When the Young Die

Chiaroscuro Sapling

We had in our yard a tree

which lived through one season

and then died,

having no chance

to spread its greenery upon the sky;

(and its dying is both like

and unlike

the death of a child.

She is an angel, they tell me,

and happier now by far.

Yes, oh yes, but–)

who can tell

how our tree

might have altered the horizon

had it not died.


Judy Unruh in Lions Beyond the Lattice


Ten years ago today our first baby was born after only 13 weeks of pregnancy. Will and I held our baby and cried, and then went out into the sunset and buried her under a spreading elm tree. We named her Hope. Ten years, and grief still catches me at unexpected moments. How would that tree have altered our horizon? But still, we have hope of a resurrection; of meeting Jesus and our loved ones in that morning of joy.

To the mothers who have lost babies–through miscarriage, stillbirth, failed adoption, or any other way–you are not alone. Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He loves those little ones, too!

5 thoughts on “When the Young Die

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