Losing a child is every parent's biggest fear, and former U.S. Olympic gold medalist Bode Miller and his wife Morgan Beck Miller recently lived through that nightmare.
The couple's 19-month-old daughter Emeline "Emmy" Miller drowned in a neighbor's pool last June, leaving the family "beyond devastated."
"Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten," the Millers said at the time. "Our little girl loved life and lived it to its fullest every day."
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We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it’s fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time.
While the family can never truly be healed after such a loss, they've got a new bundle of joy that's brought a lot of hope when they needed it the most.
Morgan, who was about three months pregnant when her daughter tragically passed away, gave birth to a baby boy in October, a month before what would've been Emmy's second birthday.
Both Morgan and Bode kept other details about their youngest child under wraps, until now.
It took a few months, but the family finally felt ready to show off their "little light" to the world. This week, Morgan took to Instagram to "formally introduce" four-month-old Easton Vaughn Rek Miller.
"He is so special and has brought so much healing and hope," the grieving mom wrote in the caption of a photo that shows Easton in just his diaper and smiling big.
She added that "Emmy will never be replaced," but Easton has made it possible for them "to feel a small sense of peace in a weird way, a connection between the heavens and earth #lifeafterdeath."
Morgan also previously shared her son's sonogram on Instagram. A month after he was born, she posted a touching story about how she gets signs from Emmy.
“So, 5 days after losing her, I reluctantly had the ultrasound tech come check on the baby growing in my belly," Morgan wrote. She continued, "As she viewed the baby’s profile, she told me, ‘I know you don’t want a 3D image but this is a perfect angle and I feel like I need to do one. I will be quick.'"
In the moments that followed, something that Morgan will never forget happened.
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When we walked out of the hospital without our Emmy, despair and uncertainty surrounded us. The parting words from the medical staff, in those early hours after we lost our baby Emmy, was to check on the baby in my tummy. So, 5 days after losing her, I reluctantly had the ultrasound tech come check on the baby growing in my belly. To step into my future without my daughter felt like a dagger to my heart. How can life change so quickly? During the last ultrasound, my baby Emmy lay in my arms wondering what she was looking at on the screen. And, now, she was gone. This time, I asked the tech to be quick. She asked if I wanted a 3D image to which I replied, “no.” She swiftly maneuvered the wand around my stomach, checking on all parts. As she viewed the baby’s profile, she told me, “I know you don’t want a 3D image but this is a perfect angle and I feel like I need to do one. I will be quick.” As the screen switched over to 3D imaging, I saw my sweet baby’s face. He looked so much like my other babies: just like Bode with that sweet nose and those full lips. But as quickly as I saw this new baby, my eyes moved to the angel lying to the right of his face, holding him, arms around his neck. Almost as if to say, “It’s okay. I’m here. It’s going to be okay. I love you.” I hold onto this picture as a clear sign that my son knows his sister. That my baby girl Emmy is still with us. And now that our sweet baby boy is here earth side, he now holds her.
“My eyes moved to the angel lying to the right of his face, holding him, arms around his neck,” she recalled. “Almost as if to say, ‘It’s okay. I’m here. It’s going to be okay. I love you.’ I hold onto this picture as a clear sign that my son knows his sister. That my baby girl Emmy is still with us.”
Baby Easton is Bode and Morgan's third child. They share a three-and-a-half year old son, Nash Skan. Miller, 41, has two children from previous relationships, daughter Neesyn and son Samuel.