Being a Friend: Loving Well Series

Oh, the blessing of true friendship when your world is full of pain!  There is no substitute for loving companionship when all you see is darkness.

There are those who are brave and reach out to me and offer words or hugs or prayers and their efforts give me strength and comfort.

Read the rest here:  Loving Well: Being a Friend

Understanding Acceptance: Loving Well Series

There is a lot of misconception around the notion of “acceptance” in the grief community. Sometimes among the very people counseling those walking this valley of loss.

It’s not a once-and-done realization or commitment or decision.  It’s a process…

Sometimes those that walk alongside the bereaved are biding time, waiting for that “final” stage of grief: Acceptance.

And some therapists, counselors and armchair psychiatrists are certain that if the grieving mother can simply accept the death of her child, she can move on–that she can get back to a more “normal’ life.

But this notion is as ridiculous as imagining that welcoming a new baby into a household doesn’t change everything.

Read the rest here:  Loving well: Understanding “Acceptance”

Just Say His Name: Loving Well Series

As a bereaved mother, I long desperately to know that my son is still remembered and that he still matters.  Of course, he matters to me-but it is a great gift to know that he matters to others as well. 

Death is scary.  Even for us who trust Jesus.  And the death of a child just trashes the notion that we are in control, that we can fully protect the ones we love from all harm.

But you are frightened of what you cannot comprehend.

I am living the reality of your greatest fear.

Read the rest here:  Loving Well: Just Say His Name

Understanding the Grieving Heart: Loving Well Series

I don’t want pity.

I don’t want people passing me in the street or in the sanctuary secretly shaking their head and thinking, “poor woman”.

I would like to be understood-at least as well as anyone standing on the outside of child loss can understand…

A bereaved parent’s grief doesn’t fit an easy-to-understand narrative. And it flies in the face of the American “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality.

Read the rest here:  Loving Well: Understanding the Grieving Heart

Transitioning from “Good-bye” to Grief: Loving Well Series

I wrote this post in an effort to help the nonbereaved understand that funerals and memorials and other outward symbols of “good-bye” are only the BEGINNING to our sense of loss and sorrow.  And that while everyone else walks away and goes back to the life they had the day before, we stand on the threshold to a different life we are unprepared for, know nothing about and do not want.

“A funeral or memorial service seems like a final chapter.  We close the coffin, close the doors and everyone goes home.

But for bereaved parents and their surviving children, it’s not an end, it is a beginning.

Much like a wedding or birth serves as the threshold to a new way of life, a new commitment, a new understanding of who you are, burying a child does the same.

I walked away from the cemetary overwhelmed by the finality of death–not in a theological sense–I believe firmly that my son lives with Jesus–but with the undeniable fact that he is no longer available to me on this earth.”

Read more: Loving Well: Transitioning From “Good-bye” to Grief

31 Practical Ways to Love Grieving Parents: Loving Well Series

I asked other bereaved parents to share from their experience the things that were helpful and not so helpful to them after losing a child.  I was amazed by the answers!

What follows is a combination of their words and mine–blended together to help others in this journey.

If you are a bereaved parent, and have wanted to gently remind amily and friends what is helpful and what isn’t-sharing a post to Facebook can be a non-threatening way to let them know using someone else’s voice.

“When Dominic died, I didn’t get a manual on what to do.  I didn’t get an orientation into how to be a grieving parent.  So when some people asked how they could help me and my family, I really didn’t know.”

Read the rest here:  31 Practical Ways to Love Grieving Parents in the First Few Days

Replay: Loving Well Series

Beginning today and through the next week, I will be sharing again a series of posts written to help those journeying the valley of grief and those walking with them on the journey.  I asked other bereaved parents to share from their experience the things that were helpful and not so helpful to them after losing a child.

Many of these insights are useful for blessing anyone in any difficult situation–we can all use a little help from our friends.

If you are a bereaved parent, and you have wanted to let family and friends know what’s helpful and what isn’t-sharing a post to Facebook can be a non-threatening way to let them know using someone else’s voice.

“No one is prepared to bury their child.

But some of us have to.”

Read the rest: Loving Well: Meaningful Ministry to Grieving Parents