Legacy of Love

Love’s Symphony

In the twilight of my grief

I heard your love like a symphony

Through missing pieces of my heart

Each note carrying a different part

And as these notes rose through the night

Love’s music filled the cracks with light


I wrote this poem for my daughter Kristin who passed away, on August 3, 2014, at the tender age of 16-months.  She was the brightest light I had ever known and she became one of my greatest teachers in life and in death.  I have come to know anger, grief, and fear through the loss of my daughter and I have also come to know strength, faith, and grace as well.  The greatest lesson my sweet angel has taught me is how to love and appreciate life.  Her death was a catalyst for immense change.  I was forced to be stronger than I ever wanted to be.  I was forced to come face-to-face with one of my greatest fears… the loss of a child.  The blessing came when I tapped into that wellspring of strength and realized that it had been there all along, just beneath the surface.

My journey to uncovering this strength came as I sat at her bedside, knowing in my heart of hearts that she was fading, and I promised her that I would go on living in her honor; that I would carry on a legacy of love that she had started in her short time with us.  You see, Kristin was born with Goldenhar Syndrome, a rare disorder that effects a child’s craniofacial and body development often leaving them disfigured and in need of numerous surgeries.  In some cases, the deformities are so severe that the child does not survive infancy.  In Kristin’s case her first surgery is what led to her death.  During her 16 months on this planet we ran a fundraiser to help support the medical expenses that were to arise from her medical care and surgeries.  Through this fundraising the world got to know my sweet Kristin and she inspired so many to go beyond what they thought possible.  The outpouring of support from around the globe renewed my faith, and many others’, in humanity.  This was the legacy I promised to carry on in Kristin’s name… hope and love.

Even though my life was ripped off of its foundation, and I was left staring into an abyss of uncertainty, I found comfort in knowing that she watched on from the other side.  I still feel her presence and her gentle reminders to keep my promise.  When I lay awake in bed, cursing the day or someone who crossed me, I remember her lesson… love.  I remember that each day I am given, even the “bad” ones, are days that she will never get to live.  I try to remember to let go and forgive so that I can make room in my heart for love.  And, I hold her little hand in my dreams and thank her for everything that she has taught me.

I tell this story because I believe it is important for others to know that they can keep going even after a devastating loss.  We owe it to those we’ve lost to live for them, to bring love to the places and people that hurt like we do, and to show our beloveds that we honor their lives – no matter how long or short – by not giving up.  I write this for Kristin who was/is the bravest soul I know.

2016-03-24 13.37.06
Sweet Kristin (aka Wee-Nut) – 03/22/2013 – 08/04/2014


About shinestudios.ny

SHINE = Sharing Hope, Inspiration, and New Experiences. Using a combination of mentoring (coaching), counseling, and empowerment through creative expression, I provide a safe place where people can heal and reconnect with their purpose, renew their passion for life, and create harmony between their mind, body, and Soul. SHINE was founded by me, Tanya Tiger, on November 03, 2014. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over a decade of hands-on experience working with people of all ages and from all walks of life. I am also a writer, artist, and ordained Interfaith Minister. My passion for mentoring and advocating was rekindled after the death of my youngest daughter in 2014, and my life was turned upside down. Creativity had always been an outlet for me and so I chose to take the indescribable pain of my loss and create something beautiful. Love, and rekindling joy through creativity, became my mission. In honor of my two daughters, SHINE was born. SHINE is the manifestation of the Love, Hope, and Faith I hold in my heart for everyone with whom I connect. You can find my writings here, on this blog, as well as at The Urban Howl (http://theurbanhowl.com/) and The Tattooed Buddha (thetattooedbuddha.com/). My Etsy shop is located at https://www.etsy.com/shop/ClaybeesDesigns I am also proudly partnered with Soul Journeys (http://www.journeyforlove.com/).
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2 Responses to Legacy of Love

  1. s j richmond says:

    You know when you randomly trawl through the internet, probably time that should be spent living and being with those you love, there is so much trash you trawl up and you throw it back but tainted still by its toxicity. Then you chance upon a story, like this and once again you believe in humanity and the power to overcome the most unbearable loss, the story of a beautiful angel and her beautiful mom and how no matter what they are stamped in time and gods love. Thankyou


    • shinestudios.ny says:

      Thank you… I’m sincerely touched by your comment and happy that my story gave you back some faith in humanity, even if it’s only a little. It can be difficult to remember what’s important in times like these.


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