Goodbye Sweet Girl

Gwen is an angel
Halloween, 1998

It is with sorrow that I write to tell you that our precious daughter Gwen passed away peacefully in our arms early Wednesday morning. She had contracted a flu that developed into pneumonia from which she could not recover.

We thank God for her life which was rich and full of people who loved her, and for our family, friends and even strangers who are carrying us through this sad sad time.

Visitation will be Monday, September 28 at Idlewild Presbyterian Church in Memphis from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. with a memorial service to follow at 4:00 p.m. A full obituary will appear on Friday or Saturday in the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Every parent’s dearest wish is that his/her children are happy, and we were granted that blessing in both Gwen’s life and her easy passing.

Thank you to all you dear people who journeyed with us and with Gwen through this blog.

Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.


52 Responses to “Goodbye Sweet Girl”

  1. Bertha Says:

    I cannot stop sobbing. My heart is completely broken for you. I am so, so sorry. I don’t even know what else to say. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  2. Angie (lullabye123) Says:

    I am so sorry. Words cannot express how heavy my heart is and how much I wish I could offer some sort of comfort to help you. Gwen touched a lot of lives and her memory will live on in all of us that were privileged to learn about her through the loving words of her mother.

    Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
    Hold on to what you believe even if it is a tree which stands by itself.
    Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
    Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
    Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
    ~Pueblo Blessing

  3. liveparadox Says:

    Sarah, I am so sorry. I don’t know what to say either; I wish I was your neighbour so I could be there for you in person. You’ll be in my heart always, and my virtual door is always open.


  4. hammerquill Says:

    Oh, Sarah. I am so sorry. What is there that anyone can say? All our hearts are wrung with sadness for Gwen, and you, and gwensdad.

  5. melissa Says:

    we love you, dear sarah.

  6. cyph0r Says:

    I am so so sorry to hear and am very sorry that I did not know sooner that Gwen was ill. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family. Gwen will forever be watching down on earth up in heaven! *hugs* and condolences.

  7. Tamara Says:

    Oh Sarah! I can’t even begin to collect my thoughts to say anything. My heart goes out to you and Gwensdad. I’m heartbroken that the world has lost such a wonderful little angel.

  8. Andrea Says:

    Aww, Sarah & Gwensdad — I am so sad to see you lose your little angel so early in her life! Know that she touched everyone’s lives who met her (be it in person or through your blog) and saw her gorgeous smile. If there’s anything I can do, don’t hesitate to ask


  9. Vickie Says:

    Sarah..I cried when I received this….you and Gwens dad ensured in every way possible that Gwen had a full life-and how very dear to you both that Gwen did not end up suffering greatly..big big hugs all the way from here , cheers Vickie

  10. LauraJ Says:

    My heart is broken into a million tiny pieces for you, Gwen’sdad and for Gwen. May she run happily amongst the angels healthy and whole. God bless you and Gwensdad.

  11. Byneedleandthread Says:

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care.

  12. paganfrog Says:

    im so sorry for the sad news sarah. my heart breaks for you and your close loved ones. i am sorry that i havent kept in contact recently, but i have always had you and your loved ones in my thoughts.
    lots of love and hugs from heather and rikk and the boys.

  13. An-su Says:

    Oh, I’m so sorry to read that !!! It’s incredible – especially that, just like an hour ago or two, riding back home in the car, I had a moment thinking of you and I wondered about her as well, as I wasn’t seeing any post of yours on LJ since a long while… My thoughts are with you …

  14. amy Says:

    I am so sorry to hear your news. May her memory be a blessing for you.

  15. krommama Says:

    i’m so sorry sarah and gwensdad. my prayers are with you.

  16. fairbanksfancygoods Says:

    My deepest sympathies. Many thoughts and prayers for Gwen, you and your family.

  17. Maggi Says:

    Hail Sweet Gwen.

  18. MaryAlice Says:

    How horrible for you but how sweet that you had her for her years here. My prayers are with you and Gwensdad and I will be at the visitation. She was a blessing to you and your family and an inspiration to all who knew her. God bless.

  19. knitch Says:

    My thoughts and strength are all yours Sarah.

  20. Diane Says:

    your angel was a blessing to so many.
    You and Larry are the best, most loving and devoted parents.

    all my love and prayers are with you…

    Diane & family

  21. aimee Says:

    Words can not express how sorry I am for you and your husband. I wish I could give you a hug or hold your hand right now. Please know that I am always here to talk.

  22. Carrie Feldhaus-Setbacken Says:

    Sarah & Larry,

    Our hearts go out to you and your family at this time of sorrow. We will be keeping your family in our prayer.


  23. Alice S Says:


    I was so touched that you took the time to call at this sad, sad time. I know there is a lot to celebrate about Gwen’s life and the community of friends and caregivers she brought to you. I pray God will wrap you and Larry with all their love.

  24. Adds Says:

    I am so sorry to read of the passing of Gwen, she was a beautiful girl.

  25. Rustell Says:


    I am so, so, very sorry to hear your heartbreaking news. Gwen touched so many of our lives through your stories and pictures. We, strangers who never got to meet her, are sharing your grief around the globe. Let us know what we can do for you.

  26. Erica Says:

    Sarah, I’m so shocked and so very sorry. You and Gwensdad and Gwen are all in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing so much of Gwen with all of us over the years. We have been blessed to experience a little of her sunny spirit.

