Thankfulness in the Face of my Grief

Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  Usually it is a happy time of year for me, full of laughter, anticipation of delicious food, and the joy of being with the people who love me most.  This year is not full of laughter.  Can I really be thankful when my little girl is gone?

The kids are memorizing Psalm 100 in school this month.  I planned it way back in June, when life was “normal”.  Portions of it run through my head,

“Worship the LORD with gladness… Give thanks to Him and praise His name…  For the LORD is good and His love endures forever…”

Goodness?  Love?

Watching the doctors in the ER work on my baby girl.  Her little body still, pale, broken.  Machines beeping, doctors and nurses scrambling.  “I’m sorry, she’s gone.”

Goodness?  Love?

Standing at the grave,  The morning sun shining brightly through the trees.  My precious daughter about to be lowered into the cold, dark ground.

Goodness?  Love?

Her clothes in the wash.  Her bedroom untouched except for me lying on her bed, hugging her pillow and sobbing.  My heart is broken.

Goodness?  Love?

I awake to the restless squawks of my baby.  His face lights up when he sees me.  His little hand touches my cheek and he plants a drooly, open mouthed kiss right on my lips.  His first kiss!  His expression of love to me, of joy that he’s alive.

Goodness.  Love.

Caleb’s birthday.  He’s 10 now.  My first born.  He’s a great kid-smart, kind, athletic, responsible, generous, and very protective of me.  I remember how badly I hoped to get pregnant all those years ago, crying over negative tests.  He was my first gift from heaven.

Goodness.  Love.

Micah wants a bowling party.  He turned six.  Easiest party ever because the only preparation on my part was texting invitations and baking  vanilla cupcakes.  He smiled nonstop that day, showing off his sweet dimple and perfect baby teeth.  Every six year old should be that happy.

Goodness.  Love.

Joshua is two.  He is full of strong emotions, tantrums, curiosity, and unreserved love.  He runs through the house yelling, “me race car!”, hides behind the bathroom door when its time to get dressed, and mimics everything the big boys do.  In the dark of night while the house is quiet, I will hear him crying for me.  Why does he cry?  He wants a hug.  He wants to know that I’m still here.  I kiss his smooth cheek and my heart melts.

Goodness.  Love.

I watch videos of Rebekah, tears streaming down my cheeks and splashing onto Joel’s bald head as he sleeps nuzzled close against my chest.  In every video she is laughing, never standing still.  She could light up a room with her smile and energy, like a sparkling ball of light.  I had that sparkle for eight years.  I had her hugs and kisses, constant chatter, and exasperating messiness.  She was mine.

Goodness.  Love.

Yes, I have much to be thankful for.  My God is good, he has given me four active boys and one beautiful little girl.  Their love for me makes my heart sing.

What is that expression?

It is better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all.

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5 thoughts on “Thankfulness in the Face of my Grief”

  1. Oh Heather,

    What does a person say to comfort you. All the cliche phrases seem so trivial. Please know that you are loved and lifted in prayers. Rebekah was an amazing person. Please don’t hesitate to call if you need anything.

    In sisterly love,

  2. It is SO hard to give thanks in the midst of our grief. You are loving WELL! Thank you for sharing your heart. It teaches us all.

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Hi, I am Heather! I am a mom of five, homeschooler, homesteader, and lover of all things chocolate. I am excited to share your faith and parenting journeys with you. Whether you are here looking to grow your faith, heal from loss, find homeschool resources, or hope to find inspiration in raising godly children, you are in the right place. So, grab your favorite hot beverage, curl up in your comfy chair, and stay awhile.

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