The hospital that Beckett was born at hosts a yearly memorial service for the grieving families that delivered their baby there.
This year I was asked to speak at the service and I wanted to share my message here as well.
A message of hope.
“I loved a boy with the utmost love of which my soul is capable of, and he is taken from me – yet in the agony of my spirit in surrendering such a treasure I feel a thousand times richer than if I had never possessed it.” William Wordsworth
Two years ago our son, Beckett, was stillborn. He looked just like his big brothers and had their upturned nose. He was absolutely perfect. We were able to spend 4 precious hours with him before saying goodbye.
People often ask me how I survived losing Beckett. If it gets easier with time.
First, if you are are in the darkest parts of grief know that joy can and does return. Happiness is absolutely possible and hope gives renewed strength. I remember that the weight of my grief was suffocating after losing Beckett. I truly didn’t know if surviving the loss of a child was possible. I sought hope in others that had walked this path before me. Hope that there was life after such loss.
Today, if needed, I want to give that hope to you.
Beckett taught me how sacred life is. How fragile and beautiful life is. How close heaven is. And overtime, as the waves of grief have calmed, I can now honestly say that the honor of being Beckett’s mother and the joy of saying hello, was worth the sorrow of having to say goodbye. Loss makes life so acutely precious. Harder, yes. Heavier, definitely. But oh so very beautiful. It brings us face to face with the Lord and it makes eternity that much more glorious.
I recently read the book “safe in the arms of God” by John MacArthur. In the book he said, “A common question of grieving parents is “why did my child have to die”. However an even more potent question is “what does God desire for me to do in the midst of this tragedy?”. The question of why has no satisfactory answer. The question of “what now” can turn a person from grief to action, from loss to healing, from sorrow to joy, and from feelings of utter devastation to feelings of purpose. ”
Beckett’s first birthday was one of the hardest days of my life. Second only to his birth. This year for his second birthday I knew I had to approach it differently. I knew that I could let my grief consume me again or I could use it, harness it maybe, to create Beckett’s legacy. To do good, to make a difference, in memory of him. He’s not physically here and therefore it is a great joy that as his mother I can use the impact he made on me to impact others. To bring them hope as well. In a way, it allows me to mother him in the only way I can. It allows me to keep his memory alive. Beckett’s life has changed me forever. And I am so proud to be his mother. And now I get to live that out until we are reunited.
I believe firmly that God did not desire for our children to pass away. It was not his will or perfect plan. However I do believe that God can and will bring glory from even the darkest tragedy if we allow him and if we are willing. I have seen how God restores, heals, and has brought glory through each of my losses. Loss is painful and grief is very real. But it’s because of hope that we continue and trust that one day we all will be made whole again.
I read once that grief is merely love transformed. It’s a desperate longing for the one that is no longer with us. So of course we grieve our babies. It’s because we first loved them.
But we may also have hope. Although saying goodbye to Beckett has been the greatest tragedy of my life, to Beckett, his death was anything but a tragedy. I know where he is and who he is with. He is safe and loved and living in glory. And I know and trust that one day I will join him. So although our temporary separation is deeply painful, and although I will physically ache for him every day of my earthly life, I know what is to come.
I think that life after loss will always be a journey of grief and joy, of sorrow and happiness, of desperation and hope, of complete shattered-ness and healing. But it’s a journey with the most beautiful ending.
If I could only tell you one thing I would tell you that your precious baby is not forgotten. They are remembered, they are cherished, and they are so very loved. And although their loss is tragedy there is so much hope. Such hope.
And now, I’d love the honor to pray for you.
“Sweet savior I pray for each and every person in this room. For each person mourning their baby. I pray they know that they are seen and that your heart breaks along side theirs. Scripture says that you count every one of our tears. That you are close to the broken-hearted. But scripture also says that one day our mourning will be turned into joy. That one day, in your presence, we will be made whole. I pray that a peace that surpasses all understanding settles deeply into each heart in this room. That the promise of reunion in heaven brings hope that comforts our deepest grief. Lord be near each of our broken hearts as we wait in earnest. In Jesus name, Amen”