(Joyful Mysteries Notes: every Friday is a guest post and every Friday God has decided the writer and the content. Every week I pray for whoever is writing for it, and most of the time it’s someone who has come to me and said “I wrote something…” The (anonymous) writer this week writes from a place of real and a place of grief. I have often said the most unfair thing in this world is a parent having to grieve their own child. This Real is a family grieving a baby- a sister grieving for her sister as she grieves her child, grieving  for her niece, and grieving the deep dark sadness…all while trying to grasp God- in this place. She mentions being Catholic and some prayers we use, and since many of our readers are not- the writer explains the view on babies as Saints- which they are, and also talks about the Rosary. The Rosary is a succession of prayers asking Mary the Mother of Jesus to pray for us. Everything She does points to God and we don’t worship her, we ask for her prayers. She held my Jesus in her womb, and I find great significance in that- as the writer grieves a child whose majority of life lived was in the womb. Mary also grieved her only son, our Jesus.  The fragility of life is as real as it gets, and while I know it was painful thing for our author to write- it was an important thing. I ask you to join me in prayer for this beautiful family who grieves baby Catherine…a child so loved on earth and so loved now in heaven. St. Catherine, pray for us.) 

“And everything in time and under heaven 

Finally falls asleep 

Wrapped in blankets white, all creation 

Shivers underneath 

And still I notice you 

When branches crack 

And in my breath on frosted glass 

Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter 

You are winter” -Nichole Noerdman 


My real for the moment is winter.

I stood in the shower today weeping. I asked God to comfort me and my family. I begged Him to bring good out of our sorrow. I sang some praise songs because it’s easy to praise Him when all is well but all the more necessary when all is devastation.

In the Catholic Church, we canonize children who are baptized and die before the age of consent. That’s to say we call them Saint with a capital S. We still hold trust in God’s mercy for even those children not baptized, but those who were offer a special kind of comfort to their families. The lost child isn’t gone nor is he/she just in our hearts. She/he is with God in heaven, praying with us.

St. Catherine lived on earth for all of 6 days before God called her to heaven. Those of us left behind are grieving her loss. She was my niece and my daughters’ only cousin. She represented a world of broken promises that make me bitter and angry because I don’t understand why she had to leave and I never truly will.  

That’s one of the mysteries of Christianity. We never fully understand but are still called to trust–to believe that God is there in the darkest moments and he is holding us as we weep.

When I found out Catherine was about to be born, I happened to be at a party with a priest. I pulled him aside and we prayed together, knowing the road ahead would be troubled.

When I found out Catherine wouldn’t make it, I’d just arrived at a baptism for my daughter’s friend. The same priest was there so he prayed with us again. Even in all this pain, God let his presence be known.

At the friend’s baptism we renewed our baptismal vows where we affirmed that we believed in life everlasting.

Days before Catherine died, my daughter sat up in bed and asked me stop singing so we could pray the rosary for Catherine and her parents. I’ve never truly prayed the rosary with my daughter before but she’s heard me recite the prayers. For some reason she understood how much Catherine and her parents needed her and she lay in bed and listened, joining in on the Our Father’s. Occasionally she asked me questions about God.

This precious memory is a gift I will always treasure. It remains a small light in the darkness.

I don’t know how to comfort grieving parents. I cannot imagine how they will survive their loss. I know only that I am there for them and God is holding them when I cannot. It’s a wonderful, amazing gift to know that they are not alone, that He is always with them.  

I remind myself that it is the same for me – God is here during this winter. I hug my children tightly, seeing them more-so for the amazing blessings that they are. How lucky I am to have them even when they cry and yell or drive me mad. I weep as I hug them because someone close just got robbed of that chance and it isn’t fair.

I pray for strength knowing God is there. I trust in Him. He will listen when I vent my anger. He will hold me as I cry. He will send people to comfort to me.

Along with St. Catherine, my family prays for God to comfort us in our grief. Despite all our pain, we will trust in Him.

He will help us survive this winter.


“And everything that’s new has bravely surfaced 

Teaching us to breathe 

What was frozen through is newly purposed 

Turning all things green 

So it is with You 

And how You make me new 

With every season’s change 

And so it will be 

As You are re-creating me 

Summer, autumn, winter, spring…”