A Tribute to “Haven”

Today is the anniversary of one of the darkest days of our journey of being a grandparent raising a grandchild.  It was 4 years ago today that “Haven”, Beth’s second daughter, and our 5th granddaughter at the time, died suddenly, only 5 months old.  The cause of her death was never clear.  She did have medical challenges throughout her brief existence on this earth.  Another part of the tragedy of her death was that Beth admitted to having taken Fentanyl and Percocet earlier that morning and when she awoke from the affects of those drugs, little Haven was blue and not breathing.  She called 911, but it was too late.

Haven’s death was a tragedy in so many ways and a tremendous loss.  A loss that I believe Beth, never recovered from.  A loss that still impacts our lives today.  A life that we missed experiencing. 

And yet, Haven’s loss offered Sebellah life, at least a chance at a life that she may not have had the opportunity to live had Haven’s tragedy not happened.  It was Haven’s death that led DCS to re-open Sebellah’s case because it had been closed and Beth had been given custody of Sebellah, although she never left our care.  Although initially she was going to fight it, Beth decided to support DCS’ order for Severance and Adoption.  A few months later, May 11th, 2018, we were able to adopt Sebellah.

This experience is a prime example of the paradoxical emotions and experiences that we have along this journey of grandparents raising grandchildren.  It is often not, “Either Or”, it is “Both”, and the “Both” are in conflict and confusing. The other paradox related to Haven was that we were hesitant to get attached, and then we did, and then she was gone.

Beth was admitted to a Psych hospital shortly after Haven’s death, and so we were left with the challenging task of having to make funeral arrangements and having to pick out the little coffin that she would lay in for eternity.  Along this journey, we are often the ones facing the most challenging of tasks.

Today, I want to pay tribute to “Haven” and even though her days were short, she brought immense joy and smiles to our faces.

We miss you!

Sharing the Journey,

Rich (Better known as “Pops”)

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I have been involved in the field of Human Services for 30 plus years. I teach in the field of Human Services for Purdue University Global. Allene is a stay at home "Lolli", after spending many years in the Healthcare field. We have 3 adult children and in May, 2018, we adopted our granddaughter, who is 6 years-old. We have had her since she was 5 months old. At the end of 2019, we moved to Mount Airy, North Carolina, as a part of a plan to downsize and give Allene the chance to retire, and be at home full-time. We are devoted to making a difference in Sebellah's life and also in the lives of other grandparents raising grandchildren.

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