Encouragement featured grief Hope life lessons

a letter from Lilly: coping with the loss of a child

November 8, 2012

There are so many days that I think “I could handle this so much better if I just knew she understood. If Brynna could just verbalize that she knows the discipline is for her good, that she sees the sacrifices and feels loved and safe and secure…” But as parents, we don’t get that feedback. It’s the one job that doesn’t have an annual review or progress report. You don’t get to hear what they are thinking.

Tomorrow my friends have to face the thing every parent hopes against. They will bury their baby girl who was born Monday with Trisomy 18. Tania carried her to term, feeling her kick and squirm for all those months. She endured the back pain and sleepless nights, the nausea and leg cramps. But a few hours before delivery, Lilly Claire’s little heart that formed with a hole in it stopped beating. Tania pushed through that pain so many of us know firsthand but her baby girl didn’t cry and look up at her with big expectant eyes. As they lay her to rest tomorrow I just keep thinking that there’s nothing I can do. I can’t ease their pain, although I want to with all my heart. I can’t make it hurt less. But I can tell them the one thing that might make it a little easier. Maybe if they just knew what Lilly was thinking it’d give them a little smile in the midst of their tears. If she could tell them how she feels, I think it might sound something like this…

Mommy & Daddy,
Thank you. Thank you for loving me so much that you chose to be even more sad right now instead of ending a pregnancy you knew would be painful. Thank you for loving every part of me – even the incomplete parts – even when you knew I wouldn’t be like other kids. Thank you for naming me and grieving for me. Thank you for telling my big brother about me. 

Mommy, most of all, thank you for carrying me under your heart. Your heart helped my heart beat and your breaths gave me breath. Thank you for singing to me and praying for me. (Thank you especially for eating good Mexican food!) Daddy, thank you for talking to me and letting me hear my brother’s laugh. Thank you for holding me and telling me you love me even after I was gone. Thank you for not being afraid to let people see you cry.

You chose to hurt to let me grow. You chose to cry so I didn’t have to. You chose to bear the pain and sadness of my loss and because of that everyone knows how much you love me. People can see that you love Jesus because you chose to love me. 

Thank you for showing the world what it means to be a parent – to love your baby more than yourself even when it hurts. 
Thank you for loving me enough to give me to Jesus even though you don’t understand. Thank you. 

–Lilly Claire


Each year I write about Lilly because it’s still the only thing I have to give her mom and dad.
For more encouragement through the loss of a child, the next post about Lilly is here.

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