POLITICS
10/15/2018 17:23 EDT | Updated 10/15/2018 17:33 EDT

Tory MP Tom Kmiec Pays Emotional Tribute To Daughter He Lost After 39 Days

He delivered the speech on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Conservative MP Tom Kmiec is shown in the House of Commons on Oct. 15, 2018.
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Conservative MP Tom Kmiec is shown in the House of Commons on Oct. 15, 2018.

A Conservative MP honoured the daughter he lost after just 39 days by making a simple request of his colleagues in the House of Commons.

"Next time you are home, hug your kids," Tom Kmiec told the House Monday. "If they're old and have their own, hug them anyway... even if they protest.

"Life is too short. And none of us know when our time will come. God bless you all."

Watch his speech:

Kmiec, who represents the riding of Calgary Shepard, spoke before question period to mark Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, "a day to remember mothers and fathers who lost their babies by miscarriage or stillbirth and infant loss."

He is one of those dads.

In August, the MP announced on Facebook with his wife Evangeline that his daughter had passed away less than six weeks after her birth. The girl, Lucy-Rose, had a genetic condition called Trisomy 13, also known as Patau syndrome, that causes a host of health problems.

Tom Kmiec, Facebook/Canadian Press
Kmiec and his wife Evangeline hold their daughter Lucy-Rose in an undated handout photo.

Kmiec said at the time while most of her little life was spent in a neonatal intensive care unit, the week Lucy-Rose spent at home brought "incredible warmth" to the family. She helped her older siblings — Maximillian, Jolie and Enoch — grow as caretakers without speaking a word.

Fighting back tears, Kmiec told the House Monday about saying goodbye to his youngest daughter over the summer.

Kmiec thanked the staff at the neonatal intensive care unit, doctors, and neighbours for their comfort and care. He also thanked fellow Parliamentarians who reached out to him with kind words and compassion.

He called it a day to grieve for parents who have lost a child, for siblings who have lost a lifelong best friend.

"Too often we prize a long life of achievements over a life well lived, filling the hearts of those around us with warmth and compassion," he said.

With a file from The Canadian Press