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How Our Emergency Fund Gave Us Peace In the Midst of Grief

Note from Crystal: Today is Valentine’s Day and I thought this beautiful post was such a great reminder of the importance of not taking any of our relationships with those we love for granted. In addition, it’s fitting because baby Kyle was due today, on Valentine’s Day.

Testimonial from Kim of Kimz Kitchen

I’ve always been a planner. And when we decided to try for our third little baby back in October of 2011, we knew we should begin setting aside cash for our high deductible insurance plan. Using our Health Savings Account, we were able to set aside money (tax free) each week from my husband’s paychecks.

I was also very thankful that we had our Emergency Fund. After two miscarriages and a few medical bills that our insurance didn’t cover, we again realized the importance of keeping that fund stocked at all times.

In June of 2012, we found out we were pregnant again. We were ecstatic! But, in August, we found out our sweet baby boy, Kyle Nathaniel, had a fatal genetic condition that would most likely claim his life before he was even born. This was certainly not in MY perfect plans.

As agonizing as the next several months were, the financial costs of a labor and delivery — immediately followed by a funeral and burial, were not a concern to us.

Little Kyle was born into Heaven after 31 wonderful weeks of life where he knew only love — right into Heaven, where he’ll forever know only love. God allowed his precious tiny body to be born into our arms on December 19th, 2012.

At that point, our HSA was funded to cover our deductible, and our emergency fund was available to cover the costs of the burial 3 days after his birth.

Our little guy had a huge impact on thousands during his short life. Even now, his video is being shown in crisis pregnancy centers and in OBGYN offices around the country. His memorial fund for Compassion International will sponsor a Mother Baby Survival Center in South America for 39 months.

I wouldn’t trade the 220 days we had with him for anything.

Now, as we are recovering, we are working to restock our fund. I’ve kept my grieving mind and and empty hands busy this month de-cluttering our home and selling our things on Craigslist. There are even a few local “yard sale” Facebook pages I’ve had great success with selling things on.

We spent the month of January living on a tight budget, with minimal eating out and only spending money on necessary things, to put all of our extra cash into our emergency fund, and at this point, we’re pretty close to getting it right back to where it was a few months ago.

Sometimes, I think we think of that emergency fund as being a go-to account for flat tires, or blown transmissions, or repairing central heating units. I never planned to use it to bury one of my children. And while our specific case is certainly rare, having an unexpected expense that you haven’t planned for is not. I can’t say enough about the peace of mind that an emergency fund can give when peace can otherwise be very difficult to find.

Kim Rackley is a blogger at Kimz Kitchen. She’s the wife of a very special guy and mother to two girls here and three children in Heaven. She blogs about her life as a mother, homeschooler, and a small potatoes caterer.

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76 Comments

  • Paula M-B says:

    My deepest sympathies:( We went through a very similar situation a few years ago. Luckily, here in Canada our health care costs are covered. The funeral home even provides their services at absolutely no charge for parents like us. I hope that your journey leads you towards peace and love.

  • Kathi Lipp says:

    Kim, thank you so much for sharing hope our of your grief. Bless you and yours.

  • What a touching story and great reminder to ALWAYS count our blessings. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sara says:

    Very touching story and testimony of why a emergency fund is needed in any household!

  • Jenny says:

    Something similiar happened to us in August of 2009. We gave birth to our 4th child. The pregnancy and delivery were great. However, 24 hours after birth, our son’s heart suddenly stopped beating, with no known cause. We were left with medical bills and funeral costs. We were definitely left with a financial burden, on top of a grieving heart. That is why we joined with two other families who have experienced child loss, and formed a non-profit called Hearts in Heaven. While it is in it’s beginning stages, we offer financial, emotional, and spiritual support during times like these. Please check out our website, http://www.heartsinheaven.org, so if you are not prepared for this (who ever really is?) there is something that can at least help relieve some of that earthly burden.

