A Letter to My Son in Heaven

Guest Post by Rebecca Whitbey for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Posted by Nancy Lee on September 28, 2023

Please welcome guest, Rebecca Whitbey. I first interviewed her in February, only nine months after her precious full-term baby boy was born into heaven. Rebecca was eager to share her story of heartbreak, faith, and hope. Her vision in sharing her story is to keep the memory of her son alive and to help others experiencing such a loss. “A Letter to My Son in Heaven” is one of several stories Rebecca has written and published on her blog and a perfect tribute for “Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.” 

The story I wrote about Rebecca, “Rebecca Whitbey: Learning to Trust After Loss,” will appear in my upcoming book, The Gift of Life: True Inspirational Stories of Hope and Healing amid Adoption, Infant Loss, and Unexpected Pregnancies.

“I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord”
(1 Samuel 1:27-28 ESV)

To My Sweet Memphis Keith,

Today, I should be almost 39 weeks pregnant with you. Your incessant kicking should still be driving me crazy at this point. I would be whining to your dad about how much I was over being pregnant—even though I secretly loved it. He knows it too, so he would just remind me that I asked for this.

You see, every time your dad and I pictured our future, you were there. We knew we wanted you. I’ve always wanted two boys and a little girl thrown in there somewhere.

I’ll admit that I was surprised to find out you were going to be a boy. My pregnancy with you was completely different than your brother’s. Your brother’s was difficult, but yours was a breeze. Your dad was probably impressed at my lack of complaining throughout this pregnancy with you. So when blue powder came out of the top of Grampy's big truck, I about fell over. I was so sure you were going to be a girl.

Once the shock wore off, and I had resigned myself to the fact that pink was not going to be in my future any time soon, I got really excited to meet you. To have two little boys running around the house together.

I dreamed of Dad teaching you to love the outdoors just like Maverick does, especially throwing rocks and playing in mud puddles. You wouldn’t be afraid to get dirty—and that’s something that you’d get from your dad. You’d probably be little, but you would be brave. And I know your personality would be huge. Your dad and I would teach you to be kind, respectful, and humble; though I’m sure at times, you would be bull-headed (something else that comes from your dad). Your grandparents would laugh and remind us we were paying for our raising. Speaking of grandparents—you’d be lucky enough to grow up with the best ones ever, all nearby, a blessing that we’d make sure you understood and appreciated.

We dreamed of the relationship you would form with your brother. Your dad and I would raise you to understand that siblings make the very best friends. You would love your big brother and look up to him in so many ways, and he would love you. He wouldn’t share his toys at first, but I know he would eventually come around. He would protect you and teach you things. Maverick would teach you to love books and trucks and that Cars is the greatest movie ever. He would also teach you how a little persistence and whining goes a long way in getting Grammy, Grampy, and Mimi to do whatever you want them to. 

He would teach you how to be fearless, too, and to show compassion and kindness, even at the little age of two. I have no doubt you would have grown up to be two peas in a pod. I know you two would look just alike. Even when you were born, you two shared the same nose and lips. You and Maverick got the best of Dad and I. Without even seeing your eyes, I already know they are a beautiful shade of blue because we have some strong genes in this family.

Writing this hurts my heart, but I know you’re in the happiest place—a place I can’t even begin to comprehend or understand. I can’t help but wish that you were here with me. For some reason that I’ll never know, God chose us to give you up so soon. I wish that wasn’t so hard to accept. It does bring me comfort to know that you never experienced pain or sadness—only love and warmth. 

I have peace in knowing that I will not fear for you. I will never have to shelter you from evil or watch you suffer from things of this earthly world. I will never have to try and mend your broken heart or worry for your soul. My heart clings to the fact that the first thing your eyes saw was the face of Jesus, and when you take your first steps, it’ll be on streets of gold.

I just pray that you can feel my love and know just how wanted you were, because you absolutely were. As your mother, I pray that I live my life well, striving always to follow in Christ’s footsteps and clinging ever so tightly to His promises, so that I can hold you someday. I love you, sweet boy. Your dad loves you, and we long for the day we get to see you again.

More about Rebecca: Rebecca and her husband, Justin, are the parents of two little boys, and two children in heaven. Rebecca serves as her Church Secretary at the same church in Clinton, Arkansas, she has attended since she was 12 years old. Rebecca grew up in the youth group and quickly began serving in the children's ministry. Rebecca has been involved in local and international mission trips including reservation work in Montana, and school ministry in Kenya, Africa.  After losing her son, Memphis Whitbey, at 38 weeks pregnant in May 2022, she has passionately pursued connecting with other grieving mamas and spreading the word of grieving with hope within her community.

You can connect with Rebecca through her blog by clicking here.

If you or someone you know has experienced infant loss, Rebecca recommends you check out the Cradled in Hope podcast by Ashley Opliger from Bridget's Cradles.

Another Resource: A New Day, a service of Care Net Pregnancy Center of Central New York, provides counseling for anyone who has experienced a reproductive loss, including a loss due to abortion, you can reach  the New Day team at 315-525-6986 or nancy@carenetcny.org.

Reference: This post first appeared on Rebecca's Blog (https://rebeccawhitbey.home.blog/2022/05/27/a-letter-to-my-son-born-into-heaven/), Used by permission.

More stories about Infant Loss:

Debbie Allen's Journey with Trisomy-13: Finding Peace by Surrendering to God

Nancy Gaiser: Living Out Her Daughter's Legacy

Julie Wilson: Hope in Choosing Life Amid Uncertainty