New life and new life in heaven

In the days approaching the anniversary of the day I wish had never happened, I realized that even though I wish with all my heart that Silas were here with us, a happy 13 month old boy, I have grown accustomed to carrying him in my heart. My arms still ache, but my heart is forever overflowing with love.

i carry your heart with me

I began journaling after I lost Silas. It helped me make sense of the sea of emotions I was discovering. I had never know such devastating loss before. I’ve chosen to share the following journal entry from last September because I often wonder what heaven is like. That is where my future with my son is. We are all moving forward in this life, but some of us are also moving toward reuniting with those who left us too soon, or those we never got to meet. Death has lost its sting. I have begun to realize my future does hold having Silas again. Lily always reminds us, too, that we will be with the baby we never got to meet, as well.

 

September 4, 2013

When they told me my baby’s heart had stopped beating, I felt so much pain. It was like I was giving birth to him all over again. My heart and soul were torn from my whole being. My body tensed and wrenched just as it did in labor. The intensity was incomprehensible. I could hardly breathe.

As I reflected on this moment, I wondered why his passing from this life was so similar to his coming into this life. I began to think there was a deeper complexity to God’s plan when Eve sinned and God said woman would suffer during childbirth.

Natural childbirth is excruciatingly painful. That pain faded quickly as I heard my baby cry and as he was placed in my arms. Joy replaced pain as he entered my life. When he left my life, intense pain filled my body. But, I wonder if it was followed with joy in heaven as he entered his new life.

Silas, six weeks old

This is the last photograph I took of Silas. He was exactly six weeks old here, and we lost him two days later.

 

You can read the story of how we lost our little man here.

***I purchased the above necklace from StampedbyDesign to remind me I always carry Silas in my heart. 

I’m Giving My Son to God

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.

1 Samuel 1:27-28 NIV

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I prayed many months for my son. I wondered if the Lord would bless us with a third child. I didn’t know the Lord’s plan for our family. I only knew I desired another child in our family, and believing that desire comes from the Lord, I continued to go to Him in prayer, searching for His will. I figured He would take the desire from my heart if it was not part of His plan. I clung to the scripture verse, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him.”

I never knew how one day the next verse of that scripture would impact my life. While Hannah raised her son for a few short years, and I only did for six short weeks, we both were and are prompted to give our sons to God to do His work. However, my son’s work is heavenly.

The day we lost Silas, it was obvious that a greater power was in control. We were in the right place at the right time, and my son’s life could not be kept on this earth, despite the efforts of the doctor and the paramedics who began attempting to save his life while he was yet still breathing. His death was unexpected and unavoidable. I pleaded for his life, and that prayer was not answered in the way I had asked. I still don’t understand.

When the ministers came to the doctor’s office, we gathered for a prayer. As Randy prayed, he spoke of Mary giving her Son. I identified with her in a way I had never before understood. I looked up and my heart prayed a prayer of thankfulness that the Lord did not ask me to GIVE my son, but instead took him, for I was not strong enough to give him to God.

My sister, Brittany, shared the song “I Give You to His Heart” by Alison Krauss with me after I lost Silas. It’s a song for Moses, from his mother, as she gave him up to God in order to save his life from the Pharaoh who ordered the slaughter of male babes of Israelite and Hebrew descent in a vain attempt to keep one of the sons of Israel from overthrowing Pharaoh’s reign.

The wind is blowing down the quiet river
A shining road to carry you along
Oh baby boy, my love will last forever
If you’re to live, I must give you up to God

I know our God will guide, protect and keep you
Teach you faith and hold you by the heart
Though your mother’s heart is broken by your leaving
Our Father knows just who He is and who you are

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay
But you in God’s loving plan might be the missing part
You must live, so I give you to His heart

The wind, it blows you down the silent river
A shining road that leaves me all alone
A life for you is worth losing you forever
Someday we’ll stand in God’s fair land forever home

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay
But you, in God’s loving plan, might be the missing part
You must live, so I give you to His heart

At first, I could identify with only portions of this song. I couldn’t fully relate with it since Moses’ life was spared and Silas’ was not. As time has passed, I have come to understand that Silas’ death is not the end. It just can’t be. The promise of new life in heaven has never been so real, or so close, to my heart.

I wrestle with many thoughts. I know that life is not fair. Why do some live a long life? Why are some taken before even a breath has been breathed? We are not all promised the same things. Most of my friends will get to keep all the children they have borne, while I did not. Even though we lead similar lives, hold similar beliefs and ideals, and love God, I did not get to keep my son and there is nothing I have done that has caused this to happen. I don’t understand why this has happened. I don’t know why my heart has been shattered while others will never even understand a portion of this cruel pain. I would never wish this on my worst enemy. I only wish I had been able to keep my boy.

