CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.

Celebrating Laynee

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Why, God?

Tonight my heart is restless.  I've spent the better part of today trying to make sense of things that just do not make sense, cannot make sense no matter how I look at them. Of course, much of this comes from the fact that today is Laynee's birthday.  That, in and of itself, creates restlessness.  It is wrong, so inherently wrong, for a five year old to not be with her family on her birthday.

I struggle to know how best to celebrate her life, the 2.5 beautiful years that we had with her, without dwelling upon her death.  People tell me all the time that I "need to remember her life, not her death."  Well, that's a really nice thought.  Truly it is.  But it's not realistic.  She died, she is not here anymore. To remember her life IS to remember that she died.  The two cannot be separated.  I cannot miss my child without recalling her death.  But while all of these things are true, I do believe that there must be a balance, to remember but not to dwell upon.  Therein lies one of the greatest challenges that we face at this point in our grief. 

I baked a cake, I wanted it to be special for her.  As I stared into the cupboard at ingredients for cake,  I realized that I can't make her favorite cake because I don't even know what that would be.  We tend to go pink for nearly everything where Laynee is concerned, but would pink be her color?  Truth is, while we all loved to doll her up in girly things, this one was about as un-dainty as a girl could get. In the end, I decided it really didn't matter and went with pink.  Jim came home and asked "are you making Laynee's favorite dinner?"  He asked because that is what we do on birthdays.  But because it was a gorgeous, warm, sun shiny day I grilled out, not for Laynee, but for those who are still here. Her grave site glitters and sparkles tonight with  hearts and butterflies and birthday hats, all put there to remember the life of the little girl who lit up our world.

In addition to today being Laynee's birthday, the past several days have been filled with sad and devastating news.  Our little community seems to get hit hard by devastation and  I can't help asking "Why?"  "Why, God?"  A young father of three, and a fourth baby on the way, with an inoperable tumor on his spine.  A wonderful father, a man of God and he and his wife are faced with decisions that have no easy answers,  options with no great outcomes.  And I wonder, how, even in the big picture that I cannot see does, this make sense.  And tonight news came of another, this one from our church family, also young, too young for such a diagnosis. His body is ravaged by cancer.  Months of treatment, countless prayers,  but the cancer has grown and multiplied.  Then another, a man who has seen his children and even his grandchildren raised, but his tests come back "NO sign of cancer spreading."  I rejoice and I praise God for this result but still I wonder. "Why?'  Prayers have gone up on behalf of all these men.   Why are the requests of some granted but not of others?

There are no answers and for those of you who are prepared to send me emails or comments or messages (because I know there are many thinking this very thing) telling me that "we can't question God."  That "his ways are higher than our ways."  Don't.  I'll save you the trouble. I already know. I know, on a cerebral level, that His ways are perfect.  I know that God is good and that he does good.  I know that God is a god of love and mercy and compassion and that "all things work together for good"  I know all of these things in my head and, on good days, even in my heart.  I know it but I cannot understand.  I cannot understand why children are abused and unloved, all over the world, but my child is not here to celebrate her fifth birthday with those who love her desperately.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, I still will not understand but I will whisper "I trust you God.  I know that you love me enough to die for me, and I trust you"

Although the fig tree shall not blossom
neither shall fruit be in the vines, 
the labour of the olive shall fail 
and the field shall yield no meat
the flock shall be cut of from the fold
and there shall be no herd in the stall
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord
I will joy in the God of my salvation. 
Habakuk 3:17,18, 19


  1. I know you know, so therefore I would never say it. Ever. I know too well from watching all my other mommy friends, wading through their grief, that there are no answers this side of Heaven. I infact said that exact thing at Klein's funeral. I also said, that as long as my list is, here on earth, question after question, that once I get there, which I am SO hoping I do, that the answers will not matter. It will all be crystal clear.

    Prayers to you from a far away friend that has come to love you all so much. Strength for the journey tonight and beyond.

  2. Sorry there's so much hurt happening in your circles right now. And I just was thinking about the birthday dinner thing, too, even mentioned it in B's post. What would she have requested... funny that it's what I thought of first...

  3. This world is full of pain. Please don't believe that the LORD planned your heartache.

    John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

    He will overcome...but it is through the trouble which this broken world brings.

    I had the sweetest encounter today with a Down Syndrome young lady at the store. She had a winning line: "I KNOW you!" I overheard her saying it over and over again as she shopped. She didn't know me but she said "You're my FRIEND! I LOVE my friends." We hugged and kissed several times when I saw her as we shopped. What a precious trait of her "syndrome." LOVE!

    HANG ONTO THE LOVE and JOY, Karole!

    Let your precious girl hug you now.

  4. If Jesus, knowing the whole Plan from start to finish, did not sin in asking, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" I THINK YOU ARE ALLOWED TO ASK QUESTIONS.

    And you aren't - at all - asking in a petulant or demanding tone. Anyone who sits, inescapably, with grief - wonders. I wonder why it had to be like this? I wonder...

    You're not asking because you don't trust God. You're asking because you do. Like a child who knows her Father loves her CAN do - because they have a close and trusting relationship. That is what you have with Him; definitely.

    The advice about you remembering Laynee's life, not her death...

    Absurd. Of course you remember her life. If you didn't, think how much pain WOULDN'T be there? But you DO. And her death is a part of her life. It is too bad not everyone is willing to be honest about that. My husband calls it "the Minimizer's Toolbox." Yes, well-meant and all, but still trying to minimize and deny. Not helpful.

    Someday, in Heaven, we'll get our answers. You know this a lot better than many.

    Loving your Laynee here,

    Cathy in Missouri

  5. Oh Karole, my heart breaks for you. You are such a strong, amazing woman. Your faith is so very impressive...and inspiring. I know Laynee is up there smiling down on you this very moment because she knows that, too. SHe is lucky to have you down here on earth. And she is skipping and sending you rainbows and butterflies whenever you see them. Sending you hugs sweet friend.