Moments that take your breath away…..

August 8, 2012
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by Lindsey Wimmer, MSN, CPNP
Today, I was picking my son Grant up from camp.  I told the counselor his name and this young man then turned around and said, “Garrett Wimmer, your mom is here.”  Names often sound alike and can be changed around in the midst of noise and other distractions.  But this mistake took my breath away because Garrett Wimmer is Grant’s older brother – his brother who was stillborn.We recently marked Garrett’s 8thbirthday.  In many, many ways, I can see that we have grown and come to a sense of peace with his death that I once didn’t think was possible.  I still miss him, I still think of him every day, and it is still the most painful time of my life.  Little moments like this one at camp remind me that even 8 years isn’t very long when you’re talking about the death of your child.  These are the unexpected moments that bring tears to my eyes in the middle of a routine task.  Yet these are moments I cherish.These moments validate that Garrett will ALWAYS be a part of our family and will always mean as much to me as my other children do.  He will never be forgotten.  I remember looking at my stretch marks a few months after Garrett died and thinking how grateful I was to have physical proof that I was a mother and that he existed.  This day at camp was an emotional equivalent to seeing those stretch marks.It also made me wonder how this innocent teenager working a summer camp would have said THAT name over any other.  How did this young man play such an important role in my life today?  I like to believe that it was Garrett’s way of saying hi and telling me he was there.  I know many people would think I’m crazy, but those moments and what they mean to me have been a significant part of my healing journey.  Others may have their version of this comfort, and that is great.  My wish for every parent who has ever suffered the death of a child is to find their own path to comfort and peace, in whatever form it takes.That is was this camp counselor did for me today.  He gave me a moment that is bittersweet – a painful reminder, yet a welcome remembrance.  At this point in my journey, I treasure both.


About the author:

Lindsey Wimmer, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, is Mom to four children; Garrett, stillborn in 2004, Grant, Bennett and Austyn. Lindsey is an adjunct instructor of pediatrics at the St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and also teaches Maternal Child Health at Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, MN.   Lindsey and her husband Trent founded the Star Legacy Foundation shortly after Garrett’s birth when realizing that the numbers of stillbirths in the US were staggering and that very little was being done to determine the causes or find prevention initiatives. Visit the Star Legacy Foundation to learn more.


Lisa Gustas

That was beautiful Lindsey. It’s funny how their messages come through to us at times. He is still in my thoughts daily after what will be seven years next week. Remember when I called you when I heard this had happened to you only the year before? Still so painful at times but a beautiful reminder how precious life is.

I like to think of those moments as an unexpected “Hi, mom.” They are bittersweet moments. I lost my twin daughters a week apart in December 2012. I find myself constantly looking forward to them.

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