Editor’s Note: This is a post that a friend of mine wrote who recently lost his newborn daughter. He asked if he could share the post here on LDS SMILE anonymously as the family is still going through this rough stage. The names and images have been altered to protect his family’s privacy. An incredibly touching story that gets to the heart of our religion.
I often times imagine what life would have been like. I imagine all of the times we would have spent together whether it was me changing your dirty diapers, staying up late rocking you as you are teething or trying to comfort you as you got hurt. I imagine us going for walks or helping you learn how to ride a bike. I have been picturing how wonderful it was going to be to have our first daddy/daughter date, enjoying our time with one another while trying to set a standard for you to look forward to as you start to date. But that daddy/daughter date will have to wait for a few more years. As you return to your Heavenly Father, I hope that you will save a place for us to have that date soon enough. I know that I’m still looking forward to it.
Every night as I walk into your room with a tear streaking down my face, I can see you you there with your blanket and binky in your mouth sound asleep. It’s hard not to ponder what life would have been as I walk by the empty nursery that is still missing the most precious piece of it. Why would a loving and just God want to take such wonderful experiences away from me? Why would He send you down here for such a short period of time just to take you back? There are definitely a lot of why’s that could be asked. Why this or why that. But in my mind, only one thing matters. Either it is true or it isn’t as it pertains to the gospel. This is where I get to cash my chips in so to speak as it pertains to our religion. This is where my religion matters. Either it is true and there is life after death and we are to be together as an eternal family or it’s not and such things as eternal families don’t exist. This is where my religion either has actual power to bind families for the eternities or it doesn’t. Either Christ exists and truly does comfort us in our time of need or He doesn’t and we are left to our devices to overcome these massive trials in our lives.
To be honest, I was afraid of death and everything that it entailed prior to this experience. I was afraid of the empty loneliness that I imagined would be present as we approached death’s door. Though gut wrenching as this whole experience was and still is, the peace that fell on everyone who was in that room when you passed from this mortal life will never be forgotten. The testimony of eternal families and the life hereafter on that night was an invaluable lesson that I could never adequately describe. The peace and absolute knowledge that came through that experience of knowing that I will get the chance someday to have that daddy/daughter date has been forever etched in my heart and one that will never be forgotten.
Till we meet again Emily,