog. Hugs to you and your family as you continue to live this life without her. I will be sending prayers your way always.

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  109. May your days become easier to get through, and may memories of your precious little angel live in your hearts forever. My thoughts and prayers are with your sweet family.

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  110. Just came across your blog (from the BBC WDF forum). After reading about your story, I know Natalie.

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