Kalley Heiligenthal thanks supporters for kindness a year on from daughter's death

Olive (r), with sibling Elsie, passed away unexpectedly on December 14, 2019, at the age of two.(Photo: Instagram/Kalley Heiligenthal)

Bethel worship leader Kalley Heiligenthal has thanked friends and fans for their kindness in the year since her two-year-old daughter Olive died. 

Olive died suddenly on December 14, 2019, leading to a controversial days-long prayer campaign for her resurrection. 

Despite her loss, Kalley has continued to thank God for His goodness and Olive's life in Instagram posts, while also speaking about how hard it's been to lose her. 

When the pandemic spread around the world and parts of the US started going into lockdown, Kalley wrote in a candid post back in March that quarantine for her had started "shortly after Olive's memorial". 

She said she had entered into a self-imposed isolation as a way of healing from the "searing loss" of her daughter. 

"Jesus asked me to. Isolation from the majority, distance, space to heal. I'd resisted it, downplayed it, overplayed it, and then gave into it," she said. 

"I'd rather have stayed up and moving, looking triumphant and unfazed, but I had broken bones and He's too good to let me move around like normal on them.

"He was clear they weren't broken from defeat - there's no defeat here. But pain? Yes. Loss in this lifetime? Yes."

Now a year on, Kalley said in a post just before Christmas that while she wanted to express her gratitude in words, she was "mostly stunted back to grateful tears and sputtered attempts at 'thank you' for the kindness shown us the last few days, and the 365 before them."

"Loss is like living with the wind knocked out of you, being shown compassion is a breath of clean, cool air. Thankful for those who've helped us breathe deep," she wrote. 

In another post marking the first anniversary of Olive's passing on December 14, she said her daughter's death "gave the unique opportunity for believers to believe."

"Thank you so much for standing with us then and now," she said.

"I watched the global church rise and I saw Jesus honor my two year old's short life with staggering impact.

"Such humility and beauty of Jesus to use a spunky 2 year old's sudden death to wake up so many. It wasn't the outcome I wanted but I am grateful that His are the strong shoulders she now rides for piggy backs.

"He's carried us too. I love that the light of his face is what lights her world, that little girl who loved twinkle little star now staring in the bright face of the Morning Star.

"His face has been the one healing me in the lack of seeing hers each morning. The same resurrection power we called on scooped her up and delivered her home safely, and it's the same power that sustains us through every impossible day without her, giving us hope against hope to live again."

Despite losing Olive, Kalley said that she loves Jesus "more than ever" and called her daughter her "little alabaster" because she loved her "enough to let my heart shatter in a million pieces over her."

"Your life and death were not for nothing, Olive. Your life and death were not for nothing, Jesus," she continued.

"And our lives are not for nothing. So we continue to be caught up in our own victorious awakenings, we continue to take Jesus at his word in grief and fullness, in holy valleys and easy heights, in life and in death.

"I miss you terribly, my little Olive, one day we'll start the song back up where we left off, until then, twinkle twinkle my little star. Light won on December 14."