Remembering Our One-Year-Old

October 14, 2008 at 12:22 am 77 comments

It’s taken me a long time to get this post together about Felicity’s birthday last month. It was a really hard day and no amount of words I could type could communicate the depths of that.

But it wasn’t all heaviness, either. Grief is so paradoxical.

Orison really wanted to make cupcakes for Felicity’s birthday day. Incidentally, he still calls them “pupcakes,” and his speech pathologist mother doesn’t correct him because I think it’s too cute. I know he can say cupcakes, so I just leave it at that. He was very particular that they be chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting, “Because Felicity’s a girl.”

We had a nice lunch with Abraham’s parents and the ever-thoughtful Grandmama included presents for Orison and Morrow. And since Morrow’s too little to open one, Orison gladly stepped up and fulfilled his big brother role.

Then it was off the the cemetery with flowers, balloons, and the cupcakes. The weather was perfect, so Orison brought his bike, as he loves to do. We were able to nail him down for a few photos. Morrow was more easily convinced. This was my favorite one.

We tried to light a candle on Felicity’s cupcake, but the wind was too strong. Orison was consoled by us telling him that we would light the candle again at home and we could blow it out then. Orison and I had planned that our whole family would blow the candle out together.

There were so many deeply sad moments, where the grief was very intense. When Abraham set her little cupcake on the stone, I just kept picturing the scene that should have been. He would be setting her first serving of sweets in front of her on her high chair tray, her face either bewildered or beaming, and all the people who love her would have been singing “Happy Birthday” to her.

Instead we set a cupcake on a granite slab and tried in vain to light a candle for someone who had never inhaled or exhaled.

When we eventually did light her candle back at home, Abraham and I both could barely sing as Orison’s little voice sang “Happy birthday, dear Felicity…”. We hear her name so seldom, let alone being sung, and by the sweetest brotherly voice that God ever made—it was very emotional for us.

Orison shed his share of tears that day as well. It’s so interesting—he’s still trying to get a handle on this loss thing. I know he can’t always express it, but sometimes he does, and when he does, we get a window into all the confusion, disappointment, and dashed hopes that adults feel when someone dies, through a three-year-old’s eyes.

For dinner, our good friends offered to watch the kids so we could go out on a date and even gave us a gift card for the restaurant. It was wonderful of them. We spent a lot of the time reflecting on this past year, trying to remember.

When grief has clouded your brain for so long, memories are hazy. Most of the conversation went like this: One of us would say, “Remember this (fill in the memory/event)?” The other would say, “No, I don’t remember that.” Or, “I kind of remember that.” We came to the realization that we’ve lived most of this year in a thick fog.

Since her birthday I’ve been dealing with a lot of very deep, raw emotions that are surfacing. It’s been really hard.

I realized then that we had passed all our “firsts” without her. There would never be another first Christmas, first summer, etc. Though this has always been true since she died, and seems ridiculously obvious, I’ve felt it more heavily since her birthday: From now on, the time we’ve spent without her will just keep getting longer and longer. One year will turn into two, two into ten. And she’ll still be gone. And I’ll still miss her. I’ll still wonder what she would have been like. I’ll still feel cheated for not getting to cuddle her close at night during devotions and kiss her little face when I laid her down. I’ll picture her at whatever age and phase and long for her.

Felicity’s life, though short, made me anticipate life with a little girl so much. To have that taken away has been very painful. And as I look to the future I have a hard time trusting and hoping that God will ever give that to me.

It’s probably the deepest residual pain that I struggle with. So any prayers you can renew on my behalf for this would be appreciated.

I don’t say this enough to those of you who faithfully read and comment here—thank you. Thanks for coming around me and Abraham and Orison and making us a part of your lives. And thanks for welcoming Morrow. And thanks for missing Felicity with me. Thanks for your stories and letting me into your lives as well.

In the arms of a good Father
You can go to the deep water
Where the questions, we have left unspoken
Come out in the open
We will find shelter here

So I lay down, what I cannot hold in my hands
Every sorrow and hope spinning out of control
And here I find sweet resolution comes in letting go
And we will find shelter here

Sandra McCracken, Shelter


Entry filed under: Family, Felicity, Grief.

A Powerful Video Cake Wrecks

77 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Adrienne  |  October 14, 2008 at 4:11 am

    (((hugs Molly))) First birthdays at the graveside are definitely tough! I’ll continue praying for you in the coming days!

  • 2. amy  |  October 14, 2008 at 4:13 am

    thank you again for sharing so openly and deeply with us. You are still in my prayers, and will continue to be. I love you Molly!

  • 3. Julie  |  October 14, 2008 at 4:50 am

    This is a beautiful post–thank you for sharing so many of your emotions. I will be praying for you and your family. What a mystery life on this earth is!

  • 4. danielle  |  October 14, 2008 at 5:07 am

    when i started reading this, i had something to say here, but when i got to the singing happy birthday part, i lost the thought. your grief seems so near to me, yet so far away. i can’t fully understand the actual pain, but i can definitely feel some small measure of it.

    i wish i could be with you guys more often, so i could literally walk through it with you. blogs, phone calls, and ichats don’t even come close.

    you mean the world to me. i love you. and i love that i have grown to love your family more than i ever thought i could.

