Poetry and Music

During my journey of grief and bereavement, I found that several songs really spoke to my heart and were comforting for use at Abigail's funeral and just to listen to, again and again, alone.

I also found some poetry that helped as well, and I wrote several grief poems myself: some about the loss of my own daughter Abigail, and some I wrote for others to try to comfort them after the death of their babies.


Meaningful Songs My Grief Poetry Others' poetry
Visitor From Heaven Beautiful Marie Flowers for Abigail
Hello, Goodbye Butterfly Reunion
Valley Song Wishes
I Still Believe See me in the snow
When the Rain Comes The Loudest Whisper
Homesick Remembrance
The Final Dance
Awakening


Meaningful Songs

Visitor From Heaven

Played at Abigail's memorial service as background to a slide show of her pictures


A visitor from heaven
If only for awhile
A gift of love to be returned
We think of you and smile

A visitor from heaven
Accompanied by grace
Reminding of a better love
And of a better place

With aching hearts and empty arms
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we're so glad you came
We're so glad you came

A visitor from heaven
If only for a day
We thank Him for the time He gave
And now it's time to say
We trust you to the Father's love
And to His tender care
Held in the everlasting arms
And we're so glad you're there
We're so glad you're there

With breaking hearts and open hands
We send you with a name
It hurts so much to let you go
But we're so glad you came
We're so glad you came

Twila Paris - Beyond a Dream
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Twila Paris

Copyright © 1995 Twila Paris

Hello Good-Bye

Where’s the navigator of your destiny
Where’s the dealer of this hand
Who can explain
Life and its brevity
‘Cause there is nothing here
That I can understand

You and I
Have barely met
And I just don’t want to let go of you yet

Noah, hello, good-bye
I’ll see you on the other side
Noah, sweet child of mine
I’ll see you on the other side

And so I hold your tiny hand in mine
For the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face
Heaven calls for you
Before it calls for me
When you get there save me a place
A place where I can share your smile
And I can hold you for more than just awhile

Noah, hello, good-bye
I’ll see you on the other side
Noah, sweet child of mine
I’ll see you on the other side

Michael W. Smith - Live the Life
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Michael W Smith and Wayne Kirkpatrick

Copyright © 1998


Valley Song

I played this again and again during my lowest times. It gave me hope.

You have led me to the sadness
I have carried this pain
On a back bruised, nearly broken
I'm crying out to you

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

When death like a gypsy
Comes to steal what I love
I will still look to the heavens
I will still seek your face

But I fear you aren't listening
Because there are no words
Just the stillness and the hunger
For a faith that assures

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia

While we wait for rescue
With our eyes tightly shut
Face to the ground using our hands
To cover the fatal cut

And though the pain is an ocean
Tossing us around, around, around
You have calmed greater waters
Higher mountains have come down

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

Alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia

Yeah

Alleluia, alleluia alleluia, alleluia
Alleluia, alleluia alleluia, alleluia

I will sing of Your mercy
That leads me through valleys of sorrow
To rivers of joy

Oh, Lord sing of Your mercy,
Mercy
Your mercy

Jars of Clay - Furthermore
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Jars of Clay

Copyright © 2003 Jars of Clay


I Still Believe

Sometimes this is all we have to cling to....

Scattered words and empty thoughts
seem to pour from my heart.
I've never felt so torn before.
Seems I don't know where to start.
But it's now that I feel Your grace fall like rain
From every fingertip, washing away my pain

'Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness.
I still believe in Your truth.
I still believe in Your holy Word.
Even when I don't see, I still believe.

Though the questions still fog up my mind
with promises I still seem to bear,
Or even when answers slowly unwind,
It's my heart I see you prepare.
But it's now that I feel your grace fall like rain
From ev'ry fingertip, washing away my pain.

'Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness.
I still believe in Your truth.
I still believe in Your holy Word.
Even when I don't see, I still believe.

Well, the only place I can go is into Your arms
Where I throw to You my feeble prayers.
Well, in brokenness I can see that this was Your will for me.
Help me to know that You are near, yeah,

'Cause I still believe in Your faithfulness.
I still believe in Your truth.
I still believe in Your holy Word.
Even when I don't see, I still believe.

I still believe
I still believe.

