Monday, September 3, 2012

3rd Anniversary of Samuel's Homegoing

Friday was the 3rd anniversary of Samuel's death, his homegoing to Heaven.  I slept very poorly the night before, waking up every couple of hours and thinking back to those same hours in 2009.  At 2:30am, I remembered how Bryan and I clung to each other on the rubber single mattress in the sleep pod, leaving one single bed untouched because we couldn't bear to be apart when we knew our baby was dying.  At 5:30am I remembered waking up to our alarm with the same horrible sinking feeling in our stomachs that had greeted us every morning for the last 30 days -- the realization that our son was sick, and in the last 8 days, the knowledge that his life was quickly coming to a close.  At 5:45am I thought about the long walk down the hall to the CICU and walking in to Samuel's pod to see his numbers start their tick south before Bryan's brother and sister had even left the room from the night shift.  I remembered our talk with our wonderful night nurse, Kim, a doctor, and another medical professional when they told us this was it; they couldn't guarantee that Samuel would still be alive once the floor reopened after shift change.  At 6:00, I remembered them placing Samuel in my arms --wires, machines, and medical personnel galore. 

Over the next few hours, amidst smatterings of sleep, getting the kids up, and starting breakfast, I remembered the time we spent ushering Samuel into Jesus' arms -- the songs we sang, prayers we prayed, tears we wept, loving words we cooed.  I remember so much of that day from 5:30am-2:30pm that I think I could piece it together almost in its entirety.  After 2:30, I lose the thread of it and only have bits and pieces, but from the moment we woke until the moment we got home from the hospital, it is crystal clear.  Bryan's time holding Samuel, getting a second turn myself, the doctors telling us we could turn off the oscillator because Samuel was close enough to death, me asking to leave it on until he had died on his own, the doctor later declaring him dead, the silence that echoed louder than I could have imagined once the oscillator was quieted for the first time in 7 days, Bryan holding Samuel's body for a long while, leaving the CICU for the last time a couple of hours later, and so many other details as well.

Because Samuel died around 9:15 in the morning, the anniversary was heaviest during those hours leading up to his death.  Once it was mid-morning, I felt significantly less burdened than when I woke.  I still had a cloud over me, knowing we were going to the grave, but it wasn't as heavy.  We headed to the grave after lunch and stopped at Michael's for our traditional purchasing of new fake flowers to replace the old ones.  At the grave, we put in the flowers, sang songs, and talked some about Samuel.

Caleb wanted a picture with just him by the grave.

Bryan and I both noticed that the anniversary grows less intense each year, and I am thankful for that.  I think each year we see evidence of God's healing in our lives, and there is so much for which to praise Him.  Most of all, I praise Him for giving us Samuel, for granting us the month of August with him, and for safely seeing my baby Home to the place where he is whole, healed, and lacks for absolutely nothing.  August 31st was the greatest day Samuel ever could have known, and for that, there is much to celebrate.  Now that it's September, I breathe a sigh of relief to have another set of anniversaries behind us.  And once again I look at this family God has given me on earth, and I can't help but burst with gratitude and love.  We are so full -- full-hearted and overflowing with blessings.  God didn't have to paint it that way, and I will never stop thanking Him that He has.


  1. I am so grateful that Samuel's last day was also his "best day"....thank you for sharing your family and your precious third son.

  2. My grief counselor gave me the link to your blog. I have been pouring over your entries from 2009 with tears streaming down my face. Your words have blessed me so much today. I couldn't find an email for you to share more but if you would like to visit my blog its