Holidays 2019: What The Bereaved Need From Friends And Family

This is the most shared post on the site.

When I wrote it, I was writing my personal feelings after a couple of years trying to fumble through holidays with friends and family. It was an honest expression of how hard it was and continues to be to navigate the stress-filled season of Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

I’m not sure I’ve grown any more skillful in fitting all the pieces together-especially as our family grows and moves in different directions-but I continue striving to keep the lines of communication open and to try to acknowledge and accommodate everyone’s needs as best I can.


“I know it is hard.
  I know you don’t truly understand how I feel.  You can’t.  It wasn’t your child.

I know I may look and act like I’m “better”.  I know that you would love for things to be like they were:  BEFORE.  But they aren’t.

I know my grief interferes with your plans.  I know it is uncomfortable to make changes in traditions we have observed for years.  But I can’t help it I didn’t ask for this to be my life.

I know that every year I seem to need something different.  I know that’s confusing and may be frustrating.  But I’m working this out as I go.  I didn’t get a “how to” manual when I buried my son.  It’s new for me every year too.

Read the rest here: https://thelifeididntchoose.com/2016/09/03/grief-and-holidayswhat-the-bereaved-need-from-friends-and-family/

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.

6 thoughts on “Holidays 2019: What The Bereaved Need From Friends And Family”

    1. God bless you for your efforts. And it IS effort to walk alongside grieving parents! It takes longer than anyone could imagine for them to even begin to wrap their minds and hearts around this loss. Even then, we’re never the same people we were before. May the Lord richly bless you for your compassion and may He multiply your kindness to them and return it to you through others. ❤

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  1. I think that the 1st year you are still in shock and disbelief, the 2nd yr you have to admit that the nightmare is real. I lost my daughter 6 weeks ago so l am just starting this new life. Christmas wishes to you.

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    1. There are lots of theories floating around out there about the second year being more difficult than the first. Many say it’s because we’re no longer numb. I think it’s because as long as there are “firsts”-first holidays, first birthday, first whatever-our minds have something to focus on and the fact that this is our life until we join our child in Heaven hasn’t sunk in yet. The second year things get real. I know I had such a deep sense that Dominic was not coming back, this was not a temporary (in terms of my life on earth) situation and I was going to have to figure out how to deal with this sorrow and missing for the long haul. It was terrifying. Praying that the Lord gives you the strength you need for each new day and that He overwhelms your hurting heart with His grace, love and mercy. ❤

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    2. I speak from experience and thank you for asking the question. The second year is harder because the numbness has worn off and the reality of not seeing our child again on this Earth really hits full force. 💜💜

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