I spent last weekend with eleven other bereaved moms.
And lest you think, “How sad!”, let me just tell you we had a beautiful time together.
Sure there were tears-how can there not be when talking about the precious children we miss-but there was fun too.
Of course we had somber moments.
Especially as we lit candles in honor of each child whose light lives on even as their physical presence is denied us.
In between Bible study sessions we ate, talked, walked outside and got to know one another.
A game of “Two Truths and a Lie” revealed all kinds of surprises that had us practically falling off our chairs with uproarious laughter.
Even though most of us had never met before, knowing we shared the heartache of child loss drew us together and opened the door to meaningful conversation.
For 72 hours we didn’t have to put our masks on or walk with one foot in the world of the spared and one foot in the world of the deeply wounded.
We were free-gloriously free-to be real and unguarded.
One of the fun things we did was have a Mary Kay consultant come and do facials and makeup. I think we kind of shocked her when she went around the circle asking, “So what are you primary make up concerns?” and over half of us said, “I don’t wear make up.”
She had no idea that we had long passed the point of faking feelings or saying what someone expects just because they expect it.
I know it was a stretch for some of the moms to make their way to this place they’d never been to and walk into a room full of women they’d never met.
It was a stretch for me to facilitate discussions when I felt I had reached my limit for anything besides staying home for the rest of this year.
But it was worth it.
There is nothing as beautiful as broken hearts gathering together to love, uplift, encourage and listen to one another.
If you have the opportunity and are afraid, please step out.
Take a chance and link arms with fellow grievers.
I promise you will be glad you did.