Grief Work: Physical Manifestations of Grief

Grief is not *just* feelings. It is so much more.

Often there are random or unusual physical symptoms that show up days, weeks or even years after a child has gone to Heaven.

An important and necessary part of grief work is learning to recognize the physical manifestations of grief and advocating for care from professionals who may not be able to make the connection unless the bereaved speak up and speak out.

❤ Melanie

It’s a well known fact that stress plays a role in many health conditions.  

And I think most of us would agree that child loss is one of (if not THE) most stressful events a heart might endure.  

So it’s unsurprising that bereaved parents find themselves battling a variety of physical problems in the wake of burying a child.  

Read the rest here: Physical Manifestations of Grief

I Won’t Make a Resolution, But I Will Try to Make Progress

Years before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven I had a little magnet on my fridge of a sinking ship with the words, “Another Day, Another Disaster” printed below.

Our lives never did run according to plan (which was a source of serious irritation to this list making, schedule printing homeschool mama!).

But it was really just a joke-because we knew whatever “disaster” befell us, in the long run it wouldn’t be that hard to work around.

Now I know exactly what true disaster looks like and feels like.

I understand precisely how life altering here-one-minute-gone-the-next news shatters a heart, a family, a worldview and a future.

So my days of resolving this or promising to do (or not do) such and such each New Year are over, over, over.

All I can muster is taking time to assess what’s currently working, what definitely needs to change and then point my heart and mind in the direction of progress.

I try to arrange the day and physical surroundings to create space for the new habits I hope to acquire. I remove temptation, when possible, to make it harder to keep indulging the ones I want to be rid of.

Which leads me to a change I’d like to make in this space for the coming year.

Many of you have been faithful followers for months or years and your feedback, encouragement and support have been a huge blessing. I pray, in return, what I share helps your heart too.

I’ve had many requests to put the posts into a physical book or devotional but up to now I haven’t had the mental, emotional energy or time to do that.

There are almost 3,000 published posts and over 1,500 lurking in my draft folder. I have dozens more topics I long to cover but doing the research for and writing an original post usually takes two to three hours and I’ve been hard pressed to find that kind of time.

I’ve thought about the best way to work through what I’ve already written, discover gaps that need to be addressed, see what patterns emerge which might point toward the shape of a book or devotional and then get some help making it happen. I’ve decided that for at least a few months I’m going to group previous posts (and finish some draft posts!) on specific themes so it will be easier for me to accomplish this task and for others to give me feedback as I do.

The downside for readers is that if they want to read what I’ve written on a wider variety of subjects, they will have to either wait through a current theme or use the search feature to find it.

I can’t promise I’ll make it past the first month.

I’m no good at guessing what a day will bring much less a whole year!

But if you are willing to journey with me and help by commenting, I’m game to try.

Until Then-Stories of Loss and Hope

I was asked awhile back to be part of a project shepherded by fellow parents-in-loss, Laura and Gary House (https://ourheartsarehome.org/).

They wanted to gather and publish stories from other child loss survivors in hopes of encouraging hearts and strengthening the faith of parents facing the unimaginable.

I don’t mind saying that in spite of all I’ve written in this space for the past seven (!) years, it was challenging to distill my thoughts about that night, the days that followed and my own faith journey since into a single chapter.

But I, and a dozen other parents, did just that.

In our own words we tell our stories. We share our struggles and our triumphs. We write honestly about how our faith was challenged and how it carried us through.

Every chapter was written by a parent who has a child (or children) in Heaven. Several chapters were written by dearly loved and greatly admired friends.

One chapter is mine in which I share Dominic’s story.

It was a long process but I’m happy to report that the book is now available on Amazon!

Eleven different chapters full of heartache, hope and help written BY bereaved parents FOR bereaved parents (and those who love them).

Until Then: Stories of Loss and Hope would be a blessing to any bereaved parent, to friends and family of bereaved parents (to help them understand the journey) and also to ministry leaders who will, at one time or another, be in a position to shepherd and counsel bereaved parents.

This is a labor of love.

All proceeds above production costs go to ministry to bereaved parents, not the authors.

Consider purchasing a copy or two for yourself or as a gift. ❤

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!

When I decided to make my thoughts, experience and heart public in September 2015 I had no preconceived notions regarding who might read what I wrote or what impact it might have on anyone’s life but my own.

I think I simply felt like what I had inside of me just couldn’t be contained.

I had been writing in my journal since the morning Dominic left for Heaven but those pages were no longer large enough. So I ended up here.

I’ve been amazed at how gracious, how kind, how supportive and how encouraging the community of hearts that have gathered around these blog posts have proven to be-to me and to one another.

When I asked y’all if you thought a book might be a good idea I was blown away by the response.

Thank you for stepping up and giving me feedback.

So many of your comments touched my heart! I’m humbled that choosing to be transparent has been helpful to even one other grieving parent.

I think I will pursue a print compilation of what I’ve written in this space.

I doubt it will be available very soon as I intend to investigate various options.

I promise to keep you updated!

In the meantime, know that every comment, every share, every “like” encourages me.

❤ Melanie

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