A Weeping Christian: When Faith and Grief Collide

A blog by Kimberly Crumby

Christmas and Heaven

Does anyone else love “Charlie Brown’s Christmas”? This year, I decided to try and do the Advent thing with Caleb. Tonight, we lit our candles, and instead of reading scripture or one of our Christmas books, we watched that classic cartoon. I can definitely identify with poor Charlie and how he feels depressed at what Christmas has become. And then, sweet Linus… he takes center stage and reminds everyone what Christmas is all about. 

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

I saw the saying at the top of this post earlier this week, and it really resonated with me. I wish I could describe what that awful I-miss-her-so-much-it-hurts moment feels like; it really does actually hurt. In the beginning, it literally caused me to double over in order to keep myself from breaking in half. Now, three years later, I can stand straight and tall on the outside when it hits- and I can absorb the shock-wave that spreads through my insides… only because I ask and allow God to carry part of it for me. I don’t have as many of those moments now… but they seem to be concentrated in December and February with those being the months Hannah Grace went to her eternal destiny, Christmas, and then the day she was born. Those months represent both the absolute greatest and unimaginably tragic days of my existence.

Yesterday, Caleb went to celebrate his little friend’s birthday. Anytime we talk about birthdays, it seems to make him curious about how old his sister is. So, we had that conversation again yesterday. He asked how old Hannah is, and I told him that she was four when she died, and that I’m not sure if she’s still four in Heaven or how that works. He seems to have trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that she was older, but he has now passed her in age (I have trouble wrapping my mind around that too). I reminded him that, in Heaven, we don’t get really old… or sick… or sad. He said, with his bouncy little southern twang, that “sissy just gets to visit with Jesus!”. I told him that was exactly right…. and he told us that she just gets to visit with him every day. It is so terribly gut-wrenching to try and answer his questions… but at the same time, so incredibly amazing and comforting to see child-like faith at work. 

So, this Christmas, I am going to try and focus on the fact that Hannah Grace is getting to “visit with Jesus”… and that surpasses anything we could have ever done for her here on earth. I can almost see her now- she is healthy… healed… with her shiny, wavy hair flying behind her as she runs… straight into the arms of Jesus.


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9 thoughts on “Christmas and Heaven

  • Reba says:

    Well said. Hugs to you today. I can just picture that sweet girl celebrating at a BIG birthday party for Jesus!

  • We have a baby boy in heaven…he died when I was 9 months pregnant with him…He would be 4 this summer. Gosh it seems like it can’t have been that long already! I know the ache of missing a child. This was a hard holiday season for me…though granted it was easier than the first.

    • I’m so sorry that you know that ache. It is amazing how time can really fly at times…. and in other seasons it can crawl. Things do get less-raw over time… thanks for sharing.

  • Jenny says:

    Praying for you all. I think of you often, and just pray for comfort and the peace that passes understanding.

    • Thank you so much Jenny… you have been such a faithful prayer warrior. Peace is a wonderful thing to pray for. Please also pray for clarity about this adoption process… we need it big time. Hope you all are doing great!

  • Emily Fontes says:

    You described grief pain well. That’s what I remember it feeling like when my brother died. I feel shades of it now and again. Funny how it’s easier to find the pleasure in the pain as time passes. Three years out I can catch the flash of the grief and bring it full circle to joy most of the time. It is a bittersweet feeling. Hugs & prayers to you.

    • Thanks so much for your comment… I have discovered that “bittersweet” is a word that comes to mind often in my life these days. I’m so sorry that you have faced the death of your brother- sibling grief so often is not as recognized as other relationships. Hugs and prayers to you as well!

  • When this world lost all of those sweet babies a few weeks ago, one of the things I thought was that there was a sweet little girl there to greet them as they entered those gates. I could just see your sweet Hannah Grace holding out her hands to them and saying come and play. I love the lights you put on her grave. I’m sure they will help lighten the mood of someone who is there to visit and having a hard time. Then,after seeing them, they will have a reason to smile in their grief. May God bless you and keep you during this tough season. My family and I still think of you and sweet Hannah often.

    Melissa G.