This is a love story that is as beautiful as much as it is heart-breaking. They met, fell in love, had a baby, but Liz died while giving birth. What Matt did after her death was inspiring on another level.
It all started when high school students Matt Logelin and Liz Goodman met one sunny afternoon at a gas station. Both grew up in the Minnetonka, Minn. but when they met, it fuelled the beginning of a real love story.
Liz and Mat were both seniors in high school. Matt caught her eye and she approached him, the sparks flew instantly and the two became inseparable… that is until college time approached…
Overcoming Long Distance
As graduation crept closer, the high school sweethearts had to deal with the fact that they were enrolled in college in different parts of the country! Liz was headed for California while Matt was staying close to home at the University of Minnesota.
However, the distance was nothing for this couple who endured through it and stayed together throughout their degrees. Matt went on to complete his master’s at the Loyola University of Chicago. While contemplating the prospect of getting a Ph.D., he decided he needed to follow his heart, not his head.
Matters of the Heart
Matt realized he could no longer bare being so many miles away from his love. In 2005, he packed up his stuff and moved halfway across the country to reunite with Liz in Los Angeles.
Tying the knot
From there on out, the two lived their lives to the fullest. Liz and Matt, their love better than ever, traveled around the world making memories and exploring each other and the world around them. It was only a matter of time before Matt realized this was it and got down on one knee to propose to Liz in Nepal.
Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them
The day was August 13, 2005, when they said their vows to love each other endlessly in front of their friends and family. It was a joyous occasion to see these lovers taking life and their love by the horn… everything seems to be going great for the young couple.
Not only was their love life better than ever, but professionally the two were thriving also. In California, Matt worked as a project manager at Yahoo! While Liz was a financial executive at Disney. The two made the most of their new financial security and bought a home together. Things only got better form there.
The Baby Makes Three
It had been two years of marriage when the little family of two decided to expand in 2007, the pair were ecstatic to find out that Liz was pregnant with their first child!
The pair was on top of the world and told their happy news to their loved ones. The couple began to prepare to welcome their little one to the happy family they were creating. Little did they know that their lives were about to experience challenged they could never have dreamed of.
Launching a Blog
Many of Liz and Matt’s friends and family were still in Minnesota and were unable to be around for every step of their exciting journey to parenthood. The soon-to-be parents decided to do something about this and created a blog in order to keep their loved ones in the loop and update them on all the adorable steps of Liz’s pregnancy process.
Just an innocent photo
Matt’s favorite photo that they posted was one of Liz in which the excited soon-to-be mother is glowing and pointing to her growing belly. Little did they know that in the months that would follow, that very picture would become part of a widespread sensation.
Not the Easiest Pregnancy
Although the path seemed bright and happy for the loved-up couple awaited their first child, Liz did not have the easiest pregnancy. She was having severe morning sicknesses and after a while, the doctors ordered were for her to take a few weeks to rest in bed.
Matt, the protective husband about his wife carrying his child kept a close eye on his wife. It was hard to see his usually active and healthy Liz having to stay put in bed. She was then hospitalized for a few more weeks of bedrest. Throughout this all, Matt continued to keep updated on the pregnancy blog they had created. He could never imagine the words he would soon be writing on that very blog.
Rushed to the Delivery Room
Since Liz’s pregnancy was classified as high risk, she was wheeled to the delivery room twice, both times at least 7 weeks premature on false alerts. The doctors did not want to take any chances and kept a close eye on her progress.
Finally, it was actually time for the baby to enter the world. Liz was still barely two months premature and had to have an emergency C-section operation. It was then, March 24, 2008, that Matt and Liz Logelin’s life was about to change forever.
A Brief Look
The surgery went well and the pair welcomed their new daughter, Madeline (Maddy) Logelin. She weighed barely 3 lbs. 14 oz. The new parents were so happy and Liz got to see their beautiful baby girl for a short time (photographed). Because she was born premature, the hospital staff had to take her quickly to the neonatal ICU.
Updating with pride
Matt happily rushed to their pregnancy blog to let family and friends know about the birth, and wrote “The proud parents will continue to update everyone on our beautiful baby. Look forward to evening more good news.” But no one was expecting the news that would follow.
Waiting to Hold the Little One
Liz was not able to hold their daughter right away as she was still placed under bed rest for 24 more hours post-birth to monitor her. but once that had passed, Liz was prepped and ready to see her baby girl who was healthy and awake. Played in a wheelchair, she began to be wheeled to the ward.
Matt, who could not wait to have both of his woman in his arms, was there to help his wife practice walking around the room before they headed to the ward. It was about to be the moment they had all been waiting for, bonding time for the mother and child. But then, tragedy struck.
A Terrifying Blur
Matt carefully and caringly helped his wife into the wheelchair when she suddenly uttered “‘I feel light-headed” and collapsed in his arms. The nurses tried to calm Matt down and explained to him that it was common for women to faint post-birth.
