Gratitude does not undo grief.
There, I said it.
Gratitude is important. It is (in my opinion) a necessary ingredient for a healthy and hope-filled and useful life. It is the key to any real happiness a heart might find on this broken road.
But it cannot fill up the empty place where Dominic used to be.
Grief does not preclude gratitude.
Although some broken hearts swear it does.
Read the rest here: Gratitude and Grieving: Appreciating What I Have, Acknowledging What I Miss
I hid this post in my draft folder for months before I published it the first time.
It seemed too raw, too full of all the pain inside my mama heart to put out in the wide world for everyone to see.
And then it was time (like now) to change the flowers on the place where my son’s body rests and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “THIS IS NOT ALL THERE IS OF MY BOY!” I wanted to stop people on the street and make them listen to his story, to give away a piece of him for others to carry in their hearts.
Read the rest here: You Existed, You Exist
I first shared this post six years ago when I was nearly two years into this journey and realized that for many of my friends and family Dominic’s death had faded into the background.
It was a date on the calendar for THEM but it was an ongoing experience for me and my family.
I was reminded of how time feels very different to the bereaved this weekend as I spent the third anniversary of my mother’s stepping into Heaven with my grandchildren.
So, so many things remind a grieving heart of the person we miss. So, so many everyday moments transport us back to THAT moment, THAT day.
You might not (I hope you don’t!) understand. It really costs little to extend grace to the grieving. But for those of us whose hearts are broken, it makes all the difference.
You cannot possibly know that scented soap takes me back to my son’s apartment in an instant.
You weren’t there when I cleaned it for the last time, boxed up the contents under the sink and wiped the beautiful, greasy hand prints off the shower wall. He had worked on a friend’s car that night, jumped in to clean up and was off.
He never made it home.
Read the rest here: Grief and Grace:What I Need from Friends and Family
I’ve thought long and hard about that season of “un-feeling”.
Why did my heart shut down? Why the long silence when no emotion pierced my soul?
I think it was necessary.
I think a body and mind and heart can’t operate for too long at warp speed. I think that just like fainting is a response to the brain needing oxygen, numbness is a response to the soul’s need for respite and time to heal.
So if you are in the season of numb, you’re neither crazy nor alone.
Read the rest here: Why Don’t I Feel A Thing? Sometimes Grief = Numb.
I do not believe that in offering genuine forgiveness I am required to again submit myself to another person’s hurtful or sinful behavior.
I do believe that forgiveness releases that person from past offenses against me but it does not release them to continue to wound my heart.
And I will stand up any time, anywhere and defend my. right to create healthy boundaries between my heart and someone who has proven, time and again, that they intend to do just that.
Read the rest here: Forgiveness and Healthy Boundaries
Since Dominic ran ahead I collect poems, sayings and quotes that help my heart put words to what it feels.
I consider each one a gift.
Over the next few days I will share some of them with you-I hope you find them as beautiful and helpful as I do.
This is a beautiful, traditional Jewish blessing often shared with mourners.
Read the rest here: We Remember Them
I’m not brave by nature.
If I have a choice, I will run every time. But there are just some things worth fighting for.
My family is one of them.
I will not let the enemy have them.
I will not allow despair to overtake us, fear to bind us, hopelessness to sap our strength.
I will not let death win.
Read the rest here: I Will Not Be Moved
I have learned so much since that day when Dominic left us suddenly for Heaven.
Some of the things I know now are things I wish I didn’t know at all.
Many serve me well-not only in how I respond to my own pain and loss-but also how I respond to the pain and loss in the lives of those I love.
Read the rest here: So What SHOULD I Say or Do For My Grieving Friends or Family?
Our culture consumes death like candy bars-video games, violent television series and gory movies. Halloween is one of the biggest “holidays” celebrated in America.
We are desensitized to news stories of destruction and devastation because we’ve “seen” it all.
Yet we are a society that shuns mourning.
Read the rest here: Lesson From the House of Mourning
I remember when my wish list could be filled from the Sears Roebuck Toy Catalog.
Sure I couldn’t have EVERYTHING but I was pretty well guaranteed to find at least one or two of my coveted items in our living room or under the tree on Christmas morning.
Now the things I wish for are not so easy to come by.
This list is adapted from a friend’s Facebook post (with permission) and a list published by Children’s Hospital of Colorado.
BEREAVED PARENT’S WISH LIST:
1. I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had my child back.
Read the rest here: Bereaved Parent’s Wish List
Three years ago today I sat in a back bedroom with my laptop trying to summarize a whole life into a few paragraphs.
It wasn’t any easier doing that for my mama who lived a long life than it was for my son who (by most standards) lived a short one.
Ain’t nothing easy about death.
Ain’t nothing easy about walking away from a hospital room or a morgue or an accident site knowing that whatever wasn’t said will never be said. Nothing easy about facing final arrangements, making phone calls, writing obituaries, finding photos for a slide show, wrapping up a life into a few words and a few songs and a few pictures.
My heart is used to the dull thumping pain of sorrow.
It’s grown accustomed to setting aside despair and doing what has to be done.
I know how to forge ahead and keep living and plan as if my world hasn’t imploded, making calendars and clocks and seasons and holidays irrelevant.
Read the rest here: Ain’t Nothing Easy About Death