Gritty And Ugly And Brutally Truthful

Hi!  I’ve thought about stopping in and writing and then I wondered what do I even write.  The grief is heavy and thick and feels like it’s swallowing us up most days.  Everything feels impossibly different now.  Everything.  And I’m sure very few want to read any of these words, but this is all I’ve got tonight.

Josh Kelley is grieving.  I am grieving.  And then five Kelley children are all grieving and this is hard as hell.  I want to do ZERO of it.  None.  I want to tap out and call it quits.  I want to stay in bed all day long.  I don’t want to leave our house.  I want to drink far too many cocktails.  I want to eat my emotions under the table.  I simply do not want to do any of this, but there are these other crazy amazing kids who need us so quitting isn’t an option.  Heck, sleeping in isn’t even an option. 🙂

I hate so many things in our home now.  And I’ve ran that sentence a thousand times over in my head because our house holds so many incredible precious memories, so it’s really hard to type that, but right now the jeering loss of Everett seems to be tainting most everything.  We always eat dinner together and since coming home without Everett we have not sat down all together until tonight.  And his empty chair stared us in the face.  I mustered out the tiniest prayer and broke into tears mid way.  What in the world?  Our kid is dead.  Our 3-year-old died and not one part of that feels okay.

Going into the boys’ room at night is probably the hardest.  His little bed lays empty with his blankies and stuffed animals.  I actually already packed up a bunch of his newer items and gave them to the Carman’s for Everett’s best friend who will be coming home soon.  I just couldn’t look at some of his things and I needed to know they still carried a purpose and knowing his best friend would have them and use them made me feel better.

I still can’t empty out his backpack from the hospital packed with all his favorite things we knew he’d want when he started his recovery.  The other day our littlest came walking out of our bedroom wearing his backpack and it caught me completely off guard to which I snapped at her to put it back immediately.  And the other morning I closed our closet door and just sobbed in the floor over that same backpack.  I miss our boy.  This is pain and loss and grief like I’ve never felt before.  This is a whole new ballgame and I have no idea how to play.

I get physically sick and cry uncontrollably when I think about Everett and all the hopes and dreams we buried with him.  I just knew God was going to heal him.  I just knew it.  I had imagined what his little life would look like…even things like grand babies and how he and his best friend would celebrate every birthday together just like they’d always done.  I imagined more trips to the beach and airport celebrations and all the first holidays together.  I imagined Chinese New Year with him for the first time and how special that was going to be.  Josh’s parents are taking everyone to Disney in September and we knew they we’re having to change things once Everett passed away and Josh and I have absolutely no desire to go now.  None!  But then there are 5 other kiddos who cannot wait.  It’s this constant turmoil inside ourselves of battling hard with everything…trying to heal, but not being able to the exact way you would if it was just you…or if it was just me and Josh.  There’s this constant reevaluating of every move you make and every feeling you feel and every reaction you have because it’s not just you in this grief game, but five siblings are grieving their brother as well and they still need you.

Tonight after I kissed all the boys goodnight I brought down Everett’s big and little blankies.  I walked down our stairs, into our dark bedroom and stood there in the dark and smelled them.  I smelled every part of them hoping to catch a familiarity of him.  I remember in the hospital one of our nurses asked if I wanted her to wash his little blankie because it had chocolate on it from the days leading up to the hospital.  Right off hand I said “Sure”, but I immediately panicked even though she hadn’t even touched the blanket yet.  I broke into tears and asked her not to wash it.  I didn’t want his chocolate finger smudges washed away or his smell.

Regret spills through our minds all day long and it’s yet another thing to fight.  Do I know it’s Satan?  Yes.  Is it hard to fight?  Hell yes.  We’ve questioned every last decision we made on Everett’s behalf.  We’ve played every moment over and over and over in our minds.  We’ve gone over all the questions we asked and if we asked all the right ones or did we miss some.  The what ifs are insurmountable.  It brings me to my knees daily.  The regret and guilt we’re battling is of massive proportion and weighs oh so heavy.  Yet another thing to fight to hand over to Jesus because we know we’re not made to carry it.

Amon has his cardiologist appointment soon and I am dreading it.  I know without question it will be painful to walk into that building again and sit in those chairs and go into that waiting room and talk to our beloved doctor who cried on the phone with me.  I know every part of that appointment will be hellish on my heart.  The death of Everett naturally brings up fear about Amon too.  The what ifs run wild and it’s a battle to keep them in check and hand them over to God as well.

People say the wildest things to try and make you feel better.

Question:  Is it okay to just throat punch someone who says something so insanely stupid about your child dying?  Asking for a friend. 🙂

Sometimes the best thing you can say to someone who is just brokenhearted is “I’m so sorry.  This effin sucks.  I can’t imagine how you feel.”

