Humans are hard-wired to say something when silence lingers long between them.
So it’s not surprising that when death makes talking difficult, the person most susceptible to that pressure will often blurt out the first thing that pops into her head.
And it is often, oh, so wrong.
Any sentence that begins with , “Just remember”, “At least” or “I know exactly” is better left unsaid.
Ever since Elizabeth Kubler Ross published her best-sellling book, “On Death and Dying” both professionals and laypersons have embraced her explanation of the “five stages of grief”.
The model has been used as a faulty standard to measure grievers’ “progress” for decades.
Trouble is, she got it wrong.
And it is especially wrong for bereaved parents or anyone who suffers traumatic or sudden death.
Grief does NOT look like this:
It looks like this:
I can’t pretend to understand exactly what it feels like to be a father who buries a child. I’ve only been able to watch from the outside as my husband absorbed the impact of that great wound.
But I can tell you this: for dads, like moms, each holiday is another mile marker on the road of grief.
It is another poignant reminder that things are not as they were-they are not as they should be.
Read the rest here: Father’s Day for Bereaved Fathers
Oh how I wish I could hang a sign for just a single day, “Closed for Repairs”!
I keep thinking that tomorrow or next week will be the little bit of respite I need to catch my breath and to do a few things I really must do for my own mental wellness.
But life has conspired to make that impossible.
So here I am, hanging on by a thread again.
Just barely managing to get by.
Just barely managing to not scream in the middle of the grocery store when I can’t lift the case of Powerade bottles into the cart. Just barely able to contain my panic when I reach for my checkbook and can’t find it in the bottom of my purse. Just barely able to keep from crying when the bag rips putting it into the truck.
If the people around me knew how close I am to falling apart or breaking down, they would run away in fear of what might happen if I blow.
Yes, it’s been three years.
But Dominic walked with me on this earth for nearly 24 years. Three years isn’t long enough to adjust to his absence.
I need a day off.
Or a week.
Or a year.
Another friend has a new grandchild.
It makes my heart so happy to see families grow and prosper. I love the fresh sweetness of newborn wrinkles and chubby fists.
If I’m honest I have to admit that for every smile that spreads wide across my face in response to posted pictures, there is a tear that slips down from the corner of my eye.
I wish I could feel unadulterated joy like I used to.
But I can’t.
It is impossible for there to be any progeny bearing his smile, his laughter, his brown eyes and overgrown eyebrows. The rhythm that filled his head and tapped, tapped, tapped down the bannister is buried underground.
And that is hard to bear.
Losing a child is not a single event.
It happens over and over and over.
If I had been around in the intertestamental years of Israel’s history, I think I’d have been tired of waiting for that promised Messiah the prophets kept crowing about.
I mean, really-how long was it going to take?
What was God waiting on?
What was the plan anyway?
And then, when this young woman shows up claiming to have been overcome by the power of the Holy Ghost-well, that’s a nice fairy tale but hardly how I think God would work this whole thing out.
Except that was EXACTLY how He worked it out-God Himself sent His Son to be born of a virgin and to live as a perfect man and to offer Himself as the perfect and sufficient sacrifice for sin.
Jesus the Messiah, the Christ, revealed Himself to His disciples. He gave them a glimpse of His glory-the glory of the one and only Son of the Living God.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1;14 NIV
We no longer have to wonder what God is like or what He is up to.
He is full of grace and truth and He is up to reconciling the world to Himself through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus.
THAT is glorious.