“What Could Have Been” Dilemma

From the Depths of Sorrow is a series in which I reveal my heart and personal journey through my grief. Our son, William, passed away at age 11 months and 10 days on April 24, 2012. He is dearly missed by everyone in our family and we hope to live a life worthy of reuniting with him and our first child that we lost through miscarriage.

What Could Have Been Dilemma

When a loved one dies it is quite natural to ponder the experiences and life events that will never be accomplished.  It can be a source of great pain to dwell on missed opportunities.  One night my daughter was feeling this pain as she considered all that William did not get to do in life.  I shared with her my two thoughts on this dilemma.

1.  It is true there are many things he will never do.  He will never get married, graduate from high school, play a musical instrument, or make a scientific discovery.  There is also a list of things I am grateful that he will never do.  Here are a few:

Use his hands to pinch, hit, or push

Disobey his parents

Argue with his siblings

Say hurtful words to another

Offend God

Lose his faith

We smiled as we thought about all the things that we were glad William would never do! 

2.  My son lived 11 months and 10 days. I feel he lived his entire life-all that he was given.  I don’t feel cheated. He was never meant to do any of those things. You can’t miss out on something that was never meant to be done.

I described it to my daughter this way-  When a dog dies the owners are sad.  They don’t lament the fact that the dog never climbed a tree, had kittens, or meowed.  He was a dog and was never meant to do any of those things.  I feel the same about William.  He was a baby that lived less than a year out of the womb and did everything he was able to do with his God given abilities.  When his time was over he didn’t leave anything behind undone.  There isn’t a woman out there that he was supposed to marry or a vocation that has an empty spot he was supposed to fill.  He lived his life completely! 

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them the days that were formed for me when as yet there was none of them.


You Lived Every Day of Your Life

by Veronica Wallace


No need to ask what you would have done

No need to consider things left undone

You did it all from beginning to end

Each moment you had, God did send

And now that there are no more days

Left in your earthly life to stay

Your task complete, your mission done

Your eternal life has now begun

I will celebrate William’s birthday and I will know what age he would be as time passes.  I will wonder what he would have looked like as he grew and what would have been his favorites.  I hope to not dwell on “What Could Have Been” but rather enjoy the memories of “What Was”. 


  1. Still praying for you. It is evident that God is giving you so much grace to be able to see things in this way. You are a beautiful example of faith and trust.


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