And I have feelings about God I’ve never really had before.  I have so many questions and constantly have to say truths about who God is over and over to myself.  I’ve tried breaking down my feelings at a minimum of 354 times and the most honest way I can describe it is this:

I fiercely love Jesus, I really and truly do, but I don’t like Him very much right now.  Love Him, yes.  Like Him, no.  Does that make sense?  None of what happened to Everett feels right or good or okay.  None of it.  It feels like a wildly cruel joke.  We still struggle with the reality and finality of it all.  Some days it still does not feel real.  And I know bad things happen because we live in a fallen world.  And I don’t think God “planned” for Everett to die at age 3.  And I know God is good, good, good.  And I know He is absolutely worthy of all my praise and I will still continue to praise His name.  But I find myself landing in the space of questioning the why behind it all and why not healing for Everett and while Jesus owes me not one explanation I am a completely flawed sinner and I just have lots of feelings and emotions to lay at His feet and say directly to Him.

The thing I love about Jesus is I do not intimidate Him.  I don’t think I hurt His feelings.  I can say to Him,

Me:  “I love you a lot, but I don’t like you right now.”

And in my head I feel like He would respond with something along the lines of,

God:  “I understand your feelings and I am here and will never leave you.  Please always know you can tell me anything and my love for you will never change.”

 I could be totally wrong, but I wonder if He didn’t like some people He came in contact with while on Earth.  Love them like mad…yes, like them…no??  It’s totally speculation on my part, but when I looked up the definition of “like” it said:

find agreeable, enjoyable or satisfactory

I wonder if He ever crossed paths with someone He didn’t agree with or didn’t find enjoyable or was not satisfied with how they treated Him or someone else.  The whole thing has made my mind think like crazy, but what I’ve really boiled everything down to is God is big enough for my questions and doubts and dislike right now.  He’s big enough to handle my anger and sadness and regret.  He’s big enough for all the ways I miss my boy immensely and He’s always here…never leaving…never stopping His love.  He’s big enough for all that I bring before Him no matter what it looks like.

So, that’s where I am right now.  It feels gritty and ugly and brutally truthful, but that’s all I’ve got.  And I really think Jesus is still sitting right here in the midst of this mess and loving us just the same.


  1. Praying for you all. Sending hugs.

  2. I have no wise words for you. I don’t think there are any when a mother is grieving the loss of her child.
    I pray that you can have a peaceful nights sleep tonight. One moment at a time.
    Every single feeling you have is valid. Being pissed off is valid.
    And this does effing suck.
    Sending your family so much love.

    • I am so sorry. This really effin sucks. I can’t imagine how you and your family feel. I am going to keep praying for some kind of Peace. The kind that passes all understanding. I have no wise words for you. I don’t even know you. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your story with us. And I love your art.

  3. I don’t know the pain of losing a child but I do understand your thoughts- struggle- questions-and appreciate you sharing them. Praying for your family and the BIG LOVE each of you have for the Lord and each other! Children model what they see…Thanks for loving BIG and for embracing the joy and pain that comes with it. Peace be with each of you.

  4. Kelly Ford says:

    Still praying for you all and weeping with you. The only encouragement I know to offer is to breathe. Just breathe. Love those sweet babies fiercely and breathe them in. ❤️ God does love you and his heart breaks for what breaks yours.

  5. Your words are beautiful and painful. My heart hurts for all of you. For the love for the loss. For the grief. For all of it. I know there aren’t any words that can change any of it but I hope that you feel love from all that you have touched with your stories. I hope that hugs within your walls can give you moments of peace.

  6. Your family has been heavy on my heart. We are praying for you all. Thank you for sharing your journey. ❤️

  7. I don’t know how I stumbled on your site. I just spent the last few hours reading your posts about sweet Everett. He is still touching people’s lives. There are still people aching for you and your mommy heart. I agree, life is effing messed up and God is big enough to handle our dislike of Him I have only come to the conclusion that hurts as deep and devastating and crushing and (all the words that aren’t severe enough for how we truly feel) make us as humans long for heaven. Praying you find sleep tonight. Everett is a beautiful child, thank you for sharing him with me.

  8. Keeping you all in prayer. I wish I had the right words but there just aren’t any because this just effin’ sucks.

  9. My heart is breaking for you and your family. I can’t even imagine the depth of your pain over the loss of your beautiful little boy. You are definitely entitled to all of the feelings you are having, and you do not owe any explanation or apology to anyone……ever. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
    And yes, some people are deserving of a throat punch!

  10. Robin Faulks says:

    I started a new job that allowed me to observe an open heart valve replacement. As i stood looking down on the beating heart and hearing all the discriptions of what I was seeing I only had one thought… Everett… no words, no questions, no other thought of the skill required to work on a beating heart… Just Thoughts of Everett and his broken heart… He touched my heart and will forever be present in my life.

  11. As my best friend walks through grief of losing her love, I prayed for the right words. Not so much for words to “make it better” but just for words that she needed to hear in certain moments. In the beginning all I had was “just breath”. It’s been just over two months that her love is gone. I thank God when he gives me words to share with her. Yesterday’s verse from my Bible app seems to fit so perfectly with both you and my friend’s situations. Romans 8:39 tells us NOTHING can separate us from Him. Pretty sure that includes your current emotions.

    Prayers for you and your family to be able to always fall back on God’s truths.

