COLUMN: Tracy Renee Lee - Mikey Joe 21: Another Child Lost

COLUMN:  Tracy Renee Lee -   Mikey Joe 21: Another Child Lost

As many readers may know, I lost my grandson two years ago during his birth. It was a tragedy for our family; one that lingers with us still today. The loss of a child is life’s most painful blow.

Three days ago, I received a call from my youngest sister. I could tell the moment she said hello that something was wrong. As she is the primary care provider for my mother and aunt, I thought there must surely be something terribly wrong with one of them. I felt it must certainly be my mother as she is the eldest of the two, and suffers the worst health between them. I was wrong. My mother and my aunt are fine. My nephew and his wife, however, are expecting.  Unfortunately, they have received news that their wee babe is not doing so well.

My nephew and his wife had received news earlier that morning that their baby’s pregnancy was in distress. In fact, there are problems that indicate that the baby will not live for very much longer. My sister had called me to ask certain questions in preparation for their impending doom. I answered her questions, giving her the information she needed to begin preparations for what will be her biggest challenge in life, the unexpected loss of her expected grandchild.

This morning I have received an update on the situation. My nephew sits for his (Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) today, and overnight, his child’s survival forecast has declined. My poor nephew must travel to a testing center and sit for his entrance exams while his child’s life quietly slips beyond his reach. Could the two be more ill-timed?

My sister reaches out this morning begging for prayers on behalf of her son and grandchild’s future. What do you offer as comfort to someone in such a heartbreaking moment? She comes to me seeking advice and solace on several planes. I am her eldest sister whose mother is unable to fulfill her role. I am the funeral director for her yet to be born grandchild. I am her son’s aunt who has experienced the excruciating fear of trying to assist my child through such a tragic loss just two years ago. And, I am a surviving grandmother who battles the pain and anguish of having lost her precious grandchild. There are so many things that I unwillingly experienced upon which she likewise must now embark. She must reach within herself and find the strength to carry her son, her daughter-in-law, and her husband through this most profoundly painful loss of all, the loss of a child.

My experience of losing my grandson expanded my understanding of pain and obligation to others. It hurt me more than any other loss or betrayal I have ever experienced. It fortified my soul and my faith, and for that, I am grateful as there are so many who lose their faith upon such catastrophic loss. Today, I must muster my strength, my experiences, and my soul to help my youngest sister survive the loss of that which threatens to crush her soul into the depths of despair. The pain of her son’s pain will be unbearable, the pain of losing her grandchild will test her strength beyond what she has heretofore known. She cannot possibly understand the extent of hopelessness that will bear down upon her as her grandchild’s life slips away before her very eyes. There is no person alive who can lift this trial from her heart save it be Christ, our Savior. She, like I, will have to relinquish her soul to her Savior and trust that eventually she will heal and that life will again be worth living. That is what the death of a child takes from you. It takes the value of your soul out of your heart. It takes all that you have known up to this point in life and brings it all into question. You doubt not only everything and everyone, but you doubt yourself, and you doubt your faith. It is crushing. It mangles you into worthlessness and spews you out to build yourself all over again. Even while you must live up to your responsibilities, you are dead inside and unable to function except by habit and obligation. It is the worst experience of my life. I cannot imagine how crushing it has been to my daughter; and now my sister and nephew join us in this most undesirable set of survivorship.

My words to my sister this morning are these.

Dearest Sister,

I love you dearly. I am sorry that you must go through this. I have faith that my nephew will be able to temporarily set his burdens aside and recall with pinpoint accuracy, the things he has learned for testing today. He has sacrificed and served the Lord; because of his service and love for others, the Lord will send angels to help him through this.

If there is one thing that I know beyond any doubt, it is that Heavenly Father knows the pain of losing a child and that he sends special angels to walk us through the trials accompanying such tragedy. My nephew will have those companions beside him today. Fortunately, they will remain by his side, and yours, for as long as required.

In the funeral business, we say grieving parents are unwillingly inducted into a club that no one wants to join. The only blessing that comes from being in that club, dearest sister, is that Heavenly Father is in it too. Because of that, His comforts are your companions, and He will walk with you as you struggle to overcome the devastations wrought this day in your soul.

You are in my prayers today as you are every day.

Deepest love and heartfelt sympathy.

Your Devoted Sister, Tracy”

My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, and co-founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.

It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.

For additional encouragement, read other articles or watch video “Grief Briefs,” please go to my website at