Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Better Place

I am hesitant to write this post.  I do not want to offend any of the kind and wonderful people who have tried to console Jordan and I since Jonah died.  It is so difficult to know what to say when someone dies.  I totally get that.  On the other hand I want to be honest about this experience.  I want you to understand, even superficially, how it feels.  So I will write.

Tonight I find the phrase "a better place" bouncing around in my brain.  I have struggled to discern what I feel when this phrase is used, because it is used often. On the one hand I have to believe that Jonah is in "a better place."  The alternatives are unacceptable.  My heart would plunge into despair if I believed for a moment that his existence ceased, or that he could be somewhere worse.  My hope for heaven and reunion is what keeps me moving forward.  It should bring me comfort to know that he is somewhere without pain, without heartache, full of love and beauty.  Sometimes it does. 

But usually when I hear people say that Jonah is in a better place, my immediate unfiltered thought is "what place could be better than here in my arms, in my home, in our family."  I still miss him so much.  My mind cannot fully comprehend "a better place".  There are days when the phrase makes me feel selfish for craving my little one. 

Please understand that I am grateful for the kind words spoken, for the difficult effort, the service given and the shared hope of "a better place."  But sometimes it is easy to rely on common phrases in difficult conversations.  I have relied on those phrases myself.  I am especially grateful for friends and neighbors who come without too much explanation or consolation, but rather listening ears and open hearts.  They allow me to be here, in this difficult place, without hurrying towards eternity.


  1. It reminds me of how I feel when people tell me how wonderful it is that I will be able to get married in the next life if it doesn't happen here. It used to make me so angry. I don't want to have something in "the next life", I want it now. Although I am grateful for that possibility, I don't like people using it to comfort me in a quick and easy way.

  2. Julie, I am with you. We had Elder Baxter from the 70 come visit us shortly after Ruby passed away. He told us that people will say that, and he said, it is not true. He said, that BEST place for her, is in your arms, and in your family. Although it has to be pretty wonderful, we were all meant to be together with all our family. I think that this why this separation is such a trial. It has to be pretty amazing and great there, but his place is really in your arms. (As you know!)

  3. No apologies needed Julie! Sometimes it's hard not to think that if that place is so much better, then I wish I were there too. Even Aragorn said that since Jonah and Britton are in heaven he wishes he were there too.

    I used to truly HATE pregnant women. I would see them and wish for them to lose their baby like I always do. I would see moms obviously not appreciating or "deserving" their children and hate them too. I think it is hard not to, we're only human after all.

    I sure love you Julie. You have a gift with words.

  4. Your writings in your blog are very beneficial to us. It helps us to understand and learn from your writings. How are hearts and prayers go out to you. You are suffering of the worst of trials.
    We can't always say the things that would bring you comfort, know though, that in just trying and coming forth lets you know we love and care for you and are hurting along with you.

  5. Well said, Julie. I really like the words of Elder Baxter that Ani shared. That is so true. We are meant to travel this existence in families, so when we can't be together, there isn't a "better place".