    • sara says:

      Jenny,

      I’ll check out your organization. Our close friends just lost their newborn son, and I struggle with knowing how to best support them while giving them their space.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Jenny, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son. How wonderful that you honor his legacy through this wonderful Hearts in Heaven organization.
      I am a volunteer with Empty Cradle in San Diego (not sure where you are located) and I would be grateful to add your webpage to our list of available support resources on our website. If you would be interested to let people know about us as well, that would be much appreciated. Our mission is to provide emotional support to anyone and everyone in need, to the best of our ability (through phone, online, and meeting support opportunities). Thank you for helping to raise awareness about the impact (emotional as well as financial) of infant loss. You can email me directly or contact us through FB or through our website (emptycradle.org) if you’d like to get more information about Empty Cradle. Thank you! -Suzanne Wells, Empty Cradle

  • Celena says:

    So touching. I’m currently 31 weeks pregnant, and I was bawling through their video. Their journey truly is inspiring, and it’s so amazing to see God at work even in the rough times.

  • Angela says:

    What a touching story! Thank you for showing another side of having an emergency fund.

  • Dana says:

    What a wonderfully inspirational post. I am so sorry for your loss. As a mother of a stillborn child at 38 weeks, I know that pain all too well. And one of the last things one wants to worry about when grieving is how to pay for your bills, medical bills and funeral arrangements. Gods peace to you and your family.

  • Sara S says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It was wonderful that you didn’t have to add financial stress to the already heartbreaking grief your family experienced.

  • Llama Momma says:

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss, Kim. Kyle’s story is absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with all of us!

  • Heather F. says:

    Kim you and your family are in my prayers! I pray that God’s peace surround you and flow through you today and every day. I am glad that you didn’t have to worry about a financial burden during your time of grieving. Thank you for the reminder to be prepared for anything.

  • Kathryn Schaffner says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, for seeing blessings where there is grief, and for allowing God to use this story to draw others to Him.

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you so much for being brave enough go share this. Your testimony, positive outlook and trust in our Lord and Savior is inspiring. May God continue to bless you and your family. Please don’t be discouraged my nay Sayers or nasty comments. Had family member listen to similar comments we wouldn’t have a beautiful baby girl in our lives today.

  • This literally made me sit at my computer and cry. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sad to hear about the passing of your son. Thank you for reminding me to hold my babies close every single day I have with them.

  • Debbie says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am so, so sorry for your loss. My third child was stillborn also at 39 weeks and 2 days (cause unknown). Have you read “An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination” by Elizabeth McCracken? It was such a good read during such a painful and difficult time. Another book that seems more in line with what your family had endured is “I will carry you” by Angie Smith. I wish you and your family peace and grace.

  • Rebecca says:

    Kim – Thank you for your vulnerability. I know it can’t be an easy thing to share something so personal with the world, but your insight is invaluable!

  • Sarah says:

    (((HUGS))) I’ve lost one child but losing 3 seems so much harder. God bless you and give you peace and bring you and your family through this hard time. (((HUGS)))

    • Bobbi says:

      as a mother to two awesome little boys here with me and as a mother to a child i will never know here on earth, your story was a reminder to me of the pain we’ve had in our lives.. but my tears are shed for hope of your healing and peace that i hope you find in knowing you loved him as much as you could in the time he was with you. thank you for sharing your story with us and reminding us how precious life is. god bless.

  • Donna says:

    Kim, I hope God will give you the grace to laugh at the comment above.

    May God heal and lead and guide you.

    I will forever sing God’s praises, that after my mother had a stillborn, she went on to have my brother. He was the best thing that EVER happened to me!

    I’m thankful for your story. It will help others and perhaps help save the lives of many unborn. Thank you so much for sharing! I loved the video- what a beautiful baby!

    • Rebekah says:

      I had 3 children, 2 miscarriages, and then 2 more gorgeous, perfect, amazing children. Children are a gift, and an inheritance from the LORD.

      I cried through the video; it was humbling.

  • Tracey Hager says:

    I have prayed for you and Chris, Kim. I watched your video at Christmas time and bawled. I had to explain to Tim why my eyes were so swollen. Your story made me love my children more and I hope the shared sorrow helps lessen yours a bit. Your testimony is a blessing!

