Welcome – I’m Katie Stern and my husband, Dan, and I live in one of the best cities – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We named this blog, Our Happy Place, because we realized that wherever this journey takes us, we’re going to enjoy the ride together.
I am blessed to be married to my amazing husband, Dan, of five years. We welcomed our first son, Lucas, in September of 2014 and not long after were pregnant with our second son, Toby, who we welcomed in May of 2016. Our life took a complete tailspin on Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Toby passed away, in his sleep, from SIDS. Dan and I are trying to comprehend this new path we have been placed on, while being the best parents we can be for our amazing two year old, Lucas.
When we started this blog three years ago, our intentions were to write about the amazing things that were happening in our lives. To be able to share the joy and laughter that comes with starting a family and raising our children. Tears, anger, loneliness, sorrow, disbelief and grief were not at all part of that plan. Now, they are everyday occurrences in our lives.
I have always loved to write. I went through periods in my life growing up when writing about anything felt very natural and held great meaning to me. When I started to write again three years ago, that attachment came back because of 1,000’s of prayers that were answered and many nights of crying as we struggled to conceive. But, out of that came great joy – the biggest blessings in our lives – Lucas & Toby.
When we first started talking to grief counselors after Toby’s death, one of them suggested writing, or journaling, about what we were feeling. As a way to get the sad and emotionally consuming pieces out of our head so we didn’t have to keep replaying them, over and over. But also to not lose them, which is what we were afraid of, because we (Dan and I) are each dealing with different feelings of guilt, sorrow, doubt and deep depression.
I have no idea where this will go. How long I will write. For the first few weeks after Toby’s death I searched for “real people” (blogs) that talked about grief, child loss, SIDS, healing, faith – anything to help me feel something. What I noticed was that no matter what I read, the way people expressed or dealt with grief was so very different – but very much the same. To many, I’m sure that will make no sense. To those that have suffered a traumatic loss, you may know exactly what I mean. My hope is that by sharing our lives, opening our hearts, to whomever may read this, that maybe we can help someone dealing with grief, loss, sadness, unbelievable circumstances that have entered your life, in whatever stage it may be.
We have not even left the sight of the starting line on this immeasurable journey that our lives have detoured to, and we/I, by no means am pretending to know how to heal from any of this, or even if we will heal at all. But we made a promise to Toby, that we would work to do good in his name; we want people to know his story; we want to bring joy to the world in some way, even the smallest way, through his name. Thank you for reading our story and following along, with our faith leading us, as we travel off the path that we imagined for our lives.