Letter: ‘For This, We Are Forever Grateful’

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When we moved to New Canaan, I knew three facts: we would be near my brother and his family, we would finally have more than 1500 square feet of living space, and our children would get a top-notch education. My biggest fears, expressed to many closest to me were: Would I make friends and how would I fill my family’s fridge and bellies with food when we lived 12 minutes from the closest food store and I worked full time?

On December 10th, my son died at our home after being accidentally struck by a vehicle and suffering severe head trauma upon impact with our driveway. He was 21 days shy of his 2nd birthday. We experienced the unimaginable.

Back in late spring 2017, 2 days before we moved our family of 5 from New York City to New Canaan, we found out I was surprisingly pregnant with Lukey. And, less than two and a half years later, Lukey was surprisingly gone. How? What could I have done to prevent this? How did a million micro-decisions – and, at times, bigger decisions like moving to a place where we drive cars and have driveways, and don’t have bolt locks and doormen and our amazing nanny – cause such a horrific outcome? How, how, how? My rational, organized mind was searching for an input, an explanation, and action to blame. I simply could not shake what I now see is basically Newton’s Third Law of Motion: every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

It wasn’t until a few days after Lukey died that someone helped me see there was one word in that equation that simply was not true about our circumstance: EQUAL. There are no actions, no inputs that come even remotely close to equaling that horrific reaction, that terrible outcome which was our son dying.

In the days since I have started to emerge from the fog, one thing has become clear: this town, the hearts of fellow parents and our unbelievable tribe of family, friends, acquaintances and neighbors are carrying our family through. This community, of which we are so blessed to be a part, and our cast of loved ones who embrace us from near and far, have proven Newton wrong yet again. They have showered us with not even remotely an equal reaction to the loss of our boy, but instead an unbelievably huge, immeasurable, outsized reaction of incomprehensible magnitude. For this, we are forever grateful.

10 thoughts on “Letter: ‘For This, We Are Forever Grateful’

  1. Such a beautiful love letter to a beautiful community. We love you and your family, Kate. Lukey will be missed and loved and remembered. Hugs to you, Conner and the kiddos. -Monica & Charlie

  2. You are such a brave and strong woman! Thank you for this beautiful letter. I have been thinking of you and your family non-stop and hope that you find comfort in the thoughts of your precious Lucas.

  3. I walk my dog on Cross Ridge every day and have probably waved to you and your kids at the bus stop. So while I have never actually met you, I feel a deep sorrow for your loss that is hard to explain. Everybody feels for Lukey and your family.

    That said, I’d like you and your husband to google “the 5 stages of grief”. We all lead high pressure lives and understanding how grief works will help you and your family get around tougher times.

    Also pay special attention to the kids as they tend to grieve internally and sometimes engage in risky behavior.

    Wish you and your family the best.

  4. Dear Kate. I met you at the South school basketball game last week and we had such a great chat. Ever since that hectic afternoon, I have been trying to find you to connect – maybe get a drink or talk about our crazy lives as working moms, or even have a play date / have you over with your family to our home with your kids , as my twins would absolutely adore them.
    I couldn’t seem to find you until that terrible day and my heart broke in a million pieces when I saw what tragedy fell upon your beautiful family and the person I was searching to connect with.
    There are no words that I can even begin to say to express my sadness and pain felt for you and your family.
    I felt compelled to attend the service. It was a stunning tribute to your precious Lukey, and your husbands speech was full of such elegance, humility and class.
    Just as you were when I met you, such a strong woman, I watched in amazement as you kept yourself dignified for your littles, who I saw cling to you for strength.
    I think you’re an incredible person, and anyone in the community that I have come across has only said the loveliest things.
    I wanted to reach out, I know we barely know each other but I wanted to express how I think about you all and wanted to send my love and strength. And if you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to make you laugh with a wildly inappropriate joke, or someone to have a real conversation with, please know I am here (Long Island girl to Jersey girl) and would love to be a friend.
    Sending so much Love.
    Melissa Mauro

  5. Kate, we have never met but I have been thinking about your family constantly. We too, lost a child in September. She was 15 and died from complications from a second bone marrow transplant. There are no words to describe the pain and suffering from losing a child, but your words of praise for our community could not have been more perfect. This community carries people through hard times and does not let anyone suffer alone. Healing takes time, we are still grieving, but I promise you it gets easier and you will smile and laugh once again. I hope to one day have the chance to meet you. All my love, Jacqueline Griffiths

  6. Kate, we have never met you and your beautiful family. But know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Your letter above was beautiful. Thinking about you all and if there’s any way we can support you further we will. xo The Kloud Family.

  7. Kate, I hope this finds you. We too experienced great sadness just after moving here. I can’t imagine your loss. For us, our little one lived as we recovered from the fogginess, the weight of it all, new acquaintances, now old friends, have become the most meaningful, unimaginable gifts to us, years later. Thinking so dearly of you all. We are here with you in spirit, my husband and I, though we have never met.

  8. You have been in my thoughts and prayers from the minute I heard. You are correct in everything that you say. New Canaan = caring. We are a community even for those that we have not met. It really should be like this in all of life as far as life being a Community of humans caring for humans but we know that this is not always the case.
    There is only one thing I want you to know is that you are not alone.
    This community of New Canaan truly cares about you and your family and will do anything that you could ever need of us. We care. We want to help in any way and we love you.
    Laura Ciancio

  9. Im so sad and sorry for the loss of sweet Luke. Your words are incredibly moving and powerful. I believe in community and the ability to help heal. I love you so much. Robin F Julie’s sister

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