The Seberger family attends Easter Mass at St. Wenceslaus in Omaha, where they are parishioners. COURTESY PHOTO


After experiencing tragedy, Omaha mother believes sorrow and joy can co-exist

“Jesus, this hurts.”

“Mary, this hurts.”

Jill Seberger repeats those phrases when she is overcome with sadness or grief. It helps her fight the temptation to despair and reminds her that she is not alone.

“Jesus and Mary both know pain and suffering to an extent we could never imagine,” she said. “This brings them into the scenario and also changes my perspective.”

Sadness and grief are familiar emotions for the mother of seven who lost her young son, Gus, in 2022 after he choked on a sandwich at the family’s home. Following his death, she suffered two miscarriages.

But Seberger also knows tremendous joy.

In February, she and her husband, Tim, welcomed their seventh son, Felix Augustine. The happiness she felt when Felix was born confirms her belief that joy and sorrow are often mixed together.


“Felix is such a joy,” she said. “It’s a blessing I can’t even fully comprehend to be able to participate with God in the creation of life. Our whole family was excited to have a baby in the house again. Before bed, most of the boys’ prayers are, ‘Thank you, God, for Felix and his smiles.'”

The Seberger boys meet their new little brother, Felix. COURTESY PHOTO

Seberger gave birth to Felix at CHI Health Lakeside, the same hospital where Gus was taken by ambulance after he choked. She had his prayer card with her when she was taken to the operating room for a Cesarean section.

“My head kind of alternates between being really shocked and stunned that Gus died – that it all actually happened and he’s not here anymore – to being amazed by the beauty of God’s plan and love,” she said.

Seberger describes the past two years as a rollercoaster, but “each phase seems to have its purpose.”

Every time she learned she was pregnant following Gus’ death, she would remind herself to say “yes” to whatever God gave her.

“I thought that might look a lot of different ways,” she said. “Miscarriage, a child with a disability, I wasn’t sure. So frequently, I would take a deep, slow breath and remind myself of God’s beautiful plans and my yes to whatever he wants.”

Having to undergo her first C-section didn’t seem like the beautiful birth she had prayed for. However, Felix’s birth was holy in ways she wasn’t expecting, like it “being 3 p.m. on a Friday and thinking of Jesus’ passion while laying on a table with my arms out like a cross. We were there with Gus on a Friday afternoon, too.”

As Mother’s Day approaches, Seberger encourages mothers – whether they are feeling joy, grief or a mixture of both – to take their feelings to God, Jesus, Mary or their favorite saint. “Look for the ways you are being formed from your suffering. God can make good out of anything, so try to notice the good He’s doing through your suffering.”



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