How Many Kids Do You Have?


The question of how many children we have is a common question. And for most people it represents an easy point of conversation; just like asking what someone does for a living. But for a parent that has lost a child, it brings up all kinds of emotions. You feel dread and guilt as you consider how to answer it.

I have already been asked this question many times since Olivia passed away. And I always include her in the number of children. But inevitably it causes people to ask more questions. They wonder where this mysterious second child is. And there are some days that it is so exhausting to consider explaining that I have a beautiful daughter but she is an angel in Heaven due to brain cancer. However, even on those days I can’t imagine not including her. To not is like denying her existence and saying she doesn’t matter.

I already dread the days people will ask me if I will try again to “get that girl” when they see us with our two sons after Wyatt and Olivia’s little brother is born. I know that any time I hear that it will bring a dagger to my heart knowing that I do have a daughter and I would give anything to have her here with me and watch her grow up with her brothers. Childhood cancer took that away from me.

For anyone you know who has lost a child, please always include their lost child in the number of children. I can’t tell you how painful it is when one of my friends forgets to include Olivia in mine. Whether in Heaven or here on earth, that count should always remain the same.

Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. All proceeds benefit the neuro-oncology research team at Children’s Hospital Colorado. To learn more and to donate please visit our website at

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