Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sad Day

[Written April 18, but I ran out of time to proofread/edit and have had trouble getting back to it.  Today, it's been a month since Kyleigh passed away.]

Today, a beautiful baby girl was buried.  Her name is Kyleigh.  She was born at full term, but never took a breath.  I've known her mother since early elementary school, though we never got to know each other well.

But today, that mother is on my heart and in my prayers, as she has been for days.  Tragedy does things like that. 

I'm thinking of her standing by a tiny coffin at a private burial, parting prematurely with a piece of her own heart.  And my heart hurts for her.

These things didn't used to affect me so deeply.  It's not that I wouldn't have been saddened before.  I still would have felt for her -- just from a human standpoint, and from the perspective of being a mother, plus that of losing three of my own children to miscarriage (in the first trimester).  But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had the same ache I have now, every time I hear of something like this.  This empathy ache. 

It came at awful cost. 

I attended my own brother's private burial.  I stood awkwardly next to my own mother wishing I could comfort her and that she could comfort me at the same time, feeling the gaping hole in who we were, ripped clean through in the blink of an eye.  I said my own goodbyes.  I watched my mother say hers. 

I saw the coffin sealed, lowered.  The dirt poured in....

To say that was a hard day?  Not even close to stating it.

These thoughts, and more, flood my heart today, as this mother and her family begin a journey of grief.

So I piece words together, and I long to comfort in some small way.

No two stories of grief are exactly the same.  I have not lost a child of my own whom I've carried in my belly for nine months, or whom I've held in my arms.  Many others have never lost a sibling.  I've never lost my mother, or my father.  But sooner or later, if you live long enough, you lose someone close.  And it cuts to the core. 

And there's the compassion of empathy.  An instant bonding with others who have similar experiences.  We want to reach out.  We want to help.  And we think of things that would help us that we could do or say.

Yet not everyone grieves the same.  And we aren't enough to comfort each other.  Not that we can't do anything.  We can help.  But there's nothing any person can do to make it all right again.

No person, place, or thing in the world is enough for what any of us seek.  We were created to seek what is out of this world.  To seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.

And hold onto it with all we've got when darts fly and rip gaping holes.  See them as windows to heaven.

The ultimate answer to the sorrow is glorious grace, God's incredible giving of His own Child, and the hope of heaven.  Death is not the end, and one day, the graves will burst forth with vibrant life once again, and the dead will arise.

That is the comfort with which I am comforted. And that is what I pray for all those who walk with heart-torn sorrow.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ."  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 


  1. Beautiful, heartfelt words. How wonderful to serve a God who defeated Death! Praying for Kyleigh's family right now.

  2. Very thought-provoking. I appreciate your reflections.