I’m pretty sure that every single grieving parent I know has gotten at least one private message, text or phone call that starts like this, “I know that I haven’t lost a child, but…” and ends with some sort of advice that seeks to correct a perceived flaw in how the parent is grieving (in public) his or her missing child.
I know I did. It was the genesis of this post.
But before you hit “send” on that well-meaning missive, you need to know this:
You have NO CLUE.
No matter if you lost a spouse, parent, close friend or favorite pet-it’s not the same thing.
It isn’t even the same thing if you have faced a season when your own child was near death due to accident or disease.
If your home has been demolished due to wind, fire or flood and all its contents lost forever-that is awful and tragic-but not comparable to watching the body of your child lowered beneath the ground.
Just like everyone else who uses social media, what you see in public does not reflect but a tiny corner of the whole picture.
I write every day about loss. But loss is not all I experience 24/7. I laugh, I love, I live.
And while I may post my yearning for Dominic, I speak my heart to my living children every. single. day.
My faith has been tried and tested. I will not be false and pretend that just because I trust the finished work of Christ my heart has had it easy.
But I’m still holding onto hope with both hands.
My body has borne the brunt of anxiety and stress and grief. You can see it in my eyes and in my hips.
But I’m still standing.
My marriage has been stretched and strained.
But we are still clinging to one another.
So before you suggest ways I might need to trim my sails,
just remember you aren’t sailing the same sea nor facing the same storms.