Grieving with Hope

Andy and Clare’s baby was born yesterday morning, in an emergency caesarian operation. It became apparent that he had a form of lethal achondroplasia, and despite the best efforts of the paediatrian, he died five and a half hours later, at 9:30 am.

These people have touched us with their amazing attitude (see their blog), and strength through all that has happened. It was a protracted birthing process and a highly painful pregnancy, with many trips to a hospital 40 miles away. There have been a number of answers to prayer: availability of the right experts, positivity and strength, the chance to hold the baby and spend time with him and a quiet understanding that it was right to let go when it became apparent that he would not be able to breathe and had severe internal complications.

Such a short life, but our faith and theirs gives us hope; there is an answer in Jesus and the baby is now out of pain. ‘We do not grieve like the rest of men who have no hope.’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

Another friend of mine died recently, aged 90. A long life. Full of stories and many layers of colourful cardigans. Evelyn used to write to me when I left home, and had an incredible love of languages. She taught herself a large number of languages and I have her New Testament Greek textbook. It felt right to let her go too; she had lived a long and fruitful life, but when she wrote down what really mattered to her it was her testimony of becoming a Christian and the hope that it gave her. The funeral, although not a large occasion, was a chance to reiterate the hope that faith brings.

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