Each day I am reminded by sights, smells, sounds and memories that Dominic is in Heaven and not here.
But there are moments and seasons when his absence is particularly strong-when I can’t breathe in without also breathing a prayer, “Father, let me make it through this minute, this hour, this day.”
And that’s when I need grace-from family, friends and strangers.
Anyone who knows ANYONE that lives with loss knows that Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and remembrance days are sure to be especially hard for those left behind.
What some may not know is that there are other, hidden, pitfalls on this journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
For many bereaved parents the beginning of the school year is one of them.
Even though my son was long past school age when he left, that shiny penny newness and promise of another year of school, another step toward maturity and the rest of life, another marker on the road to what every parent hopes will be a beautiful future is a painful reminder that my child won’t be doing anything new here on earth.
And a little extra grace goes a long way toward making this season easier to endure.
- A bit more patience as I walk slowly across the parking lot, lost in thought and unaware you are behind me trying to get on with life or park your car.
- A smile when I accidentally bump my cart into yours in the grocery aisle-having just passed his favorite food or smelled coffee and been instantly transported to his finicky passion for all things caffeine.
- Calm responses when I jump to conclusions, cut you off mid-sentence or answer a query with a less-than-kind tone of voice.
Want to be especially encouraging to a parent missing their child in heaven?
- A text or message or a “thinking of you” card can turn a dismal day into one full of sunshine.
- Do you have a special memory or memento you could share? What a gift!
If you see us in these next few days and weeks as thoughts and hearts turn from summer to a new semester, be patient-we are once again reminded that our child’s earthly story has ended.
It’s a hard truth to embrace.