Haven Grace Davis died Jan. 4, 2012. The number of people who followed her Facebook group page, offering prayers and well-wishes up until the day she died, grew to more than 6,000. Many of them the Davis family didn’t even know.
Her story was the Tyler Morning Telegraph’s most viewed story of the year on the website.
For the Davis family, life goes on with various projects. Haven’s father, Brandon Davis, is still pastor of the church he founded, Living Acts Church in Tyler. His wife, Lacy, leads worship and hopes to produce an album soon, she said in an email exchange. Haven’s paternal grandmother, Brenda, runs the Facebook page, now posting with prayer requests for other children with medical illnesses.
“Haven’s page is quite an awesome ministry,” Lacy said. “These ministries kind of keep us going, a purpose to live for. It’s very hard but rewarding. I’m excited to see what God does with all of this in reaching people with the power of the Gospel, our testimony and Haven’s story.”
“They knew somebody who knew somebody,” she said.
After a few postings, Brenda’s friends encouraged her to stop posting — they felt it was too depressing for her.
“Sometimes I would cry while I was typing,” she said. “But as soon as I would think, ‘Maybe they’re right, I should stop,’ I would get a note from someone who was just so grateful.”
At one point, the statistics Facebook provided for the page said that it was reaching more than 1 million people in 19 countries, Brenda said.
The first year of grief has been difficult, Lacy said. This is their second child to lose, she said; she also miscarried when Haven was about 1-year-old, she said.
“It’s overwhelming and scary to even think of having to keep going and to keep living because we just want to go home to be with Jesus and our two children,” she said in the email. “We will desperately need His help to keep going and to pursue our individual ministries for Him. The first year of loss is mostly encompassed with numbness at first, and then shock and disbelief mixed with pain and depression and anxiety and at times hopelessness. We’ve been told the pain never goes away, but that we will just learn to live with it. Wow. We are just beginning this journey and will only be able to make it because of who Jesus is and what He has done.”