Recently, I feel like my grief journey has been harder rather than easier. It is difficult to know why that is the case. Is it because it has now been almost two years since Andy died? Others have warned me of that difficult milestone. Is it due to that fact that spring has arrived with its promise of trees, flowers and new life while my heart is still feeling such sadness and death? Is it the social distancing/quarantine that has now gone on for two months keeping us all isolated in our homes? Perhaps it is a combination of all of these things. It is impossible to know for certain.
Because of that, I decided that this week, I really needed to focus on hope, hope that things will get better as time goes on. This immediately led me to write Kathleen to ask her to be on the show. Kathleen lost her young daughter Anna almost 20 years ago. We have a mutual friend, and Kathleen has been closely following our story through her. She sent me a copy of her book documenting her journey with Anna several months ago. More recently, as I had blogged about the difficulties of Andy’s birthday and Mother’s Day, she was quick with an email offering encouragement, and ideas of how to commemorate Andy.
Those emails always brightened my spirits just a little and I knew that I had to give her the opportunity to share her wisdom with all of my listeners and not just me. It is a blessing to hear from someone who has experienced these dark times. It is nice, too, to hear how she still remembers Anna and talks about her in everyday life. Now, though, those memories bring more smiles and laughter than tears.
These podcasts are extremely helpful and hopeful
I started listening to your podcast when my former pastor (now retired), Rev. Doug Van Doren talked about the death of his son. While I’d known Doug for many years, your interview with him helped me to know him on a deeper, more profound level. The loss of a child has a way of doing that.
I’ve been wanting to express my gratitude to you for your podcast for some time. After listening to your talk with Kathleen, I felt I couldn’t put it off any longer. Yes, in relating her story, she has a strength that brings hope, and a vulnerability that lets one know her loss can still bring her to her knees. And, that’s okay.
Please know that you are helping many, many people who you will likely never meet. I don’t have any children, but I’ve lost family and friends through death. Your podcasts help me deal with loss, as well as perhaps, have the words to say to someone who’s lost a child.
This was a wonderful glimpse into an painful journey to acceptance and growth. I lost my only son to SIDS, at 2.5 months. Perfectly normal baby suddenly gone. There are many variations to our losses that distinguish the loss, but what is in common is the sense that is feel wrong to bury our child, that we are NOT to feel this separation. I physically hurt, not just that Derrick had been a voracious nurser, but I felt the physical loss as though my heart had been torn out of my body. For many years I believed the best part of me had died and left. I longed to learn more about heaven and no longer feared death. It has now been 31 years, I think of him every day, knowing my life is richer because I have him waiting in heaven, but the joy and promise of our reunion is so real and comforting. Maybe that is what makes the pain more bearable now?? Heaven is so real and such a comforting promise after years of meditating on the promises of my home, I know Derrick will be there waiting for his Dad, Mom and 4 living sisters, plus our 3 miscarriages. The loss takes on a perspective and the sharp pain of loss loses the gut wrenching pain. My 73 days and 9 months of memories bring me comfort and joy while I wait for HIS promise to be fulfilled.
We were so blessed to have Anna with us for one year, eight months, fifteen days, one hour and forth-four minutes. Every moment was a blessing! And I, too, look forward to seeing her again! Praying for all of us who have experienced the unimaginable.