by name

Somebody shared a saying with me that struck a chord.

A mother instinctively protects her child. A grieving mother instinctively protects her child’s memory.

Few things have been so poignantly accurate for me in any part of this horrible journey. Tony and I talked about it today. About sharing the video of our Julys (the 4th and the garlic festival) with her, with family..We talked about how scary it is to know that people won’t always be willing or wanting to sit down and give 10 minutes of a celebration to her.

We are now surrounded by child loss.. although it is a club nobody wants to join it is a club that is tight with its members. And everybody I have talked to shares stories about how and when it happens to them.

I am actually going to keep this blog really short.. I want to write to my family tonight. To be really clear about my fears and our desires.. and to ask about theirs as well.

But I want to share publicly. Say the child’s name.

If you know somebody that has lost their child and you care for them. Say the child’s name. ..find ways to  include them in holidays and celebrations ..

If you are getting married and the child would have likely been part of it include them in your program.  Because there will never be a wedding I go to that I won’t cry for her.. even my own children’s weddings I will cry for them and for the one that is forever absent.

If you would have gotten them a gift for Christmas or Hanukkah make a donation in the child’s name. I always try hard not to say “I know how it will be” for anything because everything changes .. but some things I truly know…I know 25 years from now..watching my grandchildren open their gifts I will miss her. I will think of her.

So just do something.. to let them know that their baby was thought of and remembered ..

and missed.

by name.

Jennifer Heart

 …until there is a cure

47 Responses to “by name”

  1. As I told you before, a white butterfly flies through our yard in Sunol daily. We named her Jennifer and talk about her everytime we see a white butterfly. Jennifer will never be forgotten. Hugs…

  2. I think of you and Jennifer often and always pray for you when I do. Your blog has had a huge impact on my life. I’ll keep reading whatever you write and I’ll pray for you and your family always.

  3. Absolutely! It’s the only way to keep them “alive”! Do things for her! Because of her! Say her name! Jennifer! Precious Jennifer! Angel Jennifer! With all my heart, I understand! Lots of love!

  4. I think of Jennifer every time someone says my name. Or my roommate’s name. As all three of us share the same name. She is a beautiful child and an angel looking down smiling at all of us. My thoughts are with you Libby. And in 5 weeks we will be sitting in the Greek theater together listening to your Jennifer’s (and now my) favorite song at Sara Bareilles’ concert.

  5. Libby I got the the book heaven is for real that you read to is at Jennifer’s celebration of life. In fact I got 2 one for each of my little ones we read it daily to my little ones at bedtime. I talk to them about how your Jennifer is now in heaven and how special she is. I know I have never met you or Jennifer in person but my heart is with you and your family. My husband read your posts together we cried together for you, Tony, the kids and most importantly Jennifer. She will always be in our hearts. I do have a request. Someday could you blog Jennifer’s birth story? We know you struggled for so long to have Jennifer in your life but we would love to hear that too. Thank you Libby

  6. My Girls and I talk about Jennifer often and I share the photos and videos from your blog. She is remembered. She is loved. Hugs to all 6 of you!!

  7. What a simple and poignant thing to share and thank you for it. I know it rings true for me in terms of my own loss. I promise to honor this desire. Jennifer Lynn.

  8. Jennifer Lynn Kranz. I will always remember her. Jennifer. ..she will never be forgotten. She is apart of my heart forever. I talk about her all the time. I think about her every day. I say good morning to her every morning. Thankyou for sharing your Beautiful Jennifer with us. We love all of you. All 6 of you. ♡♡♡♡♡♡

  9. I talk about Jennifer and think of her all the time, I even talk to her, she’s in my heart and soul, Jennifer will never be forgotten and always and forever I’m my heart and so will you and your family of 6. Big hugs for all of you.

  10. Emily and I talk about Jennifer often. Emily asks about her a lot. I really hope she and my nephew Holden have met in heaven. Love and hugs!

  11. I talk to my boys about her. They are only 22 months but have seen the video of when she sings to Charlotte ( my fave video of her as well) “baby mine” and they are mesmerized by it. I could never forget her- after all we have the same first name. I think of you at least a few times a day and actually your blog is the first thing I read in the morning. Love you and JENNIFER, Tony, Charlotte and the boys

  12. Sending hugs and love to all 6 of you. Thankful you share your precious Jennifer with all of us. So sorry you have to experience this great loss and pain. Thinking about you guys all the time. XO

  13. JLK forever. I truly appreciate your blog. I have lost friendships when I lost my little girl to DIPG. I watch parents who knew her, who had children that played with her, avoid me. I know they do not know what to say, so they say nothing. I think that hurts more than anything. Our children did live. They did have a huge impact on our lives, on our views. We are forever changed. I will forever have the same feelings missing what never had the chance to be. Every celebration will feel her absence. Every day will have a missed opportunity. Alyson Nicole Usher…Forever 6, Never forgotten.

  14. I agree so much, Libby. I often feel like people get tired of me talking about Aidan, of bringing up his name. But I do it anyway, because it is what I have left. He is with me every moment of every day, and saying his name is a way to let other people know that. It is very rare that anyone else says his name without me saying it first, bringing him up first. But if they do, it means so very, very much to me. That he came to their mind, and they felt it was worth saying…that he was worth saying.

    1. Yes exactly. I hope people read this.. I hope people trust our words that we even more than want.. that we need their names to be said. Aidan.

