He Was Braver Than I

Another month. Nine in all. Today, I remembered holding him for the last time. I remembered the questions my heart asked.

In disbelief I looked at him and thought, how did you suddenly slip away? How did your precious spirit leave your body? In my heartbreak, I didn’t understand how he could leave, because I felt as though I was dying, but my body couldn’t and wouldn’t release me.

I looked at my son, my precious baby who had only just come to us from above and realized, he was so fresh from heaven that he recognized it and accepted going home.

I could finally see that I have feared death because I have been separated from heaven and have forgotten what awaits at the end of this life. Having been in the world so long, I’ve fought against death for I feel unworthy to ever return because my sin separates me from God, even though I know the price has been paid.

In that moment of profound grief, I knew and understood Silas was okay and heaven felt so very real, so very close, and so very attainable for the first time in my life.

My son was braver than I. With the spiritual purity of a child, he recognized home. That day, my son taught me not to fear death. He showed me that heaven’s doors are wide open.

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Music Is My Balm

When we first lost Silas, I craved blocking out the world by listening to music as loudly as I could handle through the earphones of my iPod. The songs gave me moments to meditate and absorb all that had happened.

I listened to the songs that were on Silas’ birthing playlist–the ones I sang to him before and after he was born. I searched the internet for songs to which I could relate, songs that spoke of the heartbreak I was feeling. Whenever I hear of someone who has suffered infant loss, child loss, or the loss of a loved one, I want to share the following songs that brought me comfort, so I decided to write a post sharing all of the songs with their links and some of my favorite lyrics.

***Feel free to use the comments section to add any songs you may have heard that may be of comfort to those who have lost a child.

edit IMG_2214My mom snapped this photo as I was singing “Hourglass” to Silas.  It’s plain to see he really loved music.

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All I Have To Do Is Dream by The Everly Brothers

When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Dream, dream, dream, dream

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All of Me by Matt Hammitt

You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me
‘Cause you’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear
You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I’ll start

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Angel Standing By by Jewel

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Anyway by Martina McBride

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

When Silas died, it was confusing to me that I was still here to live this life even when I felt like I could’ve died with him.  No matter what life throws at us, we will live it anyway, and we will love life, even when it is hard. 

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Beautiful Things by Gungor

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

The words of this song really spoke to me as God brought to mind the blessings Silas had brought to my life.  In such despair, the love for Silas shone brightly and even in the desolation of my devastation and grief, I was able to see the beauty of my love for my son.  I clung to the thought of the beauty of his life still continuing to direct mine, even while we are separated.

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Beauty from Pain by Superchick

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I’ll wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though I can’t understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how You’ve brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

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Blessings by Laura Story

We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

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Broken Hallelujah by Mandisa

With my love and my sadness
I come before You Lord
My heart’s in a thousand pieces
Maybe even more
Yet I trust in this moment
You’re with me somehow
And You’ve always been faithful
So Lord even now
 
When all that I can sing
Is a broken hallelujah
When my only offering
Is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration
Will rise up from these ruins
I will worship You and give You thanks
Even when my only praise
Is a broken hallelujah

In the days that followed my son’s death, the grief was overwhelming and all-consuming.  I felt I was drowning in it.  But, then I would catch a glimpse of his precious face, still feel the weight of him in my arms, remember the downy softness of his hair on my cheek.  Through these memories each day, I could come up from under the weight of my sadness and catch a breath of the life we had with him and the blessing he was, and I thanked God for the memories and the blessings.  When I listened to this song after being wrapped in the beautiful memories, I bawled because even in my shattered state, I was so thankful to God for giving me my son…even if only for six weeks and two days.

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Come What May from Moulin Rouge sung by Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman

Seasons may change winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time
Come what may Come what may
I will love you until my dying day

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Dancing in the Sky by Dani and Lizzy

I hope you’re dancing in the sky,
and I hope you’re singing in the angel’s choir,
and I hope the angels know what they have,
I’ll bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you arrived,
since you’ve arrived.

Wondering…I wonder what my baby is doing in heaven.  I know he must be happy.  I just wonder what it’s like.

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Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Three Little Birds) by Bob Marley

My husband loves to play this song for our children and we included it in our visitation music for Silas.  How fitting that Silas was our third child.

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Fix You by Coldplay

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

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Forever Young Bob Dylan

May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young.

One of my husband’s favorite artists and songs. I think of Silas and how he can do everything this song sings of from his place in heaven.

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Glory Baby by Watermark

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay
We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you
You’ll just have heaven before we do.

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The Glory Of Love by Bette Midler

You’ve got to give a little, take a little,
and let your poor heart break a little.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.

