** Updated with link to pictures**
It is hard to even know what to say, or write, I am broken, totally shattered, and feeling helpless as a friend. Today our sweet friends were at the funeral of their baby girl. Sweet Jane was almost 4 months old, she was born with a heart defect, that despite multiple surgeries was unable to be repaired. The last 4 months had much sadness, but glimmers of hope along the way. We will never know why (this side of heaven) God's plan did not include Jane's heart being healed. I am praying that as each day goes forward that they can trust in God's sovereign plan, and that His peace brings comfort. Our friends know God's word, his promises, that their daughter is walking with the King fully healed and pain free. They know that hope is not found in life here on the earth, but life spent with God. Knowing God and his divine nature, gives ultimate hope, but it does not wipe away the pain. It is hard to wrestle with how to fully trust God and his goodness, but to allow your heart to grieve, to ache, to cry-out in anguish.
My heart is breaking for our friends as they grieve their sweet girl. I haven't walked this road before, I don't have any answers, more than anything my head has been full of questions...
How long do you hold your baby after she has passed away? Then what? How much courage does it take to even walk out of the hospital room, let alone to your car and drive away from the hospital that you have spent endless hours in the last 4 months? Who do you call first? Do their words bring the comfort you had hoped for? How do you fall asleep that first night, or in the nights to follow? How many seconds are you awake the next morning before the depth of your new reality hits you? How in the world, do you begin to plan the memorial service for such a little life that has touched so many people? Do you want anyone to ask you how you are really doing, or wait until you bring it up? How long until you are ready to go to church again? How do you help your spouse to grieve while your heart is breaking too? Do you feel guilty or rejoice the first day you don't cry over missing your baby? How do you keep your baby's precious memory alive-- not only for you, but for others? How will you celebrate and remember her life? Will you ever feel whole again? What can anyone do to help?
I can't imagine how hard today must be for our friends. I can't imagine this road that lays before them. I am so thankful that God knows, that He is there to carry them, to comfort them and to strengthen them. I am praying that as they define their new normal and take each new step that God surprises them with joy and peace; that He guides them in this new normal of having a piece of them already in heaven.
Please be praying for our friends!
Here is a beautiful tribute to Jane's life that Amy Lashelle created!