Occasionally I run across some particularly good things to read, usually pertaining to the death of babies and the grief that follows. Especially when they are solid Christian writings.
Although it has been over six months since we said goodbye to our littlest boy, Hosanna Praise, and even longer since we said goodbye to six of his older siblings, the grief still comes and goes. I spend a good amount of time on a daily basis praying for women (and their families) who are suffering bereavement, moderating loss forums, penpalling with freshly grieving parents, and sharing information regarding various research and treatment and medical stuff. So no matter how much time passes from the moments I last held each of my babies, I still continue to walk in the steps of grief: whether it is my own, or whether it is bearing the burdens of others. Some days it is positively burdensome. I know that makes sense, since bearing one another’s burdens is exactly that: burdensome. But I rely on the Lord’s strength (and my sweet husby’s) to help me carry these burdens, as I often feel like I am just so weak: most definitely too weak to carry all of this on my own. Weak shoulders, weak hands, weak knees, weak heart. I praise the Lord for being my strength, and for providing a husband who aids me in ministering to others by sharing their burdens of grief.
Anyway… two articles that I have read this week have been particularly good reads. Worthwhile, especially if you are–or someone you know is–a bereaved parent.
Some of the phrases that stuck out to me as being literally pages from my own heart & life transcribed by someone else into these articles (emphases mine):
God did eventually heal some of our sorrow on His timetable.
Through it all, we found that a sovereign God cannot be trusted to negotiate, but He can be trusted.
…trite and easy answers don’t satisfy, but the deep and mysterious sovereignty of God settles the soul [it doesn’t fix things or make it go away, but it does settle the soul]. When things were out of our control, they were never out of God’s control.
…not only is your baby gone, but so are the dreams you had for him. That’s a tough void to fill.
The battle was won by grief, of all things. We learned how to truly grieve in those days and months. There were times at night when [we] were just too tired to offer much support and we just laid there listening to one another cry. We cried a lot, day and night it seemed. But we clung defiantly to hope for better days, and grief can be a powerful ally when accompanied by hope.
In a way we still grieve with hope, though we long for the day when neither grief nor hope will be necessary.
…we have chosen never to speak again of the death of our son as a “loss.” We didn’t lose our boy—he is absolutely safe in the arms of Jesus.
I had to learn that although I am weak, God is sufficient.
I would offer a special word of counsel to husbands whose wives have recently experienced the loss of a child: She needs you now and she will need you for years to come. She needs your hand, your ear, your heart, your compassion, your tears, your attention, your encouragement, your faith, your courage, your love, your leadership, and your understanding (1 Peter 3:7). And you need hers, too.
I know it feels like the fight of your life and you can’t imagine ever recovering. In a lot of ways, you won’t. But that’s okay. Because He lives, better days are still ahead.
The tears would come trickling down my cheeks. I made no sound. These tears were too painful for noise. They came from the very depths of my soul. The anguish I felt pushed so hard on my shoulders, I feared it would crush my heart. My arms literally ached to hold my baby.
We will never forget our baby. Every [year], we will rejoice at our baby’s return to our Lord. Every Thanksgiving we will remember to give thanks for all [our] children.