Holidays are hard on bereaved parents’ hearts.
Even though our children are always on our minds, holidays act as megaphones, amplifying the missing, sorrow, grief and lost opportunity to build more memories.
So it’s particularly helpful when friends and family step up and step in, showing extra support on and around those extra hard days.
Here are seven ways you can bless a bereaved dad this Father’s Day:
Read the rest here: Seven Ways to Support a Bereaved Dad on Father’s Day
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!
This is still the question that comes up most often in bereaved parent groups: ‘How do I DO this?’
No one is prepared for the devastation of child loss. There are no manuals issued as you walk away from your son or daughter’s earthly shell.
And what makes it worse is that because child loss is every parent’s worst nightmare, no one wants to talk about what happens after everyone else goes back to their lives and families are left alone with grief, isolation, devastation and desperate pain. ❤ Melanie
After the flurry of activity surrounding the funeral, our house was so, so quiet.
Even with the five of us still here, it felt empty.
Because Dominic was gone, gone, gone and he was not coming back.
And the silence pounded into my head and heart until it became a scream:
How do I DO this?
Read the rest here: How Do I DO This? The Question Every Bereaved Parent Longs to Ask
There’s a kind of relational magic that happens when people who have experienced the same or similar struggle get together.
In an instant, their hearts are bound in mutual understanding as they look one to another and say, “Me too. I thought I was the only one.”
It was well into the second year after Dominic ran ahead to heaven that I found an online bereaved parent support group. After bearing this burden alone for so many months, it took awhile before I could open my heart to strangers and share more than the outline of my story.
But, oh, when I did! What relief! What beautiful support and affirmation that every. single. thing. that was happening to me and that I was feeling was normal!
Read the rest here: What I’m Learning From Other Bereaved Parents
I was looking for it too, at first.
There had to be a secret path, a magic word, a hidden key that would make this awful child loss journey more manageable.
But there is none.
Read the rest here: No Magic
Recently I was challenged by someone close to me to examine the impact on my heart of spending so much time in community with those whose loss was fresher and more raw than my own.
They were being neither judgmental nor argumentative.
They were coming from a genuine place of concern, grace and love.
So I took the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate whether or not I need to continue writing in this space, spend time reading and responding to posts in bereaved parents’ groups and ruminating on how grief has changed over time (now seven plus years!).
It was an excellent exercise.
Read the rest here: Challenge Accepted: Why Am I Still Here?
Alone is good for many things. It makes space to hear from God and to hear one’s own heart.
It can be a respite from the noise of our crazy, busy and LOUD world.
But alone is not the best way to walk the Valley of the Shadow of Death.
Read the rest here: To The Ones Who Walk With Me: Thank You ❤
In yesterday’s post I confessed I can look for excuses not to reach out.
When I feel like what I may say or do might make things worse instead of better it’s particularly intimidating.
Child loss is a uniquely challenging event for friends and family and even when someone longs to “be there” for the bereaved parents or siblings, they are often afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing.
So here are five very practical, very helpful ways to support a grieving parent and their family. ❤ Melanie
It’s oh, so hard to know what to do when you are watching a heart break.
You want to reach out and make it better, make the pain go away, make a difference. But it seems like nothing you can do will matter much in the face of such a huge loss.
While it’s true that you cannot “fix” the brokenness in a bereaved parent’s life, there are some very important and practical ways you can support them in their grief.
Read the rest here: Five Practical Ways to Support a Grieving Parent
I think the mama is often the first person others think about when they hear a child has run ahead to Heaven.
But child loss affects dads too.
And it’s often sibling loss as well.
Grief is truly a family affair-each member is changed by the experience and they ALL need support. ❤
I firmly believe that our friends and extended family want to reach out, want to help, want to walk alongside as we grieve the death of our child
I am also convinced that many of them don’t because they don’t know how.
It may seem unfair that in addition to experiencing our loss, we also have to educate others on how to help us as we experience it, but that’s just how it is.
The alternative is to feel frustrated and abandoned or worse.
Read the rest here: Child Loss: Helpful Tips for Interacting With Bereaved Families
I confess-until it was MY son who left for Heaven before me I had NO idea that grief was really just love.
But when the person you love more than the breath in your body leaves you, the love remains.
And you have to find something to do with it.
So you sigh and you moan and you find ways to keep that person relevant despite the days, weeks, months and years (!) of experiences that interpose themselves between the last time you were able to hug his neck and the date on the current calendar. ❤
” If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.” ~James O’Barr
I grieve because I love.
My tears are a gift to the son I miss. My sorrow honors his memory. My broken heart gives evidence to the ones walking with me that my love is fierce and timeless.
Read the rest here: Love: The Reason I Grieve