But Matt could sense that something was not right, it was something worse than just a faint. Doctors and nurses began to react with more urgency, rushing frantically around the room. It was then that Matt was ushered out the room. left alone, feeling more helpless than ever he could not contain his panic.
27 Hours After Birth
“Suddenly there’s this ‘code blue,’ people rushing past me,” Matt painstakingly recalled. “All of a sudden it hit me,” he tearfully told The Guardian in 2011. “She was going to die, today, here in this hospital. And she was never going to hold her baby.”
It was only 27 hours, just more than a day after giving birth to their daughter Madeline, that doctors realized that a deadly clot had traveled to Liz’s lungs and caused a rare, fatal pulmonary embolism. This deadly clot took Liz’s life at just 30-years-old, hours after she had brought a life into the world. Matt was left a widow, a day after he became a dad.
It took just one day for Matt go from being on top of the world to feeling like his life was over. He was devastated. He was meant to be filing the pregnancy blog with pictures of the new happy family, and instead, his next post was only heartbreak.
From an elated birth announcement days before, Matt was now tasked to break it to their friends and family and post a heart-breaking obituary for the love of his life. “Five weeks ago … things were perfect,” he mournfully wrote in the blog entry entitled “Liz.” “On that same day, my world fell apart.”
A Bittersweet Realisation
Can you imagine the conflicting and intense emotions experienced by the new father… his world turned upside down, he found himself a grieving devastated widow and at the same time an enamored new father. Not only this, but he was faced with the reality of having to learn how to raise Maddy by himself.
He was instantly smitten with his gorgeous little baby girl, but he had always imagined raising his child with the help of the love of his life and partner, faced with the prospect of going on the parenting journey alone along with the grief of losing his soulmate, Matt could not see the light,
Matt was left in a haze of grief, coming to terms with the fact that he had lost his partner of 12 years. The only place he could find any hope or respite was through his baby girl. Taking Madeline from the tearful nurse, he held his daughter for the first time, understanding that his wife would never get to hold their baby girl.
After the funeral, the new father rushed straight back to the hospital still in his suite. Trying to come to terms with grief and single parenthood, when Madeline was released from the hospital Matt recalled: “when I finally got to bring Madeline home for the first time, I felt the house alive again.”
Those first weeks were the most painful Matt had ever experienced. He could not bring himself to remove the wedding ring from his finger and every Tuesday at exactly 3:11 pm, he found his mind right back to that fateful moment where his life changed forever. There were times were he truly questioned how he could cope with his new reality without Liz by his side.
Coming home had its own challenged. Matt was surrounded by painful reminders of Liz in every corner. Even leaving the house was challenging, when strangers asked where the babies mother was Matt would honestly and openly claim “She passed away the day after the baby was born,”
Coping with Reality
The one source of comfort Matt felt in those first moments as a widow was the knowledge that his baby daughter needed him, and the belief that a part of his beloved wife lived on in Madeline. The hardest thing about being by myself after Liz died was just not having her around me when she wasn’t here to share in the joys of having our brand-new daughter with us.”
Despite the heartache that encompassed him, Matt was determined to do his best at raising his daughter. Looking to find a way to express his feelings and fear. He started posting to an online parenting forum hosted by his hometown newspaper, The Minnesota Star Tribune. But it didn’t stop there.
Extreme Highs and Extreme Lows
He also turned Liz’s pregnancy blog into more of a personal parenting blog. The writing gave him solace as he was able to pour his heart out and use words as a desperate source of solace for the intense emotions he was processing.
As a parent and a widow, his honest writing allowed Matt to fend off the grief from consuming him completely. He also sought out support of other parents for advice and help during the difficult time.
A Transformative Process
Matt was devoting his time to making his little Madeline happy and sharing memories of Liz, so his daughter would have an idea of the amazing woman she was. “I have great memories of Liz and I can tell her all about these things.” But Maddy wasn’t the only one who would land up hearing these memories.
“Some minutes, I am extremely happy and there are other minutes when I am so down I don’t know what to do. That’s what I try to convey through the blog,” he has said. Before long, the blog transformed again into something broader that would have lasting effects on the small family.
An Overwhelming Response
Matt was not exactly sure what the blog would become, but he was thinking to make it into a virtual scrapbook for Madeline to have when she got older. He changed the name to “Matt, Liz, and Madeline: Life and Death, All in a 27-Hour Period,”. However, this forum would soon not only be a personal record for him and Maddy but a widespread internet phenomenon.
Matt was receiving advice on all things Maddy related, from how to deal with things like diaper rash to how to work nasal aspirators. He had also created a place for other parents in similar situations to related to one another. In addition, the forum was attracting tens of thousands of page views a day and about 1 million to 1.5 million visitors per month. But where would it take Matt?