  • denise says:

    So terribly sorry for your loss! I love what you are doing though Compassion in South America though!

  • Patty says:

    Kim,
    I am so sorry that this happened. ((Hugs ))for you long distance.

  • I’m so sorry for your loss. I watched Kyle’s video on your blog just now, and cried with you.

  • God would never punish His children. He grieves with them when they hurt. He catches all their tears in a bottle. He did not give this precious little one this sickness. God doesn’t have any sickness to give. Sickness is the result of a sinful world. God is perfect, and holy, and faithful, and true, and I hope He gives this precious couple as many more perfect, healthy children as they would like. Those who sow in tears shall doubtless come again rejoicing, bringing in their harvest. Kim, precious lady, I don’t even know you, but may our Daddy God bless you with lots of hugs today.

  • Charity says:

    Thank you for sharing you story with us Kim. May God comfort you as only He can. {Hugs}

    • Stephanie says:

      Dear Kim and Husband,

      Having my own sweet baby born still, I have been through similar heartache. I know that special days (due date, birth date, holidays) can be especially hard. How kind of you to share your story today, a day that may bring its own personal heartache. I’m glad to see that you have strong faith in God, because that is what has helped me heal from the loss of my first little angel (who also had a rare genetic disorder). I pray that you will continue to rely on God to be your support until you are with little Kyle again.

      Love, Stephanie

  • Danna says:

    With so much empathy (I miscarried 3 times before my oldest son was born and once after my second son who is my youngest child was born) and tears running down my face, I pray for comfort and blessings for your family.

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had two miscarriages before having two perfect sons. I was shocked to learn how many friends and family members had experienced miscarriage but never talked about it openly – they shared with privately me after I was willing to share my own experience. It’s so important for all of us as women to share these stories so we realize that we are not alone.

  • This post made me cry. I am sorry for your loss. How amazing and inspiring that in this dark time you are helping others.
    Kate

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for sharing that.

    May the Lord continue to sustain you.

  • deseray says:

    wow, I just watched your video. What a beautiful story of love and grace. Although I’ve never lost a child, I’m crying from the loss of that beautiful baby boy.

  • Jenn H says:

    I shed many tears as I was reading through your blog and watching your video. I am so sorry that you had/have to go through the loss of a child. Prayers with you as you continue this journey.

  • My heart breaks for this mom. I have a friend whose son also died of Trisomy 18. I can’t imagine the kind of heartbreak that this family had to go through.

  • Anna K. says:

    What a fantastic and moving story. I love that you were prepared to handle some of the temporal logistics that could have made an already traumatic situation even worse. I would have liked to have a couple of kids by now but that hasn’t been in the cards for me (yet?). So grateful for the power of prayer so that I can be led to do the right thing for me in my quest to have a family. God blesses us when we heed His counsel, even if the results aren’t what other people consider a “successful” outcome. My thoughts and prayers are with your family, Kim.

  • Bobbie-Jo says:

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. There is such a precious presence of God in our suffering….a deep love that comes when we lay down a broken heart at His altar. A peace that knows and never forgets God is who He says He is. Blessed.

  • Jessica says:

    I had my third baby on 12/24/12 and my heart aches and breaks for you. I suffered from PPD after my second child, which I would not wish on anyone. I can’t imagine your grief on the loss of your son. May God bring peace into your heart and His love into your spirit. God Bless you and your family and I’m sending you hugs from afar.

  • Carrie says:

    Kim,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I have 5 boys and 2 little ones in heaven.

    Thank you for sharing your story. You have given us all an important example of why having an emergency fund can be such a blessing. Not only with the death of a child, but could also be a godsend for serious medical problems, family emergencies, etc.

    God bless.

  • Christal Beyer says:

    To Kim-

    May the Lord bless and sustain you and your family. You will be in my daily prayers, and my heart will travel with you.

  • Sally says:

    Kim,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I clicked over to your blog and spent the afternoon reading Kyle’s entire story. I’m blessed by having been able to read about your precious son, your supportive family and your strong faith.

