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
For the most part, I’m pretty transparent. Because secrets don’t serve anyone well.
If I pretend to be stronger than I really am, I hide the truth that it is Christ in me that gives me strength.
If I don’t admit that certain words or actions hurt my heart, I enable thoughtless behavior.
If I only parrot “Sunday School” answers when someone asks about my faith in relation to my loss, then I silence other hearts wrestling with questions and pain in light of God’s sovereignty and love.
If I hide my tears, my pain, the missing then I minimize this great loss, And I will not make losing Dominic small.
Read the rest here: How Transparent Should I Be When Sharing?
Thanksgiving is only a little over a week away and I know many are making final plans and preparations to gather family and friends around the table.
In the rush toward celebration, please don’t forget those in your circle who have suffered loss.
The past years (!) have prevented or limited many of the ways we publicly gather and mourn so it’s easy to overlook that some families are facing their first set of holidays without a loved one.
Even the second or third Thanksgiving with an empty chair is unbelievably hard.
Here are some helpful ideas to get you started.
We are all on a journey through life and each carry some sort of load. Mine is child loss. Yours may be something else.
We can help one another if we try.
Love and grace grease the wheels and make the load lighter.
Here are ten ways to love a mourning heart at Thanksgiving:
Read the rest here: Ten Ways to Love a Mourning Heart at Thanksgiving
I first shared this post in 2016 when I deeply resented anyone trying to tell me there would eventually be a “new normal” to this long road of sorrow and missing.
Since then I would say that I can concede there is a kind of “normal” that eventually takes over a life-even a life shattered by loss.
No matter how tempting it might be to climb under the covers and hide away in my room, biding time until it’s MY time, I can’t.
And little by little, the ordinary (and extraordinary) habits, pressures and circumstances of walking in the world require more and more of my attention forcing me to sequester Dominic’s absence to a part (instead of the whole) of my waking existence.
But I will tell you today-over eight years later-that there is STILL absolutely, positively NOTHING “normal” about my beautiful boy being here one moment and gone the next.
Something you hear early on in this grief journey is that one day you will find a “new normal”.
I hate that phrase.
Because while I have certainly developed new routines, new ways of dealing with life, new methods for quelling the tears and the longing and the sorrow and the pain-it is NOT normal.
Read the rest here: Nothing “Normal” About It
A fellow bereaved mom commented on my recent holiday post with this question: How do you make joy, when your heart has no joy?
It was a good and honest query. One that stopped me in my tracks.
Read the rest here: Flickers Of Light, Guiding My Heart Home
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
I was utterly amazed at the questions people plied me with not long after Dominic’s accident.
They ranged from digging for details about what happened (when we ourselves were still unsure) to ridiculous requests for when I’d be returning to my previous responsibilities in a local ministry.
Since then, many of my bereaved parent friends have shared even more questions that have been lobbed at them across tables, across rooms and in the grocery store.
Recently there was a post in our group that generated so many excellent answers to these kinds of questions, I asked permission to reprint them here (without names, of course!).
So here they are, good answers to hard (or inappropriate or just plain ridiculous) questions:
Read the rest here: Good Answers to Hard (Insensitive, Inappropriate) Questions
I thought I had at least a passing understanding of what grief is, what it feels like, how it impacts a heart before my son died.
But I was wrong.
Until you live with it day in and day out for weeks, months, years you really just. don’t. know.
There are so many feelings wrapped up in what we call grief. So many surprises along this path.
Who knew that the same heart that would do nearly ANYTHING to spare another parent the awful burden of child loss could also be wildly jealous of that same parent’s intact family?
Read the rest here: Jealousy-Reaching For What I Can’t Have
I admit it: I’m a fixer.
It’s probably genetic (won’t mention any names!) but it has been reinforced by training and life experience.
When faced with a difficult or messy situation, my mind instantly rolls through an inventory of available resources and possible solutions.
And I tended to cut people off mid-sentence with my brilliant (?) plan to save the day.
But there are things you just can’t fix.
I knew that before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven but I mostly ignored it.
I can’t do that anymore.
Read the rest here: Lessons in Grief: Learning to Listen
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.
[Nine] years later and it seems a lifetime ago.
Read the rest here: Birthdays Are…Complicated