My three year old daughter, Violet, was born on January 17, 2017, exactly one year after my Delia Grace went into cardiac arrest, January 17, 2016. As difficult as it may be to believe, I knew she would come to us.
Delia Grace was on life support for one week before we made the heart wrenching decision to let her go. During that time in the hospital, I would sit beside her, hold her, sing to her, talk to her, watch movies with her, and try to soak in every moment we shared. At one point, I was leaning over her, and our heads were touching. We were listening to music. I could sense her speaking to me. I know, she was only 9 weeks old. How could she be speaking? I can only tell you what I experienced, and I heard her.
She was saying, “Violet Anne. Violet Anne. Violet Anne.” She just kept repeating that name. Within 48 hours, Delia Grace was gone.
I never felt so lost and overwhelmed as I did as we drove home from the hospital. It seemed like we had just been on this same road driving home after her birth. Now, we were driving home with an empty car seat. We were driving home to an empty crib… driving into emptiness. It was the longest drive of my life.
As we drove, I told my husband, “I know we will have another daughter. I don’t know how or when. I don’t know if we will adopt or how she will come into our lives. I just know that she will come, and her name will be Violet Anne.” He asked, “How do you know that?” I said, “Because Delia Grace told me. She kept saying that name, Violet Anne.”
Months later, when I discovered I was pregnant, I knew my due date before the doctor said it. She told me it was January 15th, but I knew she would come on the 17th. I knew God will make that day new. I knew my beautiful Delia Grace was sending her sister.
Today, my sweet Violet laid her head on my lap. She said very confidently, “Mommy, I am Delia Grace.” I told her, “No, honey. You are Violet. Delia Grace died.”
She asked, “What is died?”
I told her, “Well, died is when a person who is here and breathing, stops breathing. We bury the person, and their soul goes to heaven with Jesus.”
She said, “I died, Mommy. I was sick, and I went to the hospital. I died, and I went to heaven. Then, I came back to be with you, Mommy.” She smiled, gave me a big kiss, and jumped down.
I was dumbfounded. What do I do with this? What do I say? My mind was going in so many directions.
I didn’t know how to respond. So, I just smiled.
I think back on the times she told me about heaven. As soon as she could talk, Violet was talking about heaven. She has told me many times about being with Jesus. She would say, “I was in heaven with Jesus. Delia Grace was there, and you were there too, Mommy.”
She has told me many times about Delia Grace in heaven, and how much she loves her sister and misses her. She has asked me to bring Delia Grace back to live here with her. She cried and screamed after leaving Delia’s grave last January, crying out, “Delia Grace died! She died! But I love her!” At that time, I thought she had just figured out Delia Grace was not coming home because she was so devastated, crying and screaming for at least an hour in the car.
It is nothing new for Violet to talk about Delia Grace and express how much she loves and misses her. She plays with rainbows on the wall, saying she’s playing with “Sissy”. She chases butterflies, playing with Delia Grace. She clings to “big girls,” and the absence of her older sister is very obvious to us.
However, she has NEVER said anything about BEING Delia Grace. She has never mentioned going to the hospital and dying.
Again, I ask, “What do I do with this?”
I never questioned her stories of heaven, of Jesus and her sister. I believe that is exactly where she came from.
I don’t know how to feel about what she said today. Part of me wants to believe it, that God is letting me know Delia Grace, letting me hold her, and letting her grow up with us here. That seem like such a wonderful celestial gift.
My faith is pulling me in a different direction. I know that Heaven is where we are made to live eternally. I know we are made for Heaven. I know we are all uniquely made in God’s image. I know God made Delia Grace, and I know he made Violet Anne. I know I have two daughters.
Could Delia Grace be a part of Violet? I don’t know. They both grew within me. Delia grew there first. She is always a part of me because her DNA is forever within me. Scientifically, Delia is part of me, but is she spiritually within Violet?
What do I do with this?
I use it to step onto a new road along my grief journey. It is time for new study, prayer, and discovery.
I’ve crawled out of the tunnel and into the light. Now, a new life begins. I am excited for what is ahead and will continue to share with you.