Remy Elena Zappulla February 23rd, 2011 – May 29th, 2011

I may have said in the past something to the extent of, “This is the most difficult post I have had to write.”  Nothing compares to what I am currently trying to express.  As I dreamed of so many times, I will never be able to use this blog as a chronicle to explain to Remy how she began, in a time her life that is fit. That opportunity was stolen from me.

Yesterday, Sunday, May 29th, 2011 at 8:30am, the soul of Remy Elena Zappulla born February 23rd, 2011, left this earth.   She was in our arms, with no machines or IV’s running though her veins.  She is the love of our lives, the greatest gift we have ever known. She left in peace and just before her heart stopped beating she grabbed our fingers and squeezed them very hard.  Even in her weakest moment our Remy showed great strength and courage.  She told us she loved us.

Waterfalls are rolling down my eyes as I write this. Our last day and a half has been excruciating and indescribable.   There is an emptiness that Mary and I know wholeheartedly will never be filled during our time on this earth.  Our resentment and anger, even towards God, for the loss of our precious sweetheart Remy cannot be put into words.  Our sadness is often expressed in crying sounds that do not sound human. Sometimes we cry so hard that we do not make any sounds at all.  Our feeling of loss is greater than any feeling we have ever felt.  A part of us, along with Remy, has died as well.  It’s not metaphorical,  it’s real.  We built her a beautiful room, have her a wardrobe, and a lot of gifts with monogramming.  We have so many reminders of the life we wanted with her and it is painful, so very painful, to be without her.  At night, in bed it is excruciating!  Mary and I clench onto one another trying to provide any inkling of comfort we can give to one another.

After not leaving the hospital for 5 straight days, hoping for a miracle, but knowing this awful moment might come and did, today’s morning experience was as horrific and as real as it gets.  Today…………….this morning, as we woke, we did not get up quickly, we did not rush to get our things to go to the hospital, and we were not filled with excitement to get there and kiss Remy’s face all day.  It was the brutal empty feeling of loss.  The worst kind of loss in its most extreme form.  Going to the hospital everyday for the entire year would have been a joy compared to what we felt this morning.

We do not expect these feelings to ever disappear. There will be an empty space forever.   We do not know what we are feeling at times because it is so new.  Yet we treasure our 95 days with Remy more than any gift we have ever experienced in our lifetime.  Our unconditional love for Remy will ALWAYS remain!  Remy has brought us as  husband and wife, closer than ever before.  In the last 95 days, she has taught us more about our own lives than we have learned in our 30 and 38 years.   She will live on forever and we will not forget her.   She has affected so many people we know, and many others we have never met.  She has taught, touched, and heightened the lives of not only Mary and I, but thousands of others.  Remy is a legacy.  We hope that anyone who reads this post, follows our story, or has connected with Remy, has gained something from her.

If you see Mary or me right now you may not have the same feeling.  We are broken, and at times cannot express optimism and strength. This morning we woke up with feeling of wanting to be dead. With time, we know we will be strong again.  Our Remy was SO STRONG!  Her heart was physically and metaphorically the strongest heart anyone could ever have.   We will never forget that.  We will carry on her legacy and bring good from it.  She is our hero, our superstar. Remy is our LOVE and she will always live on.

A service will be held in Remy’s honor later this week in Brooklyn. All are welcome. Details will be provided in my next post.  If you’d like to be notified about the arrangements via email, please sign up as a member to Remy’s blog (in the upper right hand corner – it is very simple).

We remain grateful to everyone who has supported us with prayer, love, donations, words, and thoughts and so on.  Your actions mean the world to us and we love all of you.

Please take some time to enjoy the beautiful pictures of our precious Remy below.

40 thoughts on “Remy Elena Zappulla February 23rd, 2011 – May 29th, 2011

  1. My heart breaks for you, Mary and your families. Rod and I lost a child early in our marriage & I’ve followed along on this journey praying for a different outcome for you. It’s natural to be angry and rail against God asking why. I came over time to realize that the why was unimportant, this was the journey Rod and I were suposed to take together. It brought us closer then ever before, made us extra thankful for the gifts we received later.Try to remember in your darkest moments, don’t turn your back on God, walk in the light embrace it, let it heal your heart, that’s where you will find Remy. All our love and prayers are with you.

  2. “The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; THEY WERE TOO PURE, TOO LOVELY, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and WE SHALL SOON HAVE THEM AGIAN. . Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope.”
    You do not know me but I have followed your blog from the beginning, I cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. I feel like I have grown to know your little girl through these past few months and she was Perfect. You and your wife are in my families thoughts and prayers.

