Grief and Loss

On Your 5th Birthday…

Five years is a long time. You can start and finish elementary school in five years, buy and pay off a car, start college and end with a Masters degree. Five years of missing your child is long too. It’s a lot of rotating cycles of anger, denial, rage, thankfulness, deep sorrow, numbness, pain, jealousy, and wondering if you’ve finally “made it through”, only to watch the cycle start over again.

I look at our family and I know we are blessed. We have 2 younger ones than you. But they don’t replace you, make up for the Philip that will forever be missing in our family photos.

My heart breaks open again on this birthday and heaven day. The tears pour out and the pain etches itself into the muscle fibers all over again.

We try to celebrate you…we have cake and balloons and paint you rocks and look at pictures. But it will never be the same when you aren’t there to eat cake with us.

Micah asked me today if you were going to have cake when we brought it to the cemetery. I said “no”, and he about had my head over why I wouldn’t let you eat cake on your birthday. How to explain it all to a 3 year old, I dont think there is a way. I explained that you liked to share your cake with us and that sufficed for the moment, but to be honest, many days I feel just as confused by it all as your little brother does.

This past year has been a lot of numb. A lot of knowing and accepting on some level, but not really feeling the weight of missing you. Maybe I wouldn’t let myself, maybe i couldnt.

C.S. Lewis has been quoted saying ” No one ever told me grief felt so like fear”.

I couldn’t agree more. It feels overwhelming. It feels like just waiting for an end. It feels like a tight chest and a big gulp. It feels like failure when you told yourself you were going to be brave. It feels paralyzing.

Yet, John 14:27 tells us “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

God the Father is the Bringer of Peace. He is the Creator of Hope. He was there 5 years ago and is here today. And He tells me to not let my heart be troubled. He does not say I mustn’t feel pain, grieve the 5 years I’ll forever imagine and never witness…but He assures me that He will bring peace in His timing, in His way.

And so in an effort to fight the ‘numb’, to fight the ‘fear’, we are bringing hope to our very dark world in honor of you little boy. We as a family are launching our “Hope Rocks” campaign today and hiding rocks that will bring hope to someone in a dark moment. We are bringing Raindrops of Hope from a virtual support into physical homes and hands so that peace can be found and healing can begin.


This is an idea I’ve been tossing around for a while, but today I’m ready to start. I’m ready to bring HOPE into healing in others hearts. A healing that so many desperately need amidst the Coronavirus quarantine we are living through right now. A hope that sees past this pandemic and into our future. A hope restored and renewed.

It’s all because of you baby boy. Because you existed and the hope we had for you and all that you would be.

I wont get to see the “you” I imagined, but I hope I can be the “me” you would have wanted. A mama who understands hurt, and pain…and yet understands that it is not the end…but the beginning of Hope and healing and a future to look towards…all because of how God is using your life through mine.

I love you forever baby boy. Happy 5th Birthday in Heaven Philip David.

Love, Mama

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