My plan for the summer is to post something related to grief every Monday (or at least most Mondays)...thus the title "Monday Mourning." My aim is to be as honest and open as possible as I share about the journey our family has been on for the last few years.
This may sound strange, but after losing my 17-year-old daughter to cancer, I often found myself mentally comparing my loss to that of others.
Which is worse..losing a child that you've spent 17 years with, or losing a child you've spent 17 minutes with, or maybe 17 months? Does that hurt less, since you didn't really know that child very long...or does it hurt more, because you feel robbed of all the wonderful experiences you could have shared together?
What about losing a child who has grown into adulthood and maybe even has a family of his or her own? Would that hurt less, since you'd at least know that your child had gotten to experience some of the greatest joys of life...or would your grief be compounded while dealing with a widowed spouse and grandchildren who are missing their mom or dad?
And is it worse to lose a child suddenly, tragically, like in a car accident or drowning, without the opportunity to say good-bye or make sure things are right between you...or is it worse to watch your child's health deteriorate before your very eyes until their illness leads to death?
Is it harder to know that your child died without you by his or her side...or is it harder to sit beside them, holding their hand, as they struggle to take their final breaths?
And you know what I have finally figured out, after spending a lot of time talking to bereaved parents who have experienced all of the above scenarios in one form or another...
Our losses are all different, but the pain is the same.
Whether our child never took a breath outside the womb, or lived to be 5, or 17, or 36, or 50; whether they died suddenly or slowly; whether we held them as they died or if they died all alone ... it doesn't make a difference. The losses are different, but the pain is the same, and it is very real. And the only place healing can be found is in Christ.
Psalm 147:3 says, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." What a comfort that is!
Six brokenhearted moms will be coming to the While We're Waiting Weekend Mini-Retreat for Moms on June 25th. We are looking forward to seeing God heal broken hearts and bind up wounds during our time together. Please pray for us as we seek to minister to these precious ladies.