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Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) by The Dixie Chicks

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh, my love will fly to you
Each night on angels wings
Godspeed, sweet dreams

I sang this to Silas often.  Never thought his journey would be to heaven…

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Gone Too Soon by Daughtry

Who would you be?
What would you look like,
When you looked at me for the very first time?
Today could have been the next day of the rest of your life.Not a day goes by,
That I don’t think of you,
I’m always asking why this crazy world had to lose,
Such a ray of light we never knew,
Gone too soon.

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Gone Too Soon by Simple Plan

Like a shooting star
Flyin’ across the room
So fast so far
You were gone too soon
You’re part of me
And I’ll never be
The same here without you
You were gone too soon

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Heaven Got Another Angel by Gordon Garner

Heaven got another angel the night you left this world behind
Heaven got a little better the day it took you away from me
I’m missing you tonight
I’ll see you again sometime
For now I’ll close my eyes and dream of heaven tonight

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Held by Natalie Grant

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

This song is on my heart often.  Many times the memory of first holding my still son comes back to my mind, but it is almost like I’m watching a movie.  I probably can’t allow myself to be in the moment, even in my mind, for that was the moment my heart shattered.  The words in this song describe how some of that moment felt.  When I felt I was disintegrating because of the heartbreak, I know God caught every single broken piece of me and held me.

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Homesick by MercyMe

Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from homeI close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

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Hourglass by Mindy Gledhill

When you reach for the stars
Don’t forget who you are
And please don’t turn around and grow up way too fast
See the sand in my grasp
From the first to the last
Every grain becomes a memory of the past
Oh, life’s an hourglass
Life’s an hourglass

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The Hurt & The Healer by MercyMe

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

I went to this song often as my heart tried to make sense of losing our little boy.

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I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe

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I Give You to His Heart by Alison Krauss

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.

This song helped my heart realize, that even though Silas had been taken from us, I still needed to give him back to God.  You can read more of my thoughts on this in my post.

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I Want You Here by Plumb

I waited so long
For you to come
Then you were here
And now you’re gone
I was not prepared
For you to leave me
Oh this is misery

The bitter truth of childloss.

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I Will Carry You (Audrey’s Song) by Selah

I will carry you/While your heart beats here/Long beyond the empty cradle/Through the coming years/I will carry you/All your life/And I will praise the One Who’s chosen me/To carry you

I had heard this song when I was pregnant with Silas and wished I had known of it when I had suffered a miscarriage.  I hoped I would never have a reason to relate with it ever again, but the night my baby died, I knew I would find this song and ask my friends to sing it at his funeral.

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I’ll See You Again by Westlife

Always you will be part of me
And I will forever feel your strength
When I need it most
You’re gone now, gone but not forgotten
I can’t say this to your face
But I know you hear

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In Dreams by Roy Orbison

In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk to you.
In dreams you’re mine. All of the time we’re together
In dreams, In dreams.But just before the dawn, I awake and find you gone.
I can’t help it, I can’t help it, if I cry.
I remember that you said goodbye.It’s too bad that all these things, Can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams In beautiful dreams.

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In My Arms by Plumb

Castles – they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
‘Cause I will always,
Always love you
When the clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe in my arms, in my arms

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In My Life by The Beatles

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

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In Your Hands by Unspoken

Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave them in Your hands
Amen, I can leave it in Your handsEvery promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen, I can leave it in Your hands
I can leave it in Your hands

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Lift My Life Up Unspoken

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

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Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath

Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time
[…]
When my heart won’t make a sound
When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

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Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I’m never, never giving you up

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Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel

Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabyes go on and on…
They never die
That’s how you
And I
Will be

Beautiful song that leaves me yearning for my son and all the time we could’ve had.  We included this song during Silas’ visitation.

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Moon River by Audrey Hepburn

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re going, I’m going your wayTwo drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waiting, round the bend
My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me

Another favorite of my husband’s and mine that we included during Silas’ visitation.

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Most of Us Are Sad by The Eagles

Love was here today
Oh the sun was bright
I will sing you faraway
Love is here tonight
Most of us are sad
No one lets it show
I’ve been shadows of myself
How was I to know?

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Never Alone by Jim Brickman and Lady Antebellum

Never alone, never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart when you face the unknown
Wherever you fly this isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you, stay with you, baby, you’re never alone

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Never Be Forgotten by Jessica Andrews

You will never be forgotten
A million days could pass us by
But what is time but just a dream
Oh I still feel you here with me
You’re more than a memory
Oh you will never be forgottenAnd the world just keeps on going
It has no way of knowing
That you’re gone

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Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

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Please Remember LeAnn Rimes

Goodbye, there’s just no sadder word to say
And it’s sad to walk away
With just the memories
Who’s to know what might have been
We’ll leave behind a life and time
We’ll never know again

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Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

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Return To Me by Dean Martin

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Return To Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins

It’s hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all’s said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered “Boy welcome home”Believe me if you can
I’ve finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There’s so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh

My husband was named after this song.  He really wanted to choose a special song for Silas’ funeral, and this was the one he chose to share that day.  I like to think that as this was played, his mom was smiling down from heaven while holding our son.