  • 5. rachel  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:00 am

    What a beautiful way to remember her birthday, and it’s really interesting and touching to read how Orison deals with it as well.

    Who knows what God has in the future for you – but what he has taught you and who you are now is astonishing and beautiful. I Praise God for your family, and for this blog that makes me feel like I have a little intimate window into it.

  • 6. Crystal  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:05 am

    It’s so hard to be mama to a baby in heaven. I will definitely renew prayer for you and your family. There was a time when I wondered how much Jonathan remembered about David, but now he speaks of him and asks about him often and at the most unexpected times. It’s certainly bittersweet.

  • 7. JenR  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:13 am

    Molly-I have been praying for your family. Thank you for providing a window into your life. God has used your blog and Abraham’s blog to draw me closer to Him during this past year which has been difficult for me. Please know that your grief has not been in vain.

  • 8. Tina  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:14 am

    Oh Molly, I am so sorry. (with many tears) You can be assured of my prayers. I really wish I could give you a hug.

  • 9. Heather  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Thank you for sharing your raw emotions with us. Many prayers have been made on your behalf and I thought of you all that day.

    This weekend I had the honor of attending True Woman. I met two women from your church at the Desiring God booth. I shared with them the day I found out Morrow was on the way. Just know that you’ve been prayed for from complete strangers.

    God bless you as you move forward into the great unknown.

  • 10. gerberdaisie  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:42 am

    Thank you for your openness. You’ll be in my prayers.

  • 11. laura  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:59 am

    I cant even fathom the depth of emotions you must feel on a day to day basis. Being 15 weeks pregnant now with my first (after 1 loss due to miscarriage) I feel so close with my child, this child that I have never even met, seen, or held. I can’t imagine losing this little one, though I know God’s grace would be there, I just feel such a kindling of my heart with this babies heart. Reading your blog has taught me to enjoy every moment. Every moment with this little one inside of me, every moment with the precious gift of a family God has given me.

    Thank you for writing so openly and letting us in to your life. I pray for you and think of your family often.

  • 12. Kim  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Your father-in-law once shared in a talk how we have the blessing/curse of not being able to hold on to emotions. We can not sustain the love and joy for God that we should and may have once had. But it also means that we can not sustain the sharpness of grief and loss that sometimes I would like to. To lose that keenness of emotions was a whole new loss to me. Days ran on…others needed me…I couldn’t quite recall what I longed to recall. The loss of anything was a recalling of the first pangs of grief…make sense?

    I’m sorry, Molly, for your loss…for the losses yet to come. My hope for you comes from 1 Thess. 5:23-24…God is faithful, He will do it for your whole soul, spirit and body.

  • 13. Nick  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Praying for you and your family. Always remember that our God is great, and your Felicity is with this Great God

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace believeing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
    (Romans 15.13 ESV)

  • 14. Kristy  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Happy Birthday Sweet Felicity. What a bittersweet time.

  • 15. Nanette  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:48 am

    I am glad you were able to celebrate your sweet girl. And while it is heart breaking to see Orison’s sadness, it is also beautiful. He is learning wonderful lessons of life, and love, and loss that some grown-ups have not. My son came home from the hospital on my stillborn daughter’s first birthday, so he only knows of her what we tell him, but it is still very meaningful to him. Heaven is real. Death is real. God’s love is greater than it all.
    The first year and first birthday are very hard; but I do know, five years into this, that it does get easier to bear. I still ache for my daughter, but it doesn’t cast the fog that it once did. I hope you have a good day today, and thank you for sharing Felicity’s birthday with us.

  • 16. MrsMK  |  October 14, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Those pangs of longing for life with a little girl are so real to me….longing to see the brothers protect her, her daddy read a different kind of story to her, to get her ready for church. The thoughts and reminders that open the wounds again…still praying deeply for you, dear friend!

  • 17. Tony  |  October 14, 2008 at 8:11 am

    What a hard thing to go through. I’ve been reading your posts over the last year and I’ve been praying for you all. I am reminded of what I’ve been through in my own pain that it is a good thing to know that Jesus suffered and agonized while on earth so he could be trusted. Like all of us who have commented here — only much more so — he has experienced pain and loss so that we don’t have to feel abandoned.

    Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

  • 18. jennyrigney  |  October 14, 2008 at 8:52 am

    i love you, dear friend. i love watching you love your children… and then seeing the way they adore you in return. i am always moved by the way you love and remember felicity- you truly are an exceptional mother. I love felicity and I thank the Lord for her often, so I know your love for her is far too deep for words…but thank you for sharing some of it with me.

  • 19. Kellie  |  October 14, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Molly- This is really sad and I feel really sad with you.

  • 20. Angela  |  October 14, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I am more than moved to pray for you today. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for your transparency. Because of all the cute singing videos of Orison found on your blog and Abraham’s, I read your post and imagined what it sounded like to hear Orison sing Happy Birthday to Felicity. Many, many tears have come this morning for you and your family.

  • 21. Rachel  |  October 14, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Heard about your Felicity thru a friend. We are missing our own Felicity, born still just 8 days ago. We thank God she is in the arms of Jesus, but are so sad! Glad to see God has given you Morrow and a hope for the future!

