This poem was written for Clara Jane McLaughlin by her mother Adrienne. Clara, the daughter of Daniel and Adrienne McLaughlin and sister of Devin, age 4, was born full-term on October 31, 2001 and died from perinatal asphyxia.
I’ve talked to you so much about your father and your mother,
But one I haven’t mentioned much is your dear and sweet brother.
He waited so patiently to hold you in his clutch.
And he promised you often that he’d share with you his mother.
When my labor began I gave him a hug,
And told him when I saw him next he’d have a baby he could love.
When we knew you wouldn’t live we decided he should see you,
It was the right choice, I know, because now he can grieve too.
When he finally came in, you were hooked up to tubes,
He was excited to meet you and at first seemed amused.
He smiled and he touched you and he didn’t yet understand,
That the baby he was finally holding would never walk or stand.
He handled it better than I would have imagined,
And now he often talks about his sister in Heaven.
He asks me why you left us on that Halloween day,
And I explain what I can in a childlike way.
He speaks of you often and says he’ll always be your brother,
And when he seems me crying, he tells me, “Don’t worry Mom, you’ll always be her mother.”