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See You Again by Carrie Underwood

Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I knowI will see you again,
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me

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Shooting Star by Bob Dylan

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew
I always kind of wondered if you ever made it through
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you.

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Smile by Nat King Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

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Stargazer by Paloma Faith

Stargazer, heartbreaker.
Wish you were here.
How will I shine anymore without your atmosphere?
My dear stargazer, don’t disappear.
How will shine anymore when you’re not here?

I heard this song a few days ago on Pandora.  The next day, my husband said he had a song he wanted to play for me.  He told me this song came on his Pandora station as he was driving to work and was playing as he passed the doctor’s office where Silas passed away.  He thought I would like to know that, and of course, I think it was really special.  I told him maybe Silas was sending him a message as he drove by that hard place the other day.

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Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

Time can bring you down,
Time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart,
Have you begging please, begging please.Beyond the door,
There’s peace I’m sure,
And I know there’ll be no more
Tears in heaven.

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There You’ll Be by Faith Hill

In my dreams
I’ll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I’ll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be

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(They Long To Be) Close To You by The Carpenters

On the day that you were born the angels got together.
And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold,
And star-light in your eyes of blue.
That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you…

I sang this to Silas all the time.  He always calmed and melted in my arms.  I sang it to him in the moments before he died as he cried before becoming unresponsive.  This song is still precious to me, though it is a trigger for my grief.

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This Life by The Afters

For a moment, we are here together.
And it hits me that this won’t last forever.We can’t own it
We just get to hold it for a while.
This Life.
We can’t keep it
Or save it for another time.
This Life.

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This Little Light Of Mine by Addison Road

With the ones you love treasure the time
And for those who are gone keep their memories alive
Hold on to your dreams don’t ever let go
There’s a fire inside you burning with hope

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To Where You Are by Josh Groban

Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up aboveFly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

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Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) by Chris Rice

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side and
Fly to Jesus and live

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What Do I Know by Sara Groves

Oh, what do I know? Really, what do I know?
Well, I don’t know that there are harps in heaven,
Or the process for earning your wings.
And, I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels,
Or any of those things.But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be pretty good.
Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be very good.

I absolutely love this song.  I love that it doesn’t claim to know what kind of glory lost loved ones are now in.  It asks my questions and reconciles our lack of knowledge in a gentle, calming way.

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What’s Mine Is Yours by Katherine Nelson

What’s mine is Yours
It’s always been
What slips through my hands has Your fingerprints on it
I’m letting go
Remembering
Though Heaven’s doors feel shut they’re wide open
What’s mine is Yours

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Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney

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Wonderfully Made by Scripture Lullabies

Looking out into the night sky
A million stars shining down and
I can see how you’d feel so smallDon’t forget I’m your Creator
You are Mine and I adore you
Nothing else moves My heart like you
You’re not here by chance, you are My design
I did well to give you lifeYou are fearfully and wonderfully made
Long before you drew your first breath
I knew your name
Surely goodness and mercy
Will follow you forever
For you are fearfully and wonderfully made

While searching for a song to use for the photo video my husband’s brother and sister were creating for Silas’ funeral, my friend suggested this song.  It was absolutely perfect.  On the last slide, they added the last part of the scripture, “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever,” for that’s where he is now.  Our children listen to this song over and over and call it “Silas’ Song.”

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You’ll Be In My Heart by Kenny Loggins

For one so small, you seem so strong
My arms on hold you keep you safe and warm
This bond between us can’t be broken
I will be here don’t you cry
Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
[…]
When destiny calls you, you must be strong
I may not be with you, so you gotta hold on
You’ll see in time, I know
We’ll always be together ’cause
You’ll be in my heart
Always you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

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Your Hands by JJ Heller

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things rightWhen my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

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Eight Months Ago: This Was My Prayer

Sitting in the hallway because they made me sit down.

Shock is setting in.

I know it’s taking too long.

Desperate to run to the ambulance with him, but they aren’t coming out of the room with him.

The secretary reminds me to breathe.

Dread fills my soul.

My heart is sinking.

 

 I look up and beg God, “Please.”

My heart is pleading for his life.

 

 

So many times in books and movies we see people bargaining with God. If He’ll just give them this one thing, they’ll follow Him all their days, they’ll give Him anything.

I don’t feel we should bargain with God, but it crosses my mind.

I can’t offer something that I may not be able to follow through with perfectly because this is too utterly important.

I know I will fail my promise to God at some point.

I have nothing to offer Him that is equal to my baby’s life.

I have absolutely nothing. I know He knows this.

I just say, “Please.”

I have never felt so desperate. I have never felt so helpless. I have never felt so unworthy.

