Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Held

We want to thank so many of you for asking how we're doing, but most of all, we want to thank you for praying for us.

I would love to say that everyone is doing great and life is normal, but somehow that's not quite accurate.  The truth is that we all miss Chrissie desperately.  We miss her big hugs, her joyful smile, her contagious laugh.  We miss how she would call us "silly gooseballs" (instead of goofballs).  We miss everything about her.

We've joined a very small community that no one wants to be a part of:  those who have suffered the loss of a child.  And the kids have joined as those who have suffered the loss of a sibling...a child sibling, not an adult siblings.  I cannot tell you how this feels.  It just plain ole stinks, really.  No one should have to bury their child.  Period.  No one should have to figure out how to sit at the family dining room table with one chair empty that will never be filled with the same joy that once occupied that seat.  No one should have to walk through their child's favorite store without their child in tow, knowing they'll never walk those aisles hand in hand again.  No one should have to be the one to remove their child's car seat and "retire" it, not because the child outgrew it, but because the car seat outlived the child.  No one should have to pack away precious outfits that were purchased specifically for post-surgery...easy to put on outfits that buttoned down the back so that a split sternum wouldn't be displaced when lifting arms to put on a shirt.  Brand new sandals for the summer.  Sweet bows that matched the special post-surgery outfits.  Swimsuits that were never worn.  It's just hard and sad, and I don't know when/if it will ever get easier.

There are a few of you who have emailed me to let me know that you, too, have lost a child.  One of you is right here in Wimberley, and I'd love to meet you!!!  I'd love to meet ALL of you who have lost a child because this is a very small club that no one else can really fathom.  I loved that one of you wrote to me and told me about how someone expressed empathy to you by saying they understood because they had lost an uncle.  And I appreciated how you said that made you feel somewhat angry.  Losing a child just really cannot be compared to any other loss.  Really, it can't.

I look back and am amazed at how God pulled together a beautiful celebration of life for our princess in a matter of days. I never thought I could do it; and I couldn't.  It was all God.  God did all of the planning, and I am still in awe of how He pulled together a team of people who made Chrissie's celebration of life a joyful event instead of one of mourning.  The day Chrissie died, I never thought I'd be able to even attend her funeral because I believed wholeheartedly that I would not be able to pull myself together enough to even attend, much less speak.  I sobbed on our floor at home for hours...like 10-12 hours.  I sobbed in the shower and told God that I would never be OK, this was not OK, how would we ever be OK?  I could not eat, sleep, or even think.  I could not function, really. 

The day after Chrissie died, we had the meeting with the funeral home.  I HAD to pull myself together, but I couldn't.  I was utterly dependent upon God and God alone, which is exactly what He wants us to do, all the time.  We pulled into the parking lot of the funeral home, and I sobbed, barely able to walk inside.  Again, no one should ever have to plan their child's funeral.  No one.  It just isn't right.  But God was faithful, and He pulled me together to where I was able to talk.  I didn't think I'd be able to get a word out.  He wiped my tears away and enabled me to speak to the funeral home director and planner, after a few minutes of trying to choke back tears and talk through sobs.  God began to weave together details of the funeral in such a beautiful way.  I had no idea where to start (I googled 'how to plan your child's funeral'), but God knew how to make all of it come together.  He started showing me details and ideas and surrounded me with people to make it all happen.  I had no clue what I was doing, but God had the support "staff" in place, to lift us up when we couldn't hold own heads up, much less our arms and bodies, and He took care of every detail.  My husband and I spent the entire day of May 20 (which was also Kiefer's birthday) planning Chrissie's funeral, but by the end of the night, I felt like it was going to be possible to survive this walk and actually attend our daughter's funeral...and hopefully speak at it.

God enabled me to see that He would walk this path with us; He would hold us.  He would surround us with people (many of whom we had never even met) who would volunteer to make everything come together in His beautiful design. 

And God has continued to prove His faithfulness to us.  Just because the funeral is over doesn't mean that life is now easier.  In many ways, it's harder.  It's harder to try to live when all of us just want our Chrissie back.  We just want life to be the way it was.  None of us wants to figure out how to show others what faith looks like after the loss of a beloved child/cherished sibling.  Yet we all wholeheartedly trust our sovereign Lord, who doesn't make mistakes.  We thank God for the gift of our faith while we desperately and utterly depend on Him to show us how to walk this path of grief and mourning while giving Him honor and glory. 

