Our Homecoming After Her Homegoing
There is no manual for how to minister to kids that won’t see a sibling for the rest of their lifetime. For little people Who rejoiced at answered prayers they thought would always be there. . . And now ache with a hole that feels forever empty. They went to school one day, got picked up early, and never returned to what they had left that morning.
They would be gone from their home for one week.
A week where their trauma would not be doubled by hearing their mother scream and cry, pace and look for a baby that she knew was not there. A week where their Dad would minister to their Moms aching body swollen with grief, shock, terror, and nourishment that no longer had a destination.
They must not see the piles of baby clothes- keep, donate, bless close friends. They must not hear the horrific sound of the crib coming undone. . . Of Mom weeping over each article perfectly prepared for ages and stages that would never come.
The home would now need to be prepared for them. For their return. In a way that would bless them and make sense to them.
Holes would have to be filled with new happy decorations. Functional baby items would have to be removed because we no longer had a baby living here. We would need to reclaim our home to help everyone understand that she now lived some place else. There must not be any places that cannot be entered or touched. No doors that have to remain shut. Ellis’s room was now the room where Ellis was when she was here. We would immediately begin using it for other things. Guests, reading stories, play, . . .
And yet it would not do for it to seem like she was never here. If she was always to be part of our family, then she must also be felt in our home. And so we walked about and sprinkled the right amount of things that reminded us of her. We had to ask God to help because our home could not be a shrine to Ellis. We worship Christ alone. And we must continue on that course. So that’s the course we followed into unchartered territory. And the boys returned to light and love sprinkled with precious and familiar. And that was the right thing for us. Healthy. Whole. Godly. And Real. What does that look like? It took us one week to take our one shot at getting it right. I’ll never forget greeting them off the bus that day as if they were coming home for the first time. They were.
But home is also where ever your whole tribe is – so they were right at home with nana, grandma and grandpa, uncle Mark , cousin Lindsey, aunt mel, papa, uncles and aunts and friends . People who said “while you’re taking care of you, we’ll lovingly take care of them. ”
In this house we do love and hugs and all that cheesy stuff on those signs, but we’ve also been chosen to do deep caverns with lanterns of love and dark mazes with no legends. And call it all home in the Christ who Loves us all the way to whole making it all very well with our souls ❤🙏🏻
Thank you to the caretakers who held back tears while playing in sandboxes and read bedtime stories and did homework. While we did see them everyday, you were called to fill a gap our weak minds and bodies could not bridge. We pray your reward is great in heaven because we can’t thank you enough on this earth.