  • 22. Cara  |  October 14, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Oh Molly, I know so well that anxious feeling of wondering if God will give us what our heart truly desires. It feels scary and humbling. I am there with you. I am praying that He shows you His goodness to you in ways that remind you He is for you, and that He knows and loves your heart.

  • 23. Krysta  |  October 14, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I really appreciate you honesty and have referred back a few times to your “How to Help a Grieving Friend” posts. I hope you don’t mind but I am posting a little something about this on my blog and am hoping others will come read what you have shared today.

  • 24. Face  |  October 14, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I think it’s helping me love people better.

  • 25. Adam  |  October 14, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Dear Molly (& Abraham & Orison & Morrow),

    My wife and I greatly enjoy both this blog and 22 words. We’ve commented a few times in the last year. As young parents ourselves, reflecting on your loss, we have shaken our heads and our hearts have been shaken. Erin was pregnant with our youngest, Noelle, when Felicity was “born”. Noelle is 4 months younger than Felicity.

    Today, reading this post, we both wept. And we have prayed for you. In the past, and again today. And I know we both have often as we have checked your blog.

    The videos of Orison, the songs that get stuck in your head, Abraham’s testimony, your love for Jesus, your gratitude to John Piper (us from a distance), your season of life…these things make us think – “If we lived in Minneapolis, we’d be friends!”

    Don’t get me wrong – we’re not “blog addicts” without lives of our own here in Wenatchee. We’ve got friends, a great church family, growing family and ministry responsibilities… but we sure do enjoy your commentary on life and find ourselves relating often.

    Thanks for being so open in sharing. And we will continue to pray and track your families growth. May God grant you the desires of your heart – first and foremost Jesus Himself.


    Adam for the James’ Gang

  • 26. Elizabeth Esther  |  October 14, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Dearest Molly,

    My twin girls are 2 1/2 months younger than Felicity. Reading your posts through this past year have given me a deeper appreciation for the gift of my baby girls. And I realize that is a totally selfish thing and I hope it doesn’t pile more hurt on your hurting heart? It’s just that I remember words you wrote at Felicity’s 6 month anniversary and they were words that stayed with me when my own baby girls turned 6 months old. Which is to say, your words, your grief, your sharing has been an unexpected gift. And I am truly grateful for your willingness to share openly and honestly.

    I wish I could ease the pain somehow. I will pray that our Lord blesses you with the sweet, amazing gift of more baby girls.

    I hope this doesn’t sound weird–but in the best, bloggy-friend kind of way: I love you, Molly!

    With deep appreciation and respect,

  • 27. Elaine  |  October 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    the whole cyber space thing seems so unusual and i am struggling with the idea of even leaving a comment. I don’t know you or your family. Your world is thousands of miles away from mine.

    I found your blog or should I say, it found me somehow. It was a tough day – the day I was scheduled to see my baby on the ultrasound screen. My birthday. But at 14 weeks she had passed on. I wonder if it was a she. I feel like I knew.

    Your experience and mine seemed so far apart. I read your blog and the tears I had felt ashamed of expressing that whole day just poured out. I can’t remember the post but whatever it was summed up how I was feeling. I felt almost guilty comparing the two. I had never held my baby. Never saw her downy head. My dreams were taken from me. You buried a physical child. But that ability to express what was so deep within me…well….it was a relief…an amazingly sad joy…

    Why am I writing still. I’m not sure. To say thank you. I read your blog today and cried again. Why do I feel so much emotion towards someone so strange. Thank you for being one of the only bloggers that I have ever come across that shares emotion through her words. It’s rare and it is powerful.

    I can’t imagine the sting that your loss brings every day. Random moments that make you just about lose your breath with sadness. I feel your questioning…..Will I ever have a daughter.

    We have a great High priest..whose name is Love…who ever lives and pleads for me….for you.

    God bless you, your growing family….your heart and your blogging.


  • 28. Jenny  |  October 14, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Molly, Sometimes I read your blog via my sister’s website. I went to Bethlehem for my four years during college and thus feel as if I know your in-laws to a certain extent. I’m sure many people feel that way.

    Your deep, raw emotions are beautiful to behold. Your words move me to tears quite often, as I just gave birth to my first-born, a daughter, and I can’t seem to imagine the grief that you experience every day.

    My daughter was not born perfect – she has some severe facial deformities – and my husband and I had to process through some of our grief on her behalf. I so appreciate hearing your honesty and knowing that God is in even our darkest moments.

    You are a blessing to your readers, as well as everyone around you. Thank you… Jenny

  • 29. melissa mailly  |  October 14, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I am so sorry that you have to go through life without your little girl, Molly. That is a hard, sad thing. It is hard to march on through time and “leave” her behind, in the month of September, in the year 2007. I remember having that feeling when January of 2006 rolled around and we left 2005 – “Matthias’ year.” They are waiting for us at the end, but we have to go that whole way without them. My thoughts and prayers are with you quite a lot, and especially last month as you reached and passed Felicity’s first birthday. May God’s gentle mercy ease the ache of that hole.

  • 30. JenR  |  October 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    I also wanted to tell you Molly that you look great! Looking at the picture of you, I would never guess that your body has been through 18 months of pregnancy with very little break in between.

