Sunday, August 19, 2012
In late June, we heard terrible news about the tragic loss of our Australian friends' baby boy, Elijah Rainbow. Elijah was just eight weeks younger than Ari and so news of his death shook us to the core.
We met Lauren and David while camping when Lauren was in her final weeks of pregnancy with Elijah. With four gorgeous daughters, they were thrilled to welcome their fifth child, a boy, to their family. We felt an immediate affinity to this nomadic family who were living outside the box and rethinking everything. As a fellow blogger, Lauren writes about their fascinating travel adventures and her family's insights on parenting, unschooling, faith, spirituality and life on her blog, Sparkling Adventures, and we've been following them online ever since we met.
Then I saw Lauren's Facebook post:
“I was so blessed to meet Elijah Rainbow. 26.11.11 – 23.06.12. I love you, little one. Go with God.”
My heart sank into the pit of my belly and all these weeks later it still hasn't quite found it's way back.
Having known this family for only a short time (and being so far away), we've struggled to think of ways we could help. Words seem so feeble and even more so when they can't be delivered with a warm touch or a gentle hug. But, having lost two very important people in my own life, I know that thoughtful sentiments do in fact matter. And so, in the event that kind words and loving thoughts offer even a smidgen of comfort, I've compiled a list of five important things that Elijah experienced in his time here. His life was too short, but knowing his family, I know that the life he lived was good. I've labeled the experiences A through E in honor of the five children (Aisha, Brioni, Calista, Delaney and Elijah) who were, as Lauren says, conveniently born in alphabetical order.
Be it love, food, attention or hospitality from strangers, Elijah's experiences would have shown him that there is always enough to meet ones' needs. And then some.
Surrounded by adoring family and witness to many of Australia and New Zealand's stunning landscapes (not to mention lovely people), Elijah was surrounded by beauty of the purest and most uplifting kind.
Mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together. With four older sisters doting on him, Elijah had a crew of playmates, storytellers and friends always at his side.
Whether referring to the love between a mother and her child or the example set by a family who lives the ideals of their faith, Elijah surely felt secure in both physical and spiritual embraces.
Children know and understand joy in a way that adults, sadly, seem to forget. They seek it out and display it with their whole bodies - wide smiles, bright eyes and jiggling bellies. Elijah too, knew joy and surely served it up in good measure in return. If you were a sling-riding, breastfeeding, co-sleeping baby with adoring sisters and thoughtful, devoted and conscientious parents, you'd be pretty happy too.
Elijah had a good life - of that I am sure. There has been an incredible outpouring of support from around the world for this beautiful family and to the chorus of well wishers I add my own notes of love and support and hope that a whisper of it makes it all the way to Queensland.
Follow the Fishers via the Sparking Adventures blog or Facebook page.
Donate to help the family find its way forward at the My Cause fundraiser site.
Follow Sparkling Elijah Rainbow, a support page on Facebook
Read Eternal Rainbows, an inspiring blog post about lives touched by Elijah and Helping the Hurting, a terrific post by the same author, offering thoughtful tips on comforting the grieving.
Posted by Jennifer McMillin at 9:36 PM