Most parents feel a little stressed during the holidays.
We used to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving before our 24/7 supercharged and super-connected world thrust us into hyper-drive. Now we zoom past the first day of school on a highway toward Christmas at breakneck speed.
For bereaved parents, the rush toward the “Season of Joy” is doubly frightening.
Constant reminders that this is the “most wonderful time of the year” make our broken hearts just that much more out of place.
Read the rest here: Season of Joy: Blessing the Brokenhearted During the Holidays
When I find words for my feelings it helps.
So I collect quotes, copying them down in my journal and sometimes hanging them where I can see them throughout the day.
Here are a few that speak to my heart. I hope they speak to yours. ❤
Read the rest here: Ten Grief Quotes That Speak To My Heart
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.
Read the rest here: A Little Extra Grace
My goal this month is to share posts (some shared previously) that will encourage bereaved parents and also give them something to share on their own social media.
If we remain silent-shushed and shamed by those who find death uncomfortable or unmentionable-then things will never change.
The power is ours. Truly it is.
Tell your story. Tell your child’s story. ❤ Melanie
I’ve had awhile to think about this. Seven years is a long time to live with loss, to live without the child I carried, raised and sent off in the world.
So I’ve considered carefully what my “top ten” might be.
Here’s MY list (yours might be very different):
Read the rest here: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Child Loss
I’ve written often about how important friends are to our grief journey. They can encourage, provide practical help and simply by their presence remind a heart that darkness and despair is not all there is.
Men need friends who will step up and step in. They need masculine examples of sharing and caring.
They need grace and space to unlock the chest of emotions that they sometimes keep tucked away and hidden from their family because they think it’s their job to “be strong”.
So if you know a dad whose child has left for Heaven, reach out in the next couple of days before Father’s Day.
Read the rest here: Don’t Forget Dads!
Fathers are often overlooked grievers.
They shouldn’t be.
Dads aren’t bystanders in the shattered world of child loss-they are participants- parent of a son or daughter whom they love as much as any mother.
So just like Mother’s Day is hard for moms, Father’s Day is hard for them.
Read the rest here: Father’s Day for Bereaved Fathers
*I wanted to get this out early enough to help friends and family of a bereaved father understand a little better how they can encourage him as Father’s Day approaches.*
I’ve had a lot of people “hold the door” for me on this journey of child loss.
Most of them have not walked in my shoes but they could see my soul was worn and I needed encouragement.
For that I will be eternally grateful.
Read the rest here: Empathy: Let Me Hold The Door For You
What’s changed and what is still the same seven years down the road of child loss?
I’ve thought about this a lot in the past few months as I prepared for, greeted and marked another year of unwelcome milestones since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
Read the rest here: What’s Changed, What’s The Same Seven Years Down The Road Of Child Loss?
I’ve kept a little notebook by my rocking chair for decades.
It’s where I jot down bits from whatever I may be reading that touch my heart.
When I was younger and focused on raising children the pages were filled with inspirational and aspirational quotes, Bible verses and poems.
Now the pages are full of laments, reminders of life’s brevity and blessings.
Here is one I really love. ❤
Sometimes I run across a poem that is absolutely perfect.
This is one of those.
Blessing for the Brokenhearted by Jan Richardson
Read the rest here: Blessing For The Brokenhearted
I am well aware that not everyone is blessed by an outpouring of love and support in the wake of child loss. In fact, depending on the circumstances, some families are practically shunned.
It breaks my heart every time I hear of such an experience.
Because if there is one thing I’ve learned in this Valley, it’s this: when a heart is shattered my ONLY job is to show up and do whatever is helpful-even if that means sitting silently and holding a hand.❤
When I asked other bereaved parents to share the things people did that blessed them in the wake of losing a child, I didn’t expect so many stories of extravagant love–of acts surpassing anything I could have thought of or imagined.
“After my daughter passed, which was minutes before Mother’s Day 2012, outside the hospital room-
Read the rest here: Extravagant Love: Tales of Friendship and Encouragement After Losing a Child