A line from one of my favorite songs, definitely my favorite of Elton John’s, the one that put him on the map back in 1970.
A couple weeks ago, my brother asked if I’d write something for the memorial service for his daughter’s baby, who died in her mother’s womb a few days after her due date. He’d asked for a Scripture verse or something for the service program.
I didn’t know where to begin, and I knew it would be terribly difficult to write. So I asked God to guide me through it. At times it was hard to focus on the screen through blurry eyes, but I eventually finished with something I was very pleased with, a worthy gift. Though I couldn’t be there to grieve with them—Cindy was, though—it was what I could offer 2,200 miles away.
What began as my normal prose began to read with a certain rhythm. So I put in some line breaks and consulted online rhyming dictionaries. I hadn’t written like this in over a dozen years. Here is what I wrote.
For Aubree’s Mother
Young mother, though inexplicable your loss
and unbearable is your pain,
Rest assured that your Father holds your baby
and calls her by the name you gave.
She only knew the cradle of your womb
and the rhythm of your heartbeat,
Knit together in safety and secret,
her eyes, her hair, her hands, her feet.
But now she is embraced by the arms that spread
the sea and expanse of the sky.
The thunderous voice that spoke light into existence
now softly sings her lullabies.
Surely what you have lost—
seeing her smile and laugh and skip and dance,
the finger paintings you would have hung
and the games you would have played—
All of that someday will be returned to you,
for death will not have the final say.
The promise of Easter is that your Father
will again make all things new.
You will see her, hold her,
hear her, smell her.
For now, know that you are boundlessly loved
and your Father weeps with you.