In my grief and on my road to healing, I have felt that acceptance is more important than answers. I have no choice other than to accept that I have lost my son. I try every day to accept what has happened, and accept that heaven holds my boy while I miss him endlessly.

A couple of months ago, when this song came to my mind, and I listened to it again. For the first time, I felt a sense that I will give Silas back to God.

I know that seems a little odd since he’s already been taken from my arms, but if Silas were here with me, I would be taking him to God for His watchful care and guidance in Silas’ life, even as I did in those six weeks, and the nine months prior.

I messaged my friend, Christy, and shared with her this song and my thoughts. She and I had been praying that month that I would be able to trust God and trust His plans for the future. Trust was the focus of our prayers that month, because it is hard to trust anything in life after such a traumatic loss. It makes you question when the good will turn to worse than bad. This song has shown me an element of trust. I know not what is next for Silas, but I can place my baby in His hands and trust Him where my knowledge fails.

My heart is broken. I feel alone without my baby. But, in my loss, my Silas has gained the riches of heaven. His body would not allow him to live on this earth, but in giving him back to God, he will live. The day his life left this world, he was born into a new life.

I will give Silas to His heart. Over and over again. For it is hard to trust what I cannot see.

The Baby

My Grandpa Kevin passed away one week ago.  When I told my kids Grandpa Kevin had left us, Milo said, “But I don’t want him to be because I love him.”  Lily is always so sweet to remind us that he is alive in heaven.  🙂

God saw him getting tired,

a cure was not to be.

He wrapped him in His loving arms

and whispered, “Come with me.”

He suffered much in silence,

his spirit did not bend.

He faced his pain with courage,

until the very end.

He tried so hard to stay with us

but his fight was not in vain,

God took him to His loving home

and freed him from the pain.

(Unknown Author)

Until the past year when his health was failing, he and Grandma Ruth would travel down for the kids’ birthday parties, and we would visit them at least once a year.  My kids are so blessed to have gotten to know a great-grandparent so well, and they will continue to know Grandma Ruth in the future.

When Milo was born, they came to stay with us to take care of Lily while we were at the hospital. When Silas was born last summer, my aunt graciously offered to care for my grandpa so Grandma Ruth could come down for his birth.  She was scheduled to fly in two days before his due date (Milo made us wait a few days after his, so we weren’t expecting any different.) but he came one day before her arrival.  She came straight from the airport to the hospital to meet our Silas.

Grandma and Grandpa

Our family traveled to his funeral.  Christopher and Milo were pallbearers with the rest of the grandsons and grandsons-in-law.  My grandmother asked if I would like to play the piano for his service.  I agreed to play the prelude only because I knew I was still too emotionally raw from my own child’s funeral, not yet seven months before.  I love the songs from musicals my grandfather loved, and I am so glad I agreed to play those songs for him, even though I did not feel strong enough to do so.

My grandmother wrote down some thoughts for the minister to share at the end of the service, and below are some of those words.

In February, early in his illness, Kevin was dreaming and talking aloud like he often did, when he asked Ruth, “Can you see all the people around the room?” he stated, pointing to the ceiling.
Ruth replied, “Do you see people you know?”
“Yes,” he answered.
“What are their names?”
As he pointed to them he named, “Melvin & Olive, my parents, Dale my brother, your brother David, and the Baby.”
“Do you see anyone else you know?” Ruth asked.
“No, but lots of people.”
Ruth left the room for a second to contain herself.
When she returned Kevin asked, “Where have you been? All these people are here to celebrate. The other rooms are full too, lots of people all around so we can have a celebration. Somebody keeps carrying the baby all around!”
“A celebration?” she questioned.
“A BIG celebration!” he replied.
…On Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 5:05 PM there was a BIG celebration in HEAVEN and no more pain!
 

Until this was read at the service, I had not known that in the weeks before my grandpa’s death, he had seen Silas.  I was so surprised, because in the stories I have heard about people who are nearing death seeing loved ones lost, the loved ones are usually a part of their past, their earlier years, and yet, my grandfather never got to meet Silas and Silas had so recently joined our family.

Silas is surrounded by loved ones lost who are carrying him around, but when those words were read, I pictured Christopher’s mother, Silas’ grandma, holding him, just as I did the day Silas left my arms.  Now that my grandfather has finally met my baby boy, I picture him  standing tall and carrying my Silas all around heaven, especially the places that are similar to our woods and forests for my grandpa loved being out in nature.

Before my grandpa passed away, at my request, my grandma asked him to give Silas hugs and kisses and lots of love from his mama.