  12. Leslie Taylor says:

    Laura, I don’t know you, but after following your blog for over 3 years, I feel like I do. And, I feel like we’re friends…good friends.
    Your precious kiddos, Josh Kelley and you are on my heart and in my prayers throughout the day. God has brought you to mind while doing laundry; I’ve wondered where little Everett’s basket of clothes are. I’ve questioned if the basket still holds his clothes, if it’s empty, and what the Lord may fill it with in the days and months to come.
    As I’ve poured milk into our little one’s sippy cup, I’ve wondered about the way your big kids may feel as school starts back and they head to the cafeteria. When they see boxes of milk, will they think of Everett? Will they feel happiness at the thought of him or will overwhelming sadness flood their little hearts?
    When our little one ‘washes’ her hands after eating, I think of the way you described Everett ringing his hands underneath the running water for moments of comfort. And, I find myself praying that God would grant each one of you Kelleys some type of small something that could bring you a feeling of all-encompassing comfort.
    Most of all, I pray that the quicksand of grief would not consume you. I pray that He allows you the space and grace to express your thoughts and feelings…whatever they may be. But, that at the same time, I pray He is faithful to remind you of Truth regardless of whether or not it feels true.
    I write all of this simply to tell you that you have not been forgotten. God has been faithful to bring sweet Everett to my mind throughout the days and even my dreams…and when He does, I pray for each of you. I pray that you feel His comfort and presence as you continue to walk through this journey of grief. And, then I find myself thanking Him for the incredible gift of your precious, sweet Everett! Despite how alone you may feel, know that the heavens are being flooded with prayers on your behalf…from friends that you know and from ‘friends’ that you don’t!

  13. I’m so sorry. Jill Thomas (a photographer) lost her daughter in a tragic accident and explains how she reconciled her experience through an analogy using color. I thought of it as I was reading your post. It’s on YouTube Jill Thomas Seeing Green

  14. Cassandra says:

    I can’t even begin to imagine all the hurts you feel. I am praying for your whole family that God gives you the comfort for each one of them as only he can do.

  15. Meriah Henderson says:

    Sending you, Josh and your kiddos so much love and so many prayers. All of your feelings, thoughts, questions, all are valid. I believe God absolutely understands how you feel and He will never leave you. Everyday I wonder why this happened and I’m just so incredibly sorry. It does effing suck.

  16. Marilyn Riley says:

    Praying for you and your family. My heart hurts for you. I have no idea how you feel but I will continue to pray for your heart to heal from this tremendous pain.

  17. Weeping with you, friend. You are not alone! Our God IS enough. Praying for you to be pulled close to God as the waves of grief hit you. He IS your anchor. I’m so grateful you’ve got Jesus to hold onto when it all seems unbearable. Love you!

  18. I am so very sorry for the pain your family is going through! I am circling you with prayers every day!

  19. Glenda Hoagland says:

    Continuing to ray and sending love to you and the family.

  20. Carolyn Phillips says:

    Laura, you have every right to feel.all.the.feels. You are going through the unimaginable and doing it as a parent of additional children is even harder. Whatever you need to get through the day is ok! Prayers for grace and comfort. Sending love to you all.

  21. So sorry you’re going through this. I think of you and your family often.

  22. Robyn beall says:

    As a momma to an adoptive heart baby boy from China I am grieving with you but not even remotely close to the weight of what you are carrying! I prayed for Everett and I too believed that God would heal him. And so this whole thing totally does suck! Just remember to do the right now. You don’t have to do tomorrow or the next thing, just right now. And know there is a community of people that you don’t even know praying for your family! Praying for Jesus to just be near and that He will be enough. And that maybe your words that are so gripping, full of truth and heart break, will minister to someone else walking a similar road, a road that no one asked to walk and that no one wanted to be able to minister to others through, but a heartbreaking, sucky road that many find themselves on. Jesus be enough.

  23. I am so so sorry that you the one that has gone through something so horrible that you are able to so honestly write the words that most of us have been afraid to think from time time. You have taught me to remember that my faith in God is a true relationship and there will be time that we all want to shake our fists at Him and yell why. I am so sorry. This is a really sh@*ty situation and it totally sucks that you have to navigate it.

  24. You are right. Everything truly sucks about what you are walking through. My gut gets in knots reading your pain but I’m reading in your living it. I pray for you all. I keep praying that God will help you find your footing. Like when you are scaling a mountain and you can’t seem to find the next place to put your foot so you can take the next step. I am still praying for those who surround you to carry you and Josh and kiddos so you don’t have to think. There is no timetable for grief it just changes. I have a friend who lives here who buried 4 children. Held them loved them perfectly beautiful babies. We loved them and prayed and all loved and rocked them for a few days. I did not know how to handle her grief because that should not happen just like Everett. I will pray and there are so many still praying.

  25. It does effing suck. Always, forever. God and I were not on speaking terms for well over a year after my father passed away. I am a very guarded person and do not make myself vulnerable emotionally. But this time I fully, whole heatedly gave myself over to knowing God was going to heal my dad. I even told my sister that this would change the reality of my faith massively if he died. Guess what. Nothing. My father died like anyone else would in his situation. It didn’t matter that his entire life was dedicated to the Lord. He developed stomach cancer because he was exposed to lingering radiation in the Chernobyl area while ministering to children there for over 25 years. He dedicated his life to God and the people of his ancestry and it got him no special consideration. God and I are better but our relationship has changed. I’ve come to terms with all of it.
    It’s hard. I can not imagine your pain. My dad was 72 and he’d lived a good life.
    I’m angry at your situation. It shouldn’t be this way. Ever. Your other kiddos are awesome and will love the memories of Everett more and more every day. Love you all even though we’ve never met. Thank you for your beautifully brutally honest words. They will serve you well.

