Sunday, August 22, 2010

saying his name

This week it will have been 2 years since Christian went to be with the Lord.

In this second full year of grief, one of the things that I have missed the most has been saying his name out loud.




I just miss saying it, y'all! I miss exasperatedly saying "Christian Edward!" as I would catch him outside with the waterhose again, after having changed his clothes 3 times already before lunch. Or whispering "I love you, Christian." as I would kiss his sleeping face before going to bed myself.

And I miss hearing it, too.

This past May, I attended a conference for mothers that have lost children.

(I hate to even use the word "lost" because Christian isn't lost... How can someone be lost when you know exactly where they are?)

Anyhow, at this conference for grieving moms we had a candle lighting to remember our children and speak their names out loud.

At this candle lighting, the darkened room was filled with moms lining shoulder to shoulder along the outside walls. We each took our turn to walk up to the table, light a candle, and say our child's name into the microphone.

Oh how I loved that bittersweet moment! I could say his name loud and clear and amplified!

Even if I choked up immediately after.

When all the mothers had taken their turn to say their child's name (or even children's names), we sang "This little light of mine." You know that children's song...

This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let is shine.

Some words were spoken as we stood awash in our own thoughts. The room became almost silent, punctuated with some sobs and one grief stricken woman wailing for her precious daughter that had died by suicide only a couple months before. (Oh how my heart went out to her!)

One by one, we blew out our candles.

I didn't want to blow my candle out. I was torn between practical and emotional. Practical said to blow it out, no sense keeping it lit since it's not like that little candle is Christian's life or anything. It's not like holding on to that flame would somehow be holding on to Christian himself. Emotional, on the other hand, wanted to pretend and put some sort of deeper meaning into the flame and light and believe all that craziness that Practical said wasn't true.

Practical won out and I extinguished the candle with a quick breath of air.

And the room became a little darker without the light that was born when Christian's name was spoken.

What a blessing it was to have been able to say his name out loud. And for his name to be received by the compassionate ears of mothers that understood me.

Say My Child's Name

Never are the names of our children mentioned. A curtain descends. The moment has passed. A life slips from frequent recall. There are exceptions: close and compassionate friends, sensitive and loving family. For most, the drama is over. The spotlight is off. Applause is silent. But for me the play will never end. The effects on me are timeless.

Say the name of my child to me. On the stage of my life my child has been both lead and supporting actor. Do not tiptoe around the greatest event of my life. Love does not die. My child's name is written on my life. The sound of the voice replays within my mind. You say he was my child. I say "is".

Say the name to me and say it again. It hurts to bury the memory in silence. What is in spirit stirs within me always. My child is of my past but is part of my now. My hope for the future. You say not to remind me. How little you understand I cannot forget. I would not if I could. I understand you, but feel pain in being forced to do so.

I forgive you, because you cannot know. And I would forgive you anyway. I accept how you see me, but understand that you see me not at all. I strive not to judge you, for yesterday I was like you. I love you; will make no expectations toward you. But I wish you could understand that I dwell both in flesh and in spirit.

The mystery is that you do too, but know it not. I do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. I walk it not by choice. I am what I have to be. What I have lost you cannot feel. What I have gained you cannot see. And I would not have you.

Say my child's name for my child is alive in me. We will meet again, though in many ways we have never parted. Say the name to me and say it again. My child is my child and I love as I always did. Say my child's name.

-Donald Hackett

Whether a child or a spouse, the loss of someone that you love deeply cannot be measured.

For my friends and sisters-in-Christ that have suffered loss, I want to say these names out loud to you.

Mason Cole
Josh and Jennifer
Kelly Christine Fitzpatrick
Tobias Emmanuel
Anna Tabea
Caleb Simeon

Whether it has been 6 months or 16 years, I promise that the sound of their child's name will never get old to a mom and dad's ears. It will be music.

Maybe you should make music sometime soon. :)

*If I left your child's name out, sweet friend, I am so very sorry. Please send me a msg (and link if you blog) and I would be honored to say your child's name out loud too.


Christine said...

I love you Marshy! There are times I feel silly saying Jordan's name because I never knew whether my baby was a boy or a girl or even known what he/she looked like. Thank you so much for acknowledging Jordan. It means so much to me. Aug 23rd was my due date 6 years ago. It's so unbelievably hard to think it's been that long. This was a beautiful post. I love saying Christian's name. He IS my nephew and I DO love him! I will pray a special prayer today over these names you have listed...for God to continue to watch over and comfort the mothers and fathers of these children. I love you!!!!!!!

Melissa Stover said...

there are so many times i still think of christian. he is the only child i know who died (not that i knew him in person) and because he was so close to my son's age and looked so much like him, his death touched me in a personal way. i grieve for you so often. i pray for you too. i'm so glad you got the opportunity to be with those people who share what you feel and say his name.

livinginbetween said...

My heart goes out to you, friend, and what a beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me of that important thing. I'd like to say two names for my friends: Hope and Georgeanna. I think I will send this post to them.

Annemarie said...

I say it Marsha! Way out here, thousands of miles away, we talk about Christian. Because heaven is on my mind more than I can say. Eternity and it's importance have been imprinted on my brain.

Thank you for for this post. There is a lady in our homeschool group and her daughter went home last January. I gave her a hug this past Friday and told her I was praying, but next time I am going to say her daughter's name. Out loud.

I love you, Marsha!


Cindy said...

My heart has been stirring for you these past few weeks. I knew the anniversary was approaching and have been praying for you often.

Like Melissa, Christian's life has touched me in a very personal way because he, too, reminds me so much of my son. And I grieve for Christian and you often as well.