  • 31. Greta  |  October 14, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    What a precious and loved little girl you miss and speak of. I guess since I cried through most of this post, I’m really grieving with you.

    I’m not really sure what to say except that you and your family contine to glorify the Lord. Thank you for sharing.

  • 32. Kristen  |  October 14, 2008 at 2:45 pm


    That’s such a difficult thing to go through. I don’t know you or your family, but I am praying for you. May the God of all comfort be near you in your pain. Thank you for letting us into your life.


  • 33. Jody  |  October 14, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Dear Molly,
    I get to your blog via 22 words. I’ve just read your comments. What you said about grief clouding your brain for so long that memories are hazy was so profound for me to read. My dad passed away quite suddenly in February, and have struggled myself with trying to remember any memories or even being able to look at his picture. Grief is paradoxial. Thank you for being so transparent and sharing with us.

  • 34. hperman  |  October 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Molly, Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. You are so good at articulating feelings. I will pray especially for your feelings of anticipating having a little girl. Your Father who is in heaven gives good things to those who ask him (Mt 7:11).


  • 35. 'Guerite ~ BoldLion  |  October 14, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    This made me cry! Thank you for sharing this with others. I hadn’t experince what you had gone through. But I do volunteer for Crisis Pregnancy Center. I had share this link with client director for her to understand how to talk to those who had lost a baby.

    I do very much want to give you all my hug and cry with you all too.

    May the Lord Bless You always!
    ‘Guerite ~ BoldLion

  • 36. stacey  |  October 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    ……….we ALSO have “pupcakes” at our house.

    Beautifully written post.

  • 37. nmwally  |  October 14, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Molly, I am so sorry that you are going through all this pain. I will pray for you. Thank you for sharing your story so candidly and pointing to Jesus all the way through it.

  • 38. sumijoti  |  October 14, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Oh Molly, I can so relate. I had dreams of being the mommy to a little girl too, among so many boys. I am still in the first year so there are some firsts coming up still: Christmas and New year being the last of the “firsts”. The, like you say, the one year turning into two, three, four…

    It seems like a lifetime before I will see Jenna again but I know that once I am there looking back, with eternity stretching ahead, all those years will seem but a moment.

    Just want to send you a cyber hug, and say I understand


  • 39. Laura Campbell  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with so many of us. The way you have articulated your grief has left me deeply affected and provoked to pray for you. Although I have never met you, I pray ardently for your family because you have become dear to my heart.


  • 40. jan margrave  |  October 14, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    i don’t know if you read through all of your comments; i’ve read and studied some of your father-in-law’s books through the years. i had heard that he, too, lost a stillborn granddaughter – like me. my daughter had an abruption with her first – liam was delivered by emergency c-section and while only 4 lb 9 oz is perfect and a beautiful 3 and 1/2 yr old now. a year ago, on nov 30, our daughter abrupted again and the baby girl died and was born still. my point in all of this is that as the year anniversary approaches, i am looking back over the year and wondering what kind of a mother i have been. while i have tried to be supportive, it has been so painful for me to watch our daughter hurt so. i haven’t always known what to say or what not to say. our faith has been tested and we have grown. our daughter has been given the go-ahead to get pregnant again next month and i am terrified it will happen again. she was very sick with sydney grace and i also worry for her health. anyway, (rambling), i was wondering if your FIL has written any books from the grandparents’ perspective. it you go back to dec 2007 on either of our blogs you can see similarities between you and alyssa’s experience – but i have no frame of reference for a grandparent – and i say that more from wanting to take ALL alyssa’s pain and ALL her grief and ALL her burden and carry ALL of it myself for her than as a grandparent missing a granddaughter – altho we think of her every day. thanks in advance for your prayers and for reading this comment. jan ( (

  • 41. citystreams  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:18 pm

    {{Big Hug}} I hope that the Lord will give you a little sister for Orison and Felicity and Morrow. That’s my prayer for you today. And if that’s not in His plan then I pray that He’ll give you peace about it.

  • 42. Laura Gruner  |  October 14, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    There is so much that I want to say, sweet friend… So many of your words have touched a very sensitive place in my heart.

    I’ll leave you with the words to verse 4 of Steven Curtis Chapman’s “Yours” as my prayer for you and your family…

    “I’ve walked the valley of death’s shadow
    So deep and dark that I could barely breathe
    I’ve had to let go of more than I could bear
    And questioned everything that I believe
    But still even here
    in this great darkness
    A comfort and hope come breaking through
    As I can say in life or death
    God we belong to you.”

  • 43. Julie B.  |  October 14, 2008 at 8:53 pm


    We just celebrated a similar birthday at the cemetary except that it was a 2-year birthday without the cupcake (cake at home instead), but with balloons and a sweet older brother singing too and a little one crawling around the marker.

    A strange thing I noted was the absence of that deep raw pain that I had felt so strongly that first year. “They” say that “time heals all pain” but how could that have any truth with the loss of a child?? I felt puzzled and maybe a little sad that the strong ache wasn’t there and that the edge was taken off that raw emotion.

    I think it has been healing (and perhaps distracting by the sheer busyness) to have a baby in my arms again. I find that I’m not as aware of all the milestones I’m missing with my boys. Though grief still finds me at unexpected moments and often I stop to think how old they’d be now, and what they’d be doing, and what they’d be like, and wonder…and yet if they were here now my little one wouldn’t be….and how can I fathom or make sense of that?

