You Cannot Go Back – Tearful Thoughts on Godparents

Last night I hung up the phone after talking to my best friend here and sobbed my heart out.

Let’s back up.

After Jaime died, my cousin whose Mom died the day after Harvey was born recommended signing up for emails from It’s a daily email that comes into my inbox in the middle of the night (so I usually read it at 1am when Harvey is nursing!), and every day is a different message about grief and faith and the whole process. These emails continue for an entire year, and so far I’ve really liked having that little nudge every day to keep moving through the grief process.

I didn’t sign up for the emails right away, so even though Jaime died 68 days ago, last night’s email was Day 31 – You Cannot Go back.

Remember the good times; cherish the memories, but live each day moving forward. Focus your thoughts on what is before you and how you are going to get there.

“I often tell people that there are three stages you need to think about: You can’t go back. You can’t stay here. You must go forward,” says Dr. Ray Pritchard. “There may be some good things in the past that you wish you could go back to, but in the end you have to let those go.”

God’s Word speaks to you clearly: “I have set before you life … now choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Yes, Lord, I do choose life. Amen.

That email came at the perfect time.

Stella's Baptismal GownThis weekend is Harvey’s baptism, and at first we weren’t even sure we were going to designate Godparents for him. For Stella we chose my sister Emma & her husband and Charlie’s brother & his wife. This time around we were feeling conflicted about who to ask, not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings, and just feeling a little…blah…about it all since Jaime died. The more we talked about it though, the more I realized I really did want the symbolism of choosing Godparents for Harvey. We decided to ask my sister Emma & her husband again (Emma will be here today!), but we were unsure if we should ask anyone else. In retrospect, I realize that’s because in my heart of hearts I wanted to ask Jaime, and obviously we couldn’t.

Charlie brought up asking our best friends here to be the other set of Godparents (you don’t have to have 2 sets, it’s just what felt right to us), and I agreed that it was a good idea. Last night I gave my friend a call to broach the subject and ask if she’d be interested. She and I have never really talked about religious matters before, so I told her I wasn’t sure where she & her husband stood on God and faith, but that we wanted to designate Godparents for Harvey that we felt would love and raise our child like we would — who would teach him about living a life full of love and respect and faith in God. Because we’ve never talked about these matters before I asked her to talk about it with her husband last night and then come over tonight to grill and chat about things. She got all choked up, said she was honored to be asked, and said “I love you” before we hung up the phone. I choked out “I love you too” and then collapsed into sobs as I hit end on the call.

I am so deeply blessed to have a friend like her to call. She dropped everything when Jaime died and spent the entire week at our house, cooking meals, taking care of the kids, and helping out with anything we needed.

It just sucks that she even had to do that. I destroys my heart that I wasn’t hanging up from asking Jaime to be Harvey’s Godmother. And sometimes it all just hurts so, so much that we can’t go back.



  1. mcmissis · · Reply


  2. lparsons15 · · Reply

    Hugs, Ugh this just so sad.

  3. I am just so, so sorry.

  4. This made me cry. I’m so sorry Josie.

  5. Oh hon 😢 I’m so glad of the support but so sad she’s not there

  6. Gosh, your posts often bring tears to my eyes, but most importantly, they make me think. Thanks for that!

  7. You are ao blessed to have such wonderful family and friends to help support you through this horrible loss. Hugs.

  8. I like the idea of getting those daily emails when dealing with grief. I bet so many of them can tie into people’s lives and really speak to them. I hope the weekend went well for you and Jamie was present in many ways.

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