Magical Bear Traps


My heart hurts every time a name is added to this awful “club” no one wants to join.

One more family knows our pain.

One more family has an empty chair at holiday gatherings.


But I am thankful for the moms and dads that share their hearts in bereaved parents’ groups.  I’m thankful for the safe space to speak honestly about what this life feels like and the challenges that greet us in this Valley.

A  fellow waiting mom, Brenda Ehly, shared this on her personal Facebook page.  I asked her if I could post it here and she graciously gave me permission:

“So, every now and then, I am asked, ‘How are you?’

Just in case any of them meant, ‘What is it like to be grieving a child during the holiday season?’ let me try to explain:

First, imagine you have stepped into a bear trap.


It hurts.

A lot.

Sadly, it’s a magical bear trap, that you will never be able to remove. (That’s your initial loss). Weirdly, after awhile, you sort of (not exactly) get used to it.

Now, imagine that at completely random intervals, a large bear suddenly appears, and, mistakenly thinking that you’re the one who’s been setting bear traps in the forest, repeatedly punches you in the nose.


This bear throws one heck of a punch. (This is what happens when you go shopping at the grocery store and Andy Williams croons, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” at you).

So, is it all miserable, all the time?


Absolutely not; every now and then, an adorable, enchanted raccoon brings you a tall mocha and a blueberry scone, and that is very nice, because even if you’re stuck in a magical (and excruciatingly painful) bear trap, a tall mocha and a fresh scone are still welcome and refreshing.


That’s the best I can do right now.”

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “Magical Bear Traps”

  1. I don’t lost a child but my other 100% almost five months ago, and I used Nick name him Christmas Carol because his birthday is December 16 . He will be turning 60 and I was planning have a surprise birthday party for Him but he surprise me die on July 10 placid on our bedroom he looks like he was on the beach, no breathing mask no more needles in his arms taking his excessive amounts of blood nothing.
    That night he was like he enter free in heaven, no more try to get a sponsor for the U.S residence, no feeling like he say in the golden Cage…Now he not only get his heavenly citizenship the day he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior,but his eternal residency in heaven and the ID of the holy spirit as he always told me the last six months before left… I don’t know how will be my holidays this year but two days ago I started to feel sad because the empty space in our table for Thanksgiving, yes I will be grandma #SuperG-ma but I missed the Super G-Pa, our first American Herrera will be born in March Oliver James Herrera Lewis, thankful for their don’t select Carlos as one of his name’s already is painful when someone calls asking for Carlos and I explained he was passed away for later remember our first born name is Carlos Andres ( I called him Andres-Andrew in Spanish). Yes will be hard this Christmas, but I will be remembered what he told me three days before he left ” You will never be alone, You are stronger than you think, and everyone loves you and Jesus always be at your side”….I am so thankful for your blog’s means a lot in this new journey…by myself but hold in the arms of my dear Jesus.
    Monica Herrera.


  2. What a great analogy!! Last Christmas was my first without my son and I was REALLY struggling those few days before Christmas. As I was sitting on my couch with my blanket that had been pulled up around my neck all day, I heard the doorbell ring. At the door was my raccoons….they walked in with a small gift of a candle, a framed picture of my son with one of their boys, and a tall hot chocolate from Starbucks. I will never forget that.

    Liked by 2 people

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