Finding Strength After Losing a Child
Although we know and understand that not all Faithful and Free couples have, or will, ever endure such a painful, unforgettable experience. Yet, there are some that have; and as much as we wouldn’t wish this on our worst enemy, there are some that will.
Here is our back story……
On July 8, 2005, we had our 3rd child. However, he, was our 1st child, together. We named him: Taj Lydell (maternal grandpa’s middle name) Young. His first name meant ‘crown’, which is why his daddy called him 'little prince'. His mommy called him Taji Waji!
We were so young (no pun intended) and because bedrest was needed prior to him being born, money was extremely tight. I (Erica) had to go back to work when he was only 6 weeks old. I know, I know… a lot of mommies go back to work at that time, but I, for one, never did. My first baby got 3 months with me after bringing her home. My second, 7mths. So, as you could see, 6wks was hard, but it was something we had to do. My grandmother kept Taj during the day. In the evening and on weekends we all had the privilege of being one big happy family.
On October 12th 2005, I was attempting to allow Taj to do the self-soothing method for his bedtime. He didn’t cry much, so I was ok with this because I knew he would just fall right to sleep. After about 30 minutes, I went to check on him and he was still wide awake, no crying, laying peacefully in his bed, and something said,” pick him up, hold him and rock him to sleep.” I picked him up, put him on my chest, smelled his sweet baby smell, loved on him, and gently, rocked him to sleep.
Something said,” pick him up, hold him and rock him to sleep.”
October 13th, 2005, unbeknownst to us, would change our lives forever…... Terrence woke up to go to work and checked on our little prince, and his 3-month-old body, was lifeless. We rushed him to the hospital, yet, our baby, our little prince, was gone……
Erica and I were not at all walking with God the way that we are now, and even if that was the case, I don’t know how we could have handled our loss any differently. We dealt with shock, emptiness, pain, anger, heartache, loneliness…. You name it, we dealt with it. But, we dealt with everything separately. When she was sad, I was mad. When I was lonely, she was empty. We weren’t able to get on the same page for at least 2 yrs. or so. The pain is real! There is no escaping it. I don’t care what church you go to, what worship songs you listen to, losing a child is an extremely difficult loss to endure. It takes your breath away, like a blow directly to your mid section. Where there is no breath, there is no life. You pretty much become dead inside.
Losing a child is an extremely difficult loss to endure. It takes your breath away, like a blow directly to your mid section. Where there is no breath, there is no life. You pretty much become dead inside.
My wife, became pregnant 3mths after losing Taj. As exciting as pregnancy should be, we were scared of death. We didn’t think that we were even fit to raise a child…... together. One died in our care, how will this new one be any different? I knew this baby wouldn’t be Taj. Its life would be far different, but deep down, I wanted this baby, to fill the empty hole our little prince had left behind…….
This tiny, beautiful, amazing new life that I had delivered was not at all Taj, neither did his presence fill the aching void. This one cried all the time. Taj hardly ever cried. God didn’t give my baby back in the form of another, which scared me even more. So, I held him all the time. I didn’t know what day would be his last. I smelled his neck, kissed his toes, looked deep in his eyes, searching for the sign that never came.
Next, we had Trevin, then Emoni, then…. 3 more children. All a blessing, but, none of them ever replaced that empty feeling the loss that our prince left inside of us. That’s when we realized, nothing ever would.
God, does everything for His particular plan and purpose.
Jeremiah 53:11-For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Nothing that we do, on our own, can ever come close to fulfilling that plan. We can neither prevent or will things to happen or not to happen. All we can do, is learn from our attempts and lean on Him.
On your path to finding strength after losing a child, ask yourself, what about the circumstance made us weak? What about it made us lean on God even more? In this case, we realized that we were mostly weak because we didn’t really trust God’s plan, as much as we claimed to. Our unending pain caused us to lean on Him even more, because we had nothing or no one else to lean on. Unless you have lost a child, you have no idea what I’m talking about, or, what we were/are going through. Even you trying to understand, is offensive. So, NO, we can’t lean on YOU! (the thoughts of parents who lost children… no offense intended) But…... God! He sacrificed His only child. He sent His Son down just to die for us, The Young’s and you too. Jesus, without ever being married or having children, at one point, felt our pain. (Isaiah 53:4-Surely, he took up our pain and bore our suffering…) He, willingly went to the cross so that we could join Him in heaven to have our sadness and tears be wiped away.
Really, all this understanding of the type of God we serve and the Son who died for us didn’t fully come to a pure, and true understanding, until after our son had passed away. It was through the passing of our Prince, that we realized we most definitely had to go to heaven. First, the motivation of going to heaven, was mainly just to see our baby and other family members who’ve passed. Later, growing into an overwhelming joy to spend eternity with our heavenly Father. We don’t always understand why on earth God does things the way He does. Yet, we know that everything He does or allows to happen is for our good. He won’t give us more than we can handle, and yes, His ways are higher than ours. All the clichés in one sentence…. We will, however, end with this…... the only way to find strength after losing a child is through all of those clichés. Focusing on anything else will cause more pain, more anger, more resentment, and so on. To be a faithful and free couple after losing a child, is next to impossible without God.
Be Faithful, Be Free
T & E Young