    I’m sorry that the grief of losing your daughter and the exciting expectations you had of raising a daughter still linger so strongly. I pray that the Lord will console you and that in His timing and way He will bring that desire to fruition.

  • 44. Stephanie  |  October 14, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    This blog really hits home to me, one of your friends named Jenn from ERIE, PA recommended that I check out your posts, and I have been reading them since the summertime. Our family lost our baby boy Landon to stillbirth in February, and just reading your posts have helped me deal with our loss, and you have given me so much inspiration and hope. You always seem to think and say all of the same things that I am feeling, and knowing that you have a healthy boy after this tragedy gives me even more hope to have another baby someday. I will be praying for you as you deal with Felicity’s 1st birthday, and just know that I think of your family often, and I would love to chat sometime!

  • 45. Jane  |  October 14, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Oh Molly,
    You have reached so deeply into your heart and shared so much of the rawness there, that I feel honored to read your words. My heart is connected to yours and I have prayed and will continue to pray for you.

  • 46. Chris  |  October 15, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Thank you for sharing your memories and feelings, Molly. Grief certainly is paradoxical. I think that’s one of the reasons why it is so overwhelming.

    So many of us have shared that longing for more children. And it is hard to know whether to wait patiently for it is all in God’s hands, or whether that longing is to nudge us to some kind of action.

    A friend of ours who was told by doctors that she could not have children, were in the process of adopting their second daughter when she became pregnant. When the adoption agency told her and her husband that they did not have to go through with the adoption, they said, “Of course we still want her!”

    So that year they brought home Aubrey AND Kyle. Then after adopting a little boy and going through a life threatening illness, just when she was grateful to be alive to care for the children she already had, the Lord blessed them with another natural child, whom the doctors recommended terminating due to Downs Syndrome. He is such a joy and they are helping counsel other parents to let their special needs babies live.

    For me the longing for more children was not met through adoption or having more natural children (although I’m very willing for both options if the Lord provides for either one), but through our Titus 2 ministry at church. Working with the girls is the best thing I have been involved in, and while it certainly is not the same at all as having another little girl or boy of my own, it is what the Lord has given me to do and he has made me so happy through it.

    God bless you as you wait on him; he knows the desires of your heart (Psalms 37:4).
    Chris D.

  • 47. Eva  |  October 15, 2008 at 6:31 am

    What a wonderful reminder that our babies who have died are not gone from existence. We will sing before the throne alongside them one day. God is merciful and full of grace!!

  • 48. Bernard Shuford  |  October 15, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Molly – I realize that many of your readers and commenters are female, so forgive me for being a guy, but thank YOU so much for sharing your grief. I love to read what you write, even when it’s sad, and you and Abraham have both been a tremendous blessing to me. We’ll probably never meet, and I only know you because of the fact that John Piper’s Christian Hedonism became of great interest to me a year or so ago. Thank you for being so human, even though you are so closely connected with a very widely known man of God.

    Just two days ago, a 22 year old cousin passed away, and our family is undergoing great grief. Reading this today is just especially touching to me. Thanks.

  • 49. shannon  |  October 15, 2008 at 8:37 am

    Molly, I have been following your blog for some time now and I wish I had something comforting to say, but I don’t. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your heart. :: hugs ::

  • 50. WES  |  October 15, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Until death and cancer hit my family I had little compassion for hurting people. Avoid, avoid… As Mr. Tripp says, ‘my life was the size of my life’.

    Sadly, it still is many times. Thanks for the reminder and may His grace be near you, at this time.

  • 51. diane  |  October 15, 2008 at 10:58 am

    My tears are added to yours. Thank you for sharing so transparently from your heart. Your postings about your grieving and missing Felicity have helped me to understand my friend whose son died. You have been an encouragement to her and to me. thank you and blessings to you. In Jesus, diane

  • 52. stacey  |  October 15, 2008 at 11:44 am

    ALSO, Orison SOOOOOOOOOOOO looks like you now!!

  • 53. Lori Schneider  |  October 15, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I have continued to pray for your family and the loss of your daughter. I can relate to you on many levels although our son lived to be almost fifteen so we were privileged to experience many years with him in our family. He was and continues to be my only son. Sometimes I really want another son and at other times I wonder if it would be hard. As we are past our second year of “firsts” I can say it gets a TINY bit easier, but not much. I think that as our other kids grow and our family has events our son will always be missed in a profound way.

    I appreciate how you and your husband chose to honor your daughter’s birthday. For us, our son’s birthday is not the same as the day he went to be with Jesus. Other people always think about us and think we want to commemorate the day he died when we really want to commemorate the day he was born. I think it would be hard to have both of those events be the same day.

    I can also relate to struggling to believe in my heart – and not just my head – that there is something to hope in. (Not that God hasn’t shown me a thousand things to prove His faithfulness to me!) I also still struggle – not daily, but often – with being angry at God. Couldn’t there have been another outcome? Why did it have to be this way for us? Doesn’t God understand how much this hurts and how there is this hole in our hearts and our family? I don’t question God’s sovereignty and often remind myself that my view of the world is very small and self centered. God has a myriad of reasons that he allowed my son to go home to him. I don’t have to always be happy about it though!

