As I walk through this grief journey, I have so many people tell me how strong I am. I don’t feel strong, but I think what they see is Christ strengthing me (Philippians 4:13). Sometimes I think about where I would be in this journey without God, and it’s a scary thought. Without God and the encouragement of His word, I would certainly be angry and bitter at the unfairness of life, especially given Finn’s death on top of our fertility issues. I would likely be in a deep, dark pit of despair with no light shining in. I think I would also feel a lot of unrest.
Something I have felt ever since we found out Finn had died is a great deal of peace about the situation. In the hospital during labor, lyrics from the song “Lord (I Don’t Know)” by the Newsboys kept repeating in my head:
Lord I don’t know where all this is going
Or how it all works out
Lead me to peace that surpasses understanding
A peace beyond all doubt
The interesting thing is that I hadn’t heard that particular song for years, yet it came to me when I needed it most. This was the inspiration for the verse that is printed on Finn’s urn, Philippians 4:7.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The next couple of weeks after Finn was born was filled with questions. I felt tremendous guilt because I thought that I inadvertently did something that caused Finn’s death or didn’t go to the hospital soon enough. The preliminary autopsy results came back with no abnormalities, adding to my fear that I somehow failed to save my perfectly healthy baby from dying. Then, we got a call from the geneticist saying she had an explanation for Finn’s death, and we scheduled an office visit.
It was a long few days waiting for that meeting, but when it finally came, we got a completely unexpected explanation — Trisomy 9. It was quite shocking to discover that every cell in Finn’s body had this extra chromosome when he looked so perfectly formed. We learned his condition is always fatal, and that most babies with Trisomy 9 are miscarried in the first trimester.
It was then that Finn’s purpose began to sink in. At the doctor’s office laying on the exam table, I prayed to God that he would allow me to become pregnant and send me a baby to love. God answered my prayer in a way I never imagined. I did get pregnant (after 2.5 years of no success on our own), and God sent me a baby to love, but he was not designed for Earth. There was nothing on Earth that could have sustained him. He wasn’t meant to survive here for a reason. He had a purpose in heaven.
God allowed me to experience the joy of another pregnancy and loving another child. It wasn’t overshadowed by the knowledge my baby was going to die until the very end. And through Finn’s death, my faith has been strengthened beyond what it ever has ever been. It has given me a platform to share the love of Christ, celebrate the meaning every unborn life has, help other grieving parents, and share information that can help people understand grief, and even save other babies. I don’t yet know what Finn’s heavenly purpose is, but the ripple he has created so far on Earth had been larger than I could have imagined and I know it is because God is working this for our good.
The biggest difference between grieving with God is that I grieve with the hope that I will see Finn again, healthy and whole, when I join him in heaven one day. While this doesn’t negate the need to grieve or change the fact that I miss him or wish the outcome could have been different, it does bring me great comfort to know he is in a place more beautiful than I can imagine, where there is no suffering.