We are approaching the anniversary of my son’s passing.  My son Sean died 8 years ago.  His accident was on September 16th, and he was declared dead on September 17, 2013.

I want to talk about a difficult subject—the subject of coming along side someone in grief.

When Sean died, others sought to come along side of us and help us—and there was a great outpouring of service and love and help.

But there was also silence from those we “expected” help from.  My mom told me a story, that helped me understand.  You see, my mom’s sister lost 2 of her children and her husband within a 6-month space of time.  My mom said that at times she was so overwhelmed in her own grief that it was hard to help her sister in her grief.  She did help her sister—but it wasn’t easy.

This has helped me to understand that I and my husband and children weren’t the only ones who were grieving when Sean died.  Others needed grace in their grieving as well. They may have been grieving Sean or they may have been grieving something else going on in their own lives.

Also, I came to realize that no one—not my husband, not my other children, not my extended family, no friend—could ever meet my deepest needs—only God could do that.  

That is not to say that others do not have a role to play in helping others who are grieving.

Right now, there is a family who has lost their dad.  Another friend and I have been trying to organize others to help them.  This friend frequently tells me with great passion: “We are apart of the body of Christ, we are His hands and His feet, and God wants us to move and help others.”

She is absolutely right. 

My mom and my Aunt, (who lost her family members), came most frequently to help with–well everything. Other family members also came to help.

After Sean died, a neighbor down the street from us, a sister in Christ, organized meals for us for 2 months—and people from all the churches in my town signed up to bring us a meal.

People came right after Sean died and cleaned our house.

A couple friend, (in the Pastorate), meet with us for over a year, once a week, and provided grief counseling, and friendship.

My best friends took my children on excursions and spent time with me.

All amazing things.

I also experienced rejection, conflicts, loss of friendship, and silence from others.

In reading others’ blogs—the good, the bad and the ugly are all typical and normal things to experience to those who have lost a loved one.

Grief—suffering—these are difficult, difficult things.  Grace, kindness and gentleness with oneself and with others are needed during these times.  Mostly, and above all else—God’s sustaining spirit is what is needed and is available to each of us, for the asking.

One of the worst things for my spirit, was to hang onto bitterness and unforgiveness.  God has frequently pried my hands off these ugly things I was hanging onto and told me with grace and gentleness that He had something better for me to hang onto—Him!! 

In saying this—I do not want to minimize the hurt that is felt by the grieving party, over the lack of caring they may be experiencing.  I understand the hurt.  I too, have felt the hurt.

Rather, I want to give a way for the hurt party to understand that they are not alone—others have walked the same path and have found freedom from the hurt in forgiveness and in the presence of God.

If you are grieving right now, I am praying for you!!  I would appreciate your prayers for my family and myself.  Thank you!

13 thoughts on “Grief

  1. Grief is such an odd and unwanted thing. It shows up when you least expect it, stays longer than it’s welcomed, and causes beauty to dissipate into the ugliness of bitterness and anger. I value the perspective you have, even as you approach this difficult anniversary. Our stories dictate our responses, and we don’t really know what others are experiencing in their stories. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I see such strength and courage in your response, even after eight years. I know that’s a choice, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A few days after Sean’s funeral. Dan and I had to attend another funeral of a friend’s brother and Dan’s students father. Before this day, I had not really grieved for Sean…I was trying to hold it all together for you and my nieces and nephews and my own children……..
    Well during that second funeral of that week, sitting in my own church, listening to familiar hymns, I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. So badly that I was being looked at and I was embarrassed by my behavior……..( you know the kind of crying that exhibits two tons of mucous/nose blowing/ and general ugliness….)
    Well I knew it was Sean and my sister that I was crying for but no-one else knew that. It happens when you least expect it and knocks you sideways……
    Grief is something you can’t fix. No surgery, bandaid, or several million dollars can replace that fabulous child. And it’s such a helpless feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that story–I have not heard it before. I am so grateful you told it to me. You are right–nothing can replace our Sean–nothing has to–someday we will be with him and our loved ones again. The circle will be unbroken!!


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