It was June of 2006, when we lost our son Caleb. Our hearts were broken when our sixth child was born prematurely and taken from my womb to heaven. It wasn't something we had ever experienced before. Losing a child has to be the worst pain a parent can endure. You feel like a part of yourself is missing. You walk around in a daze for months. No one understands that feeling unless they too have experienced it.
Just when I thought my heart was beginning to heal, Christmas came. I thought I was handling things okay until we went to put up the stockings for our kids that year. His was not there. It was missing. It should have been hanging there right beside his sisters and brothers. We decided that we needed to buy him one. We knew he would never so we could see the excitement as he opened it on Christmas morning, but somehow just seeing it there eased our pain a bit.
Some people probably thought we were nuts buying a stocking for someone who wasn't here, but we didn't care. It helped us cope with the loss of our child. They didn't know the ache that we felt as we bought presents for our other children and not him. They didn't feel the pain we felt when we visited his grave instead of waking him up Christmas morning.
It has been 10 years since we bought that stocking and every year we hang up his stocking right along aside of our other ones. He will never be forgotten. He is our son. He is the brother of our children. He is loved and missed beyond words. We also have a yearly tradition to allow his baby sister to pick out a special ornament for him. She hangs it on the tree each year with a huge smile on her face because she knows that one day she will see him again.
I decided to write this today because I wanted to let other families know that you are not alone. It is okay to grieve in anyway that helps you through it. Don't allow others to tell you are crazy or weird for memorializing your child in any way you see fit. No one but you understands how you feel. Not even someone who has lost a child can feel exactly like you do. You know what you need in order to heal. It's okay!!!!
I know without my faith, I would have not made it through that loss. My husband and I were able to lean on each other and God to help us. I pray that you have God to lean on too. He is our comfort and source of peace when we do not understand.
God knows your pain all to well. He sent His son to earth to be born, knowing that one day He would die on the cross for our sins. It was His great love for us that He made this sacrifice. Are you going through a loss alone? You don't have to. I would love to pray with you and for you.
I also have some wonderful Bible verse to encourage and comfort you. Please feel free to download them and print them so you can keep them close and read them daily.