today, I made soup for an army

Posted by & filed under Evie Grace.

her hair

Just writing today because it’s what I do.

When I hurt, I write.

It wasn’t always that way. But when I woke up the morning after we received our Evie’s in-utero diagnosis, my instinct was to sit down at my desk, turn on my computer, and just start typing.

I didn’t have a blog then. I didn’t even really know what blogs were.

I just wrote from my heart about what was happening and emailed it to everyone that I knew would love us well if we let them in. We let a lot of people in. And they loved us very well.

Since that morning in January more than six years ago, writing has become a comfort. It’s not always lovely or tidy or even coherent, but it’s honest and it’s strangely therapeutic.

And today, I just need to write for a while. Because today hurts.


This morning I did a terrible job putting peanut butter on my kids’ celery because I couldn’t see through the tears that had taken up residence in my eyes and down my face.

Today, this mama’s body shook quietly while I cut vegetables and browned sausage and made two enormous pots of soup that there’s no way we’ll be able to eat, because cooking felt distracting and I needed a distraction.

I’m achey and wounded and, to be honest, blindsided by how much it still hurts after six years of re-living the days and the memories and wishing I had one more car seat in the backseat of my car to buckle every time I went to the store.

I miss my baby. And I’m sad.
I’m reliving the most awful, wonderful moments of my life. And I’m sad.
I wonder what life would be like if she were here and six and blonde and learning to read. And I’m sad.

And it’s okay to be sad. Even six years later.
Even sixty years later. 

Day-to-day life may finally be doable, but birth days and heaven days are just going to be achey, trembly, weepy, sad.

And sad is okay.


And you know? Happy is okay, too.

Because even though today marks six years without Evie in our home, it also reminds us that six years ago today, the daughter we love and long for met Jesus Christ face to face! (And God the Father, and the Holy Spirit – she actually ‘gets’ how the Trinity works because she knows fully the mysteries that we can only know in part!) The thought of it is too much for me to take in.

Having a child who lives with Jesus is achey, sure. But it’s also, somehow, the most remarkable gift a parent could receive. Our daughter is with Jesus. Our Heavenly Father sees her, knows her, loves her. 

Heaven is her home. And she isn’t sad. Or sick. Or hungry or thirsty.

It’s what we pray through sweat and tears and lifetimes for each of our children. Though we would give anything for that lifetime to pray and sweat and cry for and with our daughter, we thank God for his sovereign plan.


And THIS, is why, on her Heaven Day, I want to crumble in tears and dance with joy and make twelve quarts of soup all at once.

Grief is funny like that. And that’s okay.


“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever believes in me, though he die,
yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me
shall never die.”
John 11:25-26


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22 Responses

  1. Blair 7 April 2014 at 3:18 pm

    I love you so. I love Jesus more because of you. And because of Evie. Thank you for sharing your life and your heart. So thankful and blessed.

  2. Mary Evelyn Smith 7 April 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I wept reading this. Happy is okay. Sad is okay. All that painful mommy stuff (the diagnosis, the loss, just all of it) never goes away. I’m so thankful you’re sharing this. It gives grace to so many people who may feel alone even years after their own losses and trials.

  3. Lydia Geisendorfer 7 April 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Raechel, your beautiful honesty and vulnerability touch my heart so deeply. I love how real you are in your life and your writing and that’s why (even if this sounds a bit strange) often when I refer to something I read by you or saw in your blog I tell people it’s something “a friend” wrote. Because that’s how it feels as if you are speaking and writing to a dear friend. All of that to say “thank you” my heart aches for you on this day but I love the beauitful way you bring it full circle and rejoice that your little is home with Jesus. As I walk with a friend of mine through the loss of a child your perspective has helped me so much to not dwell on the sorrow that wants to settle in ny heart. Bless your sweet family on this day, and I pray their in the mood for soup. Praying for all of you.

  4. Diana 7 April 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I just discovered your blog and so happy I did. I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby girl, but I’m also rejoicing in having her in heaven. I lost Max on the day he was born in October. It’s sad but there’s also so much hope. God bless you!

  5. Brandi 7 April 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Just clicked over on that post and saw January 24….that is the day my mom passed away in 2000. That took my breath away for a second. Prayers for you and your family.

  6. Tamiqua Torres 7 April 2014 at 5:12 pm

    Today is the 1 yr Anniversary of would be almost 11 year old Birthday. I should be planning her Birthday but today I’m just trying to honor her by smiling for the moment not knowing when the tears will hit. Thank You for sharing this. Prayers for strength and courage to all moms and dads who lose their babies and children way too soon.

  7. Hannah 7 April 2014 at 5:13 pm

    My parents lost their little boy 32 years ago and they’re still sad.
    Even 32 years later.
    I have never understood the pain they feel until I read your blog about sweet little Evie. Thankyou that in your pain you could help me to understand how my parents ache and are sad and are happy all at once. Thankyou for writing from your heart.

  8. Brei 7 April 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Your words radiate the splendor of His love. I love that you share your grief, however it looks. And your joy. It’s contagious and inspiring and sends me to the feet of Jesus, desiring more. Thank you.

