Darling Diana, we wanted you so.
But Sunday morning, at the moment of your birth,
God called you Home.
For nine months you lived,
Snuggled close to your mother’s heart.
Then God called you to come
To His Home and His heart.
You missed it all:
The sorrow, the joy,
The light, the darkness,
The laughter and tears
Of life here.
You bypassed earth
Called Home in one glorious moment
To a glorious Heaven.
What must it have been like
That wonderful morning
As Heaven dawned upon your baby eyes,
And Jesus Himself gathered you close
And kissed you
While angels hovered near awaiting their turn.
All Heaven must have celebrated
Diana, we wanted you so!
We dreamed, we longed, we hoped,
And it ended with a crash that morning.
It seemed so wrong that you should lie so still,
That we should lose you
Before we even had you.
It was so hard to close the casket
On your precious little face.
It seemed so wrong to carry you to the grave
And let you go.
We wanted to keep you!
We’ve lost you, our darling little girl.
This is not how we wanted it to be.
This is not how we thought
It’s supposed to be.
But the dreams are over.
And we are left with aching hearts.
We’ll miss you, Diana,
For part of our hearts
Now belong to you.
But we know,
This is not forever.
We haven’t lost you.
You’ve simply gone before,
Gone before to await our Homecoming.
Your face, smiling down on us from Jesus’ arms,
Beckons us Home.
We’re coming, Diana!
We’ll see you in the morning!
–Your Aunt Ellen
Those days are etched forever in my memory, a quiet ache of longing that throbs upon remembrance.
The tears in my brother-in-law’s voice as he called me from the hospital that Sunday morning.
The sobs of my niece, curled into a ball on the sofa, after she talked to her dad.
The somber feeling of the hospital room on the maternity ward.
The heart-wrenching pain of holding Diana’s still body. So beautiful. So perfectly formed. So still. No rapid newborn breathing, no wrinkly newborn facial expressions, no newborn cry, no grunting or grexing or stretching. So, so still.
My sister, stumbling into the house a few hours later, exhausted and sore from giving birth, eyes puffy from all the tears, her arms empty, holding only a bag of mementos given to her by the hospital: handprints, footprints, a lock of hair…
Going to the attic for my sister to find a little white baby dress, holding back my tears so I could see clearly enough to find it.
Diana’s sisters choosing the white booties with purple tops to go with her dress.
Phone calls and more phone calls.
Graveside service plans.
Asking uncles to fill the grave.
Family converging from the 4 corners of the earth.
The tears as we gathered the next day for an early lunch.
The group of close friends and family, quietly weeping with us.
The small white casket.
Diana, beautiful in her white dress. She only seemed to be asleep. It still didn’t seem real…
Her father closing the lid gently on his daughter’s face and then carrying her casket in his arms to her final resting place.
The heartbreaking silence of the following days.
The emptiness of a house without the baby so wanted and longed for and loved.
The reminders ever since: the family photos with one always missing, the photo of Diana on the fridge, the birthday every year, the loved one on the other side pulling us towards Home. She would have turned 8 this summer…
Diana, we still miss you. We always will.
I think most of us have someone on the other side that we long to see again, someone on the other side who pulls us towards Home. Diana is that person for me. After Jesus, Diana is the first person I want to meet in heaven. I want to hug her tight, and, if I arrive before her mom does, I will give her a hug for my sister. We will go running together down streets of gold and wade in the river of life and wait for the rest of the family to come through the gates.