Missing Our Daughter, Hannah Elizabeth Diaso
The day the music died is the refrain from Don McLean’s song, American Pie. For some reason that is the song I often think of when I think of the day the music died for us, when our daughter, Hannah moved to heaven. I always make a point of it to visit the cemetery where Hannah is buried on this day, the day she died, October 18 (which is the day I wrote this post).
We like to say that Hannah moved to heaven, which softens the blow. Yet it is also true to say that she died. As King David said of his young child who died, that he would go to see him one day, but that his child would not return to him. That’s the reality and finality of death, which is hard to swallow at times.
I’m writing this post while I’m at the cemetery near Hannah’s place of burial.
It’s hard to believe that today marks 5 years since Hannah graduated to heaven.
When I think of Hannah’s life and death I realize it has changed me. The trauma of losing Hannah at such a young age, she was only 22, has caused me to grapple with life. It made me desperate for answers. Desperate for a deeper and more intimate relationship with my Heavenly Father. I’ve gotten to know Papa God and His love in ways that I hadn’t experienced before. That makes me sad, because at least on an emotional level it doesn’t seem like it should have taken the death of my daughter to get me to this place. It is something that I ponder. Why is it that heart wrenching loss causes us to cling to God? I know the Bible speaks frequently to the subject of suffering, and yet there is some degree of mystery to it.
God created the world perfect and without death, so it is only after man sinned that death entered the world. Death is horrible in that sense. I never realized how terrible death was until I had to deal with it in such an up close and personal way.
All of Creation Groans for the Day of Redemption
Thankfully God has a solution in Christ! One of my favorite passages can be found in Romans 8, which says,
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”Romans 8:22-23 ESV
I think that accurately describes not only our hearts, but that all of creation groans for the day of our redemption. I pray and trust the Lord for His redemption and restoration of all that we’ve lost.
I hate that it took something as tragic as my own daughter’s death to wake me from my slumber. Maybe that is an exaggeration, but it’s how I feel. I am more awake now.
I can’t say that I have it all figured out yet, but I do know that I’m hungry for more. More of the Father, more of Jesus and more of the Spirit. I want more of the Father’s presence and more of His great and mighty work in my life and in the life of my family. I long for more fruit in our life and ministry. Also, I pray for a greater healing in my life and in the life of each member of my family.
What Does God Have in Store for Us?
When I think about Hannah, I wish I could have had more time with her. We had a very special, and a very close father – daughter relationship. I remember in the last year or two of Hannah’s life she told me, “We are going to go far in this world, aren’t we Dad?” It makes me ache when I think about it. I don’t know what to do with that and other unrealized dreams. I would have loved the opportunity to go far – to accomplish great things with my beautiful daughter. Maybe somehow it is prophetic and speaks of what Jesus will do, it will just look different than I thought.
One of the areas where Dawn and I have seen God’s hand at work since Hannah moved to heaven is that He’s brought a number of special young people into our lives. It brings tears to my eyes when I think about it. Those relationships keep expanding and growing deeper. There are so many people in need of a father and a mother. As I’ve mentioned in past posts a number of the pastors and leaders that we minister with in Latin America refer to Dawn and me as dad and mom. Of course, that doesn’t replace the hole left by Hannah, but it shows us that God is still alive He is still at work. He is redeeming and restoring in His goodness and His grace.
Just as Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20 ESV – emphasis mine). God can turn around those things that our enemy the devil meant to use to destroy us. This gives us hope.
Also, it does make me happy to think one day I will be reunited with my precious daughter. Someone told us recently that those in heaven celebrate the day they graduated from the earth, because now they are with the Father. There is no more sorrow, no more suffering or pain. There is truly much to celebrate, it’s just not so easy to see that from our vantage point. So I will choose to trust in the love of my Papa God. I trust that He has a good plan for my family and for me.
Extend Your Hands to Help!
As I mentioned in this post the Lord has extended our family. We give thanks for His mighty and powerful work in this way. Yet, our familia that lives on the Big Island are suffering through the worst economic collapse that their country has gone through since 1990. They have very little food, basic goods and medicine. The prices of what is available have skyrocketed. You can give to help our familia in memory of our daughter, Hannah. Extend your hands to help today by clicking on the button below.
In His Grip, Dave