The Blessing of Connection

There were times when I just cried the whole time I wrote and after I wrote, I felt relieved – I was amazed at how the weight just lifted off of me.
–Crystal

For Craig and Crystal Hewitt, life took an unexpected turn when Crystal and her two children, Parker (5) and Haley (3), were involved in a serious auto accident. Parker and Haley tragically lost their lives, while Crystal suffered a severe break in her back – 1 millimeter away from leaving her paralyzed.

A friend brings a blessing

Immediately after the accident, a friend started a CaringBridge site for Crystal and updated it frequently with details on her progress. Soon after, Crystal’s husband Craig began updating the journal, allowing him to keep their family, friends and faith community in-the-loop without needing to repeat information.

“It was literally a burden lifted for him,” Crystal says. “He could just concentrate on being there for me.” As Crystal recovered, she started writing on her site as a way to share the thoughts and emotions on her heart. “It was comforting knowing there were people listening to me – that they knew I was hurting and would pray with us through all we were facing,” says Crystal.

Sharing Joy and Keeping Memories Alive

Craig and Crystal’s site became a space to share openly about their ups and downs – a place where others could follow their faith journey and rejoice in their steps toward healing. Their site also gave their community a place to share precious memories of Parker and Haley. “It means so much for us to read those stories because we always want to keep Haley and Parker alive in our hearts, as well as in others’,” says Crystal.

Surprise, surprise

Craig and Crystal soon had another blessing on the way. During her recovery, Crystal gave birth to her daughter Ellington who was born with Spina bifida, a condition expected to leave her with multiple physical limitations. But Ellington is miraculously exceeding doctors’ predictions and is developing extremely well. “People get so excited to hear updates on Ellington,” Crystal says. “They feel like she is part of their family even though they’ve never met her.”

Crystal is now expecting a healthy baby boy. As she and Craig continue their journey, they want to maintain honest communication with their support community through their site and openly celebrate the joys of many answered prayers. “CaringBridge is such a blessing to our family and friends,” Crystal says. “I love it and I hope it’s always there for us to use.”

Craig, Crystal and Ellington Hewitt
Parker and Haley Hewitt