A Little Girl's Loving Act

Her father shared this exquisite glimpse of heaven with all the other fathers in the room...

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Posted in , May 20, 2013

Life after Death blogger Trudy Harris

Our hospice program once had in its care a young boy who was six or seven years old. When he came to us, his family had just about explored every avenue for a possible cure, only to discover there were none left.

To say their hearts were heavy would be an understatement. No parent ever expects to bury their child and no earthly consolation can be found for them.

This little fella had a sister just one or two years younger who adored her big brother, but all the love in the world was not going to keep her from losing him. How was she going to understand what was happening to her family? In cases like this, parents struggle to be present for the dying child while at the same time comforting the sibling.

In a very short time the little boy died and was buried in a quiet spot in the cemetery they had chosen for his final resting place. Shortly after the ceremony, the family returned to the cemetery for a visit. The little sister was holding a pretty pinwheel in her tiny hand and placed it on the spot where they had buried her brother, as if to give him a gift only from her.

Someone in the family caught this loving gesture on camera and sent the picture to me. I shared it with the National Hospice Organization, where it was displayed in brochures and a large print of it greeted us at our annual convention.

Years later I was speaking to a gathering of businessmen; pointing to the picture that hung on the wall, I told them the story of the little boy and his sister. A man stood up at the back of the room and said, “That is my little girl putting her pinwheel on my son’s grave. Thank you so much for honoring my son’s memory and telling about the gift my little girl gave him.”

No one moved—you could hear a pin drop. That father was allowing me to share this exquisite glimpse of heaven with all the other fathers in the room. You simply never forget these heart-stopping moments; the sharing of them is very healing for everyone. They all walked away from that meeting profoundly touched by the father’s story and his willingness to speak about the small gift that was a glimpse of heaven for everyone in his family.

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