Missing Amelia

Sometimes I don’t care that Amelia is in Heaven. I don’t care that “one day I’ll see her again”. I just want to hold my little girl again. I just want to see her face and squeeze her not-so-little belly. I want to watch Maverick play with her and kiss her and I want to see Beckham rub her head and hold her hand. Sadly, none of that will ever happen. It still doesn’t feel real, even three months later. There are still days when I tell the boys to be quiet so they don’t wake up their sister and there’s day when I walk into her room to check on her. I just want to feel her warm face against mine.

“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.” I’ve heard that saying before and although I have no idea where it came from I never knew how true it was until recently. It’s been three months since Amelia died but at times it feels like it was yesterday. Heaven is too far away of a place and we don’t even know what it will be like, so how is that any comfort?

Chanel and I are still trying to process everything while at the same time being present with our other kids. It’s hard to not get offended when people don’t ask us how we’re doing or when they just completely ignore the situation entirely and never reach out to us. We’ve been really surprised both by people who haven’t said a word to us about it and by people who we hardly knew that have become like family. Life feels rushed, like everyone is trying to get something done all the time, meanwhile we’re just sitting here still figuring out what happened. Why did she have to die? What are we supposed to learn from this? What could we have done differently?


The Medical Examiner called us several weeks ago with autopsy results and cause of death. They couldn’t find any reason for her death, no trauma, no respiratory issues, no head issues, and no brain issues. Because of having no findings they classified her death as Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy, or SUDI for short, which is the new SIDS. I found myself feeling angry when we got that call. I wanted to know the reason our baby girl went from healthy to gone in 12 hours. Why? Why? Why? The ME’s office had no answers for us.

Someone told me when everything first happened that eventually I would feel angry with God. I didn’t believe them at the time but I’m starting to understand why they said that. Don’t get me wrong, I know God is in charge, and I trust Him, yada, yada, yada. It still sucks. It sucks that we don’t get to see her grow up and it sucks that this is the way thing are now.

A few weeks after we got the results back from the ME I came to terms with the fact that it was just her time to go. SUDI, or SIDS, means that there is no explanation for the cause of death. It just happened. The more I thought about it the more it actually gave me peace. If science and medical professionals couldn’t explain her death then that meant that only God can. I know it sounds backwards but think about it. No one here on earth can explain her death. God only has our best interest in mind so the only logical conclusion I can come up with is that it was just her time to go.

Some good things have already come out of this tragedy. Several people have reached out to us and told us that they’ve reconnected with God or started going to church again. That alone makes it all worth it. I’ve said from the beginning of all this that I want Amelia’s life to count for something and if someone hears her story and recommits their life to God or even just  gets back in church then it makes it a little easier.

Three weeks before Amelia died I had a vasectomy because we were happy with our two boys and one girl and couldn’t imagine having anymore kids. Ha. Now we both believe that God has other plans so last month I flew to Oklahoma to have a reverse vasectomy (Michael Scott, had it done as well). We still miss our daughter more than words can say, and at least one night a week we just lay in her room and sob but we’ve taken comfort in knowing that she’ll always be a part of our family no matter what. I have so much more to write about this but I’ll save it for later. Thanks for reading and thank you for praying for us and with us.


18 thoughts on “Missing Amelia

  1. Heather LeFoll says:

    Peter and Chanel, If reading about Amelia hurts so much, I can only try to imagine the pain and grief you feel. Amelia fulfilled her purpose here, and has returned to her (our) Father in Heaven to do his will. He has a work for her to do, most likely for your family.

    You are very blessed that God choose you add her parents. That is a sacred trust, and he knew you would not fail him.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


    1. peterharpster says:

      Heather I don’t think we told you before but your first comment a few months ago about how we’re tied to her forever had both of us in tears. You words have meant a lot to us lately. Thank you for that.


  2. Verleen Richardson says:

    I have thought of you often just never really knew what to say. I cannot imagine how it feels to loose a child. But what I do know is that one day when we are all reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us, it will be a sweet reunion. Know your family has been in my prayers.
    Stay strong and continue to see God’s plan for the tragedy you have gone through.


  3. Keri Schade says:

    I have no words to heal your pain…so I’ll just continue to pray for your family. But please know that its evident God is working IN you and He is working THROUGH you during this time of incredible sadness. I know this because I FEEL his presence when I read your words…and He’s there when you’re in her room overcome by the sadness. He’s there. FEEL Him, FEEL his good, compassionate, strong arms wrapping around you and Chanel and know, that Amelia is being loved and cared for by someone far better than anyone on this earth. I send much love, continued prayers, and eternal peace for you Peter.


  4. Nancy Calhoun says:

    Peter, I have been following your story. (I love your momma.). I am awed by your ability to articulate your grief in such a real way. My prayers have been with your family. The quote you give is from Job 1:21 and the next line is–blessed be the name of the Lord. Just remember that God is glorified by your response to difficult situations. My prayer is that you will continue to lead your family well!


  5. Linda Potgieter says:

    Peter, we met once and I have only spoken with your Mom online. But whilst we don’t know one another well, I am so deeply sorry to learn of your family’s story. I was very moved by your transparency and your courage. I am praying tonight for you, Chanel and your children.

    Linda Potgieter


  6. Jamie says:

    Oh Peter…my heart just aches for you guys. I can’t imagine the pain you live with, and all the what ifs….you guys’ strength is an inspiration to me. I pray for your peace, and resilience~Jamie


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