taking questions as they come

Posted by & filed under Evie Grace, Hazel, Our Family.


Hazel stretched the impossibly small pajama outfit across her lap and asked questions.

Did it hurt? When she came out of your tummy?

Could she move her fingers?

How big was she?

What did she smell like?

By now she is snuggled deep into her heaven-sister’s blankie, and I can tell Hazel’s mind is doing the work of feeling happy to know more, sad to miss Evie Grace, and all sorts of mixed thoughts that made her little self too engaged in the moment to let a tear fall.

Sometimes we experience sad things first hand.
Sometimes we’re born into grief.

Hazel was born almost two years after Evie was stillborn. After we had all-but given up hope of having another child.

She was born into a family that spends Christmas Eve singing Christmas carols in a cemetery, because we cannot imagine a better place to celebrate the HOPE that Christmas brings than in a place that doesn’t have the power it thinks it does.

She was born into a family that is incomplete this side of Heaven. Someone has always been missing. We’ve never not talked about her big sister—Evie Grace is absolutely a household name!—but Hazel’s sense of loss only became real just recently.

About a week ago, we started finding little notes like this around the house.

I love Evie

She’d mention Evie at nighttime – a little sadder than usual to know she’s not with us.

Her teacher told us yesterday she’s been crying once or twice a day at school this week about “a sister she’s never seen.” We knew it was time to sit down with our girl—to give her all the time she needed to ask all the questions she had.

And she didn’t ask everything. She didn’t need to know every single detail. We let her lead the conversation as we sorted through our little pink box of keepsakes as a family. I showed her photographs, told her the things she and Evie had in common, and then we talked about some of the things about Evie that made her special from the rest of us.

When I tucked Hazel into bed last night, she finally let the tears fall. I held her (while she held Evie’s blanket) until she fell asleep.

Sometimes, sad things happen to us. And sometimes, we are born into sad things.

It’s an entirely different process—one we didn’t know to anticipate. All we know is to answer questions, tell stories, and remind ourselves and our kids that it’s okay to be sad, because death is sad. 

Evie Grace’s little life is and always will be one of the Father’s most lavish gifts to our family. Even though she’s not here. Even when we ache-like-crazy wishing that death wasn’t true. As our children grow up, they join us in our longing for Christ in Heaven. And we all grow in faith that the Lord is the One who gives us life, and He-only is the one that calls us home.

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6 Responses

  1. Sarah 9 October 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Ok. So this. This post speaks to me deep in my soul. Choosing to add to our family after we lost our 3rd child was so hard, for millions of reasons, but mostly because I wondered if our 4th, born a year later, would feel left out of the work of grieving the rest of us had already done. So far, she has taken it like a sister in heaven is normal, but I fully expect that someday we will be facing a very similar scenario. Nothing about any of this is predictable, which is why I need Jesus to help me grasp on to the hope and the gift He has given us. Thank you for not just tucking this one into your heart quietly, but choosing to share it with us.

  2. Renda 15 October 2015 at 12:43 am

    I can’t read something like this and not believe in a God that moves through technology. I stumbled back onto my old blog to look for distractions this week as the miscarriage completes its course. Thank you so much for sharing this hope.

  3. Marilyn Munford 20 October 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Death is sad. Death is hard. While I have not experienced the loss of a child, I have experienced the loss of my husband, unexpectedly. At 40 years old I became a widow. My children became fatherless. And I am dealing (not quite the right word, but you get the idea) with my grief, as well as their grief. Other kids like to ask questions and the get upset. I remind them that the other kids aren’t being mean, they are just curious. Something that I have found beneficial is a group counseling place (called Kate’s Club) in Atlanta that specializes in the grief of children, specifically those that have lost a parent or a sibling. Because they do have questions. They do want answers. They need to know about the love and ambitions and desires we all had. Check them out. http://katesclub.org/ Perhaps you may have something in your area that is similar. Perhaps not. But those of us that experience terrible horrible grief need to support each other and share resources the best that we can. I am happy to talk about this with you if you are interested. May Hazel find some peace in her grief journey.


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