None of us knows what we're doing.  We just press on with hope through Him.  Some of us talk about Chrissie a lot; others don't want to mention even her name at this time.  The various stages of grief will be hit at various times for all of us, especially with the variety of ages and maturity throughout our home.  Shock, denial, anger, pain, guilt, sadness, depression, loneliness, reconstruction, acceptance, and hope.  Can you imagine all of us going through all of this at various ages and stages?  Oh my, it overwhelms me just to think of it.  But God comes in and holds us, rocks us, soothes us, and tells us that everything is going to be OK in His perfect timing.  We may not ever get to a point of not missing Chrissie, but He will sustain us until we hold her in Heaven.

God is ever-present.  He is mighty; He is love; He is sovereign; He is grace; He is hope.  He is who/what enables us to keep going.  We are utterly dependent upon Him and all that He so graciously and freely gives each of us.  We don't see how there will ever be a day that we won't miss Chrissie, but we do see, feel and trust the hope that we have in Jesus Christ.  We trust that He will carry us through these days on earth, and He will reunite us with our princess in Heaven.  We know that Chrissie is happier in Heaven than she ever was on earth, and yet we still feel so sad to not have her with us. 

I cannot imagine what life would be like without the eternal hope of Jesus Christ.  I have never been more grateful for His gift of eternal life.  I cannot imagine being separated from God.  I know that God has experienced our loss as He gave His One and Only Son for us, so that we could have eternal life.  I am truly in awe of how God was able to do this.  I know that I am too selfish to ever offer up my child, particularly for sinners who don't deserve such a gift.  Yet, I freely and gratefully receive His precious gift, the blood of His Son, shed for me, a sinner who doesn't deserve such graciousness.  I am forever grateful; forever blessed.

If there's one thing I know without a doubt, it's that God is real and He is present.  He is Love and He is Hope.  I wrote a post (entitled The Promise) before Chrissie's surgery about a rainbow that God had so graciously given me on the way home from the cardiac surgeon's office in February.  (You may read that post by clicking HERE.)  While I had hoped that "The Promise" was the healing of Chrissie's heart on this earth, to have her return to our family to live a long and abundant life, God has reminded me that "The Promise" was that when everything fell, we'd be held. 

God has held us beautifully,although that doesn't mean that it's pain-free.  He hasn't left our sides, not even momentarily.  He has surrounded us with an amazing Christian family who love on us, pray for us, encourage and support us day by day, faithfully.

This is what it means to be held.  We are living it daily.  And we still all agree that we wouldn't change it for the world.  Chrissie, precious angel, you were so very worth it.  We love you and miss you, sweet love. 

(Read the lyrics to Natalie Grant's song Held by clicking HERE.)  You can also watch the music video below.  (If you are reading this via email or RSS feed, you'll have to visit our blog to see the video.)


Thank you all for praying for us and for taking the time to ask how we're doing. Thank you for being God's hands and feet.  The hands that hold us when everything falls.  In His hands.  No better place to be.

37 comments:

Tay :) said...

Lorraine, Your strength amazes me! Every single word I read I am simpley amazed! I wish I could take your pain away but all I can do is continue to pray. Chrissie was so so lucky to have you as a mom. I have learnt so much through you and I cant thank you enough. You have made me a better person but more importantly you gave Chrissie a life of love and happiness.
We all love you so much! Prayer and prayers are being sent your way! xoxoxox

Carissa said...

Maybe God woke me up at 4am, just to read this as you were writing it...just to tell you I am still praying for you and that I wish I could hug you and cry with you.

I am still praying peace for you. God has placed peace on my heart for you through much of this. His peace is beyond understanding, beyond what we could even fathom, and I pray He engulfs you in His peace. Psalm 29:11 says "The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace."
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Joy will come, eventually. But my prayer for you right now is peace and hope and strength, an overflow of them.

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Oh so sorry for your continued pain. (NOT that I expected you not to have pain.)

No. I cannot understand. I have not buried a child.

So much of what you wrote reminds me of MaryBeth Chapman (Steven Curtis Chapman's wife) and the deep grief that she still has (2 years later) from the death of her little Chinese Princess. Have you read her blog? I have a link in my sidebar (just says "MaryBeth"). I believe she is writing a book about her experience.

