Kirra Faith was scheduled to join our family in February of 2008. We were all very excited for her arrival, knowing that she would be the perfect addition to our family. We had decided on her name shortly after we learned that our new baby would be a girl. Kirra is a beautiful surf beach in Australia that her father John, dreamed of visiting one day. Faith felt like a perfect pairing, not only because it sounded beautiful together, but as a young family with one highly-spirited 18 month old, soon-to-be-big-brother, Ryder and another baby on the way – our faith was constantly being tested.
A few days before our scheduled delivery date, I was experiencing severe pain and made an emergency trip to the hospital. Kirra and I were evaluated and sent home with what the nurse diagnosed as “false labor”. After a few more hours and no relief from the pain, I returned back to the hospital with a terrible feeling that something was wrong. Unfortunately, my intuition proved true. I had experienced a placental abruption and by the time we returned back to the hospital, Kirra Faith had passed away.
After the delivery, we were given the opportunity to meet and hold our precious baby girl. She was absolutely beautiful and completely perfect in every way. I will never forget the quiet moments I got to spend alone with her, cradling her in my arms as I attempted to memorize every single detail of her angelic face. I remember wishing harder than I have ever wished in my entire life, that she would just open her eyes and let out a soft cry.
I spent the next few days in a cloudy haze, my body and heart attempting to heal. Our family was in complete disbelief and we left the hospital feeling broken, lost, and hopeless. I turned all of my attention towards planning her funeral. I realized that it would be the only event I would ever plan for my daughter, making the importance seem monumental. On top of the emotional roller coaster we had been riding, we faced a financial mountain we were not capable of climbing. The agony of wanting everything to be perfect, while struggling to stay within our budget was torture. Without the amazing support of our family and friends, we would not have made it through that dark time. It takes a village to survive a tragedy like this and I have always felt like I had an “Army of Angels” helping me through, led by my strongest little angel, Kirra Faith.
The past ten years have been an indescribable journey through phases of anger, depression, and guilt mixed with periods of gratitude, joy, and hope. Not a day goes by that we are not reminded of her physical absence in our life and at the very same time lifted up by her spiritual presence. Every year on Kirra Faith’s anniversary day, Ryder and I try to do something special and the 10th anniversary was the perfect motivation we needed to get the foundation launched. We have learned the importance of allowing yourself to grieve, no matter how long it takes or what it looks like. And most of all we have learned to celebrate the life we have been given and the love we share with one another, because we know, very intimately, how delicate it is.
The Kirra Faith Foundation was created to help support families who experience the tragedy of losing a baby and we strive to help them L.I.V.E. again. Our mission is to offer support and resources, while helping to instill faith back into their lives. We want to provide a safe place in which to validate the grieving process and honor the story of each precious angel. Eventually, we hope to forge new paths together that will help us evolve and transform immense pain into growth.
Thank you for being a part of our journey and letting us share our little angel with you.
- Founder, Jennifer Sheller
To honor Kirra's 9th Anniversary Date, we raised over $1,100 that was used to purchase supplies for an organization in Manassas, VA that offers transitional housing for homeless women and children.