  9. Jodi 7 April 2014 at 6:12 pm

    Raechel, you have such a eloquent way of putting grief into words. I think the one thing that I’ve learned from having these days where I’m blinded by my grief, is that it means the one’s we have lost are still alive in our hearts. Even though the ache is deep and grief flows out of our eyes, like you say, it’s okay. : )
    Lots of love and prayers to you and your family on this day, and hoping y’all can also find peace in the joy that Evie brought and will always bring.

  10. Shannon Payne (@SimplySaidMom) 8 April 2014 at 10:31 am

    Today I am a first time reader, visiting from She Reads Truth (which I wrote about today). And now, sweet mama, I want to eat soup with you and cry a little or a lot. I know nothing of the pain you are experiencing, but my time as a mama also tells me it encompasses every emotion God breathed into existence.

  11. mandie 8 April 2014 at 11:10 pm

    friend, I am so sorry. I’m sad with you tonight(& always, too). I now know being a momma and I can’t even think of losing my girl, it hurts so much. I’m crying with you tonight, and thinking of you. I pray that your hearts will be comforted and I rejoice that Evie is with Jesus, whole and happy.

  12. sarah k 13 April 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Last week we marked the one-year anniversary of our son’s stillbirth. I had no idea what to expect or how to handle it or what to do to mark the day…and I imagine every year might be different. Making soup for an army seems to me like a perfectly reasonable thing to do on an utterly unreasonable day, the kind of day no mama should have to experience, but tragically some of us do.

    I, too, wish I had one more carseat in the car. And look around sometimes for the child I am missing, before I realize what I’m doing. And imagine the alternate lives we could be leading today, if he was here–or if one of the other babies we lost was here.

    I am crying for your Evie, and my Simon. I am so sorry she isn’t here with you, and yearn with you for the day we will hold them again.

    • raechelm 13 April 2014 at 3:16 pm

      mmm. Simon is such a strong, gentle name. I love that. And I’m so so sorry he’s not with you there, Sarah. Thank you for sharing him with me.

      That first year is absolutely devastating. Last week (and even this week) must have been incredibly difficult – I recognize that, and I’m sorry.

      Praying comfort for you and your family.

  13. Beth 23 April 2014 at 4:06 am

    Dear Raechel,

    We went to Adrian Nazarene Church together many years ago. I am a few years older than you but remember you and Ryan well. I think I first came across your blog a year ago through Krystal’s site.

    Anyway, I have read through your story all this time and my heart really bleeds for your pain. I am so sorry you have had to see this particular grief. Whilst empathy is a blessing, and I see you are connected with many people who have experienced this, I know it is still a hard road to tread with fewer little faces. I haven’t had a stillborn, but I had a late miscarriage and then recently one at 12 weeks. It is hard.
    My friend lost her first baby, Malachi, seven years ago this month, too, to stillbirth.

    I am praying for you and have been since I found your blog. I am very proud of the woman you have become. You obviously look to the Lord for all things and this a beautiful and rare mercy in an age of atheism.
    I love that song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says, “We can cry with hope. We can say goodbye with hope because we know our goodbye is not the end.” I also know how deeply one can see the truth in tge lyrics by the same, “Heaven is the face of my little girl…” The Lord knows our frame and remembers we are dust and yet, He takes us up in His arms and carries us like a child when we are broken. How beautiful is the Love of God in Christ!
    Continue in faithful perseverance and you will be upheld.
    I look forward to meeting your Evie one day. Perhaps she is playing with Malachai or her little siblings lost or my little ones right now. My greatest comfort has been that they shall never know sin. This is a deep and priceless comfort to me, anyway.

    God bless you in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Beth (Meye) Fisher

  14. paige 15 May 2014 at 8:34 am

    oh friend….i had no idea this was part of your story….
    thank you for sharing your tender moments and your beautiful words about your sweet baby girl…..
    what raw & powerful hope that we have in KNOWING you WILL see her & dance with her again one day

  15. Chanile 23 October 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I know this post is old, and you may not see it. Today I found out my little baby is in heaven. I didn’t know until there wasn’t a heartbeat. I didn’t know. It hurts so so much and I remembered that you wrote about your baby girl and had to say that your words are so true. I guess I just wanted to feel connected to someone. Thank you.

  16. Michael 13 May 2015 at 8:27 pm

    I “stumbled” here from Youtube trying to learn about shirring. From Youtube, your video was most helpful and made me wonder what else I could learn from you. So I came to your website. I came to this blog thinking it was a big soup recipe for my family of 6. I can not believe what I learned instead. I can’t describe it as I guess I am a man of few words and mostly grunt around the house. And yes I am a 6’4″ dude looking for sewing and cooking tips. But, here is where I found a bag of tools to understand loss and awaken myself to renew my lost faith. I have never read anything that has helped me as well as this. You have a wonderful way of relating. You have touched many people, I can’t describe how I landed here in my eclectic way of navigating, but I am glad I did. I feel this has been here waiting for me to discover. I wish you the best.


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