Saying Goodbye Too Soon

Most of the family had said goodbye to Miss Lucy Mae.  But. Tiffany, Drew, Aunt Liz, Auntie Tricia Mae, Papa and myself had one more opportunity.  When I held Lucy Mae for the last time, I thought my heart would explode with sadness.  As Nana, I was supposed to be dreaming, dancing, and laughing with my beloved little granddaughter instead of saying goodbye.  My daughter stood by me with sorrow and strength, with her body recovering from a long labor and delivery, with a heart aching for her baby girl, and with a love so powerful that it could be felt within my own soul. I would do anything to change the story.  Anything.

The Last Time I held Lucy

The Last Time I Held Lucy

Miss Lucy Mae’s little body was fragile but perfect.  I thought about how she started from one cell, invisible to us, yet, present.  When she had grown into 16 cells she would have been big enough to  fit on the top of a pin head. And. At birth in complete perfection, Lucy Mae was made up of about 75 trillion cells with each cell containing 3 trillion different DNA messages, denoting her individuality. Perfect transformation.   Though it was thousands of years ago, the Psalmist captured the transforming miracle in beautiful words:

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb (Psalm 139: 13-15, NLT).

But.  Seemingly too soon, Lucy Mae went through another transformation, leaving her little body, moving into a resurrected body as Christ did, which, one day, will also be ours to experience. The Message gives a description of our heaven-bound transformation:

For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less. (2 Corinthians 5: 1-5, The Message).

God is systematic and orderly in the processes we go through to experience all of life, ultimately found in the vast, immense, dazzling place of heaven where there is fullness of life, love, and light.  We only have to look to Jesus, to view him after resurrection to see what is to come.   We are promised, that our inner being, what makes us be us, will not die but will live through the power of Christ

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25-26, NIV). 

And. I do know with certainty, that Lucy Mae’s inner person, the person she’s always been, changed heaven by entering in, making it brighter through the light God has put in her, living a life which we can only imagine.   So. The name, Lucy Mae, is perfect:

Lucy means “light” or “light-bringer.”

Mae means star.

Lucy Mae has always and will always be a light shining in our lives like a star shining in the darkened skies of the night.  Her mama, Tiffany, has had fascination with light and stars since she was a little girl.  I remember when Tiffany, at age five, kept asking me to go outside after dinner; however, I impatiently declined,  busy cleaning up the kitchen, preparing for our friends to come over for dessert.

The tyranny of the urgent had kept me away from what was most important, which is sharing the gift of time with one another.

But.  True to form, Tiffany used her “skill” of persistance.  So.  I finally gave in and went outside with her.  She insisted that we lay down on the lawn to watch the stars come out. And.  We did.

 We talked about how at least one star is born each day, wondering which star in the heavens above could possibly be the newborn.

I remember that night because I learned the valuable lesson to stop, look, and listen, to experience the moment, to do what’s important not what’s urgent, to be present for one another.  Now, as the stars come out at night, I’m determined to take more time to watch the heavens, remembering our “star of light” is gracing the presence of heaven,  only a thin dimension away.

Yet.  Remembering Lucy is part of the light of heaven is a journey of raw emotions for those of us who are left behind, saying goodbye has been so hard, at times too hard, not because we don’t believe but because we were not ready. There was so much life here on earth we want to experience with her.

Papa’s Goodbye Kiss

Papa had already been planning to build a girlie-girl-play-cottage for Miss Lucy and Miss Madelyn to have something special at our house where they could dress up and have tea-time together, just like their mamas’ did when they were growing up.  He will still build it and paint the inside light pink, Lucy Mae’s color.  We will put a star on the roof as one of many reminders of her place in our life.

We knew Miss Lucy and Miss Madelyn would be the best of friends like their mamas.  It’s been so sweet to see Tricia beside Tiffany during these dark and sorrowful days.  When Tricia read Tiffany’s words describing Lucy Mae at the Celebration of Life Service, my heart broke into a few more pieces for the pain they both are sharing. Yet.  I know their love for one another will be a source of strength.  Jesus talked about the importance of loving one another before He left for heaven:

Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (John 13: 33-34, NLT).