  3. The tears down my face are like waterfalls too. I ache so much for you all. Life can feel so cruel sometimes. Nobody should ever have to feel the pain you are experiencing. You will think of Remy and miss her every day for the rest of your lives. I do think that over time the intensity of that pain will lessen somewhat, though, and you will find yourselves able to smile again. It will NEVER be okay that you lost your little girl, but I do believe you will be able to enjoy your life again at some point. Right now you need to grieve, let all your emotions out, and hug each other. We love you so much.

  4. Pete and Mary,
    Ronny and I are so sorry for your loss. We will pray that with each passing day, the pain you face is less and Remy’s memories fill that void with the love and positivity you will always feel for her. The NICU will never be the same without Remy and you both. She touched a part of each of our lives who saw you both through your good and sad moments. You are right – Remy had the strongest heart and she got that from her mom and dad. Wishing you more strength and positivity during this tough time, big hugs, Ronny and Priya (Amaira’s parents from the next pod over).

    • This has really touched my heart I hate seeing such a young life being taken. It makes me look at my children and be so thankful to have them both here after the scares we have been through. I am very sorry for your loss and I pray as the days go on you find the strength that Remy would want you to have to be grateful and thankful to have spent the days you have spent togethe and to be happy again. Your family and Remy have found a place in my heart and my prayers are with you.
      If I may ask what was wrong with Remy?
      Was she a premie?
      Again I am so sorry to hear the loss of your precious baby.

  5. Pete&Mary,
    I too, along with many others have followed Remy on this journey and my whole being aches for ur loss right now. Pete, u did a wonderful job documenting her story even on ur darkest day. Its hard for me to find the words to express how sorry I am. It’s ok to feel angry as she fought so hard and it seems so unfair, but now is your turn to fight. She’s a beautiful angel, watching over you and giving u the strength to get thru this. She knows how strong her parents are and how much they love her. We all do.
    Sending our heartfelt prayers and hugs,
    Jess&Joe Accetta

  6. We are so sorry for your loss. Pete, your way of dealing and allowing us into your lives by sharing your days with Remy have allowed many of us to feel a part of your family. The loss of Remy is a tragedy, but she is in good hands now. Just know she is now looking down on you and will always be a part of you and Mary. She knew that you both loved her very much. We will continue to pray for you and Mary as you go through this difficult time.

    –Brandy and Trevor Pankau

  7. Pete and Mary,

    I am heartbroken and deeply sorry to hear this news. I am a friend of Julia’s and have been following the ups and downs of Remy’s extraordinary life from the beginning. I cannot imagine the depth of pain you are feeling, and pray that you may draw strength from the love of friends, family and strangers who are lifting you up in their hearts right now. You mention in your blog that you hoped we’ve learned something from Remy’s journey on earth. She has taught me that we’re all much stronger than we think we are–Remy was a little person with a lot of fight in her.

    Stay close to one another in the difficult journey ahead, take care of yourselves, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

    With deepest sympathy and love,

  8. Mary and Pete,
    I am struggling to find any good words. The 2nd person to comment gave good advice from someone who probably understands your pain better than I do. Please don’t turn away from God, but use your faith to sustain you. For some unknown reason, you were meant to take this journey and you will better and stronger for it. Remy gave you that gift – however painful it must be now. Your little family has been an inspiration to so many. You must know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of people you don’t even know. The Taylor family has always been special to us – and, although I’ve never met Pete, this blog has shown me what a loving and devoted husband and father he is. Love to you all.

  9. Dear Peter and Mary: We are saddend by the news of Remy passing from this world. I am glad that she passed in your arms, I am sure it was comforting for her. You did great things in bringing your Love to her at the hospital and working with the medical staff to bring Remy to good health. She brought you blessings as your child and you gave her All Your Love. We pray for God to make Remy an Angel in Heaven and that she will send you strength and healing from above.
    Love Keith, Rosalyn, Juliette and Christian

  10. Peter and Mary, there are no words that we can think of right now to tell you how we feel about your loss. We are so very, very sorry that little Remy’s valiant struggle had to end this way. They say there is a purpose for everything in life, a reason why everything happens. So often we have no idea what the reasons are. We believe that one thing is that little Remy showed both of you how strong you are and she made your love for each other even greater than it was before. Please take care of yourselves, be a comfort to each other, and just love each other. Your love and the bond that you share will be the greatest legacy you can give that sweet little girl. Something we didn’t know until reading your post today was that you had chosen the name Elena as Remy’s middle name. That is our daughter’s name. Please forward the arrangements for the service to us. If one or both of us can make it, we will. We have a death in the family ourselves this week so it may be hard. Just know you and Remy are in our thoughts and prayers and will remain there. We understand your feelings of anger and frustration right now, but God will give you the strength to go on. You have to – for Remy.


