The question I get asked most frequently is how Zo’s parents (my sister Kate and brother-in-law Todd) are holding up after losing a child. So, I thought I would go ahead and give you all some of the things Kate has said to me over the last week! The following is bits and pieces of things she has told me over several conversations. J (with her blessing to share it of course!)
Most days, this is what Kate says:
“I wonder to myself everyday why I’m not depressed all the time. But then I remember how amazing the strength is that God is giving me. I feel so confident and happy about the fact that he is in Heaven. It is the peace that (our sister) Beth prayed for, right as he died in that hospital room.
It’s tempting to feel bad about it, but I do not feel the need to cry constantly. If I feel tears coming on, then I let them out of course. It’s tempting to feel guilty to smile. But most of the time it’s like I am so at peace with where he is. Don’t get me wrong, I think about Zo ALL the time, am very sad about it and I do miss him terrrrrribly. It’s very hard to describe. Then again, it really is the strength God is giving me.
I do not believe that God took Zo away because I was “bad” or anything like that – like a punishment. He really just had a short mission here on earth for little Zo. Sadly, it had to be my baby for the short mission. But God is constantly trying to tell me that I can’t do this on my own. Zo’s life and death has really opened the eyes and hearts of a lot of people and I believe that is what he was sent here to do.”
On one particularly rough day, Kate wrote this:
“We were sad today because we were over by Fred Meyer. And later, I needed to use his crib mattress for Sadie, but I had not touched his bed yet. But taking his stuff out of the crib… that opened the floodgates. I know it’s okay to have a breakdown every once in awhile and that’s what happened tonight. I cried hard but now feel stable.
Right now we are just trying to hang strong. God is keeping us strong. We know Zo is happy in Heaven and that is the most important thing. We miss him terribly – words cannot describe how badly we miss him. But he is playing with Jesus and we know that. We are going to be trying to continue with our lives soon. He will always be our sweet baby. We continue to rely on God for our strength and He will get us through. Although right now all we want to do is hold our Zozo.”
Please continue to pray for Todd and Kate as they walk the journey of grief, and pass through it's different stages. Pray that they could bear the "new normal" and thrive in it. And most of all, pray that Jesus would hold them tightly in comfort!