  26. Stan cunningham says:

    I think you’re absolutely right!!! God can take it… and He still adores you. And so do I.

  27. Thank you for putting everything out in the table like that. Because of your honesty, I feel like I have a better understanding of how to think about, talk to, and pray for people in my life who have gone or will go through loss.

    My heart aches for you, dear sister. I’m praying for some relief and a huge wave of comfort to wash over all of you in ways that go beyond comprehension.

  28. O woke up this morning with you heavy on my heart, knowing the real work of grieving has just begun. I wish there were ways to speed up this process, to fast forward through the hardest part. You are being lifted up and carried when you are at your weakest. Thank you for sharing this raw, ugly part so that we can know how to pray for you.

  29. Shoot, that was supposed to say “I” woke up. That’s what I get for commenting from my phone;)

  30. Carrie corrigan says:

    This effing sucks. I’m so sorry.

  31. Tracy hladik says:

    Continuing to pray for you and your family. My heart aches for yours. I don’t know what you’re feeling – but I know it f’n sucks. God can take anything you throw at Him. His love never fails – even when it feels like it has.

  32. Andrea young says:

    Thank you for sharing. And writing. And being honest. I am so sorry and this does effing suck…and I’ve never written those words before in print. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing is worse. I mean nothing can be. I’m a fixer…a lifter–and I want to fix. But there’s no fixing and it just sucks. I wrote that word again. But there’s no other description for it. I don’t even know how to pray other than please BE WITH THEM LORD. So I’ll just keep praying that. Love you.

  33. Laura,
    Your writing is beautiful. It brings me right back to all of the feelings I had when I lost my boy Henry. It’s not fair. It effing sucks. I’m sorry you have to go through it too. The part where you talked about your little one coming out with Everetts back pack reminds me of when I found my daughter in Henry’s room. Caught off guard I yelled and slammed the door. How could she do that? Our emotions are all over the place. You are so right. God can handle it all. Keep it up momma. Grieving takes all you have and it seems endless in this time. Praying you through this.
    I give you permission to punch people in the throat who say stupid things but I can’t get you out of jail. 😉

  34. So sorry. Praying often for you all.

  35. Those that throw platitudes and sayings of Scripture at you about the “whys” are not your people. Trust and walk with the ones that are sitting in and walking out the grief with you. This sucks and it is beyond hard. Know you have an army standing with you and Josh Kelly cheering you on and praying for you.

  36. ((HUGS)) ❤❤❤

  37. Dear Lord I pray for this grieving family. While I know this sweet child is being held in Your arms and full of joy and love. His family here is distraught with loss. Please bring them some moments of peace. Through whatever means bring them strength to continue here on earth. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

  38. Thank you for sharing all of your raw feelings. Yes, it is hard; it is ugly and yes it is valid. You wonderfully faithful in knowing God is still God and he loves all of you. Please share some of the ugly and the faithfulness with your kiddos too. It’s so faith building for their little hearts to see you holding tight to God in this mess that is life right now. We had a loss last year and my kids questioned everything all the time. I just remember saying through tears that I didn’t know why this happened but God was still God and he IS always good and strong. Praying for strength for your faimlily. Just breathe and somehow get out of bed each day and trust God to carry you.

  39. Lucy wilson says:

    My heart breaks for you – I am continuing to pray for your sweet family x your story touches my heart as a cardiac baby mama and I will always remember the picture of you holding Everett and your big smile when you got to hold your boy, I have a similar picture of me with my son when the nurse insisted I get to hold my baby (this was the first time I got to hold him ever at 4 days old) the day he had surgery and I just didn’t want to let go. Our ending is different from yours and our son is just about to turn three so I feel such a connection to you when I read your posts and I just hold my boy tight and savor every moment with him. Thank you for sharing your journey, your faith and your honest struggle – it really is wonderful to see Jesus shining through such darkness and your thoughts in this post make so much sense xxxx love and hugs to all of you xxxx

  40. Oh, Laura. It’s so heavy, and there’s no way for it to not be that. This sucks. It is the shittiest of shitty situations, and I absolutely cannot imagine what you are going through.
    A friend of mine lost a baby to SIDS, and she asked so many of the same questions you are asking and pummeled God with her anger and grief. As you said, she believed he could handle it.
    She told me that the grief can still come up in a sudden unexpected wave when a memory hits hard or something happens that reminds her of her baby and the undercurrent of grief is always always there (though much less than it was at first) and she wouldn’t want it to be gone entirely because she never forgets her child and would never want it to.
    A friend once told me that we never get over such a loss…our soul learns to include it.
    I’ve found that to be true and friends who have dealt with the loss of a spouse or a child have told me the same rings true for them.
    And if you need someone to throat punch anyone who says something stupid about Everett dying just let me know — I’ve got your back.
    Everett is loved so fiercely by you all and I believe the grief runs in complete concurrence with that love — it is a fierce grief for a boy who is so dearly loved, and oof, I can only imagine the depths of that and how it must take your breath away.
    So much love to all of you…