  15. Thank you for sharing that because honestly sometimes people don’t know what to say or not so say without upsetting anyone Jennifer will not be forgotten in my home or our hearts

  16. Libby your words are always so touching and so true. What a beautiful girl Jennifer is and she touched so many lives. I read your blog everyday and sometimes in the afternoon while I am reading it my husband comes in from work and asks me are you reading about that little girl? I say yes I am. He will look at the pictures and just shake his head and tears come to his eyes and he says its so sad and he is so right it is sad to have lost Jennifer at such a young age. But I can tell you she has touched so many lives in so many homes and in so many ways. Jennifer will never be forgotten that is for sure not by me. She has touched my life in so many ways and I think of her through out the day. God blessed you with a beautiful daughter Jennifer that’s for sure. We ask why was her life short lived? We don’t have the answer but someday you will get your answer. Thinking of you Libby, Tony, Charlotte, Nicolas, Johnathan, and always Jennifer. Sending you prayers of comfort and strength!! <3 <3

  17. Thank you for allowing me to have a deeper and more meaningful understanding of this. I do not know any parents in “the club” personally but it’s very helpful to hear your well thoughtout words, so that if that moment were to present itself, I might be slightly more knowledgable. As always, your grace and openness humbles me. Jennifer Lynn. I’ll say her name aloud and remember your family.

  18. Jennifer….a girl I never had the fortune of knowing in person. Jennifer…. The little girl angel I now think of daily. A family I now think of and am gut wrenched by your loss. Astonished at your continued strength…..I know I would not have it. I will also add Aiden and Alyson and their parents …I wish you as much peace as possible

  19. Sadie drew a picture yesterday with a girl above some clouds. She labeled it with a J for Jennifer. She is always in my thoughts.

  20. Well said Libby! You never expect the pain that comes from others in this way. If there is any question, ask the bereaved family if it’s something they are comfortable talking about. In the 3 years in this club, I have never encountered anyone that doesn’t want to hear their deceased child’s name. Our children have died, we beg you to keep their memory alive & acknowledge they lived.

  21. Jennifer…..Alyson…..Aidan…..Holden……

    I “remember” you all, and I speak your names with love and reverence for your lives here on this earth, but also for the very essence of who each of you will always be, now and forever.

  22. Agreed! We were talking about Jennifer on the 4th with some family. N told them she was his best friend. Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer! Sweet Jennifer!

  23. Libby,
    Our family thinks about Jennifer daily. She is regularly included in our prayers and we think of her daily when we are in the car and a certain song comes on that reminds us of her 🙂

  24. Hi Libby! As you know our kids were not close, but ever since we first learned of Jennifer’s illness we have conversations about her everyday. They talk to each other about her and they tell
    Their friends and now family )we r in Romania). Various clouds, butterflies, girls with bangs, and especially songs from the service gets them to mention her very mater a factly. I too think of her a bit and of you a lot every day! Hugs and love forever!!!

  25. Jennifer, A heart I felt, a cup I sat on melody’s tummy before you came into this world.. I watched you kick it because I had it so cold you flipped it off her stomach.. The only memory I will ever have of you near me but God saw a plan bigger then life a plan so huge he used you in it.. He gave you to wonderful people – they two that would love you, be there for you share you and be more then generous with you but most of all he you Parents!!! Libby & Tony you are the best gifts God gave to us as well!! I say prayers often for all of you but I say “Jennifer” regular! A voice I only heard once but God again new his plan and gave you courage and strength Libby to call me and let me hear her voice – a gift I will cherish forever… You are an amazing women, an amazing Mom and Tony an amazing Dad!! I love all of you and am thankful God gave Jennifer YOU!!! <3

  26. Libby.. I dont respond here often…but this touched me so much. We continue to celebrate my nieces birthday each year..our family is spread out all over the country – but we each gather at our dinner tables on March 27th and have her favorite meal, shepard’s pie and peanut butter pie for dessert…posting photos and lighting candles.. Aliza Jean Stutzman will forever be remembered… You all are in my thoughts…thank you for sharing Jennifer with us…

    1. I love it.. truly just read it to Tony through tears. What a gift you give to her parents. Aliza Jean Stutzman

  27. What is in a name? Jennifer is the Cornish form of the Welch name Gwenhwfar and a variant if the name Guinevere. Gwen means white, fair, blessed, holy and hwyfar meaning smooth and soft. Of course Jennifer was an American princess much like Guinevere, described as one of the great beauties of Britain, descended from a noble Roman family, was highly educated and was praised for her friendliness and gentility. Jennifer’s eyes were soft and her smile gentle. She was strong and had so much courage. A true princess.

  28. I mentioned your name today ( because I need to bring over that video game bike you bought at the garage sale last month) and right away Sofia wanted to talk about your JENNIFER.

  29. Jennifer Lynn Kranz , because of you I have forever been changed. Jennifer Lynn Kranz, I never met you but a corner of my heart belongs to you and only you.

  30. My daughter wears her JLK bracelet always (along with her bracelets from Caley). She recently made sure to wear them both to Disneyland because she said she feels like Jennifer and Caley will experience things spiritually as long as we’re thinking of them. Jennifer has forever changed our lives!

  31. A woman I met once told me about the pain and regret she felt over not having a third child. She may have had a miscarriage buti don’t remember what I have NEVER forgotten was the image she gave me of still to this day when her grown kids come to her house and even with their kids she always leaves the door open a few seconds – long enough for one more. I was so honored that she shared that with me. It helped me later when I suffered loss and I thought of how we all should hold the door open, make a space at the table, speak a child’s name in conversation, pray out loud, talk out loud, share stories and memories, show photos and make remembering active!

  32. Very well said, and something I did not nor would of thought of. Libby words are touching souls and opening minds.
    I remember Jennifer through your eyes. Thank you for sharing her with us!

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