Praying for each of you, as you seek the Lord for His strength to make it through each day.

Laurel :)

Renae said...

Hi Lorraine, I just viewed the album of pictures from the last post...and you're exactly right, I CANNOT imagine your grief! As I looked at all those pictures, I was immediately taken back to that month when she was in the PICU and we were all praying for her...wanting so desperately to see the laughs a giggles you assured us she was just FULL of! I was devasted all over again..so I can't imagine what her precious family is going through. I am praying for you EVERY time the Lord brings you to my mind and heart and will continue to do so. I am posting an RR button on my adoption blog, and will do all I can to make sure others like Chrissie aren't looked over by adoptive families. I pray God continues to bless you with His awesome presence and peace as you live day by day trusting in HIM!

Julie said...

Reading your post brings me right back to the day almost 4 years ago that we lost our precious son, Evan. When people ask me how many children do we have, I hesitate. Such a simple question and yet one that floods me with grief again. Our son, like Chrissie, was adopted as a child with a medical condition. We knew some where within us that his death was a possibility, but we had seen so many miracles along the way, we were not expecting it. It did not make the grief any easier. We saw and continue to see God's hand in ALL things especially the life and death of our son. We have since adopted 3 more children with special medical needs (we didn't know what we were doing when we began and Evan opened up this door to us) and are praying about a little boy with HIV and Down Syndrome in Uganda. Evan died just a month after he came home to his family. It was a privilege to walk him home to his Heavenly father...and it still hurts every day. I carry this little boy wherever I go...he will always be a part of who I am just as Chrissie defines a part of you and will forever.
We are in this special club together...not sure we signed up for this but go through it all over again to have had the opportunity to be a part of the miracle that God showed us through Evan.
We have been praying for you family for many months and will not stop. I understand what it is like to watch each of your children grieve in their own ways and in their own times. Yesterday, Our 16 month old son started having seizures. I worry because the kids understand what it means to lose a sibling and I know there would be fear when they experienced watching another little brother struggle. But, of course, God knew so much more than I do and the seizures that Isaac is having are characterized by laughing. God has spared them from anxiety about Isaac.
Sorry to talk so much about Evan. I could sit and listen about Chrissie all day long..we are in this together and we are praying for you.
Love, Julie
www.blessedby10.blogspot.com
I am friends with Megan Olson in Minnesota--she let me know of Chrissie and her journey quite early on.

KK said...

Your words are a wonderful reminder. Not that I ever forget that God still carries us. We will never stop missing our little ones, and the pain only changes but never truly leaves. Here is a link to a blog post I wrote along the lines of what you have written here. But mine came many months after Nathan's death. I believe in coming together and sharing our stories and our healing steps we can strengthen and encourage one another. http://txjonesohana.blogspot.com/2010/01/healing.html
May you continue every moment to feel God's presence.
Blessings,
KK

walkingwithangels said...

whoops my email address is meredithtribe@blueyonder.co.uk

walkingwithangels said...

I know there is no right way to feel when you lose a child. I can go being calm to pure rage in seconds. My daughters can be laughing and to then turn to tears in moments. I have complete faith in God but I still find myself asking why. Losing Livvy nearly destroyed me, it took everything I had to survive, it took my love for my daughters for me to carry on. Losing my foster son has left me numb. We were trying to do good to bring a child into our family who didnt know what family life was. Losing him has thrown me into a world of doubt which the enemy is enjoying loads.

I am surrounded myself with the word, reading, listening immersing myself into my faith to stay strong. It isnt easy, each day is a new challenge.

Sorry ive gone on about myself when really i just wanted to say i do understand, we are part of a club no body wants to join.

If you ever need to talk please contact me. I have no answers but maybe we can find the together.

Isabella Kathleen said...

Lorraine, you don't know me, and we may never meet here on earth. But, I wanted to let you know that I have followed your blog since Chrissie first entered the hospital, and prayed for her and for all of you, every day since. My prayer, now, is that God continues to hold you in His comfort now and for always.
In His love,
Sherry Vaughn

Holly said...

