Friday, May 24, 2013


There is no beauty in tragedy.

But there can be beauty from tragedy.

On Monday evening I received a phone call that changed my life. One of my closest friends called in in hysterics, telling me her 2 year-old had fallen in the family pool. They thought she was already gone, but the ambulance was there and they were working on her. She needed my husband to go pick up her sons (6 & 4) so she could go with her husband and the baby (27 days old) to the hospital. After we hung up, the helicopter arrived to take little "N" to the children's hospital.

She told me to pray, to get everyone praying. I made calls, sent emails and texts, and rallied the troops on Facebook. The people I contacted made calls, sent emails and texts, and gathered pray-ers on Facebook. Within an hour, I would guess there were at least 300 people praying. By the next morning, I think it's safe to say there were 1000 or more people praying, all around the world. Family, friends, strangers, NET teams, the Cursillo community, priests in Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Italy. Catholic churches, Pentecostal churches, non-denominational churches. People who don't pray were thinking of them and wishing the best for this family.

I don't know all the details of the time line after that.

All I know is that shortly after 3am I received a text message that rocked me to my core.

She was gone. That beautiful, beautiful little girl had lost her fight for life. Her parents were numbed at that point, which I believe was merciful. They were able to sleep a little. That's when I slept a little, too.

It's standard practice for the police to conduct an investigation after an accident like this, so my dear friends were questioned and barred from their home (which was still surrounded by police barrier tape). Their boys, unaware of what happened at the hospital, were running around my house with my own three children, laughing and playing like they always do when they're here.

Except this time, I could only hear five voices, not six.

It felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest. N was only 1 week older than my little Baby Belle. They were buddies. Our six children have always had a remarkable relationship, and our two families have spent countless hours together since we met, only late last summer. N's mother has quickly become one of my best friends. Francis and I are godparents to their new four week-old baby. They are like family to us. Little N was like a niece to us.

And now she's gone and there is such a hole in so many lives and in our community.

My friend has spent these last few days not only grieving, but being expected to make decisions about her baby girl's funeral. Which casket did they prefer? What did they want her to wear? Which burial plot would they like to purchase? Decisions a parent should never, ever have to make.

Tomorrow is her funeral. If you're the praying kind, please lift this family up in this time of grief. If you're not the praying kind, send them whatever strength and love you can. And pray for all who mourn with them, including my own family. My children are struggling to understand. All they really know is that their friend and playmate is gone. I'm fine while I'm busy, but I can't be left alone with my thoughts for too long...

I believe in Heaven. I believe in the Resurrection of the dead. I believe that while there was no "reason" for this senseless tragedy (God help the first person who says, "There's a reason for everything" to me!), God can and will find ways to bring even more beauty into the world through this. He wouldn't let a beauty like N leave us without finding ways to comfort us.

Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, I trust in you.
Jesus, I trust in you.


  1. I'm reading this with tears, my heart breaks for this family...for you. I am so sorry for the loss of this precious little one. I have a hard time praying anymore but I will pray as soon as I hit publish.

  2. It's been a really long time... I hope you are doing ok. You're in my thoughts and prayers.


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