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Linnea Lomax: Heaven

September 8, 2012

I got some bad news today; More than bad. I got some heart wrenching, nausea inducing, want to cry your eyes out and never stop kind of news today.

On June 26th, our dear friends’ eldest daughter Linnea Lomax went missing. For over two months her family and friends have fervently searched for her. Many kind hearted people have helped with the search including the Klaas Foundation, which focuses on helping families find missing children in honor of Polly Klaas. The Klaas Foundation and Polly’s dad helped the Lomaxes to perform very organized searches of the brush areas near where Linnea dissapeared. In their first organized search, they found Linnea’s notebook. Today, September 7th, the search party found the remains of Linnea; my dear friend’s daughter is dead.

I don’t really know where to go from here. I am hurting and trying to stuff it down because crying makes my kids upset and I don’t know how to explain why I am crying to them. I am trying to figure that out right now; how to explain that someone precious is gone. We have been searching for Linnea. My kids have helped me put up posters and have yelled: “There she is! There is Lenneala (or Bennaela if Aurora is yelling)!” every time they see her picture on Facebook. They know we love her.

I have two kids. Joshua is 5 and Aurora is 3. We talk about death a lot because Joshua began asking about death when he was 3. Somehow Joshua became aware that everything dies and he would cry and tell me that he didn’t want to die. He didn’t want to lose his body. He didn’t want to go to be with a God who was both male and female and infinitely huge and small and just super weird (in his words). This conundrum of dealing with his fear of death went on until we talked to him about the Bible’s promise of a new body when we die, so he may lose his body to death but when he got to heaven, God would give him a new one. He instantly exclaimed: “I want mine to be a dinosaur!” and that was it. He was completely accepting of death and has been since then because he knew that Heaven was going to be AWESOME! He was going to walk around in his dinosaur body and play with his dinosaur friends and he became stoked and excited for this new life.

Sometimes I forget that Christians are supposed to be excited for death. We are supposed to trust that God is good and will hook us up when we get there so when our loved ones go to Him, it’s ok. We’ll miss them but it’s ok. They are in a “better place.”

Today, I am not excited for death. I am just sad. Sad that Linnea will not be brightening any more rooms with her smile. Sad that her family won’t be able to hold her here in Earth again. Super sad.  But I don’t want my sadness to make my little Joshua once again feel that death is a bad thing to be feared and hated because he WILL experience it. Everybody dies and we have to find some kind of beauty in this inevitable part of life.

I need to have a conversation at some point with both Joshua and Aurora, but especially with Joshua. Here is how the conversation plays out in my mind:

Me: “Joshua I have to tell you why I am sad. We just found out that nobody could find Linnea because she had gone to Heaven and I am going to miss her.”

Joshua: “But how do you know that she went there?”

Me: “Well people found her old body which she left behind on Earth so that God could give her a new body in Heaven.”

Joshua: “What kind of body does she have now?”

Me: “I don’t know. What kind do you think?”

And then the imaginations of Joshua and Aurora would run rampant because they always do when we talk about the kind of bodies we will have in our next world. Joshua would say: “Mermaid!” Aurora might yell: “Fairy!” And Sean and I could smile and picture our dear Linnea in Heaven diving though the waves or flitting around with her fairy wings. Maybe for a moment the innocence of our children would lift the heavy pain we are carrying right now as we deal with not having Linnea here on Earth with us. We love her family dearly and we share in their hurts. This hurts a lot.

God told us to have faith like children and when I tell my children that some book written thousands of years ago says Heaven is going to rock, they believe me. I don’t even believe me most of the time, but they do. I read the words but still live my life in fear and without faith that the words are true. My kids just believe. If I truly believed, I would not be the stress case that I am most days.

My dad has always said that children are for the parents and not the other way around. Parents learn and change because of what our kids teach us and we seem to think that we are teaching them. How arrogant are we?!

My kids believe that Heaven is a good place and that Linnea is there in a new, totally awesome body because I told them that is what the Bible says and it really does. I want to believe like they do and so I will. These are the moments where those of us who have a faith grab hold of that faith firmly, like a lifeline thrown to someone who is drowning. I will believe and I will cling to my Jesus and His words because dammit, He is the only one that helps this tragedy bearable.

My relationship with Jesus is the only relationship that is completely healthy when I am totally dependent; He is the only one I know about whom I can really say: “I need Him. I would not be able to go on without Him” and it does not mean I am a weak person.

Today my faith is strong because I need it to be. I am so very weak in my grief that there is no strength to argue with theology; right now, I just need Jesus and right now, I just believe Him. In my weakness, God really is my strength and His words of Heaven being a place with no pain or death really does feel like cool water on my tormented, burning heart.

Linnea we are going to miss you so terribly much here in Earth, but my girl, you go and be something new and incredible in Heaven. We will all see you soon enough.


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  1. Curt permalink

    Hope the talk with the kids goes something like you imagine. I remember having that conversation with Sean when his grandfather died.

    • Thanks Uncle Curt. I haven’t talked to them yet. Too many tears this morning but soon. Hope you are holding up ok. Love.

  2. Melissa Whitten permalink

    So sorry Amy. Love you. ♥

  3. Teresa farrell permalink

    We’re so sorry, Amy & Sean. We all prayed for a different ending, but she is with Jesus now. You will be able to talk with your children when the time is right. You are very insightful and sensitive! Love to you all!

    • Thank you Terri. The talk with the kids went well and continues each day as they have more questions. I appreciate your love and prayers.

  4. Michelle (Beth's mom) permalink

    I foe loss.

  5. mariemoffatt permalink

    It’s good to read you Amy. Thanks for sharing your heart. Even though i didn’t know her, it is a very sad story and she will be missed by so many, but like you said it so well she is rockin’ out a new body hanging out with Jesus in paradise. I believe she is stoked!

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