Thursday, December 15, 2011


As Jordan and I walked away from the hospital the day Jonah died I remember being afraid.  I had just experienced my greatest fear and yet I was hesitant to go home.  I didn't know how it would feel to be in my own house, to be with Jordan, to be without Jonah.  I wondered if it would be painful to be surrounded by his things. I imagined a suffocating silence, a constant reminder that he was gone.  It was horrifying to separate our bodies from Jonah's and step into this new uncharted territory.  

As soon as we got home I gathered up Jonah's blankets and his favorite monkey. His smell became like a drug to me.  I crawled into bed, and stayed there for the rest of the afternoon.  Afternoon faded into  night.  All I could do was cry.  No. Wail.  My sobbing left no room for the silence I feared. 

For the next week we were surrounded by friends and family.  We talked, we cried, we listened, we remembered.  As soon as one person would leave, a new person arrived.  It was truly a blessing and made those first difficult days go by more quickly.  But eventually everyone returned to their own lives.  Back to work, to school, and to families.  I soon found myself surrounded by the silence of my own home, the experience that terrified me.  Yet when all my distraction disappeared I discovered the silence was so beautiful.

In the silence my mind wandered to memories and moments I had forgotten.  I pondered my purpose.  My thoughts found clarity.  I read.  My tears flowed.  In the silence I tried to ask God real questions and seek answers. 

Earlier in my life I think I would have filled the silence with music, television, or conversation.  I was one of those college students who would say "I study better with the T.V. on."  Definitely a lie I told myself.  Silence seemed like the poster child of a uninteresting life.  Things are different now.  I want to guard my silent moments and keep them for myself.  To me it is peace. 

Each morning I wander into Jonah's room and open the blinds.  I kneel in his room and ask God for strength.  I ask for opportunities to feel Jonah near me.  I ask for revelation.  I stay in there in the silence until I feel ready for the day.  I don't think I will receive these things, or feel his lightness upon me, if I busy myself in distraction and noise.

Of course I would trade these peaceful moments to hear Jonah's little voice, or his giggle. I would love to hear the repetitive music from his favorite videos.  I wish I was dancing with him in our living room right now instead of typing this.  I long to hear him say "Momma" one more time.  But I know those things will not be part of my life today. 

I know that some silence and stillness are required of me now.  Not all the time.  There is time for laughing and conversation and music and TV.  We are not living like monks, although I'm beginning to understand them.  I want to be ready for inspiration.  I want to make room for silence in my day.  I am not afraid of it anymore.

 Jonah's first word.


  1. Oh Julie! He is so sweet and I miss him!

  2. Mama! So sweet. What a treasured video.

  3. Julie, your thoughts are so remarkable. I remember your dad saying that when he was called as the stake president, it got so he couldn't listen to the radio on the way to and from work anymore because he needed and wanted the silence to think and sort things out. Silence can be a beautiful gift.

  4. This post has helped me sort out thoughts I've had about myself. Thank you for writing it. (Not that I'm even slightly thinking that the reasons behind it are remotely the same.) I love your video. Post as many as you want! He is fabulous!

  5. I don't know you but read your post and you have brought tears to my eyes. Your strength is amazing to me and you are an inspiration even when you probably don't feel like you are. May Heavenly Father bring you and your family comfort and peace in the days ahead. What a sweet little spirit you have. I know he will be around you often and continue to be a part of you. Sending lots of hugs to you <3

  6. What a sweet, sweet video!! It made me miss little Jonah all over again, but made me smile at the same time. What a treasure it has been for you to be Jonah's momma :)

  7. That video of Jonah is just so sweet. What a precious little boy! I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you must feel every day. I hope you get the peace and strength you need to help you through each day.

  8. This is so amazingly well said and beautiful. (((hugs)))