It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

Sep 27, 2017 by     13 Comments    Posted under: Uncategorized

I had an incident this summer that changed me forever. My youngest child, Gemma, fell off of a dock into the water, and even though I saw it happen, it took me much too long to grab ahold of her and get her out of the deadly abyss.

It’s still too hard for me to replay how it all happened moment by moment. Maybe some day I’ll tell all of you. But in short, she had a body full of water once I got her out, and even though we were successful in tipping her upside down and having the water gush out, we still took her in to the ER for observation. I didn’t tell Hans right away because I pictured going up there, having them do an x ray, getting great results, and heading back out to our vacation spot to make supper for the gang. I wonder now if this is what your mind does in times of major stress. As the story unfolds, no matter now awful it is, your mind always comes up with the best case scenario for the next part of the story.

The ER wasn’t so quick to let us go on our way. Her results were great. She passed all of her tests with flying colors. But they wanted to keep her overnight for observation. So we stayed on. I was in such rough shape myself at this point that I didn’t complain at all.

My friend, Marne, was the one to haul us in, and she stayed with me until Hans came to take over. I had texted him to come at the point that the doctor explained to me how serious secondary drowning can be.

I found myself laying face down on the hallway floor at one point, the cold floor tiles pressed against my forehead and nose, praying like I have never prayed before. The chance of her getting worse  wasn’t likely, but the doctor chose, for some reason, to go there. In all of the research I’ve done since that day, it was completely unnecessary for him to alarm us with the possibility of death at this point in the game.

But he did.

And I lay down on the hallway floor while Gemma screamed in the other room in Marne’s arms while they tried to get electric cords glued to her chest to see if her heart was holding up against the stress she had been under. And I prayed. And she screamed. And Hans roared in on Kenny Johnson’ boat from Lake Superior as fast as Kenny’s boat would go. Marne held onto my baby for dear life, I held onto my prayer, and Hans held onto the edge of the boat.

They gave up on heart testing. They unglued all of the cords and left her to recover from her tears. Hans arrived. I came back into the room to relieve Marne. And we all started to make a long, slow recovery from our trauma back to normal. But what is normal, anyway? I now knew how it was to have loved and almost lost.

Later, in our 3rd floor room, Gemma looked out the window at the clear, blue sky and said, “Look, there’s God!” as clear as day. There was no mistaking what she said. I looked and saw only blue. But she didn’t. She saw God. We all cried again, but this time, the tears were different. They were tears of love and support, for one another, for God’s love, and for all of those who really did have to hand their babies over to His loving arms during those traumatic moments when it really was a possibility. We were there. We almost had to hand her over. But we didn’t this time.

There is no saying if there will be another time that we find ourselves in this same spot, though. And God might be there to really collect his angel from us. And we will have to be ok with it and go on living on this earth.

What a thought that is.

Having gone through this gave me some new insight to loving and losing. When we fall in love with someone, whether it be a spouse, or a child, or a pet, or a friend, or a mother or father, or even a stuffed animal, we are taking a chance on our heart. And how very painful it is, then, when we have to say good bye. But I am confident that if you asked anyone that has loved and lost, I am sure that they would say the love was worth the pain. A million times over, worth the pain.

I have been looking through my lens with a new and profound eye since that day.

My job often has me there in that meaningful moment. THAT moment. And I have never taken it for granted, but now, I find myself dabbing my eyes on the way home more often than I used to. I feel so thankful to FEEL SO MUCH in this life.




















This picture was taken the day after we got out of the hospital.


pc: Claire



































Everything in this life is fleeting, and every person is too. Nothing lasts forever. Love with all of your heart.









It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.



13 Comments + Add Comment

  • Heart tears dripping. Pictures captured the loves…

  • Your words made my heart beat a little faster and my eyes get a bit misty, almost feeling your fear and desperation for everything to be okay. And your series of photos show so many precious sides of love, enough to make the mist turn to tears. Yes indeed, it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. Love and hugs to you as you continue to process the incident with Gemma.

  • Love to you
    An excellent reminder of how precious life is.

  • Brita.❤️❤️I’m just bawling over this. Love to you! Very beautiful words and pictures!

  • We never know when the end will come. Thank you for the reminder. Love to you.

  • Brita – you have such a way to capture those precious, precious moments. <3

  • Wow. Awesome post! <3

  • 💕

  • Oh! The story and the pictures……thanks for sharing.

  • You are a wise and awesome soul.

  • Oh Brita! My heart!

  • Oh how I love your sweet soul, Brita!! And what a special blessing (& gift) you have to be able to share your sweet words and God given talent of taking and capturing these precious moments for others to see!

  • Thank you for this good reminder to be thankful – instead of apologetic – for this heart i wear on my sleeve. I find myself apologizing for it some of the time and continually tamping it down, tamping it down, tamping it down…in my mind. Because it seems we can run cold or we can run hot, which is never comfortable, our prayer would be that our hearts wouldn’t become lukewarm.


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