Grief
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Free: As a Bird 

Did you get a chance to follow along with us on Instagram during our adventures in Maui? My husband and I took off -leaving kid, kitties, puppies and chickens to fend with grandparents- for a ten day island vacation/anniversary retreat.  We needed it. We needed a break from life. We needed an oasis for our marriage. 

Thankfully all participants survived this experience and all, mostly all, have settled back into good ol’ farm life. 

Maybe you knew- my husband and I arrived home from our long journey on our daughter Heidi’s birthday. She is two years old and celebrating the beauty of two in Heaven. We had scheduled our trip around her birthday so that we would be home in time for it, in time to do something special in commemoration. But airplane mechanics got the better of our “best laid plans,” so we were delayed a couple days; which meant that our crash landing into reality left us jet lagged, frustrated, and disoriented. We hit the ground painfully hard with a literal nail in the foot; that was my poor husband’s awakening our first morning back when he went out to the chicken coup. After that my dog ran away, ate two of my neighbor’s chickens and bit the neighbor’s hand, so we’ve had to beg the neighbor to not have her put down and repay the man his losses and implement more security for Molle on the property. Obviously, there was little energy left to acknowledge the hovering dark cloud of sadness and grief. 

A dear friend told me she would drop off dinner on the third. I saw her text and thought, “That’s really nice. But I was just gone for a few days on vacation.” …then it occurred to me that she was serving us the night before the fourth, which is the date forever branded in our memories. 

“She is just too precious,” I wrote on November 3, 2014.


Heidi is gone. She’s not coming back. As she ages (I presume), I will not share in those heavenly milestones the years through as I age toward eternity. I feel the dreams, even the childhood dreams, I’ve treasured so long of celebrating my children’s birthdays, accomplishments, graduations, and the like slipping away with each passing day without Heidi Lee. What I thought I’d share with her I don’t get to share with her. It was never meant to be though my mind doesn’t quite wrap itself around that…
We don’t visit Heidi’s grave. She doesn’t have one, in fact. She’s Home. She doesn’t need a burial stone, in my opinion. It’s too ominous for me, and I’ll never regret choosing ashes. She is not bound to this Earth. She is free. Free as a bird to be the perfect creature God created her to be. The grave of horrors is a myth. Because of Jesus the grave holds no child in its clutches; all children who pass away are set free from pain and suffering in the Heavenly places because “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, they are precious in His sight.” Not visiting a grave reinforces that reality to me. 

It’s the fifth of November. I reflect on the time I had in Maui to reconnect with my husband of four years and all we’ve endured together in such a short time, and I see that God provided a respite for me; He took me to an island to show me Himself, and I saw there with fresh eyes that He is always present. He has always been and He will always be. 

Whether the first or second or third or fourth day, Someone’s there… steady and unchanging, sure as the rising sun and the ocean tide. 

1 Comment

  1. Linda-Lee Bowman says

    Beautifully written, sweetie. Seeing her little face again made me weep as if it happened yesterday. When I focus on the REALITY that she is free, safe, loved and perfect, I can get myself together. When I thank Jesus for providing Himself to you all and our family, the sadness goes away. One day we will all see Heidi Lee, but daddy or I will probably be the first. I can’t wait.

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