By: Kayla Leibner
I wrote this letter to my “just right friend” because I felt it was long overdue. It was so far past time to let her know that I recognize and am so grateful for her devotion and loyalty to me even in my most difficult times. If you are a bereaved parent, it is my hope and prayer that each of you also has a “just right friend” because I honestly don’t know how I would have made it this far on my journey without her! If you are here because someone you love is grieving their child, be this friend for them. Be what they need when they need it. Help your grieving friend feel that they’re never alone.
I needed to take just a minute or two to tell you what I’m thinking. There are so many things that I want to say, but I am struggling to find just the right words. Life has not always been kind or beautiful, but instead at times painful and harsh. Nevertheless, you’ve always been there – being just the right friend.
When I had to say goodbye to my babies you were there, strong and unwavering. You never ceased to put yourself on my level, and you continue to meet me right where I am each and every day. You have seen me at my worst and loved me still, knowing that part of the “old me” was still inside somewhere. Though I’ve transformed into a new version of myself, you love every part – the calm, cool and collected, but also the traumatized, tattered, and torn.
Thank you for being just the right friend while seeing me in my pain and hearing my silent cries. Even when my tragedy was in the past for others, you were still a listening ear. You never left, but instead you remained by my side as I continued to heal. Whether my steps moved forward or backward, or even if I was standing still, you stood with me to weather the storm.
Thank you for remembering. You love Melody and Jamie, even though they aren’t with us. You speak of them and say their names when that’s all I need to hear. You remember birthdays and send me your love, reminding me that I’m not alone. You are the friend that gives them the remembrance that my sweet babies deserve.
Thank you for justifying my every feeling, whether they were rational or not. I couldn’t possibly ask you for more, because you’ve given me validity in my grief. While others have judged, been uncomfortable, or simply turned away, you have been there to help me face my fears head-on. You are just the right friend because while there are a million other places you could be instead, you’re here choosing to sit with me in my grief. Thank you for being just the right friend, for never letting me be alone.
Your Grieving Mother Friend
About Kayla Leibner
Kayla is a Christian, a wife, a mom, and an educator. Faith and spiritual health are a top priority for her and also for her family. She strives to cultivate a supportive and spiritually uplifting atmosphere for her children at home. Until the summer of 2020, Kayla was an early childhood educator, but she lost her job due to the Covid-19 pandemic when her school was forced to close. The loss of her job turned out to be an unexpected blessing when she and her husband realized that she would be able to be at home with their oldest children as they completed school virtually.
Kayla and her husband have known one another for sixteen years, have been together for eight years, and have been married for seven years. They have four children together. Jace and Kiley are their older children. Melody and Jamie are their younger children – and also their angel babies.
Kayla and her family have been on their journey of grief since August 2017 when Melody died shortly after birth, due to complications of a CHD. Jamie was lost in May 2018 when Kayla suffered a miscarriage. Their family has worked together and relied heavily on God for guidance and support through their losses.
Kayla enjoys music (writing, singing, and playing instruments), art (sketching, drawing, and coloring for stress relief), and writing in her free time. She began writing for Sharing Magazine in 2019, and she feels so blessed to be able to contribute to such an amazing platform in honor of her babies. She hopes that her articles are able to provide support and comfort to families who read them.