  41. Annette ciampi says:

    Dearest Laura~
    I too have endured the loss of a child~her 14th birthday would have been this August 7th. I can tell you that the pain of her loss still resonates within my heart. But I can also tell you that through her loss I have learned about who our God is. I can tell you that satan is the one responsible for your sweet Everett’s premature death although God has allowed that to happen for His glory & His purposes. I’m sure that’s not the answer you want to hear right now through the searing, unspeakable loss~but it is the truth. We will never know why God has allowed us as mothers to endure the monumental loss of a child, whether biological or adopted, but I can tell you that He will use every situation in our lives to draw us closer to Him. So I pray through this experience that your relationship with our Creator will draw you closer to Him~the Author & Perfecter of our faith. He is all He says He is & more~we just need to seek Him. Keep your eyes on Jesus & believe~have faith sister~you will see your beloved son again in the heavenly realms <3 Till then, God's blessings to you & your family <3

  42. We have been following your story and praying. We are a fellow adoptive family with our own Chinese heart warrior with very complex CHD. Thank you for sharing your story and being raw and real. I am so very sorry.

  43. As we are missing and weeping over your family and your sweet boy, please know how sorry I am for you guys.

    And yes, throat punches are perfectly fine. I’m happy to land a couple (on behalf of your friend.)

  44. It’s ok to be mad at God or dislike God right now. God is way bigger than our likes and dislikes, and, imho, God won’t hold it against us when we’re angry at him. God is just like that. Hang on to Everett’s things always. You, Josh, and the sibs need those things always. Sending lots of love and hugs. BTW, people can say the stupidest things. Years ago when my mom died and someone said something stupid, I responded very bluntly. That person didn’t say anything else and maybe it even helped them in preventing future dumb statements.

  45. Yes, He is.

  46. Your family has been on our hearts so much. There are no words, we know and I’m sorry is so small, so impotent.
    It all sucks beyond belief… One day at a time… one breath at a time… Praying for you all.

  47. Jeni west says:

    Thank you for being so transparent. I think it’s the best thing you can do to not only honor Everett, but to glorify God and help others. I haven’t gone exactly what you are going through, but I’ve been in the EXACT state you are in with God and I agree with you 100%. I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this, I can’t imagind how difficult it has been. I found a song that helps me when I’m in the deep with God: Please know that even though you don’t know me (I work with Jennifer), I am praying for you and your family.

  48. LAura Swanson says:


    Your honesty is a testimony. You’re right… this fffing sucks & is so hard to understand. My prayers & love to you & your family. ❤️

  49. Jennifer Thurman says:

    Death is a son of a bitch. I hate him. One day, he’ll be done and we’ll dance on his head with shouts of glee that he is done and has not won. But until then, he’s a son of bitch. The stealer of hopes and dreams, giggles and smiles and futures. A nasty son of a bitch. The valley of death is deep and wide. The “whys” in His ways are so effin mysterious and confusing. Praying that God does what only God can do for you.

  50. Karen Mills says:

    Laura, Thank you for opening your broken heart. You are on my mind so often and always in our family’s prayers. We are so, so sorry. Chris told me just this morning how much he loves all of your children. May God embrace you and pour His love over each of you. Always in Christ, Karen

  51. Continued prayers for you all. I am so sorry for the loss of Everett and I can’t imagine how you feel. Just know you are loved and keep focusing on one day at a time and doing the next thing. Prayers❤️

  52. Laura, we want to be here and listen and hope that writing your words and reading what we write brings little moments of comfort. I cannot imagine the pain that you and your family are experiencing. I am so very sorry for your loss and yes, it does suck, and it shouldn’t happen, especially to wonderful, caring people like you, but it does. Please understand there is a world of people praying, hoping and thinking of you and your family and wishing you comfort. You will never get over the loss of Everett, but maybe, one day in the future, your memories will turn into rays of sunshine rather than a river of tears. He will always live on in your hearts and memories.

  53. Ugh. Thank you for sharing. This does suck. It’s not what was supposed to be. Seeing the pictures ugh makes my heart ache. Grief sucks and it’s suffocating and like an ocean with waves… and everyone else’s life and yours just keeps going…. when you want to scream and yell and say everyone don’t you know the world and my life is NOT RIGHT ANYMORE!!!!! I have not had the same grief As you, different heartaches made me and still make me sad, question God… but He can take it, the questions the yelling the anger, just getting alone with Him and praying, writing, journaling out all the feelings, asking Him for strength…for protection from the enemy’s sneaky lies which try to fill in the cracks. Praying for you all ♥️♥️♥️

  54. I can’t even imagine the pain and lost feeling, it sucks so bad. You are an amazing mother who did all the right things and you are all so loved. Praying like mad for your family.

  55. And people say stupid things. Oh so so stupid.
    99 percent of the time they meant well but that doesn’t take away the hurt. Vent to your friends/husband, then pray for grace with whoever it is, as hard as it is. I’m sorry. I have lots of people I’d love to punch or give a piece of my mind, but I’m trying to move on…. I also know the times I have it’s just made a giant mess. Again, praying for you.

