Monday, June 6, 2016

Moving past grief

Last year at this time we had placed one of our boys in a boarding school.  Another of our sons had chosen to leave us and return to his birth family. Though we had not experienced death, we were mourning the loss of two children.  Our hearts were torn apart by sorrow that seemed to never end.  It was a longing to hold them in my arms one more time.  It was a giving up of hopes and dreams. It was an ache that went on and on.

When life has does one live in the new normal?  A year later, I still don't have all the answers.  I can tell you the things that helped me the most.

Let yourself grieve.  Our family counselor and a good friend both told me I needed to let myself grieve.  I didn't have to be strong.  That was freeing for me.  And I did grieve.  Some days all I could do was cry.  Even now as I write this, tears surface.  I don't cry as often now.  Most weeks are good.  However, there are still times it hits me hard.  Just last week as we headed on a family trip to Arkansas, I wept.  I remembered our last trip to Arkansas.  I remembered our boys being with us and the good time we had together. And I missed them.

Learn to live in the moment.  I could not manage to look ahead.  It overwhelmed me.  I learned to take each day a moment at a time.  I did not know how I could go on another day or another week, but I could do what needed done in that moment.  One day at a time is literally how I functioned.  Yes, I did miss some things because I didn't plan ahead.  But I found it was ok.  God holds all the tomorrows.  I had to do the best I could with the day I was living in.

Let go of the past.  For some time the "what if's" controlled my thoughts.  What if I had done this or what if I had done that?  Would things have turned out differently?  Those questions will literally paralyze the human spirit.  They took away my will to go on.  I could not change the past.  I could only give it to God and ask him to make the best of the effort I had given to our children, and ask him to redeem my shortcomings.

Hang onto God.  When my world was in turmoil, I realized the only sure thing in life is God. Everything else can be gone in a moment.  Prayer and Bible study became a priority.   I was desperate to talk to Him and hear from Him each day.  Through the time I spent with Him, God granted me the strength I needed for each day.  I could not have made it without Him.  God was enough, and I would be ok.

Lean on your friends.  I have been used to being the one who helped others.  Instead I found myself in desperate need of my friend's help.  Mostly it was prayer support I needed.  There were times I would be praying and trying to get a handle on my emotions but simply couldn't.  At those times, I had a few friends I could text and ask to pray for me.  Their encouragement and added prayers to our Father got me through when I couldn't find the way on my own.

Even a year later writing this is hard, it brings fresh waves of emotion.  However, the emotion is also mixed with joy as I see what God has done in the past year.  Perhaps my journey through sorrow will help someone else.

“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14 ESV


  1. thanks thanks for sharing---Still praying for you and your family. Love ya

  2. May GOD continue to mend all the broken hearts and pain to you and your family.

    Charlotte Moore