Monday, June 17, 2013

Those Who Share Lily's Name and Birthday

I know this might sound completely silly, but I am going to be honest and say that I really don't like hearing of other girls named Lily. It is a little different if I hear of a grown woman named Lily because my Lily is my child.

I have been trying to sort these thoughts out and figure out why exactly I feel this way and this is what I've come to...

It hurts to hear of other little girls named Lily because they are living and my Lily isn't living. I get deeply saddened by the fact that I will never get to call Lily her name to her face... I will never get to call her in for dinner, or help her learn to write her name for the first time, or learn how to write it in cursive. I'll never get to use her full name to tell her she better clean her room right now or else there will be consequences! I'll never get to call her by name out in public, causing others to turn their head to see my sweet child named Lily... many people don't know and will never know that I have a child whose named that... it hurts that I can't use her name in the most basic day-to-day life things that most people take for granted. Her name, Lily Katherine, is my favorite female name in the entire world and it is hard that I will never be able to even say it to the very one who I gave the name to. I will never get to call my own child by her name.

I also feel like many people think Lily is just a pretty name and that is why they choose it... for me, it is so much more than a pretty name. I treasure her name and its meaning. The flower and name are so meaningful and significant to me. You can read about how L.K. got her name here. God Himself chose the name I gave my daughter... it is so obvious in how it all unfolded. I believe there is great power and meaning behind names. So, yes... the name is beautiful, old-fashioned, and even a family name for me and I love having the flower to symbolize her life. But, those are just extras and not why I chose her first and middle name. It is so sacred and special to me and because of this, I feel like it's her name...and my name for her.

Instead of calling her by name, I am in the process of designing a memorial stone that will have her lovely name on it.

Don't even get me started on how I cringe when I hear people with animals who share my girl's name, like my good friend and neighbor who has a dog named Lily.

I also feel the same way at times about Lily's birthday, March 16th, just not as much as I feel about her name. March is a sacred month to me and it feels like Lily's month... especially her actual birthday. The thing is, because she died before she was born, there aren't many tangible memories or things in this world that I can call hers... so, when there is something that's hers, it is so sacred and beautiful to me and I want it to be only hers, if that makes sense.

And March is such a difficult month for me emotionally that it hurts knowing that others are going on with their happy little lives, without giving a second thought to my daughter who came and went in the month of March... the month I left a piece of me in the ground in Virginia.

There are times though where it's really special and sweet to hear of someone who shares Lily's name or special day in some way.

For instance, a sweet blog friend of mine lives in the midwest and told me a while ago that at the cemetery where her precious son is buried, there is a headstone there for a baby girl named Lily Katherine, same spelling and everything. Another family who is grieving the loss of their Lily Katherine. A Lily Katherine who is in Heaven with my Lily Katherine. I wonder who her family is, and what their/her story is.

Another example... a little boy I nanny for was born on March 16th, 2010 - Lily's exact birthday! God put us together before I had any idea when he was born. I find it extremely special and healing for him to share my girl's special day. It helps that he's a boy and not a girl... if he were a girl, I don't think I'd be able to handle working with him.

I also nanny a little girl who shares my middle and last name and has a sister in Heaven named Lily - who was due on August 12th, my birthday! It's so special that that we have a shared love of roses and lilies.

When I am feeling sad about these things, the Lord gently reminds me of something that is so comforting to my heart... yes, I may never get to call Lily Katherine her name to her face like other parents get to do... however, how many people get to travel the country to speak the name of their child with hundreds, if not thousands of people?! What a gift He has given me to share her legacy with so many. Friends, family, and strangers will know the name of my Lily Katherine.

I love what my dear friend, Kala, said to me (she will soon be Lily's auntie because she's marrying my brother this October!)

She said this: "I can understand it would be very hard for you. Just know that all the Lily's in the world could never take the place of Lily Katherine in the hearts of those who have been moved by her life. And it's A LOT of people. It's the truth and nothing will ever change that, no amount of time that passes, or new babies or new memories. Nothing."

Lily is now a popular name and my Lily wasn't the first to be named that and won't be the last. And she wasn't the first person to be born on March 16th and won't be the last... however, that doesn't take away that it's her name and birthday and will be forever.

I cling to the truth that one sweet day, I will call her by name... on streets of gold when we meet face-to-face.



  1. Beautifully written. I can definitely relate to what you wrote. <3

  2. A friend of mine let her kids call their hamster "lily something" it is not spelled the same and is combined with something else but still is insulting that a rodent was named this way after I lost Lily! And yes, I don't especially enjoy hearing another mom call her child "Lily" at the park, I never stoped to reflect on this though...

  3. Very well said . I haven't come across another little Evelyn or a little one who shares the birthday of April 29th yet, so I have no idea exactly how it would feel until I come across that, but I can guarantee it will be upsetting and painful. Thank you for sharing!


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