News reached me about the loss of a local family on Thursday. Their son, a robust unborn baby of 41 weeks, had suddenly died. No explanations. No reasons. Just horrible news. This is a family that attends a small church up the road where another woman had lost a 20 week old child just weeks before.
As I prayed for them, thoughts of our own loss flooded back to me. Today is 3 years to the day since our son Fisher died. The technical term for our son’s death was demise, and though it is meant to sound more formal and clinical, it really just sounds way more depressing. 3 years ago to the day, our 8 lb 10 ounce boy was delivered into the world dead. He had died as a result of a twisted umbilical cord, probably within hours of the doctors detecting a missing heartbeat.
This is his story.
When I think of this local family, my heart just aches. On Sunday there will be a service for their stillborn son. And then, as this was their first child, it will be a very silent Christmas and then months of darkness. Is their light? Oh yes. But there will be much sorrow. I ache even more thinking of the journey that awaits them. What does it mean that Christ’s light conquers all when we can hurt so much here on earth?
The other night my son pulled out his Fisher bell, the bells we gave out at the memorial and had people ring them out in unison. Kincaid pulled out the bell and hung it on his door. He told me “I want to think about my brother more.” As we cuddled that night, I asked what he was feeling in terms of Fisher’s death. ‘Sad’ and ‘confused’ were his answers and then the question that took the wind out: “Why did God want him to die?” he asked sincerely. I tried to explain that God loves us and doesn’t will us to suffer but that here on earth, unexpected things happen. As Norman Maclean said, “We can love completely without complete understanding.”
As I prayed for the Bauman family Thursday morning, this poem emerged.
Come fill me up:
I’m so busy going for you…
I haven’t been able to go to you. To come to You.
“Come fill me up.”
I want to know you. Be known by you. Be near to you.
May my life reflect
Your loving gaze. May my life
shine by your great grace and mercy.
Today I’m sad Lord-thinking about
The life that never lived
Fisher Samuel Sund.
For my wife who sometimes cries
For my son Kincaid who carries this burden
For Fisher’s sisters, that their story will be one of loss.
We are stained by the blood.
We are stained.
Will you come and sit with me a while Lord.
I don’t feel like standing toady.
I don’t feel very strong today.
I am tired Jesus.
I am weary.
Come lift me up.
I know I don’t walk alone
But sometimes it feels like it.
Be near….I pray.
For all hurting right now, our church is offering a Longest Night Service on the actual, longest night of the year Dec 21. This service is meant to be a place where those nursing great wounds can come and be still before their maker. Not quite ready to say “oh well life is still good” but still trusting in their Maker. If you want more info, go here. May the peace of Christ be with you in these times. Please pray for the family. If you are suffering, take hope. There is a light that holds your life together when it seems impossible. I am proof to this Light. If you are in a different place, of joy or peace or provision- please pray for others. Please be a lifeline and tell others the good news and sit with people in their agony. Your nearness might be the only goodness someone will experience in their long nights. Be courageous and love deeply.