Oh Lorraine. I have not emailed not because I do not care, but because I have not known what to say. I do NOT understand. How COULD I? What I do know is that I still cry when I see Princess Chrissie's pictures and when I read your words spilled out from the grief and brokenness of your heart that are laced with faith and HOPE...I weep with you. NO it is not the same. Of course not. But if my heart can hurt from sympathy so very much, I truly cannot imagine yours.
I have never met you in person although we share some friends...yours in real life and mine just through Providence. the Riggs and the Blocks. The Riggs adopted their daughter from Ethiopia. That daughter was the very same one that I had inquired about and AGCI said we had not been home long enough yet, to wait. Then they called me and said are you still interested in her and I said of course and they said after Thanksgiving if no other family has come forward...we will consider matching her with your family. And God sent Michelle and Brent :) He knows best..can't imagine her anywhere else!
And I found Amy when researching HIV adoptions and realized she was a kindred spirit! :) I am sure I found you through one of them.
I know that Faithful God will continue to minister to you in Chrissie's absence. Don't you just long for Heaven? I do! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
Thank you Lorraine for sharing your life, your heart, your pain, your joy and your HOPE with the world.
love,
Holly- Purpose Driven Family

Anonymous said...

I beleive the greatess loss and pain in life is the lost of a child and that no child should die before their parents.
It is something that you never get over, however if you are lucky and with God by your side, ever so slower You learn to live with it. Life as hard as it is goes on and ever where around you, you sence your child and because of this they are still with you as you make your way through life, only now they live within your heart and even in you darkest hours and their will be many you never walk alone.
'IF IT WASN'T FOR THE DARKNESS, YOU WOULD NEVER SEE THE STARS'
bit by bit, though your hearts are so heavy that your body couldn't possible carry you through the day by itself, you will start to see the stars.
Thinking of you from across the miles,
love Jo from South Australia

Kat said...

We continue to pray constantly for your family. So thankful God is forever present.

Larry Barcroft said...

I have been so busy,I wanted to wait until I had more time to write a worthwhile message of compassion to you and your family.
Chrissie was such a beautiful child.
Even though I didn't get to meet her personally,I will never forget her big brown eyes an precious smile.
I am excited to think that when I get to Heaven I will recognize her immediately.
This song,"Held" touches a very tender place in the hearts of my family and I
On the morning of May 19th,as I headed for work, I went a couple of miles and then turned on K-Love and this song began to play.
I couldn't hold back the tears,knowing the that this song,written by a grieving Christian Mom, has ministered to many who have loss a child.
I didn't find out that Chrissie was "Dancing with Jesus" until I reached the office and checked your blog.
I called my wife to let her know,and we cried together on the phone, and prayed for your family. (very sweet)
She told me that, as she was praying the night before,she ask the Lord,that if he took Chrissie home,that she and our son Noah would be close friends in Heaven.
This May 19th was the 8th anniversary of our Noah's finished work here on Earth.
Noah's life story was very precious.Just like Chrissie's. He was born Down Syndrome,and had Heart surgery at 6 mos. We saw God heal him many times,as he was carried by our prayers and the prayers of so many of our dear friends.
He was so precious to us, and our other 7 children.
He had big blue eyes,and beautiful golden hair.
At 21 mos. he got a cold,that developed into pneumonia,and died in the hospital in less than 24 hrs.
I wish I had more time to share,and to here more about Chrissie and the rest of your children.
Maybe sometime we can meet and visit.That would be such a blessing to us.
We are members of Living Water Fellowship in Bulverde,Tx.and attend there about 2 wks. every month.(we live 2 hrs.away)
Anyway,I wanted to say that,your family and Chrissie's testimony are very dear to us.
We will continue to lift you up in prayer,knowing by our own walk down this path of losing a child,that our God is able to bind up the brokenhearted and carry us all, until we are all home together FOREVER!
Love in Christ,
Larry and Pam Barcroft and family

About Me said...

Just want you to know that I think about you so very much. Very close family friends of mine have also joined this same family joined by the pain of loss as you eloquently put it. They lost their baby boy and my heart aches for them so very much. I never know what to say except that I love them and am praying. I would like to express the same to you and your family. May you continue to know the strength of His Presence upholding you and your precious family. The words of that song are so precious. So comforting to know that you are in His mighty, yet gentle embrace. All my love, Janine

Lori said...