    Just because we are Christians and believe in the sovereignty of God over everything that happens doesn’t mean that we don’t have mother’s hearts and emotions and thoughts that make us question and wonder. I believe God understands my heart and my inner struggles because He knows better than anyone the pain and loss in my heart.

    I think the greatest thing I have learned through our loss is that the only thing I can rely on is God. I must know Who He is and cling to that. He gives wonderful gifts – like an amazing husband who has walked through this by my side. It is SO HARD to put into words all that God has taught me and shown me over the last two years. It is hard to get it all out on paper.

    I wondered if you were in a hard tiime emotionally when you weren’t writing much on your blog. Because of that I have prayed more diligently for you. It has to be harder when you are undoubtedly physically tired with the birth of your second son. I find that when I am physically and/or emotionally worn out that those are the times when Satan or my weak flesh succombs to doubts and it is just plain harder to bear the grief. It is always good to recognize those weak times are coming and prepare for them – spiritually.

    The Lord is using you and your family in many ways. May He continued to be glorified. Thank you for your frankness.

  • 54. Amanda  |  October 15, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    I am praying for you and your sweet family as you struggle with such a hard anniversary. Just last week my Gavin would have been 6 months old, 5 months since I held him last. It is sometimes hard to understand how so much time has slipped away and yet the pain is still so very fresh. What a wonderful celebration that you were able to have with Felicity in honor of her birthday. I will pray that the coming days are more gentle on you. Thank you as always for sharing, you have helped me more in my grief journey than you will ever know.


  • 55. Megan  |  October 15, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Molly…thank you so much for sharing this with us. I love your honesty with how you are really doing. Thank you for letting us enter into this, even if in a small way, with you.
    I admire, respect and love you.
    You have a way with words…I think someday you should write a book 🙂
    I’m praying for your beautiful family.

  • 56. Audrey  |  October 15, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I wept for you as I read each word of this post. I have never experienced a still birth, but I have had two miscarriages. I didn’t know the sex of the babies, but I know God has promised that I would have “one girl.” I now have three beautiful sons. I am thankful for all of my boys and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. But the loss of those two babies and the wonder of whether or not one of them was my “one girl” has never left my mind. Thank you for sharing your experience and your heart with us. Blessings on your family.

  • 57. Brook Phelps  |  October 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Wow, that was intense and beautiful and heartbreaking, and I am so thankful God’s grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9.) I cannot imagine…but also, God’s grace is not in my imagination. My heart is heavy for you and your family as you go through this pain.

    “Oh, bless our God, you peoples!
    And make the voice of His praise to be heard,
    9 Who keeps our soul among the living,
    And does not allow our feet to be moved.
    10 For You, O God, have tested us;
    You have refined us as silver is refined.
    11 You brought us into the net;
    You laid affliction on our backs.
    12 You have caused men to ride over our heads;
    We went through fire and through water;
    But You brought us out to rich fulfillment.” (Psalm 66:8-12. NKJV.)

    For His glory,

  • 58. Vanessa  |  October 15, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Dear Molly,
    A good friend of mine told me of your blog just after I found out that my baby had anencephaly and would not live. That was when I was 12 weeks pregnant back in March. I continued the pregnancy to term and Matthew lived for 1 hour after he was born. I can’t imagine your grief at losing your daughter in the way you did. Matthew never really breathed, but he did have a heartbeat after birth, so I can relate perhaps somewhat to your words about lighting a candle for “someone who had never inhaled or exhaled”. Yesterday was 1 month since he was born (15th Sept 08). So far the Mondays we have passed since then have been more emotional for me (we’ve named them “Matthew Monday” and go to his grave then), so the first “15th” wasn’t so hard. One dear friend remembered and sent me a message. But it got me thinking about the future months that will pass all too quickly.
    Thank you for sharing your heart so openly and allowing others to express their own grief and to share in yours.
    In Christ,

  • 59. Kathi  |  October 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your honoring of Felicity’s life. It truly is a great loss for you and all who know you and love you — we all would’ve rejoiced in her life. Thank you, Molly, for letting us know that we should keep praying — know that many stand with you in prayer.

  • 60. guinever  |  October 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    (((hugs))) Reading about Orison’s reaction reminds me of my own kids and how they deal with the loss of their younger sister. My nine year old was talking about things she used to do and my eyes filled with tears. He told me it was ok, that he’s not sad anymore. He misses her a lot, but he doesn’t cry anymore.

    I’m sure there will be tears for him in his future over the death of his sister 3 1/2 years ago, but I just share this story with you to let you know the pain and grief lessen, not go away, but it does lessen with time.

  • 61. Tina  |  October 16, 2008 at 5:50 am

    Dear Molly,

    I wanted to share this blog post with you. I am a faithful reader of her blog. It is one of my favorites. Perhaps you already read it, but just in case you don’t I wanted to share it.

    I have no clue what you go through every day in losing your daughter, but I do know what it feels like to want a daughter and have God say no. For years that is where I was when I had 4 boys and a husband that said no more children. I cried many tears, asked for peace, asked to be content, sinned to try to get my way…. And now all these years later, He has given me 2 daughters. I hope I don’t err in sharing this. My only hope in sharing it is to encourage you that there is always hope in God. I will continue to fervently pray that God will give you the desire of your heart and that He will continue to give you peace, comfort, and joy in Him.

