Capture Your Grief Day 13: Signs

The most beautiful signs I have gotten don’t come from my daughter. She got to leave this yucky world behind on October 13, 2008 and never look back. I would never expect her to look back into this cold, painful world that was her prison while she was here. She has all of Heaven to behold now and I truly hope she has no memory of this life of suffering. We made Skye a promise, my husband and I, as we held her and watched her taking her last breaths. We told her it was ok, she could go, Jesus had given us permission to hold her pain now and we would see her again one day when none of us had to feel pain. I intend to keep that promise, as long as my girl is happy and whole I would never want her looking back here to earth, not for me.

I’m human however, and the ache I bear at times can be unbearable. My comfort has come a few times in signs from my God that He is taking care of my daughter, and me and Josh too, even in our pain. We are not bearing it alone.┬áThe most out standing sign I ever got was something that probably seems silly and simple to a lot of people, but I know it was meant for us to see and know that God cares about our smallest worries and hears prayers we don’t even pray.

Our daughter is buried in a tiny town called Salem in western Kentucky, it is where Josh’s family is from for many generations on his mom’s side, and she is buried in the same cemetery as her ancestors. This is comforting for the simple fact that we always go in each year for at least the Holidays and we like to visit her grave when we are in, not because she is there, but because we like to have a quiet time of remembrance and the opportunity for our other kids to hear about and ask about the older sister they never met.

In 2010, we woke up to a white Christmas, something that had not happened since before Skye was born, at least in that town. It was beautiful. We left my mother in law’s house that morning, on our way to visit Josh’s dad, and we planned to stop at the cemetery as was our custom and place a special gift at Skye’s grave, a big pot I had painted for her and filled with an arrangement of artificial flowers I had hand chosen to put in the pot and place at her grave. We had Faith with us, she was visiting the grave for the first time, the Christmas before she had only been 3 months old and it had been too cold to take her to the cemetery.

We were almost there when Josh sighed and said, “I meant to grab a little brush to brush the snow off her stone, I had it sitting right on the table and I left it at Mom’s.” He looked down at his gloveless hands. “It’s ok,” I said, “I’ll pull my coat sleeve over my hand if you’ll hold onto Faith.”

It wasn’t a long conversation, I really didn’t think much of it. After all, it was just snow on a stone, a very trivial thing, but it was important enough to him to mention wanting to wipe it away. When we pulled into the cemetery and got out of the car, he was busy getting the flower-pot out of the trunk and holding onto Faith, I was snapping pictures with the camera. I first saw how beautiful everything looked in the fresh snow. Nobody had marred the ground with foot prints yet. Then as we walked the short distance to her grave and looked, we were kind of dumbstruck. It was a cold, cloudy, windless morning. Every stone nearby had a puff of snow on it – except Skye’s. Even the stone right next to hers that is the same size and height had snow on it. There were no foot prints anywhere but the ones we had just made. It looked like someone had come and wiped her stone clean before we got there, it was still wet, there HAD been snow, but there wasn’t anymore. I snapped pictures as we gazed at this, and we both started to cry. To this day I know it was God whispering to us, “Don’t worry, I am taking care of her and I’m taking care of you. I care about your pain, I am here.”

Christmas morning, 2010, the first white Christmas in several years and here is the pristine snow in the cemetery.

Notice the snow on the other stones, the wreath, the bench – but Skye’s has no snow.

I know my God cares enough even to just wipe the snow from a simple stone. He’s not too busy, He also knows what it’s like to lose a child.

Capture Your Grief Day 12: Scent

When I think of Skye, I think of Fall and Fall has its very own scents. Crispy leaves, spicy baked sweets, crisp outside air, pumpkins, fields of dry corn, subtle earthiness – these all combine to become the signature scent for Fall.

My little girl wasn’t just born in the Fall, her life mirrors the essence of that season; beautiful, the days can be pleasant or very harsh, but mostly it is fleeting. It sneaks up quietly on you until one day you realize Fall is not just coming, it is here, and then just as quickly as it arrived, it is gone and Winter hits you like an icy slap in the face.

Day 12: Scent
Fall scents remind me of Skye.