And. Loving one another through the love of Christ produces undefinable joy in the suffering.

 Auntie Tricia Mae held Lucy Mae one more time.

Aunt Liz said her goodbyes to Lucy.

Love has been front and center these last few days.  So many people have walked through the process with all of us.  Some of Tiffany’s friends have been sisters too. . . including, Alison, Jenn, Monica, Beth, and Liz . . . helping and loving us in incredible ways.  Liz, who just left for her home in Idaho, joined us as we said one last goodbye, her own heart breaking with ours.

No one wants to say goodbye so soon.  But.  We have had to do it.  Just before we left, I held on to Lucy Mae, Tiffany, and Drew, thinking this is not what we had planned or ever thought would happen, realizing this journey is far from over, at times it will feel like a slow and hard walk, minute by minute.  But.  We hold on to the truth: God loves Lucy Mae . . . each one of us . . . and has a plan for us to experience life forever, a concept far beyond comprehension.  One day, we too will step into heaven, a thin dimension away filled with life, love, and light, where Miss Lucy Mae is shining like a star.

More later . . . Kerrie

Holding on.

16 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye Too Soon

  1. Scott Chitwood says:

    you and your family will continue to be in my prayers everyday. Your words and your faith are an inspiration to me. If we can ever do anything please let us know. I love you

  2. Heather Adams says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. Praying for all of you. Thank you for sharing these special memories with us.

  3. Melissa says:

    “When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
    -Kahlil Gibran
    Through the tears and sadness, I pray that with God’s gentle embrace you and your family can delight in the beauty of little Lucy Mae and the way such a small life has touched so very many other lives.

  4. Penny McCloskey says:

    Kerrie, you are perfectly and wonderfully made, and God is so!!! not through with you yet. He uses you everyday for the betterment of another persons life. There is no way anyone could get through what your family just did if it weren’t for you. You have the infinite wisdom that consoles sadden hearts. I can not imagine how wonderful it must feel to be your child, and grandchild. God bless all of you in this time of sorrow. He knows exactly what he is doing and does it mercifully. Love to you all, and prayers for your wonderful family.

  5. Marilyn Savage Fine says:

    Having a precious little child preceed us in death is so unnatural, but your Lucy Mae and my own Carey Brooke touched lives, melted hearts and gave and receive enough love for a lifetime. How long is a lifetime anyway? 10 months and 6 days? 4 months premature? Those numbers all count in God’s plan and His infinite wisdom. May our love and prayers follow your family forever.

  6. Linda Hardin says:

    So sorry your family is making a journey through grief after Lucy Mae’s death. I’ll be praying for you.

  7. Rhonda Starboard says:

    My prayers are with you and your family and this is a beautiful thing that you posted on here. Thank you and again my heart goes out to you and yours. Love Rhonda

  8. DeVonia & Dennis Mikkelson says:

    We are Praying for all your family in this very trying time in the familys time of loss of Little Lucy Maes- May our
    Heavenly Father cover you with his wings through your journey of grief–Our Love and Prays to all the family.

  9. Shannon says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you, your daughter,her husband and the rest of your family. You have such a beautiful way with words. But most of all God needed that child. God bless you all

  10. Jodee Pendergraft says:

    Kerrie, I will be praying for you and your family. My heart is breaking for all of you. You continue to touch all of us with your words, just like at the Market St. Naz. church in “Mom’s class” in the late 80’s/ early 90’s. – Jodee Pendergraft

  11. Letha Reynolds says:

    Kerrie, I was at church this morning and I heard what you said about your granddaughter, I was saddened because I could not amagine the hurt from the mother and you yourself. But God has promised we will see our loved ones again at the big reunion in the sky at His second coming, It will be glorious for you all to see her again. I don’t know you well, but I think your wonderful.

    Letha Reynolds

  12. Rick and Pam Minton says:

    our hearts break with yours Kerrie..we’ll continue to pray for you and Tiffany and Drew and the rest of the family..we know that little Lucy is singing and dancing and praising God today..and someday, that beautiful reunion…but until then, may you be wrapped up tightly in the Fathers arms…comforted and held…we love you !!!

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