Rowan Johanna O’Flynn

December 17 – 18, 1999
An amazing 22 hours that forever changed our world.

Thank you for checking in to see Rowan’s new page!  I have shared Rowan’s story in full detail within the forum.  You can read that post here.  What I wanted to do here is bring Rowan to you in other ways, share how we have remembered and honored her life in the years since her death.

I look at these precious photos of my daughter and I am truly blown away that so much time has passed.  I am also saddened by the fact that these pictures are the only ones we have.  Here is one of my favorite pictures of me holding Rowan while she was alive, the color photo of her after she died and was dressed and prepared by her nurse so we could say goodbye.  Finally, a shot of us from our wedding day, with our hands holding my belly.  I was 5 months pregnant with Rowan here, and it was an incredibly happy time for us.

At the end of my forum post about Rowan, I wrote, “While our children are still too young to really understand about life, we show them Rowan’s photo and explain that she is their big sister in heaven.”   In the years since her death, we have planted trees, attended memorial walks, and other remembrance celebrations in her honor.  It has been quite easy to create opportunities for our living children and family to honor Rowan.  It is incredibly healing for us to do these things for the little girl who had to leave us too soon.

I hope that by sharing how we have kept Rowan in our life, we can bring ideas and comfort to other families who are searching for way to do the same.

Here are several photos of me and my family honoring Rowan at different memorial celebrations.  A balloon release, and a memorial walk where we all wore signs telling who we were to Rowan.

Rowan and Show-and-Tell
My four year old daughter, Rory was getting ready for preschool when I reminded her that today was her show-and-tell day.  The letter for that week was “R”.  Typically, when it is her day to bring an item in, I help her remember the sound that the letter makes and she runs off to find something to share with her classmates.  The morning of “R” she ran to the living room and grabbed a photo of Rowan and said that she wanted to bring “Baby Rowan” to her class for show-and-tell.  My heart swelled with pride and such happiness because I know that Rowan is a part of her life, even though Rory was born after.  Of course, I don’t think a preschool class is ready to meet Baby Rowan, so I smiled as I redirected Rory to another photo; it was one of Rory and me on the day that Rory was born.  “Rory also starts with R”, I said.  “I think your class would love to see what you looked like as a baby.”  Of course, the idea of bringing herself for show-and-tell won out, and we were off to other things.  I look at this as proof that it is possible to keep Rowan in our family, in a healthy way.


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