If I find in myself a desire for which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.C. S. Lewis
I remember the first time I felt homesick.
I had been away from home before but never without the company of someone I knew well and loved.
This time was different-I was at a sleepover camp populated with strangers. Kind strangers, yes, but not a familiar face among the crowd.
Read the rest here: Homesick
Most parents feel a little stressed during the holidays.
We used to be able to enjoy Thanksgiving before our 24/7 supercharged and super-connected world thrust us into hyper-drive. Now we zoom past the first day of school on a highway toward Christmas at breakneck speed.
For bereaved parents, the rush toward the “Season of Joy” is doubly frightening.
Constant reminders that this is the “most wonderful time of the year” make our broken hearts just that much more out of place.
Read the rest here: Season of Joy: Blessing the Brokenhearted During the Holidays
I totally get why some folks feel the need to pull back when a friend’s life gets hard.
They may be struggling themselves and the idea of even hanging around the edges of another disaster is utterly overwhelming.
But the truest friends bring their broken to our mutual table where we can talk, cry and work on it together.
Read the rest here: Truest Friends
Gratitude does not undo grief.
There, I said it.
Gratitude is important. It is (in my opinion) a necessary ingredient for a healthy and hope-filled and useful life. It is the key to any real happiness a heart might find on this broken road.
But it cannot fill up the empty place where Dominic used to be.
Grief does not preclude gratitude.
Although some broken hearts swear it does. They have convinced themselves that if they cannot have the one thing they really want, then nothing else matters.
That’s a lie as well.
Read the rest here: Gratitude and Grieving: Appreciating What I Have, Acknowledging What I Miss
Rocking babies I never dreamed that one day my life would look like this.
I never imagined that one of those tiny bodies I held close to my mama heart would not outlive me.
Now I sit in the same rocking chair in the dark, thinking about how so many things I wouldn’t have written into my story are now part of it.
And if I’m honest, it can easily overwhelm my heart. It can carry me to a place of despair and desperation where there’s no room for thanksgiving-not the holiday OR the feeling.
Here we are-the eighth year of holidays without Dominic-and I’m no better at it than I was at first.
Read the rest here: Thanksgiving As Sacrifice
Today is my birthday.
And while I am truly grateful for another trip around the sun, since Dominic left us it’s not a simple celebration of life lived and the hope of years to come.
The last birthday I had with an unbroken family circle was a lovely surprise party for my fiftieth held in Dom’s apartment.
Eight years later and it seems a lifetime ago.
Read the rest here: Birthdays Are…Complicated
When I first began writing in this space, “lament” had only just come into vogue.
Now, it’s everywhere.
If this year has taught hearts a single thing, I hope it has taught them there’s no use pretending life doesn’t hurt sometimes. We were not created to carry that kind of pain alone.
And thankfully, we don’t have to.
God, in Christ, invites me to speak it, to sing it, to release it as an exhale so His grace and strength can rush in to fill that empty space.
You’re invited too.❤
Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday.
I loved everything about it,
Read the rest here: The Power of Lament to Make Room for Thanksgiving
As families gather around tables and in backyards to celebrate fall birthdays, Thanksgiving and (soon!) Christmas, my heart longs even harder to hear Dominic’s name.
Of course I remember him-he’s my son-and of course others do too.
But it is especially helpful this time of year to have friends and family speak of him aloud.
Read the rest here: Let Me Know You Remember
My son’s death is a point in time for people outside my immediate grief circle. It’s a date on a calendar. There is a period after his name.
But it is an ongoing experience for me and my family.
We don’t only remember on birthdays, holidays and anniversary days, we can never forget.
Yet often others do.
Read the rest here: I’m Sorry
We are days away from plunging headfirst into the rough and tumble holiday season.
A week from today is Thanksgiving and I don’t know about you, but it seems that once I eat the turkey and dressing, the clock moves faster and the days crowd one another in a race to Christmas and the end of the year.
So I want to take a minute to think about how important it is to make and maintain space for grief during this busy season.
Read the rest here: The Importance of Making Space for Grief During Holidays