A Little Bird Reminded Me

“A Little Bird Reminded Me,” Ensign, April 2020

Latter-day Saint Voices

A Little Bird Reminded Me

Parents at Grave

Illustration by Carolyn Vibbert

I was 26 when my husband and I lost our first child. Kennedy was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was only 13 months old. After three surgeries, five rounds of chemotherapy, and many medications and treatments, she passed away in our arms at 20 months old.

I was devastated to lose my beautiful, curious, and energetic little girl. How could this happen? How could I move on? I had so many questions, but I didn’t have any answers. A couple of days after the funeral, my husband and I visited the gravesite, still covered with beautiful pink flowers and ribbons from the funeral.

As I thought about my daughter, I saw a tiny baby bird, too young to fly, hopping on the grass. This bird reminded me of Kennedy because she loved animals. The bird hopped over to the grave and played in the ribbons and flowers. I smiled, knowing this is exactly what Kennedy would have wanted. The bird then hopped toward me. I didn’t dare move a muscle. The little bird hopped right next to me, leaned against my leg, closed its eyes, and fell asleep.

I can hardly explain the feelings I had in that moment. I felt as if I was getting a hug from my Kennedy. I could not hold my daughter, but this little bird—a creation of our Father in Heaven—could come and rest its tiny head on me, reminding me that Heavenly Father understood my pain and would always be there to comfort me and help me through this trial.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “When words cannot provide the solace we need … , when logic and reason cannot yield adequate understanding about the injustices and inequities of life, … and when it seems that perhaps we are so totally alone, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord” (“The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Ensign, May 2005, 100).

I still didn’t have all the answers to my questions, but this tender mercy reassured me that Kennedy and I are both loved by our Heavenly Father and that through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, I have the hope that Kennedy, my husband, and I will one day be together again as a family.