    Much love and prayers,

  • 62. robyn  |  October 17, 2008 at 6:56 am

    I love that you are remembering and celebrating felicity’s birthday. what a neat way to keep her close to your hearts. what a beautiful post.

    love and prayers!

  • 63. brenda  |  October 17, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Molly, i don’t know you, but I know what you feel. I was looking up something on Pipers site and ended up here… deep grieve like our surfaces at the strangest time. I had a good cry with you and your family, thank you for sharing. We have 3 children here on earth and two sweet baby girls in heaven. We lost Abby at 18 weeks and Kaitlyn at 38 weeks. Both were terribly heartbreaking but Kaitlyn more so since we delievered her, held her, had a service…had to explain it all to our children who were just old enough to understand, cry with us and remember her often. We had the song Blessed be the Name of the Lord at her service. When ever we sing it emotions come back like crazy. To bless His name in the desert place, to make the choice to do it when it is not natural or easy is beautiful and really difficult.
    That said. Prayers for you my sister that He will fill you with joy and peace, that you will be able to be strong and courageous in giving your best to your family that He has given you for now and not miss any wonderful thing is a fog 🙂 and that he will grant you the blessing of a little girl here on earth someday.
    In His care, brenda

  • 64. carrieloveskeith  |  October 18, 2008 at 1:09 am

    I realize that I’m like the hundredth person to say this, but I am weeping with you and praying for you, although we’ve never met. I cannot imagine the grief you are experiencing, and just the fact that you still believe the gospel is a great encouragement to me.

  • 65. Jeannette  |  October 18, 2008 at 5:15 am

    Molly, thanks for being so open about your grieving. I don’t know if I would have allowed myself to grieve so deeply, but I believe it good in the long run. And it is a faithful testimony to the preciousness of each person God has knit together.

  • 66. jennifer  |  October 18, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Molly- I (as one without children) have been so blessed by seeing your sweet and constant love for your little girl and your little boys. The honesty and depth of both your love and sorrow points me to the cross as it shows me how better to regard the things of life. I am truly grateful that you (and Abraham) share through your blogs. I am convinced we are all the better for it. May God bless you today!

  • 67. Marie  |  October 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Hi, I also found you through “Desiring God” (I’m reading a lot of your FIL’s sermons on Romans for my own background info for a study I’m leading), and another blog who has you linked.

    I’m glad I found you because even though I’ve never “met” you, you have been on my heart since I read about Felicity’s passing from John Piper’s perspective. My heart just broke for you (I have 4 little ones) and it still does. My youngest, a girl, just celebrated her 3rd birthday and I cannot fathom (only empathize) with the grief and sense of loss. Thank you for starting this blog and allowing us to share that with you and pray for you. I am so happy that God has blessed you with Morrow. You are such a beautiful family!!

  • 68. Kate  |  October 20, 2008 at 11:10 am

    This was a very good, very heartbreaking post. Thank you for it.

    I can relate to so many of the things you brought up here, as I miss a life that never was with our twin boys, Abel and Noah. My living son, Jacob, is just a year younger than Orison, and when you talk of seeing such a wonderful, tiny person grieve in their own way, it amplifies your own grief even more. He’s only about to turn three, but when he sees other babies, he still talks of Abel and Noah as though they’re still yet to be born. He doesn’t quite understand what “being in Heaven” means and expects them to come back from wherever that is and play with him already. I didn’t think it possible that my heart could break even more, and long for the twins even more, when I’m faced with these difficult opportunities to explain loss and grief and being in God’s presence to my toddler son.

    My pregnancy with the twins was very special, too. Kinda how you described that specialness of having your first girl! Twins, such a rarity. (And ours were not brought about by Clomed or any fertility treatments! haha) Upon hearing the news that I was pregnant with twins, one of my friends said to me, “I’m SO jealous! You are SO BLESSED!” After they passed away (at 22 weeks), I recounted that memory and thought, now I guess I’m the total opposite of that. Like I’m the woman that is to be most pitied.

    Well anyway, I just wanted to thank you for this sad and beautiful post. And please, be encouraged to know that I truly believe you are helping so many, not simply myself, with your honesty here and your faithfulness to God.

  • 69. Blogspotting at Between the Trees  |  October 21, 2008 at 11:12 am

    […] Piper wrote a really powerful post for her daughter Felicity’s first birthday. There’s a maturity about her reflections on […]

  • 70. Catherine  |  October 23, 2008 at 10:12 am

    God must have led me to your post because we are thinking about our little Melissa who would have been eleven this year. She lived for one month and her life was painful and hard. I only got to hold her after she died. I was completely alone in the hospital room holding my little girl as she died. Imagine. That’s when I knew for certain that God’s love for me was brilliant and real even in the very most darkest time of life.
    Thank you for sharing this. By sharing it you gave me a reminder that no matter what, we are safe in our Father’s arms.

  • 71. Marny  |  October 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Dear Molly, I’ve never commented before but have followed your blog for some time. I’ve kinda had a similar experience and your post was just so sad and I’m so sorry for your loss!! I’ll be praying for you.