  56. Blair farmer says:

    My heart is broken into a million pieces for you and your family. I truly believe with all that I have, Gods heart is broken in a million pieces for you too. I always remember there are no tears in heaven at times, but I think God cries with us, He just meant the people that leave earth don’t ever feel sadness again. We have all been mad or really angry at God. It’s ok. He has been angry at us too, but He has cried with me I feel sure, as He has cried with you. Laura, you and Josh did everything on earth to ensure your son had nothing but the best care. Try really hard not to question anything and just grieve. Easier said than done. It’s too confusing to try and analyze things like this. God gave you the gift of being a magnificent Godly mother to children that didn’t have a mommy, but I can’t imagine having to hold it together to take care of others instead of screaming and throwing things like a maniac. A throat punch might make you feel pretty good actually, I see nothing wrong with that. I will continue to pray for your families hearts to heal. I’m so so so very sorry.

  57. I’ve felt and am feeling still, every single thing you said after the death of my husband 4 months ago. Thank you for giving my feelings the words I’ve been trying to articulate. Im so very sorry you have to be in this awful, awful heartbreaking place too. I have no words other than I’m so sorry. When I hear myself think to say the words- I am praying for you all, I don’t know if the words or the way I pray is adequate. It’s like everything I ever thought about the how’s and the why’s of prayers have been ripped apart and I just simply have no other words anymore that I can say to God other than please help. I simply pray he helps us make it through this.

  58. Thank you for being honest in your grief, just as you always are in your love. None of this makes sense. None of it is right. Keep talking, keep writing, keep posting. We’re here, we’re listening, we’re praying. You, your family, and sweet precious Everrett are loved deeply.

  59. I can not begin to imagine the pain of your loss. I recently picked up a book at Barnes and Nobel quite by accident … Or maybe not… that gave me comfort. I was with my mom as she left us and went to heaven. I spend every restless night praying eternity and God’s promise is all that we know and believe it to be so we will be reunited. I can only remotely imagine the loss of one of my children would compound my pain ten fold. This book.. “Imagine Heaven” by John Burke, has given me great peace. I pray it might do the same for you and Josh. Prayers of comfort and peace for your family

  60. Oh how I wish there existed a formula for grief that would make it neat and tidy and fast. But there is no such formula. Only messy, nitty gritty endurance and questions without immediate answers and deep profound sadness. Praying for your entire family as you walk these days without Everett. You are so right that God can handle and even understands your anger and your questions and your deep disappointment. Keep being real. Praying for endurance and for peace to envelop you and for answers to come to settle your heart. So thankful for His promises.

  61. So very sorry you are going through this, my heart is just broken with you. Praying for you constantly. Wanted to let you know that your completely truthful and realness is amazing and ministers to my heart. I started following you years ago when I started bible journaling and my sister in law pointed me to your instagram. You have been the definition of this verse to me: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” I want to thank you for letting your light shine before others so boldly and for strengthening my faith! You ARE a shining city on a hill. Keep laying it at His feet. He is the light in the darkness, and even though it’s dark right now I see his light shining through you in your every word. You are amazing. Many many prayers going up for the kelleys. God bless you and keep you. ❤️❤️❤️

  62. You’re honesty is so life giving – it a crushing this effing sucks kind of way. Ya know? I’m not dealing with what you’re dealing with but somehow reading your words makes me feel less alone. Loving Jesus doesn’t mean we’re always happy and blindly trust. It means we wrestle and cry out and question. It means we don’t understand this broken world and the horribly broken things that happen in it. Because HIS heart breaks too! This isn’t how it was meant to be! And like you said through all of it, no matter what is going on in our heads and hearts, He loves us just the same. Praying for you and your family to just have grace to get through each moment of each day as you walk through this journey of grief together.

  63. There truly are no words. As a Mom that Lost a 29 year old son I can confidently procalim that. I also know how hard it is to watch the siblings struggle in their grief. For us it will be 8 years on August 18th. I will never understand; but God does. He has walked and continues to walk with us as He does with your family.
    I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. It’s so incredibly hard.
    Love and prayers to you Dear One!

  64. So I am so so so sorry for you all and for Everett and for the fact that i was mad at God for days after he passed (even though I never met Everett, have only been around you for 3 days, etc). It seems very selfish for me to have those feelings.
    When A preschool friend of my daughter passed away, after the anger, grief, sadness,- all the feelings- her mom told us that she was going to look at each day like one day closer to seeing her girl again. At first, honesty, it was morbid because she was counting the days till her death. She would admit this to you. It took about a year till she was used to her new normal. I hope you all find strength to grieve. You can’t be weak and grieve. Give yourselves the room to remember. And know that you all have had an impact on so many.
    Thank you for putting to words what no parent ever wants to experience.
    You are strong.

  65. Kathy heising says:

    I understand your pain. My 28 yr old son died unexpectedly in 2014. I was so mad at God for taking back the gift He’d given me. Parent’s aren’t supposed to bury their children. Why? I will never know why. His work on earth was complete and God wanted him home. Totally unfair. I felt cheated and robbed. But I praise God for the time I had with my son. God shared His son and I shared mine. Keep shouting and crying and getting mad at God. The peace He will fill you with is amazing and real. Prayers to you and your family for healing…

  66. carolyn a says:

    You are amazing – Being able to express yourself and your thoughts so well as to make us all feel like we are right there with you and your family, sharing in your joys and your sorrow with every tear we shed. I’m certain that you have moments when you don’t feel very strong at all, but you are – in every entry you make, your strength is apparent, as is your Faith. God with His grace and love will continue to be with you all and He will carry you through. In His love, lean on Him.

