Saturday, April 19, 2008

Unmarked graves

My baby doesn't get a headstone. This bothers me.

We went down to the graveyard today just to see Chase's grave site and grieve for a bit. We hadn't been back since we'd buried him. For those of you who don't know how it's done when you lose a baby this young, the babies who die before birth, or shortly thereafter are buried in one mass grave every six weeks. That's how it's done around here. They aren't given a headstone with their names. I don't understand why. I'd fork over the money for all of those babies to have their names known. The good thing is that the burial and everything is taken care of by benefactors, so it's all free. You don't have the financial burden of an unexpected funeral on top of the shock of losing a baby. But the literature from the funeral home said that they don't allow stone markers with the names of the babies on them.

I noticed today that some of the other babies grave sites had small monuments or stone markers with Bible verses on them. Mike and I are thinking of doing something like that for Chase's site. Maybe we'll work the word "chase" in there and accidentally capitalize it...I LOVE his name--we can be nice and sneaky with it.

But we get back to the issue at hand. Why can't we put their names on stone and memorialize it? Is it because abortion is still legal at 18 weeks, so he isn't really a person yet? He was born alive. He lived in this world for a few minutes. Why can't I put a stone up so people know that there was a Chase Lukens Hall on this earth? That's what makes this so hard. In a few months, no one else will remember my baby. It'll already be as if he were never here once they replace the turned up dirt with sod.

Maybe there is a valid reason for this. It said in the literature that we got that they don't do it so they can mow. But every other grave in this graveyard has an aboveground headstone. So that reason doesn't seem to fly. Maybe there's something I don't know about mowing graveyards. But it doesn't seem right to leave my very loved and much wanted baby buried in an unmarked grave.

The only way I get through this, is because I know that while his body is there, his soul is not. And I'm sure Chase is not one bit worried about not being known on earth, since he is now known in heaven. But his momma's heart sure breaks over that grave site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


This used to be my favorite day of the week. Aiden and I would go to Bible study and afterwards we'd go out to eat with my friend and her two kids. Then we'd come home for late naps and soon after we woke up Daddy would be home. It was the best day of the week.

Now I hate Wednesdays. 3 weeks ago today we lost Chase. 2 weeks ago today we buried him. I'm beginning to realize that Wednesdays are bad days. I wake up weepy. I feel on the verge of crying all day long and I spend the day trying to function for Aiden's sake. It's a day when I just pray for the strength to make it from one minute to the next without weeping.

I didn't realize it would be like this. In fact, when I first was grieving I didn't even know what day it was and all of the hospital days ran together for me, so I had to really think about the order of things to figure out which day was which. But now that my mind isn't clouded with drugs, I have it all straight. Wednesday is not good to me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


It's really hard when something like this happens not to have guilt over it. I'm realizing though, that guilt is a sin. Guilt implies that I think I had control over Chase's death. Experiencing guilt means that I'm putting myself in the place of God because I think I could have actually changed the situation. Whoa! That's definitely not what I want to do.

There really is nothing to be guilty about. I called the doctor the day my cramping started. I called again when the cramping became a strong backache and I had some other strange stuff going on. I was told it was normal. I went to the ER the minute I saw blood. I was told I was fine and that I wasn't going into labor anytime soon. The next morning my water broke. So I did all I could to let the doctors know that something was off.

I was not in control of this. I'm never in control, even when I think I am. God is sovereign. I don't believe for one second that He wanted this to happen. I do believe He allowed it. I don't know the reasons. That's because I'm not in control. Being out of the control seat is a good place for me to be!

Monday, April 14, 2008


It's the quiet time of day for me. Aiden's naptime. It's the hard time of my day because I can sit and be still. No interruptions. This is when I relive the moments of Chase's life, and inevitably the circumstances around his death.

This is when I want my baby. I want to be sleep-deprived and struggling through the first weeks of nursing. Don't get me wrong, I would never blame a tired new mom for complaining about these things that I want. I've been there, and I know it's painful. It's just that this pain is so much worse. I'll be the meekest new mom you've ever seen when the time comes again. I hope I get another chance. After 2 years of infertility, it's hard to keep my chin up about that.

I've heard so many times how lucky I am to have Aiden. And I am thankful, I'm not denying that blessing for a minute. It's just that it feels like people try to minimize the pain that I feel over losing Chase, just because I have another child. It's not like you can swap them out. Chase would have had his own temperament, ambitions, and likes. I mourn the loss of who he was. Does that make sense?

Glory Baby and Held lyrics

I stumbled on the lyrics to Glory Baby a few weeks ago and made Mike buy the song for me. I wanted to include the lyrics here because it's been so healing to me to be reminded that A) it's o.k. to miss Chase and B) He is taken care of in heaven.

Glory Baby

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

I can't take credit for finding this one. My friend Melanie actually sang this song for Mike and I and sent it to us as an MP3. It was the first time I'd heard it. I wish I could get the one she did up here, but I'm not that technologically advanced. She changed the lyrics a bit to fit our situation. It was such a sweet gift to us.


Two months is too little
They let him go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence
Would take a child from his mother
While she prays, is appalling
Who told us we'd be rescued
What has changed and
Why should we be saved from nightmares
Were asking why this happens to us
Who have died to live, it's unfair
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
This hand is bitterness
We want to taste it and
Let the hatred numb our sorrows
The wise hand opens slowly
To lilies of the valley and tomorrow
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
If hope if born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait, for one hour
Watching for our savior
This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We'd be held
[Repeat Chorus]

Both of these songs are on the playlist that I set up, so you can hear them for yourself if you'd like.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


When we chose Chase's name, we hadn't discussed too many names yet, but we suddenly found ourselves in a time crunch to choose quickly after my water had broken and I developed a fever. Chase was doomed from the minute my water broke because I had an infection, which is what caused my water to break in the first place. The risk of the infection causing my death went up the longer he remained in my body, so suddenly we had to deliver my sweet boy. And we wanted a name.

We wanted our little boy to have THE name. You know, the one we'd have given him if we'd carried him to term and delivered a healthy baby. Chase was our favorite, and so it was decided. It was only recently that I started thinking about the meaning of the word "chase". And now, I don't think we could have found anything more appropriate if we'd had months to think about it.

Chase-to pursue in order to seize, overtake, etc.

Chase...Isn't this life referred to as a race in the Bible?

1 Corinthians 9:23-25--I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

The analogy of this life being a race has stuck with me since I was a track athlete in high school. The race was a one time chance. There are no do-overs when it is finished. That is why you lay it all out there on the track and despite the pain, you push yourself to new heights of speed and endurance. So it is with life, and now we give chase to attain the heights that have been reached by those who have gone before us. And Chase is now one who has "gone before". What a time it will be when we finish the race and no longer have to chase the child who left us behind!