Dear Lorraine,
There are no words to adequately explain what you all are going through... I won't say I understand because as you so eloquently stated, it's hard to understand --unless you've been there and suffered such a loss.
What I DO want to say is that I am still thinking of you and praying for you. And I miss reading about Chrissie and seeing the photos of her daily progress. It has left an emptiness and so I can only imagine the gaping hole it has left in YOUR lives. She was just so special--and continues to be--although in a different place now with her Saviour.
The song you posted ALWAYS gets to me, leaves me in tears. It is so hard to understand--and I don't think I ever will understand WHY the Lord took Chrissie home so soon.
You don't need anyone to tell you this but I just wanted to encourage you to feel whatever you need to feel. We all know you guys have tremendous faith but that doesn't take away the loss.
I just wish I could somehow wave a magic wand and the Lord would bring her back to you. Unfortunately, that is not His plan...
Much love and prayers, Lori

Clare said...

Of course you are hurting, but everyone is precious. For that person who lost their Unlce, he may have been their whole life, for their whole life. You shouldn´t belittle that...

Anonymous said...

Oh Lorraine...my heart aches with you! Very close friends of ours lost their 23 yr old daughter a few years ago. Karen was as close to me as my own daughter is and I helped look after her in her last weeks and, in fact was with her when she passed away. So I can understand a measure of what you are all going through. To this day we all miss her dearly, but it does get easier in some ways. In time I felt that I was able to breathe again and think of all the good times with her, to remember her great sense of humour, strength and courage and to laugh at the many funny moments we had together. All these words seem so inane, but I have been able to climb out of the valley with God's help. I pray that day by day it will get easier and that you will feel as if the sun is shining in your lives again.
Big hugs,
Rachel.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your post today! I really needed the reminder of God being ever-present. I am a Christian and I know He's always there, but I've been a little overwhelmed lately and your words struck my heart and give me hope for a better day tomorrow. I hope you have a better day tomorrow, too! I think about your family every day and even though I never had the honor of meeting Chrissie, I see cute little dark-haired, brown-eyed girls and think of her.

Michele

Emma said...

I can't imagine how you're all feeling. It hit me hard at the time even though I'd never met Chrissie, but I guess now there are so many other things. To you and your family, this just isn't. You all will be in my prayers tonight.

I listen to that song every time something like this happens. Not when someone eldery dies, but when someone suffers the loss of a child or parent at a young age. And sadly that happens all too often.

Blessings,
Emma

Googsmom said...

{{{{{HUGS}}}} and Prayers!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear how you all are doing. I did not start reading your blog until after Chrissie's Surgery when a found it linked to another Reece Rainbow adoption blog. I have been checking it regularly and wondering how you were and praying for you all. Your faith is amazing and your lost brings me to tears. I am glad to hear God is giving you all the strength and love you need.

Ellen

Lorraine, AKA Forever Blessed said...

Goodness, I am so very blessed by all of your sweet, honest, transparent, caring, loving and encouraging comments. Thank you so much for taking the time to pray and support us and leave us sweet comments.

I would like to address Clare's comment. (I cannot email her directly as I don't have her email address.) Clare, I never intended to belittle the loss of a loved one. I am sorry that you felt I implied that. Losing a loved one, even a pet, is one of the hardest things we as human beings are forced to live through on this earth. I never intended to belittle losing a loved one. (Oh my, you should have seen us when my son lost his best friend, who happened to be his horse, last fall.) We were a wreck. I just was trying to express my thoughts/feelings regarding how we're doing after we lost our daughter. For me personally (and for many of the other families who have contacted me regarding the loss of a child), there is just something different about the loss of a child since they are so young. It doesn't mean it hurts more than the loss of another loved one; for me it just means it's harder to figure out what life looks like from here on out without this bundle of laughter hanging on us day in and day out, squeezing our necks, kissing our cheeks, and just plain ole being silly and loving on all of us. It's not really soemthing I can explain. Of course we desired to see Chrissie grow up, past the age of 4, to one day have her daddy walk her down the aisle, to meet her husband, to travel the world and tell the Good News of God's miracles in her life, and so much more. There's something about when a child dies that makes us really grieve all of the things the child never got to do. Not having the first day of Kindergarten, for instance. It's just different when a child dies, and really, I don't expect anyone to understand (unless, of course, they've lost a child themselves). It's just hard to explain and I was merely writing out my own personal thoughts on this b/c I'm still trying to figure things out. But, I really wanted you to know, Clare, that I would never belittle the loss of a loved one. Life is precious, and yes, we are hurting, but I know that everyone who loses a loved one hurts. No hurt is more or less than another. Hurts cannot be compared. All life is precious. All are precious in His sight.