  27. Susan Hawkins Says:

    Oh, dear Sarah, I have cried a river of sorrow since I heard of Gwen’s death on the afternoon news today. I know that no matter that she died peacefully, you are dealing with unimaginable pain now, and will miss her terribly until you see her again in heaven, running and playing unencumbered by the body that failed her here. You and all of your family are in my thoughts and prayers. As Gwen was blessed to have you and Larry as parents, I know you feel blessed to be this beautiful, sweet child’s mother. I am so, so very sorry. If you need meals, someone to help in whatever capacity or just want to talk, I’m here , my friend.

  28. Gene Black Says:

    Sarah, I just found this today. I am so saddened for you. I know how much joy Gwen was to you. I also know from experience that nothing I can say will help. So I will just pray for you and your husband

    Peace be with you.

  29. Christine Bright Says:

    I am so sorry for your sad loss. I have followed your blog for a while and was shocked when I read about Gwen. I live in England and yet I am affected by a little girl thousands of miles away. I hope the love and thoughts of so many people will sustain and comfort you at this time.

  30. Trish (melangeartiste) Says:

    I am sorry for the loss of your beloved daughter. The world is a much smaller place without her beautiful smile. I will hold you and your husband in my thoughts.

  31. velma Says:

    I just read your LJ entry, Sarah. No little girl could have gotten more love than Gwen. I’ve never met you in person, but I know what a wonderful mom and person you are. My heart goes out to you & gwensdad.

  32. Skye DeWeez Says:

    I feel so badly that I am just reading this tonight. Being behind on my blog feeds has made me miss the service. Your family will be in our prayers throughout the coming years, as I know a missing child is forever a sorrowful thing. May God bless your home with comfort and warm memories.
    Skye from memphisSNB

  33. Laura C Says:

    I found your blog through craftster, after you posted the Elvis bibs. I was first drawn to it because you were a fellow Memphian, but it became a source of inspiration. Although I haven’t read here in a few months, I immediately recognized your sweet daughter’s photograph on the news last week. I am so sorry for your loss and you have been in my thoughts and prayers.

  34. Penny L. Says:

    Heartfelt condolences to you and your family, Sarah. *hugs*

  35. tamar Says:

    I’m so sorry.
    You brought tears to my eyes.
    May your darling daughter live peacefully in heaven.
    bless you and your family.

  36. Jennifer T Says:

    Sarah, I am so sorry to hear of this and pray for you and your husband and family during this most difficult of times.

  37. Jenny Factory Says:

    Oh Sarah, I know that nothing I can do or say will comfort you now, but please know that you and your husband have my entire heart right now. Gwen was an incredible person and I am lucky to have known her in whatever small way I did. Thank you for sharing her sweet, joyful spirit with us.

    If there is anything at all that I can do for you, please, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Much love to you,


  38. Mel Says:

    Oh, honey. I’m so sorry to have been so out of the loop and not even know what was going on. There are no words that I can say that won’t sound like platitudes, except that I’m holding you in my heart and typing this through tears.

  39. Missy @ It's Almost Naptime Says:

    Sarah, this is Leah’s friend. I saw her yesterday and she talked about what an amazingly beautiful service it was for Gwen. I am praying for you consistently with the heart of a mother.
    Love, Missy

  40. delia Says:

    My most heartfelt sympathy to your family. I am so sorry to hear of your little girl’s passing. My youngest is the same age…again I hope my prayers will ease a bit of your heartbreak. Take care of yourselves.


  41. Mama Urchin Says:

    Oh Sarah, Melissa is here visiting me and she shared with me your loss. I am so sorry and will be praying for you and gwensdad in the weeks and months ahead.

  42. Zhenia Says:

    Sarah, I am so sorry.

    If there’s anything I can do, please let me know.

    Hugs and much love to you and Gwensdad.

  43. Nancy Travis Says:

    i am so very sorry.

  44. Kim Says:

    God takes the sweetest children home to be with Him…like our priest said to us when our Peanut died, “You’ve done your duty by her and she wouldn’t trade places with any of us!” Her joy is beyond words right now…but still, we’re down here…so virtual hugs and lots of prayers.

  45. delia Says:


    we’re still here for you…hoping it helps to know you’re lil gwen is loved and missed by so many while she was with us and will never be forgotten because of you.

    my youngest gave me a hug last night to pass on to you…take care of yourselves.


  46. sheila Says:

    hugs Sarah. Could you email me I can’t find your addy. love sheila in Aus.

  47. jane Says:

    I’m so sorry x

  48. Sue Says:

    As a quiet follower of your blog, I was saddened to hear of Gwen’s passing when I wandered over this morning. My thoughts are with your family.

  49. blueness Says:

    so very sorry for your loss. much love <3<3<3

  50. Look Mom, I’m Paper Piecing! « Get Stitchy With Sarah Says:

    […] start with the crafting, let it be known throughout the blogdom that it is ok to write or ask about Gwen. I like talking and thinking about my sweet girl, so don’t hesitate to say something if you […]

  51. Heather Says:

    Sarah, I wondered what you were up to when I saw Jessica’s update about her roadtrip, and I got a bad feeling when she didn’t mention Gwen when she talked about meeting you. I am so sorry to read this, and especially not to have discovered it sooner after she died. I know that little girl was the light of your life and that she will live in your heart forever and ever. I doubt a mother ever loved a child as much as you loved her.

  52. Get Stitchy with Sarah Says:

    Thank you Heather, you knew just what to say. Although we miss our baby terribly, I can’t help but give thanks that we had her as long as we did.

    It was fun to share Gwen with you and other online friends. She never knew that she had fans from all over, but maybe she does now!

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