Sunday, March 30, 2014

How do I comfort a friend whose child has died?


 


I just got an email from your friend, Val and she told me that you just lost your precious son. I am so very sorry, Mary. Val and I have become friends over the past 12 years as she has become a woman and mom; I initially knew her as a teenager when she and our kids were in high school together. She was friends with our daughter who was killed in 2001. Val has faithfully “been there” and loved me as I have grieved these years. I am so glad you have her in your life.

I know there are really no words that can do anything at this point, but I can tell you, you will make it. You may not always even WANT to, but the raw, torturous pain WILL lessen. I know the horror that comes over you when you open your eyes in the morning and realize it is not just a bad dream. I know the effort everything has become and will be for a while.
Someone told me “When we bury our parents, we lose the past, when we bury our spouse, we lose the present, but when we bury a child, we lose the future.” I know this is not how it is supposed to be; we are supposed to outlive our children and all the times we protect our kids when they are little and hover over them to make sure they are all right-then they become adults and die. It isn’t fair, it isn’t right, it isn’t normal.
 
I have found comfort, (the only true comfort I really have) is that there is a future, an eternity where all things will be made right.  You know now that a person doesn’t die of a broken heart. It feels like you should; I thought certainly the pain would kill me, but it didn’t. I survived. Your friends will want to help and they won’t know what to do. Let them in. Let the ones who you love come alongside of you and be there with you in the midst of your sorrow and grief. I used to think, “Why should I answer the phone? There is nothing anyone could say to me unless they are calling to tell me it was all a mistake and Lindsay is actually sitting in the driveway. So why should I talk to anyone?”
 
 But I had one friend who persevered with me and kept calling and telling me she loved me and would bring me flowers with another bouquet for Lindsay's grave. So, how would I know I wanted that or needed that? I didn’t, but she did and she always helped me just being with her. So, I guess I would say not to isolate yourself even though you feel like it. I really don’t know if anything I have said has even made sense. You are right in the thick of it and everything seems blurry and nonsensical, I am sure. Just know you are loved by your friends and family and you will make it. You will even be stronger and better in the long run, but it will take a while.

Again, I am very, very sorry. I will be praying for you and if there is a time you would like to talk or ANYTHING, you can tell Val and I would be glad to. My husband and I have a ministry now where we help people with depression, bipolar, etc., and also with bereavement issues from loss of a child, especially. May God help you and give you strength to go on. My deepest care and sincerest love, Robyn Bloem
 
 

Robyn and Steve are writing a book at this time about God's grace that helped them when they lost their child.  Robyn is the cofounder of Heartfelt Counseling Ministries and is a biblical life coach. If you  are a publisher or know one who might be interested in us (no self publishing please), please give them our website, heartfeltmin.org . SB
 
If you want to know more about their book, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You
Feel Like You're Losing It, please visit,