    Thanks for writing so honestly and beautifully!!


  • 72. gretchen  |  November 4, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    I recently found your blog, and have read through your posts about your daughter. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. Our daughter was also stillborn three years ago, and I felt a connection knowing other people feel similarly as they grieve. My husband and I have been kind of private in our grief through the years and, consequently, I sometimes feel as if I have no idea how to really talk about the loss. God has been very gracious and given us two wonderful little boys since then but the ache for our daughter is still there. I’m sure there have been painful times as you openly grieved but I have been encouraged by it. Thank you.

  • 73. leeann  |  November 7, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    hi! i am so thankful for your sharing. this is the first time i have visited your site. brought to my attention by a friend who cares for me. i am grieving and still pregnant. 36 weeks now. my baby has trisomy 13 and is not expected to live much past being born. i am loving him and doing things now to honor him but i can not in no way help grieving now also. and, i wish i did not have pregnancy and grieving going together hand in hand. but, i do. going anywhere public for me right now is soooo hard. people ask me if i am excited about the big day and ask my little girls if they are excited to be big sisters. they ask me when the baby is due and if i could please bring him in to meet them when he is born. his name is Canaan. this is so hard for me because i do not want to shock someone with saying, “no i am not that excited about the big day, my baby is expected to die soon after being born if born alive at all” or, “no i can not bring in my baby, he is going to die” and, people telling me that i can not know those things for sure about his death is annoying to me. okay, so he lives maybe for a few months but if you would just look into the diagnoses of trisomy 13 or 18 you would see that it is pretty likely the outcome is fatal. okay, miracles happen but i am not expecting that and i am trusting simply in God. i have proof he exsists and that he is very much in my life and showing himself through his people. what i am trying to say is that it is sooo heart breaking to me that i have to act that i am very excited about what is coming ahead. i quickly find a private place then and just rub my belly and cry. Canaan and i. just us. i tell him i am so sorry that i have to go through this while he is in my belly and i know what is going to happen. i shouldn’t know. i never want to know again. i want to have another baby but i do not want to know anything about the pregnancy. nothing. it can not prepare me and when they say it is information needed to prepare me i am still left with feeling very unprepared for what is to come and happen. then, if i use the information to try and prepare myself i am told not to start grieving now….it hasn’t happened…..yet. this is impossible!!!! oh, i am hurt. i now have scares and a very real limp. i haven’t been able to go to church since i found out over 3 months ago. i can’t. i can’t go anywhere right now. but, i do hang out with friends one on one. that is about all the social amount i can handle. it is baby steps. and, i know that i wont be able to just jump right back in either after everything physically is done. because even though it would be over it wouldn’t be over……it will just be the beginning for sooooo many things. things that i couldn’t prepare for. just, thank you for sharing Felecity’s first birthday with me. i cried. i mourn with you and i know too that i will feel the same. it is coming for me and is in some very real ways already here. even though he is kicking about and rolling around i know that i have to face his death and will have to visit him in different ways then coming to his crib at night to nurse him. just thank you for reading my feelings too. it helps me to talk/ express myself especially to someone who has felt this pain where so many people can only tell me that they can not imagine what i am going through. but, you can. i am glad i found your blog and i will look forward to walking this path with you in reading your thoughts and feeling your joy and happiness with you along with your griefs. I will not just simply say “may God bless you” i boldly say, “God has indeed Blessed you!”

  • 74. 1healthierlife  |  December 10, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    I just stumbled across you blog and began reading. I am so sorry for your loss and the grief you must be feeling. Be consoled in this: As parents our number 1 goal is to help our children get to heaven. You already have one there with our Lord, and she is looking down upon her family. My prayers are with you.

  • 75. Melissa Cummings  |  December 23, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    You don’t know me. I don’t know you. But you are my sister in Christ. And I praise the Lord for you.
    This post has blessed me today. I lost my first baby in July 2007 — we believe Covenant Hope was a girl but she was so tiny we couldn’t be sure. Just a month later God filled my womb with Gabriel. He is seven months old today. Covenant left my womb exactly seventeen months ago. Now Gabriel laughs as I bounce him on my knees. Praise the Lord for His providence.
    I too long for a daughter.
    I too want to desire God’s plan.
    He is sovereign.
    I have faith — but it wavers. I pray for solidarity.
    For you, right now, I pray for joy. I pray for you to have peace. But I also pray for you to have tears. I pray for the psalms to encourage you. I pray for your sons to make you smile.
    May God give you the desires of your heart.
    And may He give you balm in your grief.
    Thank you for blessing me, a stranger.

    From a CREC church in Spokane, WA.

  • 76. Raquel  |  January 11, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Hi i am new to your blog and i just want to tell you how great it is that you do these cool things to honor your daughters legacy. i lost one of my twin boys at 10 weeks and 4 days old to SIDS and i have contemplated if it was “ok” to take a picture at the cementary but seeing this shows me how beautiful it is. thank you thank you thank you!

    BTW you have a gorgeous family

  • 77. More Piper Love « Proverbs 30:8  |  January 12, 2010 at 7:42 am

    […] wrote a great post today about remembering their daughter. It is really honest about the feelings she has gone through during this great […]


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