Loss of a Child

For Lewis

Even the heavens silently wept as we stood; a handful of family huddled beneath black umbrellas, the gray sky pressing down on us, a sunless gloom that matched the turmoil of my emotions. 

“My God, my God…”

“If I ascend to heaven, you are there. If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” (Ps. 139:8) 

Even when I don’t feel it, He is there.

The tiny grave, dug by loving hands of father and grandfather, rent a hole through my very being, my soul cried out. 

“If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day for darkness is as light with you.”


The day before, we held the breathless form of our grandson, Lewis, so small and perfectly formed. He was absent from his body, present with our Lord. Scripture tells us that this is a better place. But I am selfish and long to keep all I love close to me.

We gazed at the forming toenails, the long slender fingers, the itty-bitty O of his mouth; wondered if his eyes were the blue of the sky, or brown like the earth; and we mourned what could have been. We long for what will be.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works.” (Ps.139:13, 14)

For five months we have anticipated meeting our Lewis, longing to hold him, snuggle with him, whisper our love in his ears. 

But not like this.

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Ps. 139:16)

We draw comfort that the tiniest of our loved ones rests in the pierced hands of his Savior. Comfort that he is in the presence of a Father who gave His only son so that we can all be together with Him someday. We praise God for the promise of the Spirit sent to comfort us, to bring light despite the heavy gray sky.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!” (Ps. 139:17)

My soul longs to remove the pain I see in my daughter’s and son-in-law’s faces. This is not in my power to do. I regret the miles that separate us, but I also know they are not alone.

“I awake and I am still with you.” (Ps. 139:18b)

They are at peace, trusting in God and holding to each other. The irrepressible enthusiasm and activity of their four older boys helps so much.

I know time will ease their pain, but they will never forget. Nor should they. A small mound of dirt and stones marks the resting place of his earth-bound body, reminding us that he was here, that he touched our lives in a profound way. That we loved him and love him still. 

One glorious day we will be united. “Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” (Jer. 31:13)

“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)

Smiling through my tears,


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