Thanks, Linda! And thank you for sharing your story, too. You're so right in that grief changes as time goes on. I've noticed that throughout the past six months. The rawness and shock of the first couple months has given way to a different kind of grief. Still overwhelming and crushing, but there certainly has been healing too. Blessings to your family!
Thanks for your comment. I should clarify that my sole intent for this post was to openly share my personal experience with grief so far, and maybe provide some practical suggestions for how to interact with parents who have lost a child--more specifically those who have recently lost a child. My post was more directed to the average person struggling to know what to say to their friend, neighbor, fellow church-goer that has lost a child. And I think this post does achieve that based on the overwhelming amount of positive feedback it has received so far (and I'm so grateful for that!)
I confess that my writing comes out a dark place, as I'm still very much in the midst of the early stages of grieving. I'm not yet ready to talk with others about the deep theological questions that death brings up (though that's not to say I haven't thought about them...I do). I most definitely believe that God is sovereign--I'd feel pretty hopeless if I didn't wholeheartedly believe this! Perhaps my wording in the post didn't express that, although I hope that many will see that. My intent for my post was most definitely not to make sweeping statements on the nature of God and his relationship to suffering and sin. I wrote my post on a much shallower level, I admit. :)
I think most reading this post are simply looking for a few tips for comforting their grieving brothers and sisters. Personally, it will be many years before I'm ready to explore the big questions about grief that have been debated by people of faith for hundreds and hundreds of years. But I think that's OK.
I should also add that I'd be very interested in attending a GriefShare program. My grandma recently went through the program after my grandpa passed away, and she truly appreciated the program and found it very helpful. I'll have to be on the lookout for these types of programs when we're ready for something like that.
Posted in: S.O.S. Sexual Assault at a Retreat by Clergy
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Posted in: Five Pointers for Praying With Kids
Posted in: Diversity and Discernment
Thank you for sharing your wisdom and heart in this post, Danielle!
I just happened to stumble on this post today, and wanted to say thank you, David/Gary. As a mother who unexpectedly lost her 4-week-old daughter 5 months ago, I found the points in this post to be so accurate.
I especially liked your point: "Bereaved parents can be parents who have lost children in utero, at birth, while an infant, while a youth, or even as an adult. The age doesn’t change things—children will always be sons and daughters of parents."
While I know that everyone means well when trying to offer words of comfort, the words often have the opposite effect. As you pointed out, grief is a journey, and others' attempts to help us "move on" or somehow lessen the significance of her death are not at all what bereaved parents need. We will always grieve the loss of our daughter, and until we're reunited with her in heaven, there will always be a big part of us that's still actively hurting. I think these suggestions, though, are really helpful for friends and family looking to show compassion and care to bereaved parents.
Posted in: The Trials of Charlie Gard
Thanks for posting this, Mark. Ten months ago, my husband and I had to make the soul-crushing decision to tell the doctors to stop trying to revive our daughter. To this day, I don't know how we had the strength to do that. However, we do take comfort in the fact that just about every medical resource and effort available was used to give our daughter the best chance at life. We always felt that the hospital and its staff valued her life and was committed to helping her thrive. We are also blessed to live in a state that covers the medical expenses of severely premature babies like my daughter. Without that blessing, we would have faced an astronomical hospital bill for her month of life. It breaks my heart that other parents in similar situations aren't blessed with this same level of support and are forced to fight systems that don't value the life of their child in the way they should.
CRC synod spoke on the issue of climate change recently. In 2010, the synod of the CRC instructed that a task force be formed to study and present a Reformed perspective of creation stewardship, including the issue of climate change. In 2012, the Creation Stewardship Task Force presented its findings in the Creation Stewardship Task Force Report (read the summary here). Synod 2012 responded by affirming its findings and adopting its recommendations, thereby becoming one of the first evangelical denominations in the United States to affirm the scientific consensus on climate change, calling it a "moral, religious, and social justice issue," and calling its denominational bodies, congregations, and individual members to private and public action.
You can read the statement by Synod 2012 here, along with its recommendations to churches.