 

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This was my prayer one month and one day after I lost my son:

As I was driving in the car, I think to myself, there will always be a hole in my heart, because of the loss of my son.

Then comes the thought, let God fill the hole.

But, I know I’m not ready to hand over the hurt, grief, and sorrow, so I pray that I will be able to allow God to fill the void where darkness lies.

I’m not ready to allow God to fill the hole because I don’t want to diminish the love I have for Silas by giving up the pain I feel in his absence.

But, this void truly is darkness because it is filled with grief, sorrow, and hurt–wounds caused by this great loss. These wounds must be felt, yet be given the opportunity to heal.   

I begin to understand that my love for Silas is not in the dark hole in my heart; my love for him lies in the bright places of my heart. The beauty of my love for my son is greater and more powerful than the hurt. The love between mother and child spans the distance that now separates us.

I ponder…if I can allow God to fill this dark hole in my heart, He will make my heart WHOLE again, and Silas will always be there.

 

Today:

I am missing my baby.  

I am carrying Silas in my heart.  

I am allowing the love to heal my heart.

Silas’ Song

Daddy, don’t be angry
And Mommy, please don’t cry
I’ve gone to stay with Jesus,
In His home up in the sky
 
There’s someone here who holds me
And sings me lullabies
She came up here before me
And I think that must be why
 
Tell my sister and my brother
that although I’m far away
I am now a little angel
And I’ll come and watch them play
 
I miss my sister Lily
And my brother Milo too,
I know that they will be okay
In all the things they do
 
We would have had adventures
Got in trouble, now and then
It would have been okay though
For the camaraderie with them
 
Be kind to sis and brother
When they err along the way
It’s how you scold and hold them
And the loving words you say
 
Tell them to be happy
And do their very best
For they will be my heroes
And life will be their quest
 
Dad and Mom, I love you
You gave your hearts to me
Our brief time together
Will last through all eternity
 
Daddy take care of Mommy
Her heart is broke in two
If you hold and hug her
It will help you too
 
Mommy take care of Daddy
He’s trying to be brave
His heart is very tender
For the words he can not say
 
I love you and I miss you
And there’s something you should know
I will be okay here
Jesus says it’s so
 
Yes, we were a family
And though I couldn’t stay
Just keep me in your hearts
And we will always be that way
 

Written by Christopher’s father’s cousin, Cheryl George

Simply beautiful.  Many tears fell as I read it.  The second stanza references Christopher’s mother, the first person I pictured holding Silas in heaven.  

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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.

Mommy, where’s your baby?

“Mommy, where’s your baby?” asked Milo as we came to Brittany’s house to pick up our children that night. I could barely stand as it was, and that question caused nausea to roil in the pit of my stomach. How do I help them understand when I don’t understand?

“Mommy, where’s my baby?” asked Milo the next morning.

How do you tell your son that his brother died and is never coming back in a way a three year old can understand? It was unreal, even to us. Milo and Lily had held their still brother, but Milo could not comprehend the permanence, and Lily barely could.

My first thought was to say his heart and soul left his body, but to a three year old who sees the world in black and white, how can a heart leave your body?

I placed him on the counter in front of me and looked into his eyes and said Silas’ spirit, the part of him that makes up the things he loves and the things that make him sad or happy, left his body and flew to heaven to be with Jesus.  Something made him too sick and his heart could not keep beating to keep him alive.

I explained the same to Lily when she woke to a home filled with grief. Lily had fewer questions than Milo. She often draws pictures of Silas and listens to songs that remind her of him. She cries, yet Milo doesn’t. They have different levels of understanding. I believe they will reach new layers of grief through the years as they begin to understand the reality of death.

Milo asked me these questions about his brother over and over and over. My heart breaks over and over and over with my own sadness and with the sadness of my children.  Now Milo says, “I want my brother, Silas. But he died. I miss him. I’m so, so sad.”

My children often ask me, “Are you so, so, so, so, so, so sad about Silas?” I tell them I am so sad, but I’m so happy they’re here with me. Now, whenever they ask me that question, they say, “But you’re so, so happy I’m here with you?” I’m glad they know what’s in my heart.  It must be so confusing for them to understand how I love all of my children equally when I cry for one child who’s missed beyond belief.  Whenever I tell them I love them, Lily says, “And you love SySy up in heaven?”  He’s always included in everything they think, say, and do.  ❤

How do you explain heaven to a three year old?  …to a five year old?

Heaven is better than the toy store, better than the swimming pool, better than Chuck E. Cheese’s, better than Disney World.  Silas is with God and Jesus. He’s with Grandma Shirley and she loves him so much and covers him in kisses. He’s with MeeMee and PaPa. He’s with all of our loved ones who’ve died and gone to heaven before him.

But, even though he’s in all that glory, we still wish he were here.

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