charlie's song

Leaning Into Grief


Today has been a hard day.  Reminders of my baby boy are everywhere.  This morning the words “Due date #2!!!” popped up on my iPhone.   Then I happened to see Fred’s “Charlie” train engine laying on the floor.  And Sophie insists on taking care of Charlie’s teddy bear on his behalf.  (And by “taking care” I mean dragging it everywhere, covering it in kisses and baby snot, and constantly patting his furry head with her tiny little hand.)  It is so painfully cute.  She was so very ready to be the big sister and to finally get to have someone smaller than her to love on and take care of.  And now all she has is a teddy bear.

I know Charlie doesn’t need anything.  No books, no kisses, no teddy’s.  But I have spent the last nine months pregnant, and nine months becoming pregnant with love to give him and it is so very hard to be filled up with love, and have no way to empty it out.  No cheeks to kiss.  No sweet dainty ears to fill with stories and songs.  Oh, how I loved his tiny ears!  They say that grief comes in waves.  It’s sneaky and hard to predict, and that when the waves do come they crash down on you so hard the wind is knocked out of you and the current takes you under.  That’s how I feel today…pounded down by the surf.

They also say it’s best to just “lean into” the waves as they come.  And so…in an effort to lean into them, I’m going to visit Charlie’s gravesite this afternoon.  I’m going to read to him.  Books that I keep seeing on our book shelf that make me cry even just by looking at them. “I’ll love you Forever” and “On the Night You Were Born.”  I was actually looking forward to going today.  To going to his gravesite and just leaning straight into the grief and reading the stories that I most wanted to read to those sweet little ears.  I know that Charlie is not going to be there.  I know that he is currently listening to a far sweet story from a far stronger Voice.  The voice that sounds like the “rushing of many waters” like it says in Revelation.  The Voice I desperately need to hear right now.  I’m going to try to keep walking with Him and straining to hear the voice who sings to my little one.  I’m going to lean into this wave just to try and survive it.

It’s raining outside now.  I’d like to think that maybe Jesus will cry with me as I read, and baptize the books with His tears. I know He knows how hard this is.  I know He weeps with us.  Please pray we will feel His nearness as we learn to lean into this grief, and hopefully, just as the apostle John used to do…learn to lean into Jesus.

My sweet baby Charlie,  I will never forget the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.  It was the saddest and hardest night of my life, but it was a beautiful birthday…because it was yours.

For never before in story or rhyme (not even once upon a time)

has the world ever known a you, my friend,  and it never will, not ever again…

Heaven blew every trumpet and played every horn

On the wonderful, marvelous night you were born.

I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always…as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

love, mommy


2 thoughts on “Leaning Into Grief

  1. We just now read your newsletter and learned of the death of Charlie. We are absolutely heartbroken for you for this terrible loss. We are in tears and we are crying and praying for you and your entire family. You are special people to us and it pains us deeply to know that we will not see Charlie this side of heaven. You may be assured that we will pray faithfully.

  2. You are such a sweet mom filled with SO much love… I hope visiting Charlie’s grave was cathartic. We’re praying for you.

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