Joy Returns

Find him in the Joy

As bereaved parents we often cling to the pain of losing a child because it is the last thing we have of them. We feel like by even thinking of letting go of the pain, we are somehow also letting go of THEM. Yet at the same time it is such a burden to carry that weight and it can rob us of our joy if we let it. In meditating on how to live well in the wake of such a difficult loss, this was the guidance that came. It brought me some comfort and hope, I hope it does the same for you:

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Lachlan is not found in the weight of the loss. He is not in the hurt or the pain. By laying those things at the feet of Christ and giving away the pain, you are not losing Lachlan.
Rather, find Lachlan in the life, the joy, and the love. He is in the gift of motherhood. He is in the laughter and happy memories. He is in your smile. By taking the heavy weight from your shoulders you are not losing him, but finding him by allowing more of the beauty and light from his life to shine.
Take courage and trust. Don't look for him in the ache, though you'll find shadows of him there too. Look for his fullness, instead, in the                                                                                                            things that bring love, joy, and                                                                                                            laughter to your days.

Pearls of Wisdom

My message today for the newly bereaved is simply this. You are going to be ok. I know, it doesn’t feel like it. When you are in that new grief and your body physically hurts, when every single moment and thought is entirely consumed by the torment of not having your child in your arms. Your world is shattered and nothing is ok. When you hurt so much that it seems your heart should simply stop beating in your chest. When the idea of living the next 60 years on this planet without your baby is unbearable, it doesn’t feel like it can actually ever be ok again.

I can think of numerous occasions where I’ve met with someone who just lost a baby. When someone asks me how they’re doing, my answer is often, “they are going to be ok, they just don’t know it yet.” There’s no timeline for getting back to good, but it takes a LONG time. You can’t really even perceive that it’s happening, but it does. One day, you’ll just look back and be able to say, “I still miss him, but I’m ok!”

Before Lach died, I viewed happiness and sadness as opposites. Two sides of a coin that can’t both be experienced simultaneously. I know differently now. I can be both sad and abundantly happy at the same time and because of the same event. I always miss Lach and thoughts of him are never too far away, but sadness doesn’t overpower my days anymore. Even on the days I really miss him, I’m ok.

Eventually, you can be even more than just “ok.” You will be happy, fulfilled, content with this life you’ve been given, and able to be joyful with life’s experience. That’s really an understanding that only time can give you. You’ll never be the same, but if you want happiness again, it is yours for the taking, just by making choices most days that lead you by baby steps in that direction.

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Space for Sorrow in the Joy


The summer after Lach died, I saw a picture similar to this one of a family sitting in a line all wearing their embroidered Mickey Mouse hats. There was a set embroidered and sitting on the ledge to mark the place of the missing child. Something about that picture spoke volumes to me. It was a family, living and loving, enjoying the the things the world has to offer, but still acknowledging that someone was missing. I loved it the instant I saw it. I've never been able to find it again, but have kept that in mind all these years, waiting for the opportunity to take my own version of that picture. Mine isn't as pretty as the one that inspired it, but is a little treasure for me anyway!