Tag Archives: Susannah

The Empty Spot Left by Susannah, We Care

Today would be Susannah’s 12th birthday. She was Nathan and Melanie’s firstborn daughter who only lived three days. Yet during her life of growing inside her mommy, we all came to love her so much. Little Thumper. The first child, the first grandchild, the first niece, and the first one to leave this earth. Saying good-bye was heart-breaking. Oh how the sobs came, as we let go. Yet, she’s in the most beautiful place ever. Heaven.

Still, there’s an empty spot. One that we will always remember. A daughter/niece/granddaughter who is missing from our physical presence. A gravestone that marks her little life. Pictures and memories. With that loss comes an empathy we’d never had before. One that comes through experiencing that heartache—that deep loss.

So today, while we remember Susannah, we want to tell those of you who are struggling with loss concerning children—we care. Whether it’s infertility, miscarriage, SIDS, or anything else—it hurts—a deep-down, raw hurt.

For those longing for a child, it may seem like everyone else can get pregnant but you. Consider Elisabeth and Zecharias. They were righteous before God. Yet, Elizabeth was barren (Luke 1:7). God used her mightly through the miracle of giving her John.

The “whys” want to spill over, but we can rest in God’s promises. They are sure and true. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

We care about the loss you’re experiencing. Happy birthday, Susannah. It must be a beautiful day in Heaven! “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb … And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:1 and 5).

If you want to see a slideshow of Susannah’s short life, you can find it below (music was written by Joseph, along with the other siblings accompanying).


To Susannah, A Letter From Your Aunt

Dear Susannah,

Today is your 11th birthday. It’s hard to imagine you 11 years old here on earth because my memories of you are as a beautiful one-day-old baby. I think you and Bethany would have looked very similar!

Susannah, we loved you before we even knew you existed. We’d prayed for your daddy and mommy to be given a child for several years, and oh, the joy we felt when they told us about you! The days and weeks passed, a little too slow it seemed, as we were anxious for you to arrive.

One night, while we were away on a ministry trip, we got a midnight call from your daddy, saying they were on their way to the hospital. Mommy was having contractions. How far away Florida felt from Kansas at that moment! During that next month, Mommy was pretty much on bedrest. That didn’t keep you from being as active as ever, and you had well-earned the nickname Thumper.

The day came about a month later. Your birthday. You were so gorgeous: a headful of dark curls, chubby cheeks (even for a preemie!), and tiny, blush-pink lips.

Your time here lasted three short days. Days filled with hope, prayer, tears, and then releasing you to Jesus.

I want to tell you something, Susannah. Your parents are brave. It took courage to face losing their longed-for little girl, to go through grieving, and to hope again. Yet, they did. It was hard, really hard, but they walked courageously, not allowing their grief to overcome them. Eleven years later, God has given them a happy, full home with five more children. But you’re not forgotten. You’re still missed.

You’ve given me a new compassion for those who lose babies. You’ve taught me that weeping may endure for a night, and one’s heart feels like it’s been crushed, but joy comes in the morning. You were created in God’s image, a beautiful, amazing treasure on loan to us for three days.

We love you Susannah, and we can’t wait to see you in Heaven!

Aunt Sarah

“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb… And they
shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And
there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light
of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign
for ever and ever.”

Revelation 22:1&4-5

Susannah’s 9th Birthday

Nine years ago today, Nathan and Melanie welcomed their first born daughter, Susannah, into the world. She had been a long-awaited child. But when Susannah was born, the doctors were mystified because she never moved or opened her eyes. She only lived three days before she left us and went to be with Jesus. We miss her, but we know the separation is only temporary.

For those of you who have lost little ones, please know we understand. Don’t think your pain is unnatural. Loss is hard, oh, so hard! But God’s grace is sufficient. I watched my brother and sister-in-law walk courageously through a devastating time. Every life is precious, and although we don’t have answers, we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.

You’ll find below a slideshow of pictures surrounding her birth. The music is by Joseph, Anna, Jesse, and Mary, and Joseph wrote the lyrics. Even this many years later, the slideshow and music still brings me to tears. Susannah was so sweet.

