[Guest post written by my dear friend Melissa Tung about one of the most difficult things in life to grasp - the loss of a child. This is a letter written to her cousin's baby who was born with brain and heart defects, and struggling to understand why.]
How are you doing? Are you smiling at us in heaven? Are you looking down at earth seeing how funny we are laboring and toiling? Are you in heaven with my Father and my Savior?
Many months ago, I was so excited when my cousin called and told me they were going to have you. I couldn't wait to see your smiling face! A couple of months later, my cousin texted and said that you probably weren't going to survive after birth. You had birth defects. I was devastated. I was so sad. I cried when I shared about you during my small group. I cried that my cousin wouldn't see you grow up. I cried because it didn't feel fair. I prayed and prayed during the following months asking God to heal you. God, you are powerful enough to heal her brain and her heart. God, you can do it. God, you are good right? i
When I went home, it was weird seeing my cousin carry you. How would I feel carrying a baby that I knew wouldn't survive? Sometimes, she was scared that she couldn't feel you kick. How do I talk to my cousin about you? How do I broach the topic? How do I ask her how sad and difficult it was to have you? What did my cousin feel when friends and strangers congratulated her about you?
She had you this past week. They thought you wouldn't survive a couple of hours. But you did -- 72 hours! God blessed your parents with your birth. I was able to leave work to see you the next day. You had such a full head of hair. You had tiny eyes. You made small wheezing sounds because you had no nose. Regardless of how you looked, you were so beautiful. You were made in God's image. I had prayed for you so much. You were knit in my cousin's womb -- so beautifully and wonderfully made. You were so loved by your family's and friends. Supposedly 100 plus people visited you the day you were born! In the end, I got to hold you for a little bit. At first I was so scared... I'm not good with newborns you know. Thank you for letting me hold you. Thank you for coming to this world. I left the hospital wondering if I would ever see you again. My cousin said they would bring you home. What a blessing!
The next day, my mom, brother, and I were talking about you during lunch. How you had 12 toes and no nose! How you had lived so long despite what the doctor's had said! My aunt then texted us saying that you had died an hour before. You were only with us for 72 hours, but those were 72 hours that God has blessed us with.
Sunday was your funeral. Dressed in spring colors, I was anxious about the funeral. I hadn't been to another one since I went to my grandmother's. I remember crying with my younger cousin. I remember dressing in all black. I remember seeing my grandmother's coffin lowered into the whole in the ground. Would it be like that agin? I went in and saw the pink and white coffin that you laid in. I saw my cousin sitting in a wheel chair crying over you. I saw you sleeping there and started crying. I swore I wouldn't cry, but I was so sad. I was so sad that you were gone so early. I cried because my cousin cried. I cried because I wondered whether or not you were in heaven. They said that this was a celebration of life service, that we should thank God for allowing you to visit us for a brief time, that you were in heaven, that you were a miracle. But I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't stop crying. I wonder if you knew how many people love you, how many tears were shed over you, how many people celebrated your life.
Baby, thank you for coming to this world for such a short time. I'll miss you. Thank you for showing us the love of our Father. Thank you for glorifying God and being a light to the lost. I hope to see you in heaven one day.