My Sweet Cousin,
I’ve tried to write you several times, but the words just slip away from me. One moment they’re here, then they just disappear…like vapor into thin air.
What words are there to comfort a grieving mother who has lost her baby?
There are none.
Anything I could say is not enough. Anything I could do will not fix it. Because things…life…feels incredibly broken. Like it was not meant to be this way.
I stood at the front of the church with you as you said “I do” to the man of your dreams. Now I stand at the back of the church, watching as you walk down the aisle with that same, steady man. But this time you’re walking behind a white casket so small that my heart feels like it’s going to explode into a million pieces.
I know yours already has.
Because today, in front of friends and family, you said goodbye to your son, William Henry, your baby whom you only held briefly in your arms.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I most certainly can’t wrap my heart around it.
I ache deeply for you.
And I have this horrible, sinking feeling that it will get worse before it gets better. You will mourn in a way no one else will fully understand. You will grieve deeper and longer, and things will get very dark before they get light again.
Because even though you never got to hear him coo and giggle, you knew him. You were connected to him, deeply and intimately. His heart beat inside of you for 9 months. You were the only one who felt his heart stop beating. Only you.
It will take a tremendous amount of bravery, of strength and of dependence on the Lord to pick up the pieces of life after this. The pain will feel unbearable at times, and you’ll wonder how you can go on.
But you can, because you’re stronger than you think you are.
I don’t have answers for you, and I cannot tell you this is okay because it’s not okay. The only thing I can say is that I will pray continually for hope. Hope in the unseen. Hope in the midst of things that are heavy with despair. Hope for brighter days ahead as you sit in the darkest days of your life.
Psalms 18 was read at William’s funeral, a moment I will not forget. So many sweet words about the God you trust in and depend on when things don’t make any sense. May God continue to be your Rock and your Hope. I pray He helps put the broken pieces of your heart back together, so that someday after death you find life again.
And may your story reach other moms and families as they deal with their own grief and loss. That you would feel connected and understood. And through you, may they find the same Hope you cling to.
Some will have had funerals and burials, but some just a sterile doctors appointment to tell them it’s over. That a precious life has ended, and that theirs must keep on going. Grief has many forms, many different types of pain.
The pain of a mothers loss is too great to put words to.
With every milestone of moving on and moving forward it will feel like forgetting, but it’s not; it’s healing. A sweet healing that only time will bring. Time will be your gentle, patient friend that brings life and a new sense of wholeness as it moves.
Healing and Hope-the only words I really have to offer you. The words I will pray over you, both today and in the days to come.
Thank you for letting us in to your sadness. For letting us mourn with you and alongside your family, too see and experience the raw moments of your grief. May you feel quiet shoulders next to you at every stage of this journey, sitting in it with you, loving you along the way.
I love you dearly, my sweet cousin and friend. And your son William is deeply and truly missed.