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren,
concerning them 
which are asleep, that ye sorrow not,
even as others which have no

hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose
again, even so them

also which sleep in Jesus will God
bring with him.”

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

Remembering My Niece, Susannah Maxwell

Eight years ago today, Susannah made her entrance into the world. But it was only a short one.

Susannah was a perfect baby, with her soft, wavy brown hair, pudgy nose, chubby cheeks, and sweet little ears. She never opened her eyes to see her daddy and mommy. Instead, the first face she beheld was Jesus’ as she entered the gates of Heaven at 3 days old—never to experience sorrow here on earth.

We know many of you have lost babies, and we want to tell you that we care—that our hearts ache with yours. Every child is precious, and the pain of a loss is difficult. I watched my brother and sister-in-law walk the path of losing their first-born. It was hard, very hard, yet it has given me a greater compassion for those grieving.

The separation with Susannah is only temporary. I love this word picture in Revelation 22. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Imagine how beautiful heaven is!

Jesus loves little children as noted in Matthew 19:14: “. . . Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

We’re reposting the music slideshow from last year. Joseph, Anna, Jesse, and Mary recorded it and added a bridge to this recent version.


“And there shall be no night there; and they need
no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God
giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 22:5

Susannah Joy’s Lullaby with Love

Susannah, Nathan and Melanie’s first little girl, was born March 21st and went to be with Jesus March 24th. To read more of the background, see last year’s post.

It’s been on Joseph’s heart to re-record the lullaby he wrote for Susannah’s funeral. He didn’t want to just redo it; he wrote a bridge in addition for the song.  We know the deep ache many have felt as they’ve gone through the loss of a precious child, and we hope this song will minister to you. We all miss Susannah, yet we know this separation is only temporary.

And we can’t wait to meet you, when we see you at Heaven’s gates. 

vocals by Anna, Mary, and Joseph Maxwell
guitar by Joseph Maxwell
bass by Mary Maxwell
keyboard by Jesse Maxwell

“And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there …
but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Revelation 21:25&27

With Love and Gratitude From Melanie

Dear Friends,

Thank you for the love and support you have shown for Nathan and me, our families, and our Susannah. We so appreciate your prayers for us.

This past year has had its difficulties and our hearts have experienced much sorrow. Yet through it all we have experienced God’s faithful, loving care.

You have been a part of His care for us. Your prayer support and kind posts have been such a blessing.

When I was hospitalized and on magnesium sulfate, we heard from you – you were praying for us and our baby. Through the 5 weeks of bed rest you prayed. When Susannah was born, you prayed. As we held her and longed for her to wake up, you prayed. When she left her earthly shell and we returned home with empty arms, you prayed. Even now, 3 months after her birth, I know that some of you are still praying for us. So many times when we haven’t had the strength to pray, you have prayed for us. Thank you!

Many of you also posted that you have gone through similar trials. It helped to know while experiencing the suffocating effects of magnesium sulfate that others had gone through it too (and lived!). While on bed rest I learned from others that had experienced “normal” and “bed rest” pregnancies that I would feel exaggerated symptoms (that made sense). After Susannah was born and all of us were focused on her, many of you thought to ask how I was doing and how the birth was. Nathan and I had just experienced our first birth together – it was a special experience and, praise God, a natural birth. When we left the hospital after Susannah’s death feeling rather lost in the world, I thought, “People will quit praying now.” We got to the hotel room (We weren’t quite ready to go home), and Nathan read the posts to me – you were still praying for us! During the week of Susannah’s visitation service and funeral, you continued to pray, and asked how I was doing physically. I was feeling quite worn out, but God gave the strength for those days just as He had done for the previous ones.

As news of Susannah’s passing reached you all, you shared how you had loved our baby too and that some of you had experienced a similar loss. You cried with us and it meant so very much!

It has now been 3 months since Susannah was born. Life continues. Nathan and I are doing well. I feel pretty much back to normal physically. I haven’t returned to my previous extra activities, but am enjoy keeping house and spending more time with Nathan.

This has been an incredible journey. God has so faithfully cared for us through it all. We praise Him!

With gratitude,