Uncontainable Light: A mother’s love letter from her daughter’s funeral

Oh, beeba.

Brooklyn, Brook, Brookie, Beebs. Beeba-leebs, Beiber, Leeber, Beezel. Sweet B. B. One name couldn’t contain you, but that’s your story, your light was not meant to be contained.

I can’t believe you’re gone.
I can’t believe I am standing here so soon.


Actually, I can.
You always did things your way and on your time.

I know you missed your brother, just as much as you loved being with Ellie. Seemed like the day Jayden left, Sanfilippo started in on you. It was a long eight months B, and I know it wasn’t easy. Seizures, GI issues, walking….

I’d like to say you did it all with a smile on your face, but anyone who knows you knows I’d be lying. You did it like I would-honestly. Kicking, screaming, crying, and sarcasm. Lots and lots of sarcasm. Deep down you understood that brokenness hurts and you weren’t afraid to say it, but you also didn’t let it defeat you.

You were a girl who knew what she wanted and I love that about you. It’s why I am less worried about you in heaven, I know you’re settling in just fine. 

I hope someone recorded your arrival so I can see it one day. I bet you ran to Jesus. You probably grabbed Jayden’s hand and lead him all around Heaven that day. And when you got your chance to sit alone with Jesus, I bet you sang to Him your favorite Barney song, “I love you, you love me…” 

I can’t believe we were camping. This whole summer we made memories and I am so grateful for them. I will always find you amongst the trees. 

I can’t believe I was kayaking with you on my lap, and 3 days later you were gone.

Actually, I can.
There was no way you were going to die any differently than you lived. 

I leaned in and listened, B.

Just the way your brother taught me. And you said, “quickly.” So I said, “come.” I let people in, just like you wanted, even though I wanted to keep you as long as I could all to myself, but it’s not your way. 

You were meant to be shared. It was hard not to horde your light, but you almost seemed more radiant the more I shared you with others. Lord knows if you were with your Ms. Vicki, your teacher at Laremont, there was no way I could keep you to myself. 

There were so many people that loved you, Brooklyn.
Your light was magnetic, impossible to contain.

Ever since your were little people were drawn to you. Remember going to the store and listening to women swoon over your “baby doll” face, your perfect curls, and big eyes? People couldn’t get enough of your light. 

Your smile was so big your eyes couldn’t even see it. They would disappear as your squishy cheeks would rise and your smile would take over, many times with your hands clasped up towards your face. 

Your life helped people see Jesus.
It always will.

When I think of you, I can’t help but smile. In fact the last few days, I think I’ve smiled more than cried. Not because I don’t miss your physical presence, but because my joy for you is outweighing my sadness. And just like your brother paved the way with everything else, he has taught me how to find you still.

You bring me great joy, B. Great joy, and lots of physical pain. 

Remember kicking me every time I changed you?
Biting me when I would feed you?
Pinching me when I was doing your hair?
And, you always did it with a smile.


Can we talk about your hair?

It was you. Big and beautiful and terribly difficult to control. 

You hated me touching it. I remember dropping you off with Ms. Liz, or Ms. Heidi, or Ms. Brittany- hair all sort of a mess- and you’d come home with triple french braids. I don’t know how they did it without sitting on you like I did, but I feel like it was yet another way you reminded me that you are my daughter. 

For better or worse B, we are cut from the same cloth. If you would have made it to 16, we would have had major problems. You probably would have moved out to live at Ama’s.

And your feet?

You hated shoes. It was a mean game you’d play every morning when the bus would come. I’d put them on, you’d kick them off. The only shoes that would fit you, that you struggled to kick off were high-tops. And of course, the brighter, the better. Even in the winter you refused to wear the one pair that fit your big-ole feet. Your feet were as wide as they were long. But my favorite thing you did with your feet, besides tucking them under your butt when you sat, was how you made everyone sitting near you your footrest.

My favorite time with you was when you would relax into my lap, the weight of you on me. I knew if I held you, you’d pull away, so I would lean back and wait for you to grab my hand. Even touching you was on your terms. You’d play with my fingers, and I would sing every nursery rhyme I could remember until you’d move away. You’d still bop your head to the beat even when you lost the words to sing along. One time you sat with me so long I started singing the national anthem because I couldn’t think of a nursery rhyme we hadn’t sung.  

Your entire life was a song, B. A medley of beautiful sounds and moments. A song that everyone liked to hear. 

There’s no such thing as normal, B. And, there’s no going back. We are forever changed by you.

The last few months your presence helped us remember J. You both were a package deal. Our lives are completely different with the both of you not physically here.

I feel like your fire, your joy, has crawled into me since you went home. I feel limitless now that you are with me in Spirit, no longer limited to a broken body. You are cured, free, completely restored, with Jayden, with Jesus, and I get to see you again. 

But until then, I am trusting the unseen. I am trusting in the eternal, in the promises that Jesus offers through faith in the saving work of the Cross. Jesus is who He says he is, and the deepest pain of losing you doesn’t change this truth. 

When I was watching your life, knowing since you were 3 months old this day was coming, I realized like everything else about you, a picture couldn’t contain you. It’s why I have more videos of you, than I thought. You were something to be experienced. And everyone that experienced you is forever changed by your light. 

B you are so very loved.
I am so proud of you.

I will look for you in the sun, in my birds.
I will look for you in pictures and stories people will continue to share.
I will look for you in the lives you changed, in the people you’ve touched.

For to see you is to see glimpses of God-His light so bright in you.

B I will spend the rest of my life, finding you. I will take you with me, wherever God takes me, until I see you with my own eyes again. 

I can’t wait.


One thought on “Uncontainable Light: A mother’s love letter from her daughter’s funeral

  1. Oh my goodness. I’m listening to you on Jessica’s podcast right now and I looked you up. Whoa….tears but such beauty. Your writing is enthralling and wisdom oozes from your words. Your paragraph in your yoga post about your clear purpose is beyond inspiring. You are beautiful and God is using your story. Allowing us to feel, allows us to heal. Thank you for sharing your grief, your gifts, and for giving such beauty to the world!


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