  67. It’s okay to be mad at God. It’s okay to not like God. It’s okay to feel like shit. You’re human. God understands. He knows how it feels.

  68. just know i’m sending love and prayers you way❤️❤️

  69. I’m just so sorry. Everett is so absolutely stunning to look at, a truly beautiful child, and to imagine that on top of his voice, his laugh, his cries, his funny faces, his warm hugs, the soft touch of his hand on yours…the grief of losing all those things is something I cannot even fathom.

  70. i am so sorry for your loss! and at the same time i’m truly inspired by your faith in god.
    when you mentioned everett’s chair “staring” at you at the dinner table i remembered that we talked about this at uni in a seminar about loss and grieving in school (i studied to become a special needs teacher and will most likely be faced with the death of some of my pupils at some point, too because quite a few of them have terminal illnesses) and there we discussed the possibility of turning the kids chair (at school or at home) into an artwork of some kind. you could paint and decorate it as a family and in doing so you’d make sure that it wouldn’t stare at you as much (because it would be different) but still show the special place that everett has (not only in your heart but also in your home/at the dinner table). just an idea, i thought i’d let you now.

  71. Ruthanne says:

    We are still here with you….praying on your behalf and remembering your sweet boy. I have specifically been praying for sleep for all of you…a respite from the pain.

  72. bETH bENVENUTI says:!!!

  73. I feel like we sometimes feel like we need permission to not be okay. You don’t know me, I’ve followed you for awhile (we hope to adopt someday and I love your fabric art)…but, it’s okay to NOT be okay. Keep doing what you’re doing. Take the hurts to Him. He is big enough and He is there. And this effin sucks. Praying for you and your family.

  74. I won’t even begin to act like I can relate to what you’re going through, but I can understand questioning decisions God makes. We went through some hard stuff and I remember feeling similar -“I love you God and I’m not walking away, but I just need a break from you right now. You have really hurt my feelings.” I know that sounds childish, but my feelings were really hurt and I couldn’t understand why he’d say no to this thing I wanted him to say yes to so bad. I felt like Jacob wrestling with God for a long time. I know it’s ok to wrestle. He’s not going anywhere. But, I hate so much that He didn’t heal Everett this side of Heaven. I’m so so so sorry and I pray for you all often.

  75. Sheila Ryan says:

    Sweetheart ,my heart breaks for you. Praying for all of you. We love you! ♡

  76. Donna Nelson says:

    So, so, sorry. No words. Laura, you may be the most real person I have ever known. Hold on to Jesus for all you are worth during this hardest of times. xoxo

  77. He most certainly is sitting right there loving y’all through this. I don’t know you and I won’t even pretend to understand how you are feeling.

    I do however understand loving God but not really liking him. Trauma is painful and people don’t know how to help or bring comfort so sometimes words aren’t thought about before they are spoken. Such as being Gods plan. That is not my God.

    My God is a loving God. We live in a broken world and that is why there is pain and suffering. Not because God thought this was the right time. I do believe that God knows what will happen in our lives. Since our world is broken and man has free will, that is why bad happens. God can’t take free will away from one man and not take it away from all. It is our duty as humans to spread God’s love. I refuse to believe that my God is a God of pain. I choose to believe that my God is there to help put the pieces back together. I believe that my God is of light and love. I believe that my God uses brokenness.

  78. Margaret says:

    I can offer you no comforting platitudes, because they are meaningless. I simply send you and all of your family hugs and prayers. (((xxx)))

  79. This is f*cking hard right now and throat punch anyone who says stupid things. I cannot begin to imagine your grief. Much love and prayers. I am so sorry.

  80. “Cruel joke” I find it interesting that you use those words. It is exactly what I felt when my son died. I am lifting you up in prayer tonight. I say fight it out with God. He can take it. And you will grow closer to Him as a result. I am so so sorry. I would never have corrected any one who said something dumb after my sons death. But I definitely know the things I would never ever say to someone else that I may have said in the past.

  81. Sometimes I wish I would have had the courage to say exactly how I felt about dumbass things people say. They usually mean no harm,but still. It hurts. Again I am so so sorry!

  82. I’m so sorry.
    my heart hurts for you.
    “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

  83. You are amazing! In your grief, which it hurts me just to think about, you and your family are touching so many people! Lord, please give them peace, Your peace that passes all understanding.

  84. Heather N says:

    Those pictures of Everett…they are so beautiful. HE is so beautiful. Still praying for your family.

  85. God is big and God is loving… and he understands your grief ….he can take your truth !! God bless !!! Continuing to pray for you and yours!!

  86. You have it all right! Yes He’s big enough to take all of this and He isn’t leaving. This, my sister in Christ, is complete, utter and desperate submission to our Father.

    YES YES YES. Totally agree with you this was NOT “God’s plan” for this precious little boy to die at age 3. Please throat punch the next person who even alludes to that. Or message me and I will come donit for you.

