Tuesday, October 23, 2012

When we comfort each other in grief

From My Gilead (notes to my children)

August 23, 2011
On this day baby Delia was born, baptized, and left to be with Jesus.  Do you remember this day, or this week?  Your daddy was gone all night to be with the family.  He baptized her.  He called the whole experience "harder than war."  He was gone almost all week with the family afterwards.  

Do you remember the stress and sadness of this week?  
Do you remember the extra kids at our house all week?
The came to play while their parents cried and slept, the day after.
Lorraine do you remember how I let you stay home from school that day so you could help me with the extra kids?  

I knew you would be a blessing to those kids, especially to the older girls.  You were.  You kids swam and played and had all kinds of fun.  It was good to see you able to do that, even though the adults all around you had such heavy hearts.

August 28 2011
We made it through Delia's funeral.  I made it through the week of absent daddy, the extra kids, and the actually going to the funeral with three kids in tow.  Lorraine, Aggie, and Seth- do you remember this, your first funeral for a child?  Daddy says it was a good thing to take you.  He says it is good to teach you about the realities of death even though you are young, and to help you look to Jesus in times like this.

They let people hold Delia, family, before the service.  Josh and I were talking about this, and he said it was probably a good thing for you kids to see, otherwise "you might end up being 31 and afraid of death!" (scoff.)  (Is that really so strange? I wondered.)

I hated seeing that beautiful wooden cradle that held her body. It made my stomach hurt. I heard it took Delia's daddy and Uncle Dave 2 days to make it.

Oh God, help the children, and help me, and help daddy, and help all who love Delia...  Hold us close to You here in the valley of the shadow of death.

Thank you for their little arms to hug me through this week. 
Thank you for helping them find comfort in mine, as my arms are just an extension of your care for them.

And thank you, Father, for giving us solid promises and reasons to hope with confidence that this is not the end of the story.  
In the name of Jesus and because of his death and resurrection,

For more on being weak and loved in times of grief, see the following posts

Blessed Spring (this is just a season)
How are you doing? Seems like a crazy question, but this is what I am really asking


  1. I have journeyed through such things beside friends as well. "harder than war" seems like an accurate description.

  2. oh emily. i missed this in the craziness of this morning a "i'll have to read that later" thing. not even catching that it was about her funeral, thought it was about going to a funeral AS a child.

    i am glad i saw it when i did.

    i love your words. they are so helpful. so comforting.

    thank you for helping your littles remember.

    remind me to tell you something lorraine said when i was subbing!

  3. Visiting from Legacy Leaver Thursday! :)

    Such a beautiful prayer.

  4. Oh how heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time.


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