Jeremy Camp - Stay
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Jeremy Camp

Copyright © 2002 Jeremy Camp


When The Rain Comes

I think this song perfectly describes what we can and should do to comfort those who are grieving.

When the rain comes it seems that everyone has gone away
When the night falls you wonder if you shouldn't find someplace
To run and hide
Escape the pain
But hiding's such a lonely thing to do

I can't stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can't stop the rain
But I will hold you 'til it goes away

When the rain comes you blame it on the things that you have done
When the storm fades you know that rain must fall on everyone
So Rest awhile
It'll be alright
No one loves you like I do

I can't stop the rain
From falling down on you again
I can't stop the rain
But I will hold you 'til it goes away

When the rain comes
I will hold you

Third Day - Come Together
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Lyrics by Mark Lee/Music by Third Day

Copyright © 2001 New Spring Publishing, Inc. / Vandura 2500 Songs / ASCAP


Homesick

When I heard this song recently, I thought, "this says it all"

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Mercy Me - Undone
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Mercy Me

Copyright © 2004 Mercy Me

Meaningful Poetry by Others

Flowers for Abigail

Written and Read by Steve Smith at Abigail's memorial service


If five tiny flowers grew on the sunny bank of God's wooded hillside
And seeds were broadcast across five centuries of time
One little face might have appeared in the blue patterns
Funny - even the greatest savage storm of crashing wind and water
Will never distort the human impression drawn for children
By the tender finger of Jesus

All that is left behind: a king's scepter, an infant's rattle -
All that warms a trembling heart: a velvet robe, a baby blanket -
And a little boy's face who does not understand
How to take joy from a precious image blurred by slow moving tears
Working to create plum watercolors for memories

If God has given life to the dying side of Saturn
If a single star can wink at us on summer nights
When we know a fleeting child has not left but for a day
That same single ray of light can travel light years
And appear on a hillside in the Lord's mysterious choir

Behold, the magnet of love, no matter how tiny or weak the pull
Little fingers lighten delicate hearts gone gray
Soft velvet hands fold and pray to one holy God
Wake up! Surely morning comes again in future days
It was dawn's singular light that brought Abigail
To hearts who could love her for just a sunrise.

God bless the sunrise far beyond the rain….

Steve Smith

Copyright © 2002 Steve Smith

Reunion

Read by Steve Smith at Abigail's memorial service


Someday when I'm old
and someone asks if I'm looking forward to heaven
I'll say I'm eager to see my Jesus
but there's someone else I want to see too.
I'll say
it's been thirty or forty years since I've seen her
and the time we spent together was all too brief-
an hour or two,
that's all,
and she was so tiny and frail
she spent that time just trying to breathe.
I never had a chance to find out who she was
or what she was like-
what she could have done,
what she could have been,
but she was my child,
flesh of my flesh,
my own,
and I love her
with limitless love.
My other children grew up
and grew older with me
but this one-
the one I'm longing to see-
stayed the same through the years-
her face fixed in my memory
like a faded snapshot,
its corners worn
from too much handling.
Through the years,
the good and bad times,
I've dreamed of that distant reunion
and imagined the moment
I could look her in the eyes
and say,
Darling,
your mother's missed you
but we'll never be apart again.

Carole Gift Page - Misty: A Mother's Journey through Sorrow to Healing
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Carole Gift Page (from "Misty")

Copyright © 1987 Carole Gift Page

My Grief Poetry

Beautiful Marie

In memory of Marie Cooper Zehnder
September 16, 2002.


Your life was as a breath,
Fleeting but powerful
Your beauty as a sunset
Etched in our mind's eye

Joy and tears intermingled
Changing us forever in a moment
Touching so many
With your tiny form

Daughter, sister, beloved of God
Words cannot describe
Who you really are
Or the love we have for you

You are forever in our hearts
Flying away on butterfly's wings…

To eternity


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2003 Mindy Wilsford


Butterfly

In memory of Marie Cooper Zehnder
September 16, 2002.


What's it like to fly?

Gliding through the air
Feeling the breeze
Sun glinting on your wings
One of many flying in concert

Children marvel at your beauty and grace
Chasing you around with glee
Falling down dizzy with laughter
Joy at its purest

Was it worth the struggle?
You're so happy now, so free
The journey pales
As you celebrate your new life

The sun goes down
Forcing our goodbye
But you will be here tomorrow…
And always
We can't wait to see you again

What's it like to fly?


