What do we do on Monday after the funeral?

I am so tired.
I feel how Jayden looks-smashed and buried.

This weekend, I think I experienced every emotion God made.

First grade doesn’t stop for my youngest just because her sister died. I thought I missed her open house, but it’s tonight. I thought I missed the bus time, but I remembered they post it online. I thought school started today, but it’s tomorrow.

I’m all screwed up, but God knows.

What do we do on these days?
The days after the funeral?
The days when everyone else seems to move forward and we are left picking up the pieces of our shattered life?

What do we do when the cards and casseroles stop?
When people stop saying her name? His name?
How do we answer, “How many kids do you have?”

I know what to do.
I have been here before.
I am still here with her brother. Just because he passed away nine months ago doesn’t mean mourning stopped.

So I continue to do what I do.
It is what we all will do.

We will be patient and gracious with ourselves.
Rest, drink water, and listen to our bodies.
Cry ugly.

We will let the waves wash over us and tumble through the sea of grief, privately and publicly. Surrender, and let Him carry us.

We will sniff her hair and his clothes.
Take long hot showers.
Go to the grocery store and by green things. Healthy things. Things we can cook.
Resume amazon orders and get excited for books when the cards slowly stop.

We will be patient and gracious as the other people around us grieve in their own way and on their own page.

We will say their name. Always. We will talk about them and remember there are more alive now than they ever were. Past tense, present tense, and future tense, just like the rhythm Jesus taught us: He was, He is, and He is to come.

We will trust the unseen for it is eternal and fix our eyes on it.
Look for ways God continues to speak and remind us He is with us.
Seek out Scripture to fill our heart and mind.

We will make our bed.
We will get out of it.

We will keep trying to listen to what feels right, and lean in even when it’s tough. Especially then. We will show up broken and awkward to social situations and try. And when it’s too much, we will leave, graciously and gently. Proud that we listened and took action.

We will ask how how friends are doing, and care about their pain, even if it seems less than our own. Because pain isn’t meant to be compared, just shared. And, we will care about their happiness and celebrate with them, because bitter isn’t who we want to be.

We will listen. Listening makes us feel less alone. It’s the greatest gift we can give one another.

We will seek out others that are having hard seasons that are choosing to change their perspective, because the people that experience great loss tend to have the best view. We will still learn.

We will proudly answer, “I have 3 kids.” Or whatever number we had that we still have. We always will. Where they live doesn’t change the number.

And on the days we just can’t, we will rest in His love.
We will be patient and gracious with ourselves.
We will be still and listen.

We will watch God pick up the pieces of our shattered life and make a beautiful mosaic, a stained glass window for light to get in and out. A life worth looking at and being around. A life worth living. A life that our loved ones taught us all how to live. A painful, brutiful, radiant, difficult, amazing life we will love the rest of our life, until we get to go home.

13 thoughts on “What do we do on Monday after the funeral?

  1. I admire your gift for putting words to the grief feelings so many have experienced You and Justin and Ellie have my prayers and hugs forever


  2. I admire your gift for putting words to the grief feelings so many have experienced You and Justin and Ellie have my prayers and hugs forever


  3. Stefanie – you and your whole family are such an inspiration to me. I know you didn’t sign up for the journey you are on. But you and Jut and Ellie have been forging the adventure with such grace and beauty…a testament to your faith and trust in Jesus. I always remember when you spoke at MOPS at Immanuel about Plan A & Plan B. You said that you didn’t grieve through the days when Jayden and Brooklyn were alive. You cherished every moment you had with them, knowing that a day for grieving would come. You got up each day, cared for their needs throughout each day, and you made lots of memories…for all of you! God loaned you three beautiful children, all of whom you have taken such wonderful care of. And now you continue to live moment-by-moment, day-by-day, raising your beautiful Ellie, remembering Jayden & Brooklyn and all the wonderful times you had with them. Even in your pain and suffering, you have been so encouraging and loving to those around you. Even in your pain and grief, you mourn with others who mourn. You WILL laugh again. You WILL smile again. You WILL live again. But it will be only in God’s time for each of you. Thank you for showing us all that there is a time for mourning, and there is a time for pain, but that there is also a time for laughter and joy and living. We all have our pain, and you are right that we can’t compare our pain. God has given us all our own journey to navigate. Thank you for being so vulnerable to put out your thoughts as you navigate your joy and pain. You have shown us God’s mercy and grace. We will never forget Jayden or Brooklyn. God has used their short lives in ways none of us may know until heaven. Until then, just keep walking to the other end of the light…sometimes only one footstep at a time. God will carry you all through this time.
    Blessings and love,


  4. Stephanie…words seem so in adequate yet yours are so honest and let light shine in your darkest hour. I doubt that given a choice, this would have been the path you’d have taken…but you have followed God on the journey He chose for you. To be the perfect mother to two of His angels for their time on earth. My prayer for you is that God’s very richest blessings fall and saturate your being….every part of you…til you cannot contain His Love, comfort and healing.

    Thank you for sharing this journey…love and prayers to you and your family….


  5. Stefanie, I cannot even begin to imagine. I was at Torch of Faith Friday night with my two girls. We, ourselves, are in a season of grief having lost my aunt who raised me on 3/24/2018 and my mother very unexpectedly on 4/27/2018. You preached my heart, my pain, my loss, my joy, my hope, my faith and so much more. In the midst of all you’re going through, I cannot even begin to form words to thank you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers (as contrite as I know that sounds).


  6. I was thinking about you this morning here in Germany how in the world you face your tomorrow….actually I am thinking about you all so many times as I go through my day and as I face my own challenges looking up to you telling myself to learn from you…💕


  7. Psalm 27: 1, 5
    The LORD is my light and my salvation —whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

    Our Lord always remains the same. Praying for God’s comfort for your family.


      1. So lovely, Stephanie…God has gifted you with His love so that in your grief you carry so many of us with your words of love and His inspiration. Thanks be to God!


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