I write a lot about what bereaved parents (me!) wish others knew or understood about child loss and this Valley we are walking. And I am thankful for every person outside the child loss community who chooses to read and heed what I write.
But I want to take a minute to tell those of you who are not part of this awful “club” that I get it-I really do get it–when you need to put distance between yourself and me or other people walking a broken road.
We all love to think that life is a never-ending ascent toward bigger, better and more enjoyable moments.
Our children are born and we think only of their future, not their future deaths.
Read the rest here: I Get It-I Really DO Get It.
I’m not a huge fan of the images of Heaven that feature people floating on clouds.
But I love this one.
Here’s why: Because it highlights the lifelong impact of child loss on a parent’s heart.
You can agree or disagree with his politics or her choice of service projects, but you can’t argue with the evidence of lives lived passionately committed to loving others and doing good in the world.
And I absolutely, positively believe that a huge part of what informed that passion was burying a child.
A heart that has endured such painful loss cannot remain unchanged.
Brokenness begets bountiful love if you let it.
And I believe the Bushes did just that.
I am thankful they are reunited-no more pain, no more suffering, no more waiting for redemption.
So I’ll hang onto this whimsical cartoon as a reminder to my heart that even as I wait, longing for the same, I can choose to live a life of loving service.
As long as I am here, I will reach out
to touch the hands and hearts of other hurting humans.
Thank you, George and Barbara, for your example.
Enjoy your reward. ❤
Here’s a thought.
Why not make Christmas about spreading genuine love, grace and mercy instead of about finding the “perfect” gift for already over-flowing lives and living rooms?
I plan to implement this little calendar and hope to find even more ways to spread kindness this season.
I’ve printed one to carry in my purse and one to hang on the fridge. I gave some away to fellow church members who, in turn, are giving some away at work.
A cascade of kindness!
I just love this.
It’s simple, humorous, shareable and oh, so true.
“You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be present.”
For fifty years I was on the “other side”-the one where I looked on, sad and sometimes horror-stricken, at the pain and sorrow friends or family had to bear.
I wanted to help.
I wanted to say the “right thing”. I wanted to express how very much my heart hurt for them and that I badly wished I could carry some of their load.
Sometimes I think I did a pretty good job of reaching out and touching the wound and offering a little bit of comfort. But other times, I would say nothing because I didn’t know what to say.
Read the rest here: Loving Well: Being a Friend
One of the hardest things for me to hear is how sometimes the church fails to minister to grieving parents.
I don’t think it’s because leadership decides to ignore them and others who have intractable situations.
But I do think that our modern emphasis on programs and platforms often leaves hurting hearts behind.
I am a shepherd. My goats and sheep depend on me for food, for guidance and for their security.
And every day I am reminded that a shepherd’s heart is revealed by the way he or she cares for the weakest and most vulnerable of the flock.
Read the rest here: Loving Well: How the Church Can Serve Grieving Parents and Other Hurting People
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”
I have two very special friends.
After Dominic died and the meals and visits and cards had dwindled and the silence and heartbreak had become oh-so-overwhelming, they came out to spend the day with me.
The whole day.
With this crying, couldn’t hold it together, didn’t know what to say mama who had buried her son just weeks ago.
Read the rest here: Loving Well: Relational Acts of Kindness
I’m convinced that many of our friends and family DO want to talk about our missing child but they need permission to do so.
They just aren’t sure if it will make things better or worse.
And if we cry, they feel responsible. They don’t realize that many times they are tears of joy that our precious child is still remembered. ❤
I know you are afraid.
You think that speaking his name or sharing a memory or sending me a photo will add to my sorrow.
But even when it costs me a split second of sharp pain, it is truly a gift to know that Dominic lives on in the hearts and minds of others. It gives me courage to speak too. It creates space where I can honor my son.
It helps keep him alive.
Read the rest here: Loving Well: Just Say His Name
How can all the love and all the hopes and all the dreams of a mama’s heart be squeezed into days or weeks or months of tears and sorrow?
If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.
I grieve because I love.
My tears are a gift to the son I miss. My sorrow honors his memory. My broken heart gives evidence to the ones walking with me that my love is fierce and timeless.
Read the rest here: Love: The Reason I Grieve