On January 10, I had to journey back in my mind to that day when our beautiful son, Kevin, headed off to Heaven. Always a painful journey back, I have come to understand that it's a necessary part of living with the loss of our son.
On January 11, I met with a precious mom who was marking 14 years since her daughter died of a rare cancer that also caused the death of her husband years before, and than her second daughter a few years ago.
Imagine losing your husband and both of your daughters. Unthinkable! What good could possibly come from such loss?
When I think of good coming from grief, I think of this mom who used her pain and sorrow to open an orphanage for abandoned children in Guatemala. Imagine such a woman as this!
I can name countless other women like this - women of hope! One precious mom suffered the loss of her young son, daughter, and her dad on the same day. Many mom's children died of a drug overdose or suicide. Several sons and daughters were killed in a tragic car, motorcycle, drowning and mountain climbing accident. Too many young moms were not able to take their baby home from the hospital or they found them gone in their crib because of SIDS. Others watched their child lose their battle with cancer or other health issues. Some, like me, experienced death that came in the form of sudden cardiac death or heart disease.
I know hundreds of precious moms who live and grieve the loss of their children (and grandchildren) with hope and who have found peace, because they have been intentional about looking for and finding the good in their grief journey.
Say what? Good in grief? Yes! I absolutely believe there can be good in our grieving.
There is good in grief if it causes us to examine our lives in light of the reality that we, too, will one day die. Days after Kevin died, at 28 years old, I asked myself, "Am I ready to die? Am I right with God? Am I ready to meet Him and spend Eternity with Him?"
Much good comes to me, when I have opportunities to "comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:4) The years I was the co-founding director of Mothers Like Me Grief Care Ministry were very, very good and I met some amazing women in the process
There is good in grief when it changes our priorities. If we live on the surface, never going deep, by having to go deeper, we may discover that there is a life to be lived that we would have never lived, if we had not suffered the pain and heartache of the loss of our beloved child.
I believe there can be good that comes out of grief, but we have to be looking for it. For me, the loss of our son took me deep into the dark waters of sorrow where I found that hope floats.
My grief was all-consuming, but there was always hope. At times, I wasn't sure who I was anymore, overwhelmed with grief, I remembered this promise - "The one (the Spirit of God) who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
As our family comes together in February to lay my mom's remains to rest in our son, Kevin's, double plot, I remember the day, when we laid his body to rest - - 20 years ago. It's not the time that matters most, it's what has taken place within these past 20 years. Bob's and my troubled marriage was saved and our love redeemed and strengthened. My faith was strengthened and the hope of Eternity came alive in me as never before. When I connected my hurt to the Healer, so much good came with His healing touch.
One of my favorite songs is by Mercy Me with a line that says, "I am alive, though part of me has died, I am alive." Life goes on and I choose life - what about you?
What is your hope in life and death?
With Faith, Hope and Love,
Angie "a mom like you"