Easing the Pain
The blog became a source of help, hope, and inspiration out of something unthinkably tragic. It served as a cathartic outlet as well as a well of important advice from other parents. along with valuable words of support, the online community also came together for something truly heartfelt.
While it was never his intention, Matt started receiving not only advice, but complete strangers who were touched by his tale began sending a variety of items. People sent all sorts of helpful things for Maddy to help ease the pressure of the situation and help the single dad focus on raising his child and dealing with his grief.
He began receiving items he had no idea he even needed! Stuffed animals, baby clothes, toys, you name it. He even received diaper bags, baby formula, and hair clips after he wrote about how nervous he was that he would not be able to dress little Madeline as Liz would have wanted.
The house was soon so filled with gifts it was overflowing “I never imagined that people would care about us the way they do,” he said. With the help of some of his avid readers, Matt eventually set up a charity organization in Liz’s name to spread the love and support further than he thought was possible.
The Liz Logelin Foundation
Run by volunteers, the Liz Logelin Foundation organized fundraising events like 5-K walks and runs in her memory. One event raised $4,400 that was intended to go to Matt and Maddy. However, Matt had another idea about how to honor his wife’s memory.
“Matt asked me if it was OK if he gave away all the money that had been raised for him and Madeline to the widows and widowers he had met through his blog,” recalled the foundation’s co-executive, Rachel Engebretson. “They didn’t have the same network of support and he wanted to help them.”
Remembering Liz Around the World
The Liz Logelin Foundation created several activities such as the Celebration of Hope gala, held on the closest weekend to Liz’s birthday which is on September 17. They have several auctions benefiting the foundation. They also hold a traditional 5-K walk/run which is held close to her hometown in Minnesota.
The foundation has the same 5K Walk/Run but it happens in several places around the globe. People are encouraged to buy race packets, and walk or run in their own hometown. All the profits from this activity go directly to the Liz Logelin Foundation. Liz was a runner, so it is really heartwarming to see these activities come to life. But the story doesn’t end there.
A Love Letter
Time past and Matt not only realized how much little Maddy resembled his late wife, but he realized the entire blog had been essential to his coping process and his survival. “In many ways, it’s a love letter to Madeline and to Liz,” he said.
“Liz will never read it, of course, I want Madeline to know that her dad didn’t just curl up in a ball and start drinking heavily. I want her to know I was out there, doing as much as I could for her, and trying to make her as happy as I could,” he told the Daily Mail. Still, he didn’t intend to keep the blog active forever.
The Year Milestone
Matt expected to end the blog after a year, but it had become a point of connection and support for so many widows, widowers and empathetic parents. Its popularity and the incredibly positive effect it had on so many people meant otherwise.
Matt was shocked at the overwhelming response his blog had encouraged, Matt and Maddy were now also heavily invested in helping others in similar positions. But the two would soon start on a new path that would again change things in a big way.
Happy Birthday, Maddy!
Just before Maddy’s first birthday, four numbers suddenly popped into Matt’s head while he was driving. He doesn’t remember what he was thinking about. He remembered that those numbers where the PIN number for Liz’s bank account. And yes, he has forgotten about that account long ago.
So Matt decided to use the money he found in the account to throw his little daughter a big birthday party. Because it was not only her birthday, it was also the one year mark of Liz’s passing away.
2009 was a year of change for Matt and Maddy, he decided to quit his job and invest on a cathartic travel for him and his Maddy. The two traveled to India where Matt was able to take the time and the quiet to pen a memoir. India was a location of particular significance as Matt and Liz had traveled there a year after their wedding.
Not only did he get to instil a love for travel, which was to dear to Liz, to his baby daughter, but the time of invaluable for the father and daughter to connect away from the busy city life, the two months gave him the time to write his story, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love.
The book became an instant New York Times bestseller… but the tide had only just begun to change for the better.
Being a single father
Matt was interviewed once about his story, and about his life as a single father. He said that he’s been getting praise from all around for raising Maddy on his own, But he doesn’t feel like he’s doing anything differently from other parents.
For the first few years of Maddy’s life, Matt chose to be a stay-at-home-dad and to devote his time to raising her. However, he doesn’t feel it’s special. He feels as if he is simply being a father and fulfilling his human instinct to take care of his daughter.
Another Chance at Love
The year that the book about his first year as a widower and single dad came out, it seemed love may even be on the cards for him once again. He started seeing one of the volunteers of the Liz Logelin Foundation, Brooke Gulliksen.
The two had met the previous year at one of the organization’s annual fundraiser runs. It took a whole year after they met till Matt felt ready to ask her on a date. Brooke said she knew nearly instantly that Matt was the one and she met Maddy by Christmas. Finally, things seemed to be looking up for the young widower.
