Joan Rivers was famous for opening her comedic routine with the question, “Can we talk?”
She would launch into a hilarious rendering of topics that were usually off-limits in polite conversation but which everyone secretly wanted to share. It actually helped bring some things into the light that had been hiding in shadows for far too long.
So, I’m going to take a cue from her and ask, “Can we talk?”
Can we talk about my missing son and quit pretending that just because he’s no longer present in the body, he’s not still part of my life?
Can we say his name without also looking down or away like his death is a shameful secret?
Can we share stories and memories and laughter and tears just as naturally about HIM as we do about anyone else?
Can we make a way to represent him at holidays, birthdays and special occasions? It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture-even a photo or place setting or ornament will do.
Can we stop acting surprised that I still get upset when other people’s kids reach milestones my son will never attain?
Can we talk about your feelings as well as mine without devolving into a shouting match or a flurry of accusations about who should be feeling what by now?
Can we make space for tears?
Can we make space for solitude?
Can we make space in our conversations and celebrations that allows joy and sadness to dwell together?
Can we continue to honor the light and life that was (and is!) my son?
Because if we can do this, it will make all the difference.
We’ve all been there-something traumatic or earth-shattering happens to someone we know and we mean to get in touch.
I put “write a note” or “call” on my list and then don’t do it.
Days, weeks months pass by. Now I feel awkward.
And the need to let her know I care is overshadowed by my sense of shame at not doing it sooner.
But it is NEVER too late to be a friend!
I won’t let pride stand between me and someone I love. I won’t allow fear to keep me away from a heart that needs help.
Maybe my outstretched hand will be exactly the hope someone needs to hold on to?
If you are a bereaved parent and can fly,
or walk to Hot Springs, Arkansas October 6-7
you will want to make the journey.
April Wendland, a bereaved mama with a heart to reach others with hope and love has organized a conference just for us.
And it’s *FREE* to bereaved parents.
From the website:
“THROUGH THIS VALLEY is a faith based conference designed BY bereaved parents, FOR bereaved parents.
We know the deep pain. We know the longing.
We know the questions. We know the heartache.
But we’ve also found some healing. We’ve found some peace for our hearts.
We’ve found some answers.
And we understand the Healer in new & grateful ways.
It is our desire to share what we’ve learned with other bereaved parents who are searching for answers. And being together with others who have gone through similar experiences somehow gives us all a little more strength & comfort too. You are not alone. There is hope. This conference will change the lives of those who have open hearts & ears to hear.
There is no charge to the bereaved parents for the THROUGH THIS VALLEY conference.
All speakers, attendees & most staff are bereaved parents.”
Wanna join me there?
Click here for more information or to register: Through This Valley
Often this journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death is dark and lonely.
I am frightened of what may lay in wait-tragedy has visited once, it could come again.
I know Jesus is my Shepherd and I never doubt His companionship. But if I’m honest, as much as I lean into that truth, it’s oh, so helpful to have a living, breathing human being walk with me.
So when a friend reaches out and takes my trembling hand it calls courage to my heart.
When we huddle together in the dark places, waiting out the storm of grief or doubt, it gives me strength to carry on.
Never, never underestimate the power of presence.
For now we see in a glass darkly, but then face to face, and now we know in part, but then we shall know fully just as we have been fully known
I Corinthians 13:12
So until then, what?
We feel our way in the dark.
Until we find each other.
We huddle together in the storm.
Wet and shivering, but together.
And maybe in the end it will be our huddling in the storm that gives us more comfort than our understanding of the storm.”
~Ken Gire, The Weathering Grace of God