When Dominic died, I was unaware of any resources available to bereaved parents other than books written on the subject. Thankfully, through personal contacts and Google searches, I found out about groups, online communities, blogs and excellent articles that helped me understand I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t crazy and I could survive.
I am working on a series of posts that will highlight some of the most helpful things people did for me and our family in the early days of our grief journey. I will also share the physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological challenges and experiences of bereavement.
If you are a bereaved parent or someone who loves a bereaved parent, please consider joining me on my public Facebook page: Heartache and Hope:Life After Losing a Child and share your perspective.
Someone suggested not too long after Dominic died that I might start a group for bereaved parents in my area–there aren’t any close by in our rural Alabama county.
I was not even ready to talk openly about my own feelings, much less listen to and absorb the pain of other grieving parents.
A few months ago I was introduced to a wonderful ministry called While We Are Waiting (whilewearewaiting.org) and discovered the blessing of belonging to a community of people who (unfortunately) know how I feel and can relate to my experience as a bereaved parent. I began to realize that Facebook can be a place to connect people that otherwise might feel isolated in their pain.
I’m still not ready to sit face-to-face with more than one or two people at a time for deep conversation about life and death and fear and hope.
But I have opened a FaceBook page–Heartache and Hope:Life After Losing a Child–and it is public-although I am moderating posts. I want to facilitate a way for parents in my area or in their own area, to find one another and form communities of support.
For some of us, online will be best. Others may choose to get together in physical spaces. Whatever works and brings hope to grieving hearts is wonderful.
I am not going to “invite friends” to like this page-thankfully, I don’t have that many people on my friend list who have buried children. But I am inviting those who read my blog, and who have themselves lost a child to “like” the Heartache and Hope page. And please invite other bereaved parents too.
There is no agenda other than encouraging one another in Christ and reminding ourselves of the hope we have in Jesus: death is defeated, the grave is not the end, and our children will one day be reunited with us in glory.
Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed]. For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death]. And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 AMP