May God continue to strengthen you and your family. And may none of us ever forget to say Christian's precious name.

Anonymous said...

Marsha, I can't even begin to know or understand what any parent that has had a child taken home to be with Jesus is going through.
I will be thinking of you and praying for you in these coming days.

My Aunt Mary passed away 7 years ago today. I miss her so much. We always talk about her. How funny she was, how she always had a quarter in each of her pockets for the kids when she came to visit. Those little things I never want to forget.

I will be thinking of Christian today and I promise to say his name out loud for you.

Carrie said...

Thank you, Friend, for sharing your heart so freely.

Could I add another? ... Noah.

Sam said...

Prayers for you always.

Deedee said...

Thank you for this post Marsha! Praying for you guys this week. I'd like to say the names of our babies out loud.
Thanks Marsha! ((HUGS)) - Deedee

Angie said...

What a tender post- thank you for allowing to get a picture of your heart!


Beckypdj said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you for including Peyton.

Love you Marsha.

Stuart, Chris, LB

Unknown said...

I love you, Marshy! I'll be praying for you and David and Austin and Noah extra hard this week! I love talking about Christian and all the silly, cute things he did (and probably still does, but we can't see!)... maybe it makes other ppl sad but I love reliving those memories, so call me any time you feel like talking about Christian :)

Ms. Anita said...

Imagine God desiring to say Jesus' name over and over again during the three days of agony while He was in the tomb...

Praying for you, Marsha, and thanking God for you.

Danielle Leigh said...

Wow...that was beautiful. I am left speechless and teary-eyed. Thank you for sharing.

Be blessed,
Danielle Leigh

Anonymous said...

I have tears streaming down my face. This is a beautiful post filled with so much of my heart. My baby was born still, but it is such a treasure to my heart to say and hear his name. I'd be so honored if you would add his name "Nathaniel James" to your list. I have bookmarked this post and will come back and say their names along with a prayer, as well.

Romans 12:15
"Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."

EEEEMommy said...

Christian Edward Drews is such a strong name! I am honored to say it! I've been praying for you all month. I remember that we went camping right after hearing the news of Christian's passing. None of the other moms understood why I was so much more attentive and wanted my kids closer that weekend...<3

Leanne said...



I can't find words. Yet I have so many words. My words are inadequate, yet they swirl through my mind so eloquently......

Thank you.

I love you.

Anonymous said...


What a fabulous place for you to go & experience & fellowship. <3 you!

Anonymous said...

I caught just a bit of a Christmas show one time -- small enough a bit to not even be entirely sure that it was a Christmas show, but I'll never forget the gist of the little bit I saw.

The idea was that, as long as someone remembers a person's name, that person is not forgotten.

I remember Christian Drew. He is not forgotten, nor are you or your precious family. I'm saying a special prayer for you all today and asking for peace for the family of a beautiful little blond boy named Christian.

Heather said...

Beautiful post, Marsha; thank you. It is so hard to know the right thing to do. When I say Ben's name to my parents it is never easy... but I tell my children about their Uncle Ben all the time without a thought.

Bless you~

Kathryn said...

I love you Marsha..thank you so much for remembering my sweet girl. She was born the same day that Christian went to heaven. So this is a tough week for me too. I love to hear her name spoken out loud, and I'm so touched by your post and can hear you saying her name. Thank you so much :)

Anonymous said...

Marsha - I think of your sweet Christian almost daily...and always, always by name...and I think of you David, Noah and Austin too...all five of you are in my heart and will pray for you forever...and now - I will be ever so mindful to reach out to others I know that have loved ones in heaven. - donna mc

Sheila said...

Tobias Emmanuel

Anna Tabea

Caleb Simeon

Dianne - Bunny Trails said...

A friend of mine used to always be so frustrated that no one would ever mention her son's name after he had died (he was 28). If she did, they would quickly change the subject. I love the quote you added at the end and will share it with her.

Praying that God would envelop you in His love today. Praise Him that one day you will be reunited with Christian. My heart goes out to you and my dear friend, Kasey, whose son also went to be with Jesus nine years ago today.


Chris Worthy said...

Bless you. I just said your Christian's name out loud. I hope you hear it sweetly spoken many times today and every day.

Unknown said...

Oh, what a sweet post. It really hits home. And thank you for thinking of me and Jonathan. (((HUGS)))

Sisterlisa said...

((tears)) Oh Marsha! How sweet! My best friend's little girl left this's been 6 years..she was almost 10 and her 'would be' 16th birthday just passed. Will you say her name too pretty please?

'Kelly Christine Fitzpatrick'

darci said...

Been journey-ing with you, Marsha! I joined your blog, from a link when Christian died, and have been with you since. Please add TUCKER WHITE to your name-saying, thank you. He has been with Jesus for 4 years. My hubby shared a testimony in church today of the day, while we're doing a series on suffering... it all comes flooding back. prayed for you. With you in your heart cries. Praising Him with you - He is faithful. He heals the broken hearted and bandages our wounds! Amen.

Anonymous said...

I love your post! Thanks for your openness!
Thanks for adding Jake's name. I even like to see it in print.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for saying my Silas Boaz' name. I just couldn't leave a comment till now. His 1st birthday in Heaven is rolling around, and I don't need to say more because many know how I feel. Yes, it is a joy to say his name, it's not just a name... Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Love

HOPE said...

I left you a comment on your most recent post.

my son's name is Stephen Phillip and
went to be with the LORD on January 25,1983 at nine months old.
He is one of twins..born with Down's Syndrome. Through his death a Nurse trusted Jesus Christ as HER Saviour and then led her husband to the LORD and later a sister with Cancer. GOD KNOWS.

God bless you..