There is shame on my road to Healing. May I tell you why?
Without While We’re Waiting [a faith-based group for Bereaved Parents] my road to Healing would have been like driving my old tractor across the deserts of the Southwest: hot, dry, and ugly at times. With knobby tires and no shock absorbers, I would have bounced all over the road and felt beaten at the end of each day. I may have gotten to the end of the journey – a place called Healing – but it would have been a long, hard trip. I might even still be in the middle of the desert right now, in fact.
Instead, I have arrived at Healing. I arrived long ago.
With my new friends from While We’re Waiting, it has been a fairly smooth trip with but a few potholes and side roads along the way. Even in potholes and on side roads, friends from While We’re Waiting were there to lift me up in prayer, encourage me, and show me the way to Healing. It has been like being in my SUV with comfort seats that adjust, lumbar support, and a GPS to point the way. My friends from While We’re Waiting have been there to share the journey, sing with me, chat with me, and be silent with me. They even helped with the burden of driving. They spent time with me at rest stops. They made my journey more pleasant. I arrived more quickly than I would have if I had traveled alone. And they helped me arrive with fewer struggles.
So why haven’t I shared While We’re Waiting with the parents of the other four? There were five young people killed on August 12, 2013. Five friends. Five lives cut short. Five whose parents are grieving. What about the parents of the other four? Why have I not told them about While We’re Waiting?
I was selfish. While We’re Waiting was MINE! It was MY grief journey, MY safe place. I was angry that my son was with their children in that car on that night on that road. I was afraid to be honest where they could see my raw, broken heart. I did not want to share this wonderful thing with them.
A friend shared While We’re Waiting with me last fall because it had helped her arrive in Healing after the death of her son. I should have shared it with the parents of the other four. I was wrong to have not invited them before now. I am sorry. I am ashamed. I should have invited them to join the Facebook group long ago. I am ashamed that I did not.
They are each on their own road to Healing and traveling their own ways, the parents of the other four. I pray that they have peace and joy. I pray that they each arrive at Healing.
God is gracious and He will help them to Healing whether I invite to While We’re Waiting or not. God desires to heal their hearts, as He did mine, in His way and in His timing. They may not even want to join the Facebook page or participate in support group meetings. But I should have invited them. It may have made their journey a bit smoother, a bit easier, a bit less lonely.
I should have looked outside my own grief. I should have looked to help the others on the road to Healing. I should have cared more and helped them along the way.
We became bereaved parents at the same moment, in the same accident. Our kids were friends. I am sorry I did not love the parents of the other four better.
I’ve changed that, starting today.
If you have experienced the death of a child may I introduce you to While We’re Waiting? They are a faith-based ministry to bereaved parents. You can find them on Facebook and at www.whilewerewaiting.org