What to Say, What to Feel, When a Cousin’s Newborn Leaves Us?

Emotions are hard to put into words, especially in the moment of feeling overwhelmed.  Learned my cousin AnSun’s newborn daughter Kaitlan Senna Wang just passed away.  Here’s what they wrote of her on Facebook:

“Baby Kaitlan was born on March 30, 2013 and suffered from apnea and seizures which caused her to be admitted into the NICU @ Orange Coast Memorial Hospital. 10 days later, after failing to find a diagnosis, she was transferred to CHOC Hospital in Orange, where she underwent an extensive battery of testing. For 5 weeks, she fought so bravely as the drs and specialists continued to search tirelessly for answers. Last friday, May 10, she was finally diagnosed w/ a very rare metabolic disorder, and drs explained that she would not live past infancy. She spent her last 6 days with mommy and daddy by her bedside sharing loving cuddles and kisses around the clock. Last night, on May 16, we sent our angel Kaitlan, back to Heaven to be w/ the Lord, our God. She is finally free and no longer suffering and we are comforted in knowing that she is now in a better place…in Heaven. May she rest in peace forever and we look forward to being reunited w/ her someday in God’s Kingdom.”

Can’t help but feel deep sorrow for AnSun and his little family.  I’m sure whatever sorrow I’m feeling is nothing compared to what he and his wife Michelle are feeling and have felt as parents, being alongside their baby girl through her short, tough stay in mortality.  What do I say to comfort them?  Maybe the more important question is whether trying to comfort them is what they need?  Or just feel with them what we as human beings should feel when a loved one goes first beyond the veil?  There is a time and season for everything.  Right now, it’s time for grieving.  All I could say was I wish I could’ve known little Kaitlan.  Spent some time with her.  She’s family.

And I don’t know how to express that families are forever.  An impression, a feeling came over me, though.  That Kaitlan is doing great.  Not only that, but I told my cousin what I felt, which was this girl not only WILL BE but IS a part of their family.  She’ll be a constant angel around each of them, and I pray they’ll know to experience her in their lives.  It is one thing to wish or hope to see each other in the eternities, and another to know with a sure feeling right here, right now.

The best I could come up with is telling them ”

obviously she’s a strong and courageous girl

you just had to let her go a bit early to do her own thing
pray and talk to her. she’ll know

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