    Tom and Libby

  11. I’ve been reading your blog as a perfect stranger since February, and my heart breaks for you and Mary and your families through this unthinkable time. There are no words to make it better, but you are being thought of by so many people who have been touched be Remy’s story. She was so strong and both you and Mary have more strength than you know. Sharing your story so publicly and expressing your vulnerabilities is a feat in itself. We are all lucky to have known such strength, whether we knew Remy or only knew of her and her story though a blog. The world is with you giving you the strength you need to make it through this tragic time.

  12. I went to Park View (1997) and only know you through mutal friends and have been following your story. Just know that people everywhere are praying for you both. I am praying for a healing and comfort that only God can give you. Having 3 daughters myself I can only imagine the pain and loss you must be feeling, but know that I could never understand the array of emotions you have and what you are having to deal with everyday without your sweet Remy. I do know one thing and that is God is faithful and He always has a plan even if it is not one that we will ever understand while living on this earth. I hope that you will continue to update us on your journey and I cannot wait to see the wonderful plans God has in store for your family.

  13. I am so sorry for the loss of your little love. I know first hand the feelings you are experiencing; I gave birth to my little girl Ally Michelle at 28 weeks and lost her as well. She was my first, and while I have two beautiful daughters now, I still miss her and have kept several of her things to remember her by. I am so glad that you had 95 days to spend loving your little princess! I pray that you and your wife find peace knowing Remy is content and happy to be watching you from heaven. Sometimes a human body just isnt capable of holding all the love from an angel- let her love surround you and help you through. Peace be with you ❤

  14. I am so sorry for your incredible loss. Remy’s short life left an impression on all of us who read your story. Praying hard for you guys as you grieve your sweet little girl.

  15. My head wants to give you words to help heal your pain but my heart knows those words do not exsist. The pain and sorrow you feel now will find it’s place but it will not leave. The love you have for Remy will always be wrapped around your hearts and there will come a day when you realize the thought of that love softens the pain and sorrow. Our Jack was only with us a short while but he will always be my daughter’s firstborn, my grandson and the holder of our hearts. The few memories I have of him are precious and still bring tears but the love he was is my comfort. May God bless you both and may He hold Remy in His arms.

  16. Dearest Mary and Pete,
    I do not know you and you do not know me, and I came upon your blog quite by accident (a friend of mine on facebook has a link on her page) but I have always been someone who wholeheartedly believes that we are all put on this earth for a reason. Your story has moved me to tears as I sat here at work and read it all over and over, crying and sobbing with such overwhelming and intense feelings for you people i’ve never even met. I have a daughter of my own, and while she is perfectly healthy, we had a long hard road to have her. sitting here reading your story has moved me beyond words to cherish each and every moment i have with not just her, but everyone around me i hold dear. My husband, my mother, my father, my sister, my best friend, and if i could, even you two i want to reach out and hold like my life depends on it.
    i cannot say that i know how you feel because i don’t but my hope is that you can find some tiny glimmer of comfort in the fact that you have just had such an astounding impact on the life of a complete stranger. I know that beautiful little angel could feel your amazing and unfaltering love for her and someday she will be able to tell you all about it. I want you both to know how amazing you are and how much i am praying for you to heal but never forget. I wrote a poem once when i lost someone close to me and i want to share the last bit of it with you:
    Somehow I will get through this
    My faith will show me how
    Death is not good bye forever
    It’s just good bye for now.

  17. My heart is breaking for you both right now. I am so so very sorry for your loss and you and beautiful Remy will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. Pete and Mary,
    I am so sorry to hear about your loss of baby Remy. Your words were so beautiful on how she has impacted your lives. My heart was completely broken finding out about this and then reading and seeing those beautiful pictures of Remy. I can’t begin to express how incredibly sad I am for you both. I will pray for you and your family. Both of you and Remy are in my thoughts!!

    With deepest sympathy and an extremely heavy heart!

  19. Oh, how my heart aches for you two.
    I heard someone once say that God is big enough to take your anger, and I have personally found it to be true. So, feel free to give Him all your anger and all of your feelings right now. He’s big enough to “take it.” Always. He will be with you now, and He’ll be with you when you come out on the other side.
    I pray to God that He will send you His love and comfort right now and in the days to come.

  20. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers. Remy is so beautiful. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss.

  21. My heart is so heavy and sad right now, yours is a loss no parent should ever have.
    Know her spirit will always be within you, as yours will always be within her. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  22. I am so deeply sorry for your loss of your precious daughter. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. I’ve been following Remy since the beginning. I’m so sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful, strong, brave little girl with amazing parents. You are all in my prayers.