    I continue to say I’m so sorry. So very sorry. I cannot begin to imagine your pain. I care. I continue to speak your names in prayer to our Father God.

  87. And PS. I have cussed (not the same as cursed) God and I believe that’s submission too. If He knows our thoughts well then He knows anyway if we’re saying “Dammit God, why?” So if we speak that to Him instead of holding it in, we’re laying it down my friend. At His feet. Keep on doing that. Our path of grief was different than yours but I too questioned EVERYTHING I had ever been taught or believed of God. And you know what? He met me there. In that pit

  88. First I want to say one thing… I had to change your husband’s diaper when I was about 9 and I am still not happy about it. And the same day was informed by all four Kelley kids that the word “shutup” was not allowed. (Then they told on me). Second, I have never met you but I love the Kelley family so much, I kinda feel like I know you. Third, I hope and pray I don’t get punched in the throat. Fourth, I am so sorry for the loss of your little boy. I can’t imagine what you all are going through. And you all are in my prayers.

    I read your post today and, like everyone else, I want the “magic cure words” to help with the pain.. even just a little. I can’t find them. I also can’t figure out why a lot of things happen in this world. Or why a God that can speak a pladapus into existence, or tell a storm to “shutup”, would allow horrible things to happen. Especially after the people who love him, beg Him to fix it. Very confusing.

    But as I was reading your post I was thinking about the people that have similar struggles, similar hurts and similar sufferings that need the hope of knowing they are not alone. And I am thankful for your voice, for your love of God, and for the future emotional healing that I know will take place for you and your family… if not hear on this dirt ball planet, then at the heavenly reunion.

    Again, I am so sorry for your loss, for the pain, for the stupid things people say (which I HOPE I have not fallen into that category), and for this way to long post.

    You and your family will be in my prayers.

  89. Grace greene says:

    So many prayers for y’all. I’m sorry you’re having to walk this road.

  90. Debbie Fisher says:

    I am so sorry. I understand stupid things people say. Today is the 21st anniversary of losing my twins. 21 years and it’s still hard and it still hurts. You never forget and don’t let anyone tell you different.

    I understand, loving and not liking and I believe Jesus is okay with that. He wants us to be honest and that is honest.

    I’ve been praying for you and your sweet family and what I do know, is that through all this hard, God gives us the strength for each moment.

  91. Praying for you all. Thank you for sharing.

  92. Michelle Johnson says:

    I am so sorry for you and your family- reading your story brought me to tears, and I am not a crier. I am, however, a mom who has also lost a child- my daughter died in a car accident at age 11, and it has affected our lives more than anything else has. I don’t think I took a full breath the first year, and I also was very mad at God for NOT saving her when I felt he could have. I stopped going to church for awhile also, just because I couldn’t bring myself to worship when I was so angry. We have a right to be angry, but God will wait for you.
    Please be patient with yourself and give yourself lots of mercy.

  93. Kelly Beaty says:

    It DOES effen suck. Oh my gosh it sucks.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. For your pain. For … everything. I 100% understand loving God and not liking Him very much. Someday I will meet my granddaughter, River, in Heaven. Why didn’t you heal her, God? I know you could have. Why didn’t you? I trust You, Lord. I know You love me, and you loved River more than I will ever know. And I know that someday I will see her face to face. But I hurt. I long to know her. I have at long last found a place where it is well with my soul. But it still hurts. And I don’t like it. And I never will.

    Dear sweet Laura, I pray you find yourself in a place where it is well with your soul, and that it doesn’t take as long as it did for me. You and your family remain in my prayers.

  94. Just stopping by and I was really touched by your words. I wanted to say that I’m praying for you. The impossible job of keeping your kids going while you try to grieve, remember and carry on after such a huge loss… I can’t imagine. Keep grabbing onto His robes and tuck yourself in tight- He is helping you get through this and He won’t let the waves go over your head. His mercies are made new every morning, even when the nights are long and hard. Jesus bring Your Peace and let it reign in their hearts, strong and heavy Peace to take the place of all the heaviness. Bring them joy in rememberance: and grant this Momma a remnant that she can keep until she sees her fellah again… Sending love and prayers Momma!

  95. Thank you for your honesty. I cannot imagine all the emotions, but I love how you trust that Jesus welcomes all of them. Praying for y’all!

  96. Jen GoRdon says:

    so many of us are hurting with you and asking why to the Big Guy above. BUT there is one thing for that I am certain… Don’t ask yourselves if you made the right decision about taking Everett for surgery… YOU MADE THE BEST DECISION THAT YOU KNEW HOW AT THAT TIME! And, I mean that! You did what you could and most importantly, you have that little boy a great life in the time you were given! Sending hugs and always lifting up your family in prayer constantly! (PS One day at a time – I received this advice once and I love to pas it on because it really helps!)

  97. Someone brought some Nothing Bundt Cakes to a get together this weekend and I thought of and prayed for you. This is the first time I’ve tried one and you are right, they’re delicious! I had the cinnamon swirl.
    I pray that you (all) will have moments of goodness and peace among the grief, like the first bite of a bundt cake. Eventually there will be more good moments than awful ones.

  98. can you please email me your address? We have some love we are sending your way..thanks

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