    • Jen says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I pray for your family. As a sibling of a lost child – my brother was buried 26 years ago today at the age of 7 – your little girls are in my thoughts. As a mother today I cannot image the pain my mother went through. However, I can tell you I had a life of laughter and love. It’s been 26 years since I’ve hugged my brother, but I know he’s always there.

  • Danielle says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My son was stillborn also, his surviving twin sister will be 5 this May. We were lucky that our medical bills were covered by insurance. We also were blessed that the funeral home donated their services and the cemetery donated us a plot. The only thing we paid for was the tiny casket. I’m glad your family didn’t have a financial burden on top of everything else. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Jennie says:

    Kim-

    A heart felt thank you for sharing your story. It brings so many emotions. The loss of a child goes beyond what I can even comprehend. What a blessing that you were able to mourn and comfort each other during that time rather than “worry” about the financial pieces.

    God bless you and your family.

  • Joyce says:

    Kim cherishes her two children and they give her great joy! What is amazing about her is that (as is evident when reading her blog throughout the journey) in spite of the pain she still rejoices in all that God has given her and rejoices in the very goodness of God. Love her children? Incredibly so! Happy? Unbelievably so! More children? Totally up to the leading of God in her and her husband’s hearts.

  • Heather says:

    Thank you for sharing. Our little June Bug was due tomorrow, but only made it to week 8.

  • Hannah says:

    I am so incredibly sorry for your tragic loss. I have never carried a child for 31 weeks but have had two first trimester miscarriages and can relate to the horrible feeling of losing a child. It was a relief for us as well to be able to work through our grief without worrying about money. Like you, I have also kept myself busy listing things on ebay and trying to find ways to earn/save money.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I pray for peace for your family.

  • Full Disclosure: I never imagined a scenario where I’d be commenting on this blog, as awesome a blog as it is. 🙂

    Just thought I’d step in and give some perspective. My name is Chris and I’m Kim’s husband. I was reading the comments to my wife’s posts — coming away very encouraged. Then I came across this scuffle.

    We appreciate everyone’s passion and thoughtfulness. I certainly understand everyone who took “dorothy’s” comment negatively. And indeed, we’re completely open to what the Lord has for us — more children or no.

    We also understand where “dorothy” is coming from. And we appreciate her being moved so fervently in a certain opinion to say something. There’s clearly no malicious intent in her comment. So thank you all for fighting for and arguing for my wife and I. We appreciate all kinds of expressions of consolation, even if they carry strong opinions.

    So no need to attack each other. Thank you all for caring so much.

    • Hannah says:

      Thank you for posting this. I appreciate your grace toward others. I agree that while the comments may have been well intended, as someone who has lost 2 babies herself, I found them very hurtful and condescending. I’m glad to see they were removed.

  • Diane says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. We also were thankful to have the cash on hand to pay for burial expenses up front for two of our babies.

  • Heather C says:

    My deepest sympathies, thank you for sharing your story and reminding people of the importance of a true emergency fund. My 25 year old brother died last year suddenly and as his only sibling my husband and I had to take care of all the arrangements, he lived in Hawaii, I had to spend months flying back and fourth and my husband who is our only income had to take over a month and half off work, on top of being pregnant and having a two year old. Then only a month later my husbands Dad became terminally ill, my husband had to again take another month off work and his dad died shortly after, again we had to take care of most everything. It was a horrible time for us but having that fund at least saved us the stress of having to worry about paying the bills or taking care of our family. You just never know what is around the bend…. Prayers and peace to your family….

  • Claire says:

    Kim, thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I am so sorry for your loss (I also have three children in Heaven). Thank you also for your pro-life witness.

  • Maegen says:

    I’m so glad that you had such support during this unbelievably difficult time.

    I recently had a reader share an organization called the Tears foundation that raises money to support families through just such a circumstance.

    They currently have chapters in 10 states, and I think it’s a wonderful cause to support.
    Hope it’s o.k. to share their link http://www.thetearsfoundation.org/

  • The last thing you want to worry about during a crisis or time of stress is money. Thank you for sharing how your emergency fund saved you from adding money pressures to your painful situation.