  24. I love you guys with all my heart – I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Remy was a beautiful baby – her spirit did indeed touch so many of us and taught us so much about love and strength and courage. We all know there are no words that can ease yours and Mary’s pain – just know that we love you, we care about you, we’re here for you – whether you want to cry or scream or talk about your beautiful baby girl – we’re here. You both mean so much to us and Remy will be in our hearts and minds forever.

  25. Pete and Mary-

    There are no words to express how truly sorry I am to read this post. My heart is broken. Though I never met Remy, I thought of her often these past few months, and admired her great strength and fighting spirit. What a beautiful, precious little girl, and what incredible, devoted parents you are. I pray that you are able to find peace and strength in the coming days. With much love-
    Nicole Monte

  26. Mary and Pete, my heart aches for you both and for the family and friends who have shared this journey with you. May the joy of the days that you spent with Remy sustain you in your grief. Those of us out here who have followed your blog grieve with you, and we send our love and support to you.

  27. Dear Mary & Pete,

    We are so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Remy. We are friends of Kim & Bill and have followed your journey from the beginning. Take some small solice to know Remy is no longer suffering. God needed another angel and Remy was the best person for the job. You loved her with all your hearts, as she loved you with hers.
    Rejoice in her short life and the joy she brought to you, your family and your friends. She looks down at you from heaven, with no tubes or machines holding her back. She is free. She will be with you forever. Make her proud.
    With deepest regrets,
    Pat & Jim

  28. Pete and Mary,

    I can’t even imagine how you are feeling, but I hope you find even just a glimmer of hope in your life. It is okay to hurt, cry, and be angry, even at God Himself. I hope the time you had with Remy keeps you strong during this indescribable time.

    Many thoughts and Prayers from Minnesota.


  29. My prayers are with you both as you grieve the loss of sweet Remy. She is an amazing little girl who fulfilled a divine purpose. Remy is joyously playing with the angels, free from suffering and sits on the lap of Jesus in heaven. May you fall into the hands of the Lord for His peace and comfort.

  30. Mary & Pete,

    My prayers are with you both as you grieve for your sweet baby girl. I love you Mary and I’ll be thinking and praying for you (deeply).

  31. My heart aches for you and Mary

    I thought it was so touching how she squeezed your hand to let you know how much she loved you both. How could she not. You two are amazing parents. And she is an angel. I cannot say how sorry I am for your loss. No parents should ever have to endure this. Thinking and praying for you every day

  32. Mary & Pete,

    I do not know you personally. I was given a link to your blog by a friend who simply asked for prayers for your family. The first blog that I read was the one regarding Remy’s passing. I have sent several hours going back and reading your blog from the very beginning. I too have sat here sobbing for you. I am so heartbroken for you. Please know that I am positive that you have people from all over the U.S. now praying for you. Thank you for making opening up your vulnerabilities to all of us. Please know that although I know these are just words, my heart is truly saddened for you and I am absolutely praying that God will help to heal you. I know that the overwhelming sadness seems to much to bear right now. I pray that in time the weight of the sadness will not feel so heavy. You have been such fantastic parents and you should be so incredibly proud of yourselves. Please know that Remy has touched the lives of so many. SHE IS A LEGACY!! She was a strong, brave little girl and I am so fortunate to been asked to pray for your family as you have touched my life in a way that you will never know.

    Hugs, thoughts and prayers for the days that lie ahead.


  33. Pete, I just saw this blog for the first time, posted on Facebook. I am just so profoundly sorry for your horrific loss. Every word I think to write just seems so totally inadequate. These pictures both touched and broke my heart. I wish so much that there was something I could do for you. I hope you and your family can find peace very soon. All of the love and hope in my heart goes out to you, your wife, your family and Remy. I am so sorry.

  34. I’ll keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry for your loss and wish your little girl could be here longer for you guys to enjoy and love.

  35. I am so sorry for your loss. We, too, lost a baby. He died about 10 minutes after birth. He was full term and would have been 18 this coming June 15. We have a beautiful tree that blooms every spring( a Weeping Cherry Tree), that was given to us by our church. It always makes me smile to see something so beautiful and to know the love that people had for us. You have so many people praying for you to get through this so strong. Let the Lord, the great comforter, help you to heal. You won’t feel like looking at a Bible, but you must. It really will meet you, where nothing else can. You won’t feel like praying but if you will , God will meet you, like noone else can.
    Grieving for you, Deedee Brown

  36. Thank you for sharing the story of the life of your beautiful baby Remy. My heart aches for you both. There are no words that will ease your deep pain, but you are in my prayers. Your story has both touched and broke my heart, I can’t remember another time when I have cried so much. My heart goes out to you both, she was absolutely beautiful! God bless you both,I pray for your strength and comfort during this incredibly difficult time.

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