Originally posted May 2015. Updated April 2017.
Warning: In this post I write about my horrible attitude one night last week. I know I was wrong and have asked forgiveness. Parts are raw. But stick with me to the end, please. And please understand that I don’t normally feel this way. This blog reflects one evening.
Most of the time I handle my grief well, and I walk in peace, grace, and joy. But one night last week I was really struggling. It was just a few hours of intense grief.
I decided I had had enough of all this death, dying, and I-miss-my-baby crap that I see on Facebook. I was tired of reading about all the kids in heaven and how sad their parents are with them gone and how much each of them are struggling. I was fed up with reading about how much they are hurting. I was sick of seeing pictures of their cute kids and memes about heaven and poems about grief. So I unfriended most of my grieving friends.
(I told you I was struggling.)
I was just about to hit the button to leave the WWW group when there was a tap on my shoulder. I heard a still, small voice say,
Really? You unfriended those who have loved you? Those who looked at pictures of your Andrew and liked them? Those who commented when you needed them to? Those who encouraged you, prayed for you, and cared for you even though you have never met them? All because you are tired of grief? Really? That’s how you treat those who God has put in your life?
How would you have survived without them this past year?
Do you not know that God sent them? God has brought you into each other’s lives to build each other up, to bear one another’s burdens, to comfort and encourage one another.
Yes, they post about their child. Yes, they post pictures and poems and memes about grief. But they help you and love you.
And you can and must help each of them. You help them when you hurt with them, pray for them, and comment on or like their posts.
You need each other. You are the Body – many members, unique, but part of one Body. The Body of Christ. Love one another as God loved you, dear child.
Jesus, too, knew loss and grief.
He is with you all. He is with you always. He loves you and He loves them. So go and do likewise.
Therefore, on the While We’re Waiting FB group I confessed my actions and attitude, and I asked my hurting friends to forgive me. And I asked them and others to “friend” me again.
I renewed my promise to pray for them daily, to love them as best as I am able, to look at their pictures of their children and see how beautiful their child was, and to read their posts. I committed to reading their stories and hearing their needs.
In general, most of the time, I have found joy and peace. My broken heart has healed. Memories are usually joyful rather than painful. In my healing it would be easy to walk on and not look back, not stop to care for those so new to this journey in grief.
But we who grieve need someone to listen, to hear us in our pain, in our grief, someone who understands because they have been there. And if I walk away…if we who have experienced this loss all walk away…who will be there to help the mom whose baby will die tomorrow? Who will love that dad whose son will kill himself next week? Who will listen to the couple who will hear that knock on the door next month and find a cop standing there bearing news of the death of their adult child? Who?
If we, who have walked this road and found healing are not willing to walk with those who have just begun in their grief, who will?
Thus I choose to stay in the WWW group. To stand with others who grieve. To pray, listen, encourage, cry, grieve, and suffer with each of those who will unwillingly join our club in the days to come. Together we can make it and find peace, joy, serenity, and life once again. With the help of the Comforter and with compassion for each other, we can thrive.
And someday we will join our children in heaven. When I do, I want to hear the words “Well done my good and faithful servant”.