Recently I was challenged by someone close to me to examine the impact on my heart of spending so much time in community with those whose loss was fresher and more raw than my own.
They were being neither judgmental nor argumentative.
They were coming from a genuine place of concern, grace and love.
So I took the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate whether or not I need to continue writing in this space, spend time reading and responding to posts in bereaved parents’ groups and ruminating on how grief has changed over time (now seven plus years!).
It was an excellent exercise.
I looked back over social media posts and blog posts from the half-decade and more since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven. I could trace progress from breath-robbing, body-wracking, all-consuming sorrow to a gentler, muted and tender missing that made room for joy and beauty alongside the ever-present tangible absence of one of my children.
I also noted a transition from “spilling my guts” to “trail guide”.
I’m no longer primarily using this space to release feelings and thoughts I’m not comfortable tossing out in day-to-day conversation. Instead, I’m mostly thinking about and sharing what I’ve learned along the way-pointing out the pitfalls and (hopefully!) encouraging hearts to keep on keeping on.
I’ve given myself permission to repost earlier entries (please note dates when you click through) that represent more raw emotions without making apology for either the lack of time or energy to write something new or the angst I once felt.
I’m also choosing to limit my online interaction to an hour in the morning and maybe an hour in the evening.
I absolutely desire to speak encouragement, grace and hope to hearts that are struggling but still need to guard my own from overload.
And as for friends, family or strangers who think, “Goodness, gracious! She needs to MOVE ON!”.
I say, “How can I hide or hoard this hard-won wisdom and experience?”
This is my ministry.
I didn’t ask for it, but it’s mine.
I won’t run away.
So until the Lord tells me definitively He has another path for my life I’ll be here.