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.
Not the kind in Downtown Abbey but the kind who see something that needs doing and just do it.
They open doors, return shopping carts, wash dishes, pick up trash and bend down or stretch high to help children or senior citizens reach what otherwise would be unreachable.
Some of us aren’t naturals but we can learn.
Because when we open our eyes to those around us and choose to be helpful we make a change to our hearts and theirs. We build bridges of grace and kindness that help to connect individuals and communities.
When a person feels seen, heard and cared for, they are much more likely to drop the drawbridge to their heart.
It’s no good saying, “Well, he didn’t ask for help” or “She didn’t let me know she was struggling”.
If we are paying as much attention to our friends and family as we are to social media memes and funny TikTok videos, we can’t miss the signs of desperation and hopelessness.
If we take time to ask important questions there’s no way we won’t hear sadness or loneliness in the reply.
So let’s stop acting like doing good is something only a few select individuals can or should do. It’s a myth that bringing meals and checking in on those who are no longer able to make it to our fellowships or church services or bingo halls is a special skill.
Compassion isn’t a calling or a gift or a virtue.
Compassion is something we choose to practice.
And for those of us who call Christ “Lord” it is a command.
It is scary to speak aloud what you hope will never happen to you. It’s unbelievably frightening to admit that we really have no control over whether, or when, we or the ones we love might leave this world.
But I am not going to keep silent.
Not because I want pity or special treatment, but because I want that parent who just buried his or her child to know that you. are. not. alone.