  • Wow! The picture of the two of you with your sweet son is breathtakingly beautiful.
    I spent some time reading your blog and am so moved by your words. I will pray for you today and in the coming days.
    Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

  • Emily says:

    My heart is breaking, but what amazing peace and strength you have been with. What a testimony of truly being stewards of God and relying on him to take care of you fully. Praying for you and your family.

  • Suzanne says:

    Dear Kim, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Kyle and his 2 angel sibs. Thank you for sharing your story with us all, and for reminding us that life is, indeed, fleeting and precious. That’s wonderful that the Compassion International memorial fund will go on to help other families in need. As bereaved parents, we have the capability to create beautiful legacies for our little ones, once our hearts have had a chance to heal a bit from the devastating loss experience :’) Hugs to you and your dear family, both here on earth and in Heaven. -Suzanne

  • billie says:

    I had a question. What is a facebook yard sale and I can i find one?

    Thank you so much for sharing your and Kyle’s story.

    • Sarah says:

      billie,

      I would search on facebook for your town and yardsale. Forexample: “Harrisburg yardsale page”. Once you get into one you can usually be directed to others that may be more popular or more geared to your specific items.

  • Janet says:

    My father passed away this year. My parents have no savings to speak of–so a few years back my siblings and I started an emergency fund to help themwith medical expenses when needed. It was such a blessing that we had almost the exact amount in savings that the funeral cost. This brought so much peace of mind to my Mom and to the whole family.

  • Angie S. says:

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your precious child. What a beautiful portrait! I wish 24 years ago when I lost my son Joshua at 31 weeks they would have had photographers who did this so I would have a loving memory like yours.

  • Heather H says:

    Beautiful tribute and a wonderful reminder of how God works in amazing ways. We, too, have shared this experience. Our first baby, our daughter, was due in 2005 and was stillborn at 29 weeks due to a cord accident in utero. Between then and 2009 we lost an additional 4 babies ranging from weeks 13 to 24…some were genetic issues we later found out, others we were not able to tell. We knew that if God wanted us to be parents to our own child, it will be done and finally in April of 2009 I gave birth to our sweet baby girl, who was born at 27 weeks and feisty as ever. She survived and is a happy, bright and energetic child who will be 4 this year! You would never know she was a mirco-preemie. I missed the negative comments, but I have heard them before myself. We know that in the midst of such pain, God was with us always. We know we will learn that lesson one day, but we rejoice in the peace of having our daughter as our hope for being parents was fullfilled. Blessings to your family! May you continue to honor your son through your testimony.

  • Michele says:

    Your video made me weep. My firstborn is named Kyle. Two years after he was born healthy and happy, we lost a baby girl at 20 weeks to Trisomy 21. Delivering her was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. God bless you and your family, and especially sweet Kyle.

  • Heather Teate says:

    Kim,
    I am so thankful you took this opportunity to share how God brings hope through grief. Know that we love you and continue to pray for you and your family! Our little Jubilee is playing with Kyle and your other babies in heaven today 🙂

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing your touching story.

  • Rebecca says:

    Its amazing how God’s plans emerge through heartache and sadness. His light is shining because you took what is a unthinkable tragity and turned it around to help others. What a wonderful way to remember your son!! I am in awe of your love and faith. Beautiful. <3

  • J says:

    May God bless you and your family. I admire your strength.

  • Shannon Garrett says:

    I am watching the video that you made about Baby Kyle. Like you, I was diagnosed as carrying a Trisomy 18 baby. They told me to go home, put my legs up, and pray cause my baby wasnt going to make it. As it turns out the baby miscarried. Although I went through the loss, I had an amazingly beautiful little girl who is now almost 15. Hugs and prayers to your family!!

  • Sarah says:

    I sobbed as I watched the video. What a sweet testimony. I am deeply moved at your faith and trust in God’s plan, when it was so different from yours. Thank you for testifying God’s glory. Prayers for your family.

  • Blessings to you and your family. Thanks for sharing such a personal story in a very powerful way.

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