Thank you all for praying. We feel it, and we are most grateful.

TexasLauren77 said...

Thinking of all of you, and praying for you still. There are no words I could ever offer to take away your pain, but I have faith that God is keeping you in his hands, and will stay with you always.

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

I remember hearing that song after our Hannah died......still makes me cry- remembering our baby girl. Then losing our Naomi - she didn't die, but the adoption failed.....

NO ONE should ever have to lose a child- EVER. I remember clearly the summer that the Chapman's lost their daughter. I prayed for them thinking to myself - that is one thing I couldn't bear. Little did we know that a few months later.....we would, and a year after that lose a child through failed adoption - which feels lot like death.......

I have lost an uncle grandparents, even friends, but losing a child is VERY different! There is no way to understand unless- you are in that club- that NO ONE wants to join.

Praying for you all!!!!!!

Lorraine, AKA Forever Blessed said...

I am so blessed by all of your sweet comments and words of encouragement. I continue to be amazed at how God links us to others who have lost a child who have walked this path and are able to give us advice. I am grateful for all of you who have never walked this path, but continue to pray for us and encourage us with your sweet support and friendship.

I would like to address Clare's comment (I cannot email her privately as I do not have her email address). Clare, I just wanted to let you know that I never intended to belittle the death of a loved one. All life is precious. (You should have seen us when our son lost his best friend, who happened to be a horse. We were a wreck, and next to Chrissie's death, it was one of the hardest deaths we've had to endure.) Losses of loved ones are all hard, no matter the age of the person who dies. For us, personally, losing a child has been really confusing and painful as we try to figure out how to move on without our little bundle of laughter hugging our necks, squeezing our checks, and filling the room with joy. Everywhere we turn, whether it's in our vehicle, our bedroom, our bathroom, our laundry room, our dining room, our kitchen, our school room, our yard...there is Chrissie. We longed to see her grow up, to have her first day of Kindergarten, to learn to pedal a bike, to learn to swim, to run down our driveway, to grow into a young woman who traveled the world with us, to tell her miraculous adoption and life story herself with her daddy by her side, to walk down the aisle with her daddy at her wedding...the list is never-ending. When a child dies, suddenly there is a huge list of things the child never got to do here on earth, and there's a huge list of things that we never got to do beside her. But we do know that even though our earthly hopes and visions of all that we would have liked to have done together were not fulfilled, Chrissie's life-long dream of having a mommy and a daddy was fulfilled, and she lived the happiest 6 months of her life with our family at Forgotten Saw Ranch. She gave us the best 6 months of our lives as well, and we are grateful. Clare, I hope you understand that I wholeheartedly agree that ALL life is precious. No life is of more value than another. All losses hurt, no matter the age of the loved one. For us, we are grieving the loss of our precious "baby" girl, who we wished we would get to watch grow up and do all of the things that "normal" kids get to do. I am sorry that my post made you feel like I was belittling the loss of a loved one. That was never my intention. All are precious in His sight, and the losing a loved one is never anything to belittle.

Thank you all for praying. We are most grateful!

Lorraine, AKA Forever Blessed said...

Sorry for my double comments! The first one didn't go through...or so I thought, so I posted a second one, then they both appeared. Oh well! :-)

Nora S. said...

Lorraine,

Thank you again for sharing your heart...your pain, your hope, your journey, your love, your family. I'm praying for all of you and am thankful to hear you have such wonderful family and friends holding you all.

Nora

Linam updates said...

Lorraine & family,

We just want you to know that we still pray for you all all the time. Please don't hesitate to pour out those needs to us all...

I don't feel worthy to offer any adequate words of encouragement--you have indeed joined a very select community of families, one that the Rollins at Emily Ann helped our friend Kenny negotiate--however, I know that God's words through music also helped sustain us through dark valleys. We shared some of the ones that carried us on our blog: www.abbylinam.blogspot.com. You may know them as well, but I pray them all for you today...

Love,
-the Linams

Amy said...

I wish I had some perfectly put together words to take away your pain. I don't. I just wanted you to know that our family is still here praying for your family daily. We love you all so much. Amy

Amy said...

I wish I had some perfectly put together words to take away your pain. I don't. I just wanted you to know that our family is still here praying for your family daily. We love you all so much. Amy

Anonymous said...

