43 days.

I’ll never forget the light that filled our house the day we brought Locke home from the hospital.  Our large windows always fill our home with happy sunlight in the evening.. but that day it was different.  It was warmer..  like the light wasn’t coming from the windows at all, but instead it was just there.  During our six weeks with Locke his sweet soul showed us the treasure of life.  His eyes held peace and wisdom that imprinted his heart onto ours, even now that he is gone.  True to his entrance into the world, he left us with a calm understanding that what we were witnessing was nothing short of a miracle.  His 43 days blessed more lives than most do in 100 years, and how lucky we were to be part of his story.


This week has undoubtedly been the hardest yet.  The pain that comes with saying goodbye to a child is unfathomable.. waking up each day feels like a small miracle.. we have made it one more day.  Before losing Locke I had always heard that grief comes in waves, and five days later I can tell you how real the currents of that deep sea are.  We are swaying with the tides, holding tightly to eachother.

Reflecting on this journey is very surreal as we close the last chapter on a book that will never really end.  The reality is we live in a world where nothing has value.. when something is broken we throw it away and get a new one.  At twenty weeks we sat in an office and had the option to stop everything right there.  To start over.  To pretend nothing had ever happened, because what we had was medically speaking “broken”.  His body was deemed “incompatible with life”.

Sitting now, at the very end of this journey, I can tell you that I have no regrets.  I can tell you that if you gave me the choice between a perfectly healthy baby that I could spend a lifetime with or six weeks with Locke… I would choose him.  I would choose this little soul that was more compatible with life than imaginable.  I would go through this unbearable pain a million times for those six weeks.  In our condolences I keep hearing, “you may not understand why…” but I do.  The only thing that is mending my broken heart is that I so clearly do understand why God gave us Locke, and why six weeks was all he needed.

Before being pregnant with Locke I was afraid of nearly everything.  I clutched Adelynn with white knuckles… so afraid of what loss might feel like.  You see, when you love with wild abandonment you risk everything.  You put your heart in a very vulnerable place where you are forced to either trust that God is enough, or your heart is filled with fear.  This was my lesson.   Where there is faith, there is no room for fear.   Fear tapped on my door every single step of this journey.  Every single day I had to consciously decide to place that fear in the palm of God’s hand instead of letting it swallow me whole.. and greater than fear he has placed peace in my heart.  I know that Locke was here to teach us all, to give us life.  To shift our eyes, to open our hearts.  To teach us about love, and for me… to forever shake away the fear that comes with being brave in love.  And for that, I can wake up every day for the rest of my life knowing why.  His life was not in vain.. and neither is the pain left in his wake.

My sweet boy.. you made me brave.  


If you are able, please come celebrate Locke’s life with us this Saturday.  We would love nothing more than to share the joy of his life with you, and to thank you for being part of his story.






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16 Responses to 43 days.

  1. Mare Mare says:

    You and Josh are amazing people. You have truly felt God’s blessing and walked an incredible journey with him and Locke. I love you!

  2. Ali says:

    My heart aches for you all in your grief. Thank you for sharing with all of us all of the bravery and faith that Locke has brought to you.

  3. Sarah Abernethy says:

    What a wonderful son he was. He came into the world, took his mommy by the hand, and lead her through fear to peace. I absolutely love your words and wisdom on this. Locke was a beautiful Angel. God bless you and your family. Everyone continues to be in my prayers.

  4. Kim Bays says:

    As I read this with tears rolling down my face I realize that I have been following a complete gift from God. I have never seen such pure strength from a mother and her family. This has and will always have touched my heart and this beautiful boy will never be forgotten. It’s not every day you get to follow a story with such beauty. God Bless you and may you feel peace.

  5. Brooke says:

    Beautiful post. Locke and your words have made me think about fear differently. Thank you.

    God bless you and your family.

  6. Erin says:

    I’ve been following your journey and words (and found the blog because I knew Sticky in high school)- Locke and your wisdom have made me view my own fears in a new way, and have encouraged me to replace them with faith. He truly was here to teach us all. God bless your family!

  7. Shelley says:

    Always a few tears as I read but so blessed by every word, written and unspoken. <3 Shelley

  8. Lisa Matthews says:

    Shannon and Josh, thank you for sharing Locke and his life with us. I will be forever grateful for the chance to look into his wise and calm eyes and know the feeling of peace and pure love. Your words tell more than a story. Your beautiful writing conveys the depths of so many emotions – love ,fear,faith,hope,elation, sadness- and gratitude. You have inspired so many, given and received love from so many (some you don’t even know personally ) and you have been blessed with a gift of touching hearts. You and Josh have amazed me with your openness and acceptance of the bad as well as the good. Your attitude comes from your faith that all will be the way it needs to be. You know for certain that your baby boys pupose was accomplished and he is at peace and has been loved for a lifetime….all in 43 days. I will never forget this beautiful boy- Locke Everson Maxey.

  9. kerri kiracofe says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose a child. But you always remember your time that you were able to spend with him!!

  10. NIcky says:

    Dear Brave, wonderful parents of Locke, thank you for sharing this beautiful, grace-filled story with us. I am so blessed by your bravery and courage, and your eagerness to love in a way that reflects God’s love for us.I cannot fathom the pain and the hurt you are going through right now, my heart, as a mother, goes out to you and I weep with you over the loss of your precious, precious boy. May strength, perseverance, hope and even peace, be yours in Christ as you move forward. With love from a South African Mama xxx

  11. Frank Rogers says:

    As a parent my heart breaks for your loss. As a Christian, reading your words inspire my soul and give me renewed strength. My God continue to bless your family so others might be enlightened.

  12. Rick Keys says:

    as a dad and papaw to two amazing granddaughters I cannot imagine your grief. I admire Locke and your family and the devotion you all had to this tiny miracle. Thank you so much for sharing his amazing life with us.

  13. Lauren says:

    I’ve been following your story, and I just want to express how much I appreciate you sharing. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so much for such complete strangers – God has used your story in a very powerful way, and I feel like I’m being stretched by it. Your strength is just incredible, and it’s undeniable where it comes from. Thank you for showing the beauty in brokenness. I grieve with you over the loss of this beautiful life; if it provides any solace, at least one person completely unknown to you is better for having watched it from afar.

  14. Katie says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My best friend lost her daughter Grace to Trisomy 10
    ( http://loveletterstograce.wordpress.com/). I am so sorry for your pain but happy that you had such joy in your life, however brief.

  15. SANDY says:

    ijust like to say. I understand. An know that our prayers are with you. We loss our first born, and on his stone we put God’s little Messenger. So many people he touched and life were change due to him. It was God’s plan. An you only know this when you are in God’s will. People have a tendency to forget and go on. But I know there are tough days ahead, little thing will remind you. But I believe in not forget, but remembering the beauty. You are daily in my prayers.