The Word Got Out
When Brooke made the big move from Minnesota to Los Angeles in order to be closer to Matt and Maddy, he felt he needed to give an explanation on his blog. The forum had become sort of like an online family and he felt the need to be honest and open and explain his decisions. Underlining that he hadn’t replaced Liz, he wrote: “But even in my darkest … moments there has been happiness and with Brooke now in our lives, there’s even more happiness.”
While the couple had initially wanted to keep a low profile regarding their relationship, the word soon got out. However, not everyone was as enthusiastic. While most of Matt’s blog readers were supportive, others were more critical and accused him of having “swept Liz under the carpet.”
Mommy and Brook
After Brooke and Maddy met, it was clear to both that things were getting serious between them. Brooke made it clear from the beginning that she was not replacing Liz as a mother, and she would talk with Maddy often about it.
Brooke was asked if Maddy calls her mom, and Brooke replied that she calls her ‘Brookie.’ The change of status from single woman to mother-figure wasn’t easy for Brooke, but Brooke said that she wouldn’t trade her relationship with Matt and Maddy for anything.
Life With a Widower
In an interview, Brooke was asked about life with widower Matt Logelin. She said that she started reading about it and even read Matt’s own memoir. She wanted to gain perspective of how a person handles widowhood. She hoped it would help her in her relationship with Matt.
Brooke got help from other sources as well. One of the avid fans of Matt’s blog, a woman who also married to a widower, offered her some advice. The two women started talking quite a lot and became close friends. But things between Matt and Brooke were not so bright.
Going Their Separate Ways
The word was out, and they could no longer keep a low profile. Soon after Brooke conducted an interview with Parenting.com in which she opened up about her feelings and thoughts on being a “replacement mom.” By the summer of 2013, things between Matt and Brooke fizzled.
Matt took to Facebook in a post that confirmed the couple had gone their separate ways, but despite the relationship with Brooke not working out, love was still on the cards for Matt.
A New Romance
After Brooke Matt took some time to be on his own and focus on Maddy and himself. However not too long after rumors began making their way about him and the writer for the animated series Bob’s Burger, Lizzie Molyneux.
The rumors seemed to be confirmed when the two appeared together at a benefit comedy show for The Liz Logelin Foundation in the fall of 2016. The couple wanted to keep quiet and avoid any gossip circulating about their romance. But inquisitive fans did some investigative work and found out something wonderful.
A Secret Ceremony
Matt learned from his relationship with Brooke that keeping things private is essential. He and Lizzie Molyneux largely kept their relationship under wraps for the sake of their and Madeline’s privacy. However, some fans decided to go snooping, and stumbled across something astounding!
The fans discovered a wedding website for Matt and Lizzie! Little did anyone know but this hush-hush pair had already taken their relationship to a whole new level and secretly gotten married in a ceremony in Palm Springs, California on February 2018. Although Matt prefers to be more private these days, his chronicles about Maddy have caught the eye of one particular A-lister.
Back in 2012, the Lifetime network considered making a screen adaptation of Matt Logline’s book Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss & Love. Martia Kauffman was meant to be the shaker and mover of the TV project, however, it did not land up turning into anything.
In 2016, the rumor was that none other than Channing Tatum was going to take on a bigger-budget Hollywood film adaptation of the book. The popular actor is slated to serve as executive producer and might even start in the pending father-daughter drama. But where does this all leave Matt and Maddy?
No one can argue that Matt has experienced his fair share of terrible tragedy. But it is this unexpected path of pain, challenges, and hope that has allowed him to understand and inspire others on how to pick yourself up after a tragedy and make the best out of what seems like the worst situation.
Matt also has expressed how Liz was always the more outgoing one while he took more of a background role. In light of everything, he has increasingly broken out of his shell as a guest speaker at multiple grief and widowhood summits and as a guest-columnist for Glamour magazine. But how it little Maddy doing after all of this?
Maddy Logelin turned 10 years old on March 24, 2018. That date also marked 10 years since the tragic passing of her mother, Liz. In spite of the tragic circumstances of her past, her father, family, and friend have done anything and everything to surround her with love and happiness.
Matt has made the details of his blog less intimate as Maddy has grown older. “The minute Madeline says stop, that it. The plug gets pulled,” he always vowed. Over the years, Maddy has grown to know her mother through stories and pictures and her curiosity only increases.
Moving Forward but Never Forgetting
She constantly asks her father questions about what he and her late mother used to do together, but one question really choked Matt up, “Daddy, did you hold my mommy’s hand when she died?” she innocently asked one day.
Matt tried his best to be open and explain things to his young daughter, “but what I said will never take away what happened that day.” Looking back on the exchange, Matt revealed that Maddy knew what he needed to hear and then said: “Daddy, I love you.” To which he returned: “I love you too, Maddy.”
Sources: The Guardian, The Daily Mail, People