Remembering Lilly: Coping with the Loss of a Child
November 5, 2013
A year ago, I posted a letter from their baby girl to my friends who lost her. The letter has been used to comfort parents who’ve lost children and encourage women considering abortion. In all those cases of all those moms and dads, not once has someone written to tell me that it gets easier. No one has said it becomes simple and painless to do what’s best for your child when it tears you apart. Lilly will always be gone, so there will always be a void in our lives that she would have filled. The loss of a child doesn’t get easier. It doesn’t get easier to go through a day and not miss her. IT doesn’t get easier. But YOU get stronger.Today is Lilly’s birthday…and the day she died. Birthdays are usually happy occasions. They are the days we celebrate a life beginning and the hope of the future. They are filled with cakes and balloons and colors and joy. They are days to look back at the last year and look forward to the next. They are days to be thankful.
We all have tears to shed today because the space in our lives Lilly would have filled is still empty. That sadness doesn’t go away. But today, my prayer for those who know the pain of losing a child is that today – Lilly’s day – will be a day to be thankful.
I’m thankful that Lilly Claire spent all her time on earth tucked safely under her mama’s heart.
I’m thankful that even in that place that hurts, we can celebrate her day.
I’m thankful for the hope of a future where we understand God’s comfort in a way we couldn’t before because we hadn’t needed it so profoundly.
I’m thankful that we can have cake and balloons and colors and joy because Lilly is our constant reminder of God’s faithfulness. She is the picture in our hearts of what it means to trust Him beyond what you can see or think or feel.
I’m thankful that we can look at the last year and see every step of hurt where we were carried.
I’m thankful that we can look forward to the next year and know we are stronger than we were before.
We can be thankful – not in a fake way, not with empty platitudes, not as those who take life for granted. We can be thankful that one little girl changed us forever.
Losing a child doesn’t get easier. Sometimes the hurt comes even when we pray with all we have that it will be different. IT doesn’t get easier. But YOU get stronger.
And we have Lilly to thank for reminding us of that.
Each year I write about Lilly on her birthday.
For more encouragement through the loss of a child, the next post about Lilly is here.