It Helps To Set Aside Time to Grieve

One of the trickiest parts of life as a bereaved parent is navigating the space between our surviving children and the giant hole left by the one (or more) who have run ahead to Heaven.

It’s especially hard at THIS time of year when school starts, sports teams ramp up and exciting opportunities abound for kids and young adults.

So many ways I might cling too hard to what’s lost and not lean in hard enough to what continues to bring blessing and beauty to everyday life.

I’ve learned it’s best to find quiet moments in which I can journal the feelings that might be unhelpful or downright hurtful to express to others.

❤ Melanie

One of the commitments I made out loud and in my heart the day Dominic left us was this:  I was not going to let his death tear my family apart.  

I was not going to let him become the sainted brother that stood apart and above his siblings.  

I was going to continue to give as much of my time, effort, love and presence to each of the three I had left as I had done when there were four on earth beside me.

I’ve been more or less successful in keeping this promise.

Read the rest here: Child Loss: Setting Aside Time To Grieve Helps My Heart Hold On

Have You Tried Journaling Your Grief?

Journaling has been and continues to be a very important part of my grief journey.

Putting thoughts on paper gets them out of my head.

Writing them down helps me understand them.

i-write-because-i-dont-know

Reading them back is an excellent reflective exercise.

It’s a way to track progress, recognize repeating patterns and see where I need to do more grief work.

Read the rest here: Grief Journaling Prompts

Want To Try Journaling? Here’s How.

Journaling has been and continues to be a very important part of my grief journey.

Putting thoughts on paper gets them out of my head.

Writing them down helps me understand them.

Read the rest here: Grief Journaling Prompts

Journaling My Way Home: Doubt Is Not Disbelief

When I was asked several months ago to speak to a group of hospice care workers, I titled the presentation “Lifting the Veil on Grief”.

One of the topics I covered was how experiencing the death of a loved one-especially out-of-order or untimely death- can cause even the staunchest believer to doubt.

And the first thing I said was, “Doubt in the face of overwhelming sorrow and hard circumstances is absolutely normal.  But doubt is NOT disbelief.”

So often friends, family, clergy, social workers and others want to steer hearts away from doubt because they are afraid that entertaining questions or expressing disappointment in God will always lead to someone losing faith.

That is untrue.

Read the rest here: https://thelifeididntchoose.com/2019/03/02/doubt-is-not-disbelief-journaling-my-way-home/

Then and Now: God’s Grace in Grief

I’ve kept a spiritual journal for decades.  Every now and then I like to gather the pages, look back and reflect.

My journaling intensified after Dominic’s accident.  

Writing out my thoughts, questions, pain and sorrow was one way to process the grief.  I copied quotes and scripture.  I prayed prayers and screamed, “WHY???”.  I tried to document the moments when I felt God close and when I felt He was far away.

As I filled each notebook, I added the dates it covered and tucked it away.  I wasn’t sure when I would be able to look at those painful pages again.

A couple months ago I brought the pile of journals and set them by my chair.  A couple weeks after that, I started reading them.

Some of the entries are still too painful to read.

Some of the events too personal to share.

But over the next few days I’m going to offer a peek into the first hard days after loss.

The days when breathing is a chore, when it still seems like a bad dream, when part of my heart was certain Dominic would walk through the door once again even after I had seen his body lowered into the ground.

My prayer in sharing is this:  that those who read know that God did not abandon me in despair; that it is possible to survive the seemingly unbearable loss of a child; that God does not despise our honest lament; and that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord shall lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19).

April 12, 2014 (The day of the accident)

The LORD gives and the LORD takes away:  Blessed be the Name of the LORD.  May my soul find rest in Thee alone.  May my eyes look only to Thy Face.  May my heart’s peace be the Prince of Peace.  “Dominic”-belonging to God-You gave him to me and he is Yours once again.  Marana Tha-Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

 

 

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