The Last Thing

3 years ago, a small metal marker was placed at the head of my child’s grave site.

grave marker

For 3 years I have lovingly trimmed the grass away from the edges, brushed the dirt from the letters, and brought wreaths to decorate.

The only thing left to do for my little Emily was to buy her a headstone.

So final.

And how do you find just the right words.  How do you put everything you want to say on one little block of stone…forever?

The April after her death, I dreamed of her stone.  I dreamed of a cross with a lamb and the words,

From our arms to His

etched into the grey rock.

I was obsessed with finding that stone, but as time marched on, I realized what I had dreamed was not practical.  I knew it had come from my walking through the cemetery and searching out all the old stones from children who had passed on a hundred years ago or more.  They do not make stones like that anymore and even if they did, it would be much too fragile.  It also wasn’t a reflection of us as a family.

It’s funny to me how we’ve needed her headstone to be a piece of us. We didn’t want to settle for just anything.  We wanted it to be unique.  And since the cemetery she is buried at had no restrictions on stones, we knew we could do just about anything we wanted.

So we searched.

I spent hours pouring over artisan stones on the internet, trying to find one that spoke of peace and hope.  A stone that would tell others how loved this little girl was and is.  A stone that would reach for the heavens with the same longing we feel as parents.

This is that stone…

No longer does her grave site sit bare.  There is a stone that reaches to Heaven.  There is a bench to rest weary hearts.  There is a Bible verse that has become dear to us.  There is a picture of our precious Emily and below her name are these words:

Final, but not finished.

For someday, Emily will have a new body and I will hold her again.

Until then, she is safe…

and loved.

~~ If you are looking to bless a grieving mother, one of my sponsors, Hope of My Heart, has some beautiful memory jewelry – the words stamped on them bring me to tears.~~

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39 thoughts on “The Last Thing

  1. Oh Amy! It’s just perfect!! Such a beautifully fitting tribute to your beautiful little girl.

    We have never been able to find the right memorial to put at the cemetary for our babies. We just go and leave flowers at the communal grave stone. One day……….

  2. I know we don’t really know each other. But thank you for writing this. My heart grieved for you and your family. Yet, I can read between the lines and see that find strength and peace in Him.

  3. That’s beautiful, Amy!

    We have a little lamb on the gravestone for our son, and the words “Jesus Loves Me”, because that is the song I kept singing to him in the hospital.

    I don’t always like going to the cemetery; it feels strange, because I know he is not there. That is just his body, the shell, although I would do almost anything to touch it again.

    I filmed a video called “A Prayer Through Tears” to comfort those who have lost children.

    Thank you for sharing, and know that you are not alone.

  4. I stumbled across your blog today and saw this post — and then went back to read Emily’s story. And cried. My heart goes out to your and your family for all that you have gone through. Emily is a beautiful baby girl and an even more beautiful angel. What a perfect headstone for her. God bless!

  5. You are so right. She belongs to Jesus and you will hold her again in good time! And He will wipe every tear. God bless you and your family, Amy.

  6. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing Emily’s story; I hate that other family’s are impacted by the death of a child, but it helps to know we are not alone.

  7. Dear Amy,
    Little Emily’s memorial stone is beautiful.
    I Love the bench. Thank you for sharing it with us. I pray that God will continue to fill you with peace and comfort in the deep places of your heart that can only be touched by him.

    I wanted to share with you the memorial stone we designed for our little Sarah.
    http://seasonsofgrace-erica.blogspot.com/
    I have since added bouquets of pink roses to the vases.
    We chose the same verse for our little girl as well. I found great peace in that verse.
    I know that she is safe in the arms of Jesus,,but I miss her so much.
    It will be a year in July,, my heart still grieves so heavily.
    Blessings of peace to you.

  8. Amy, I can not even begin to imagine how this loss has impacted you and your family. I have lost my mother along with my first husband. I beg God not to take my babies. Now I think I need to redo the eye liner.

    Peace, <

  9. Wow, I JUST made a post on my blog about this myself yesterday. I have been feeling pressured to pick out a headstone but it’s only been 11 months since my son died. Thank you for sharing & reminding me to take my time. It is SUCH a hard thing to do!!

    • Before Emily died, I always wondered why it took my husband’s grandmother nearly 40 yrs to choose a headstone for her son. Now I understand. Take your time, Jenn. {hugs}

  10. Amy, it’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with us. We’ll be praying for you and your family. May God’s mighty hand of protection be upon you always!

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is a great reminder to never take one second for granted. I can not imaginge what it is like to loose a child. I pray I never do but I grieved for you when I read her story. You will be in my prayers. Her stone is beautiful.

    Much love from me and my family.

  12. The stone is beautiful…I love the Bible inscription as well as your personal message. Yes, I am sure there will be many souls taking a rest on her bench.
    Perhaps even an inquisitive child wondering why God took a little one. And her stone could be a place of planting the Gospel in little hearts. I know that would be the case for our family. We often ride bikes in the cemetery up the block. It offers wide smooth roads and is peaceful. The kids are often drawn to other children’s grave stones and ask questions. Our conversations there are always about Heaven. How to get there, who’s there, and sadly who’s not. I hope that Emmy’s stone can be a spot of salvation as some weary little bike rider makes his/her way through the grave garden.
    On a different note, I’m so glad you got the stone you picked. When I was picking for my husband’s grave, I had a small book to pick from, and lots of restrictions from the cemetery. Poo. It’s not him AT ALL. I’m so glad you took your time and got what speaks of your family and Emily.

  13. oh amy, that verse and her grave stone are just beautiful. You will hold her in your arms again and it will be so sweet.

  14. I’m so sorry you or anyone ever has had to face this. I know that you have found that through it all, God is still sovereign.

    God Bless you and your family. :)

  15. How I needed your post today.

    Last week, I was 16 weeks pregnant. Last week, I gave birth to my daughter. I don’t know what I would have done without the peace only God can give. Or without my husband who was the center of calm.

    I know where my daughter is. I know she is safe, healthy & whole. I know she dances in the court of our Father. I’m at peace but I still must grieve.

    Thank you for your openness.

    • {hugs} Deven. And yes, grieve. Grieve however you need to and take what time you need and keep your heart turned to Christ the entire time.

  16. Oh it is lovely! I understand about wanting a permanent stone for your baby. I was both happy and sad when ours was put in at the cemetery for our baby. I love the “from our arms to His” so perfect!!

  17. Amy, thank you for sharing this. All is beautiful and fitting! I’m sure it will be a blessing to many a grieving family who visit the cemetery.

    And to Deven above, who lost her baby last week at 16 weeks…I am so sorry! I lost a baby boy at 20 weeks in the year 2000. I remember the first week and months of grief very well. You are in my prayers tonight and this month, Dear Momma.

    And you too, Amy!

  18. Wow, Amy – it’s beautiful. So glad you found the right stone.

    I’ve been wondering often about Emily’s rosebush – did it survive the move?