Lorraine,

I have been so moved by how you've just opened your heart up to so many people. Our whole family has been praying for you constantly. Even today, Renee prayed for you before our breakfast.

Actually, Renee has been urging me to share an experience with you that I had a few days after Chrissie's funeral. I was playing the piano -- some music that is way too hard for me but I love to imagine how it would sound. The song was "Danny Boy" and the arrangement was by Joseph Martin, from his "Celtic Tapestry" collection. That particular song has lots of shimmery-type arpeggios that would be very pretty if my short, stubby fingers could do them justice. Nevertheless, as I was playing, in my mind lyrics started to come, and they were not to the original song, and they were sung by Chrissie. It was a very odd experience since I had never heard Chrissie sing, but it was a very sweet high-pitched breathy voice, and the thing that really impressed me about it was how happy that voice sounded.

The lyrics were something like, "Look, how He shimmers! Look, how He glows! He is holding me. I can run and jump and leap into His arms!"

I don't remember the rest of the lyrics. This has never happened to me before, where I actually could hear in my mind a voice that was singing lyrics to a song as I played it. I am not saying that it was some metaphysical experience, but I do think that the Holy Spirit brings thoughts and experiences to us that are comforting.

So, I am imagining Chrissie in the lap of our Lord Jesus, as His robe shimmers in irridescent splendor, and she is amazed that in the midst of all of His glory, that His eyes sparkle just for her. And she leaps down and runs to play, but comes right back and jumps up in His lap, tugging on His beard and making Him smile.

I have not lost a child that I got to hold, but I did have a miscarriage in between Renee and Emma. It was not the same sorrow that you have had, but I have gotten so much comfort from remembering that it was Jesus that said, "Let the little children come," and from imagining my child in His arms.

I will pray that God will provide comfort for your whole family.

Marie Cole

Sara Beamish, Ontario Canada said...

I was directed to your blog through the RR yahoo group. Everyone had been talking about your beautiful daughter. Sorry, can't type what I wanted too as the hole in my chest is trying so hard to rip open. I wanted to let you know that I too am sending love to your family. Last February our foster son (who had been home with his bio family for 2 months) passed away, and then in Augsut our 8 1/2 yr old daughter returned to spirit as well. How you begin to heal, help your children heal (we still have a 3 1/2 yr old daughter)...it's beyond me. Hopefully one day I will be able to write to all of the beautiful thoughts that I do want to share.

Tons of love and hugs to your whole beautiful family. Stay and strong and together:)

Marlo said...

Lorraine, You will find that this is not a small club at all. Just because no one in your circle has lost a child, doesn't mean that you are alone in your experience--though you will feel very alone at times. During my three years in the cancer world, it started to feel like everyone I knew was in the "club". I started keeping a list of my daughter's "friends" in Heaven. I wrote Steven Curtis Chapman and said that I was looking forward to our daughters introducing us someday. It somehow helps me to know who she is with. It does get easier to function with time, but I know I will be 80 and still be looking longingly at 5 year old girls.

Anonymous said...

I woke in the night thinking about Clare's comment to you and it really bothered me. She shouldn't have left a comment at all if it was going to be one challenging your thoughts. Anyone who has any idea of what you and your family have experienced with your loss should only respond to you with graciousness and love and care as you are all learning how to live without your baby. I think you should be able to express your feelings without someone disceting your thoughts and I hope it didn't hurt your feelings.

mc

Faith, Hope, and Love said...

Sweet Lorraine,

You are right...you have joined a club that none of us want to belong to. The thought is almost too much to bear. I can not even come close to imagining the path you are walking. I wish there was something I could do to make it easier for you...I will pray. I'm glad you are not walking this path alone.

God bless your shattered heart. I will continue to lift your family up in prayer.

Love and blessings,
Robin

Anonymous said...

Your slideshow was beautiful...I sat in my living room with tears streaming down my face as I viewed every picture. I know you've heard this a lot, but I am so sorry for your loss. I am sorry you are having to learn to live as a family of 7 on the outside, but a family of 8 on the inside. I have never lost a child...I'm not even a parent, so I have no idea what you are going through. Praying for healing for your family.

Qadoshyah said...

I've been wondering how you guys were doing. I can't even imagine the loss you guys are going through and hope I never have to go through it. To think of losing one of my siblings is horrible.

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