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2003 Mindy Wilsford


Wishes


My memory fails me,
I no longer see you in my mind.
But for the pictures
I can’t remember your face.
I wish I could.

Your faint, kitten cry
So cute, a part of you
I hear it sometimes in another’s.
But not often
I wish I did.

Your peaceful slumber,
Tiny breaths, gained with such effort.
I loved watching you sleep,
But no more
I wish it were.

I miss you, everything about you.
I want to see you, to hear you,
To watch you, to love you.
Up close, not from afar.
I wish I could.

All these things I miss
But I have one greater wish,
One unending ache
What I wish for most of all
Is one more touch.


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2003 Mindy Wilsford


See me in the snow

In memory of Alyson Elizabeth Babich
May 30 - June 24, 2003.


The snow falls softly, silently
A blanket of white: winter wonderland
I am not here to enjoy it; yet I am.
See me in the snow.

Spring rains come,
Their insistent patter a soothing rhythm
Washing away winter, bringing new life;
Bringing healing.
Hear me in the rain.

Summer sun, bright and hot
It's warmth so deep, so relaxing
Long, lazy days, making you smile
Feel me in the sun.

Changing leaves, variegated colors
Their brilliance is breathtaking
They gently fall: another ending,
And a beginning.
See me in the leaves.

Seasons change and time passes
Taking us farther apart,
Yet bringing us closer
For I am with you always.

See me in the snow.


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2003 Mindy Wilsford


The Loudest Whisper

In memory of Caleb Joseph O'Droski
December 27, 2003.


Caleb Joseph, child of our dreams;
Your room was ready, at least in our minds,
With teddy bears and trains and footballs.
You had bugs to catch, sand to throw,
Popsicles to drip down your arms
Touchdowns to score.
Memories to create: the first day of school, your first car,
The first dance with your new bride.
You had taken over our hearts,
and we shouted it to the world.

Now the dreams have changed; the memories whisper:
A tiny white hat, pure as your soul
A soft blue blanket you really didn't need.
The flutter of life in the womb
Has become a huge hole in our aching hearts
To go with our empty arms.
Your tiny form was perfect - like your brother's,
Yet uniquely yours.
Your crossed arms a pledge of your love….
And of ours.

You ran to Jesus' open arms.
The voice never heard now sings eternal praises
The smile never seen now reflects the Son.
A wonderful life lived wholly with the Father.

Goodbye before hello
It's not supposed to be this way
Traveling down a path no one wants to take,
To an emptiness beyond words.

But when our night is darkest
And we see the smallest star
We will catch a glimpse of you again
And hear the loudest whisper.


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2004 Mindy Wilsford


Remembrance

Written for Abigail's first birthday in heaven

Your precious soul
With purest love
Darted across the veil;
On earth for a moment
Before skipping back to Jesus.

Watercolor skies
Blurred by tears
Fingers of sunshine
Reach down from heaven
Hugging me gently.

The scenes replayed:
A warm embrace
A tender kiss
Surrounded by love
In your brother’s arms

Snatches of laughter
Your quiet cry
Your soft, smooth cheek
Clinging to the memories
Until I hold you again.


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2003 Mindy Wilsford


The Final Dance

Written for Abigail's first birthday in heaven

Eternal life, perfect love
Grace among the clouds
Dancing with Jesus,
A heavenly waltz…

Someday I will dance there, too

But today my dance is here
Clumsy and awkward
Painfully learning the steps
That you know so well

Dance, sweet one, dance
Laugh and sing
Savor the music
For you are ever dancing
In my heart


Mindy Wilsford

Copyright © 2003 Mindy Wilsford


Awakening

Written for Abigail's second birthday in heaven

Watching my children in awe
Marvelling at their innocence,
their love, their laughter.
Drinking in each moment for the miracle it is.

Their precious lives - given to my care,
Paralyze me with emotion,
Awash in gratefulness, love, joy.

The immensity of the gift of life
Lost on so many,
Overlooking the moments
that make up a lifetime.

Every moment a gift.
Every moment a lifetime.
Every moment a treasure.

Thank you, Abigail, for my awakening.

Mindy Wilsford
Copyright © 2004 Mindy Wilsford

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