Birthdays · Child Loss · Grief


He should have turned four.

October 20, 2014, he should have turned 4.

We were so close.


3 years, 9 months and 23 days to be exact.

So when October 20, 2014 began to approach, it was important for us to find a way to celebrate a life that lived so well.

Birthdays have always been so important to us. We celebrate them with as much pizzaz as we can.

This one made me panic.

I wanted to throw up.

I didn’t know how to do this.

How will October 20th ever be a happy day again?

With weak knees, I ordered cupcakes.

I made a plan. It was simple.

We would stop at the graveside and breathe for a moment.

Then we would meet up at our favorite park, one that was a milestone in Mattie’s life.

His first ever family outing and our favorite place for family picnics.


We faced this  milestone almost 2 months from the day Mattie passed away.

It was so soon to have our first big “first”.

So I ordered pizza.

And we had a picnic.

Because birthdays should be celebrated in the park.


And we wanted to be where Mattie would have wanted us to be.


We ate pizza and wrote love notes on balloons.





And we had so much sadness in our hearts that the boy we all loved was not there.




And then we sent our messages to the only place our hearts could go.




And then we watched an amazing video tribute commemorating Mattie’s 3rd birthday that our friend Brooklyn surprised us with.


And I don’t understand why this incredible child lived only 1,392 days.

Why couldn’t we have celebrated birthay #4 and #5, #12, #16 and so many many more?


But I promise you that in a place deep in my heart, I will celebrate everyone.

Because the day this boy entered my life, October 20, 2010 was a day that changed me forever.


6 thoughts on “Four

  1. Your courage just shocks me sometimes. I’m at a very rough stage (last year was the 2nd-worst in my life) and I just want to crawl into bed and shut the world out. I know you don’t necessarily feel brave right now, but that’s what the Loux family is to me.

  2. Dear Tracie and Family, I’ve just read you last three posts here and of course watched the video of Mattie’s last birthday party. I don’t have any words for you and it would be unfair of me to tell you how heartbroken I am watching and reading when I never met Mattie and so can only imagine that for those who loved him personally, well I cannot fathom their grief and sadness. I will keep reading as long as you keep sharing and for what it is worth, know that there is a mother here in Ireland who weeps for you and for your son and family and hears your words and your pain.

    With much love

    Tracie (also a Tracie)

  3. I read articles from “the Mighty” quite often but your stories of your children and especially the death of Mattie touched my heart. I weeped for you and your family and for a boy with so much potential (my husband thinks I’m crazy). I watched your videos and smile over Mattie’s pictures. All of you live with such courage and love it’s amazing. I also wanted to say that my firstborn son was born two days after Mattie in the same year 2010. I will continue to follow your words for as long as you choose to share. Much bleasings to you all.

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