I’ve written before about how painful it is when people steal words. Not because I want recognition myself. If that was my desire I’d have collected the posts into a book by now. Not because I seek monetary gain. If that was true, I’d have advertisements or sponsored links. Not because I’m so naive to believe people can’t steal them in this wild, wild world of Internet freedom and piracy.
No. It’s painful because it’s disrespectful of me, my family and my son about whom they are written.
I write and share so that others have words to help their hearts. The only thing I ask in return is that the origin of them is acknowledged.
Is there no shame anywhere?
Is there no honor among parents who also share the pain of child loss?
I can’t imagine that a stranger, ignorant of the burden we bear, snapped up these words randomly to make a meme.
I don’t want to spend my time searching the internet and bereaved parent sites looking for instances where someone has stolen my words and dishonored my son and misused my trust.
I’m not going to do it.
But I am going to publicly point out that it happens.
My mother was admitted to the hospital last night due to a stroke. It’s her eighty-first birthday today.
I’m oh, so thankful our family just recently spent quality time together and she got to meet her first great-grandchild.
Lots of precious pictures and memories were made.
I’m not sure how much time I’ll have in these next days to work on new posts so I’m going to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time-set up a series of the five or six most popular posts so people can get them all in a row.
If you’ve read them, don’t feel like you have to read them again. (But maybe send up a prayer when you see them for my mama ❤ )
But many of them are two or three years old and some of y’all might have just joined us in this Valley. So they may be new to you.
In any event, here’s the very first post that got more than a few hundred shares and was picked up by Huffpost in 2016:
People say, “I can’t imagine.“
But then they do.
They think that missing a dead child is like missing your kid at college or on the mission field but harder and longer.
That’s not it at all.
It isn’t nostalgia for a time when things were different or better or you talked more: it’s a gut-wrenching, breath-robbing, knee-buckling, aching groan that lives inside you begging to be released.
Have you ever tried to squeeze into too-small jeans, managed to get them over your hips, sucked in and zipped up only to realize that all that extra “you” is now spilling out over the top of the waistband?
Sometimes that’s how life after loss feels.
Too much emotion, too much baggage, too much EVERYTHING that has to fit inside a very narrow set of other people’s expectations and tolerance for self-expression.
I find that I CAN squeeze my words and actions into that skinny space-for awhile.
But then sure as anything, the real me pops out the top and there I am-exposed to the world- warts and all.
What began as a cute marketing ploy to encourage folks to spend some of those December dollars mid-year is now a full blown movement.
From the Hallmark channel to Little Debbie’s snack cakes, retailers and media outlets are promoting Christmas like it’s nearly here.
For some of us, that’s welcome relief from sweltering days. But for many bereaved parents, it’s an unwelcome reminder that faster than we would like, we’ll be right back in the thick of one of the most difficult seasons of the year.
So I’m taking the opportunity during July to re-post this article that has been popular and helpful in the past.
One of the most trying seasons for grieving parents extends from November through the first week of January.
The holidays are hard for so many people, but especially for parents trying to navigate these family focused holidays without the presence of a child that they love.
I know it’s still several months away, but once school starts it seems the weeks roll past faster and faster until suddenly there’s no time to plan and the day is upon us.
I highly recommend speaking to family and friends NOW. Make plans NOW. When folks have plenty of time to make adjustments, it is much more likely they will accommodate a grieving heart’s need for change.