Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Letting Go

My grandmother died one week ago.

I didn't post about it. Only because I was not sure what to say.

I am still not sure what to say.

She had been sick for a long time so it was not unexpected that she passed away. It was a blessing to tell you the truth. I have not enjoyed watching my grandparents get sick and waste away. First it was my grandad three years ago. Then my grandma in March.

There comes a point when watching some one you love suffer becomes too much. I find myself unsure even how to pray, begging only for God's mercy and grace in whatever form he deems necessary.

Restoration through death is God's ultimate healing gift.

It is only painful for those of us left behind.

So watching my grandma lay in bed too weak to even speak, I felt myself letting go. She was better off with the Lord. I knew it. We all knew it. But we each had to let go on our own.

I couldn't let go for all of us.

I can only imagine what my dad is going through losing his last remaining parent. I dread the day I have to say goodbye to my own parents as I know it will break my heart.

But although I don't know the grief of losing a parent, I am no stranger to grief. I think that is why I find myself so accepting of my grandmother's passing. It makes sense. And it was inevitable in my lifetime. Just as it is inevitable that I will someday bury by own parents. That is the way it ought to go God willing. That is the natural order of things.

But I was not supposed to bury my own children.

Letting go of Aubrey and Ellie was not something I did rationally sitting at their bedside, worried and tired of watching them suffer. I wanted to fight for them. I wanted to never give up. I wanted to hold out for a miracle. I wanted them to live.

Everyone around me saw what my girls needed. I could see in their eyes that hope was fading. But I just couldn't let go.

Even as we removed them from life support. Even as I held them in my arms and gave them my blessing to go. Even as I watched them fade away...

I just couldn't let go.

At their funeral I remember feeling like I really wasn't there. There was no way my two babies were in that casket. And the truth of God's grace restoring their tiny little bodies in heaven did not comfort me.

I just could not let go.

It took a year and a half and a new pregnancy, the perfectly timed gift of a tiny little boy, for me to finally let go. I wanted so badly to see twin girls on that ultrasound screen. But I saw just one baby. And later I learned that baby was a boy. I don't know why I thought it might be them. Aubrey and Ellie were not going to return to me.

It was time to let them go.

It was time to accept that my greatest loss was their greatest gain and trust that God did what was best for them despite what it cost me. God saw past my tears and fears and intervened on their behalf. He choose them when I didn't know what choice to make, when the best choice felt like the worst one, when letting go seemed simply impossible to do.

I guess that is why letting go of my grandma came so easily. I have had a lot of practice.

I hold on to temporal things much more loosely these days and instead hold tightly to the hope that we will all be united again in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

I miss my grandma. I am sad she is not with us. But I rejoice in her restoration. And I can't help but be a little jealous that she is with my girls.

Because I miss them most of all.


  1. "I can't help but be a little jealous that she is with my girls."

    Perfectly said. I felt this way too when my husband's grandmother died in February.

    Peace to you. xx

  2. Oh Rachel, so much of this post resonates me. I don't know what it will take to truly 'let go' in my life. I remember not really 'being there' at Jenna's funeral and holding out for a miracle when everyone else could see what Jenna needed. You give me hope that I will be able to let go, in my heart. Thinking of you, and I can't wait to 'meet' your precious baby boy. XOXO

  3. Thank you Rachel for speaking what has been on my heart lately. I just don't want to let go, it feels like she will fall away if I do. But she is already gone. And I can let go and still love and miss her...

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss, Rachel. Blessings to you all.

  5. I'm sorry about your grandmother. No doubt she is in a much better place-where we all want to be some day.

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your Grandma, she is taking good care of your angels!

  7. Dear Rachel...I'm not sure you remember me, but you were good friends with my precious girl Raechel Houck. I read about your dear Grandmother today in the Ojai paper and thought of you for the first time in a few years. I'm sending you prayers for Grace as you mourn yet another loss. As I read your story, I honor your strength and courage. Aubrey and Ellis are so loved and they remain a light within you. As you may know, Raechel and her little sister Jackie left this world over 5 years ago. I read you blog about your treasured girls and instantly recognized the grief that I've been accustomed to for these past years. You have been blessed with a beautiful family and although you have suffered this tragedy, you have been bestowed with Grace.
    I wish you and your family many years of joy and I know that somewhere in heaven my Raechel and Jackie are holding your sweet babies. God bless you all. You may email me at callyhouck@gmail.com if you want. I'd love to hear from you.

  8. sorry for my bad typing....

    Ellie and Aubrey live on in you....you are the legacy of their light.

  9. This was a beautiful post, Rachel. I know it's been so hard to let go of your girls, and yet so wonderful to have that blessed hope that one day you will be with them, and all your loved ones again in the presence of God. I'm behind on reading blogs, and wanted to say, I loved your last post too, and felt so encouraged by it. thank you for your words, always so insightful.

  10. Sorry to hear about your grandmother. She's taking care of your little girls til you get there.


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