While I’ve always been an introvert, I was not nearly the homebody I’ve become since my son ran ahead to heaven.
Now staying in, carefully planning social events and obligations, leaving a few days between high-energy gatherings and just generally pacing myself is the norm.
I’m truly not anti-social. I love my people. I love seeing them and talking to them.
But since there’s only so much energy to go around I AM selectively social.
Grief changes lots of things.
I am simply not able to spend energy on frivolous and marginally meaningful social activities anymore.
I’m sure that hurts some folks feelings and I am truly sorry.
But I can’t help it.
Read the rest here: Not Anti-Social. Just Selectively Social.
So much of this battle has been fought in my mind.
Really, even more than in my heart.
Because you can’t argue with sad or shock or missing or disappointment.
But you can absolutely argue with hopelessness (there is nothing to live for), apathy (there is nothing to do) and distrust (there is no one who can help me).
Read the rest here: Thoughts Matter
My family has opened our eyes to thousands of mornings knowing the one thing we would change if we could is outside our control.
When the world faced the pandemic these past years, it was a new and disturbing feeling for millions (billions?). We are still reaping the consequences of decisions taken during that time.
Eventually, though, most people’s lives will return to a semblance of normal that makes allowances for the changes.
But some of us emerged on the other side of that season carrying the new and unrelenting burden of loss.
And nothing will ever be normal again.
opressively constant; incessant.
Read the rest here: Relentless
While I certainly had no real idea in the first hours or even weeks what losing a child entailed, I understood plainly that it meant I would not have Dominic to see, hold or talk to.
I wouldn’t be able to hug his neck or telephone him.
He wouldn’t be sitting at my table any more.
But the death of a child or other loved one has a ripple effect. It impacts parts of life you might not expect. As time went on, I was introduced to a whole list of losses commonly called “secondary losses”.
Read the rest here: Child Loss and Secondary Losses
When Dominic ran ahead to heaven, I felt like I was physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually knocked to the floor. I had no idea how I was going to make a life after this great blow. I could barely get dressed, much less do anything that took more thought or energy than that.
I was overwhelmed. I had to learn to walk all over again.
And I did it with baby steps, in a judgement free-zone I created for myself where I refused to gauge my progress against anyone else’s.
Read the rest here: Baby Steps Count
When your child is born you take notes.
You plan to mark this day as a special milestone for the rest of your life.
You absolutely, positively NEVER think you will have to mark another one: the day he or she leaves this life and leaves you behind.
But some parents have to mark both. The dash in the middle is shorter than we anticipated, and our child’s life ends before ours.
So how do you do it? How in the world do you observe the polar opposite of a birthday?
Read the rest here: Child Loss: Marking the Milestone
Since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven, I find I need even more alone time than before.
That quiet place is where I do my most effective grief work, undisturbed by interruptions and distractions.
But I need to be careful that solitude doesn’t shift into isolation.
Read the rest here: Solitude or Isolation? Which is it?
For some of us life’s twists and turns include unfathomable pain, sorrow and loss. Broken hearts beating side by side in the dark often find it difficult to reach out across a chasm of grief.
Marriage is hard work under the best of circumstances. Child loss makes it harder.
But there are ways to create space for one another and to extend grace even in this Valley.
It’s no secret that men and women are different.
It’s the subject of everything from romantic comedies to hundreds of books.
“Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” and all that.
So it shouldn’t surprise those of us walking this Valley that our spouse may be grieving very differently than we do. But it often does. Because everything is amplified when it echoes off the high mountains on either side.
And just when we need it most-for ourselves and for extending to others-grace is often in short supply.
Read the rest here: Grieving Differently: Growing Apart or Growing Stronger?
As a people-pleasing first born who hates conflict, giving in has always been easy for me. It’s only later that I wish I hadn’t.
So for most of my life, setting personal boundaries has been challenging.
But in the aftermath of child loss, healthy boundaries are no longer optional, they are necessary for survival.
So what are healthy boundaries?
Read the rest here: Healthy Boundaries in Grief
Child loss is also often sibling loss.
In addition to their own heartache, bereaved parents carry the heartache of their surviving children.
The family everyone once knew is now a family no one recognizes. Hurting hearts huddle together-or run and hide-and it is so, so hard to find a way to talk about that pain.
Read the rest here: Grief is a Family Affair