Today my husband Matt spoke with a friend of his who lost a child some years ago. He shared some things that really touched our hearts and we would like to pass along to you.
He said that after losing their child, week numbers 3 – 8 were the darkest and most brutal times for them. This is just about when the incredible outpouring of love begins to diminish. Oh, you know that people still care – it’s just that life goes on. For everyone else. But not for them. The loneliness, isolation and despair can be overwhelming when the initial flurry of activity dies down.
It has now been four weeks since our precious Enzo went to be with Jesus. If the same thing goes for Todd and Kate as for our friends, this is right about the time we, as their loved ones and as a community, need to step up our efforts to be there for them. In their heads, they know we all still care, even if we had to return to normal life. But when you are walking a despairing road, logical thinking isn’t exactly balm for the soul. It’s kind words, encouraging notes, visits, cards, time spent together, listening, etc. that says we are still here, walking this road with them as best we can.
Whatever stage a grieving person is in, we do not have the power to pull them out. I do not suggest we try to “fix” anyone so they can move on. That is not our job. But we can buy a gift, send an email, do a kind service, drop a note in the mail, sit and talk, provide a good distraction for an afternoon. These are the things that will show we still care, even if life has had to resume for us. These are the things that will help them through the grief.
Matt asked his friend if, during this time, he wanted people to talk about their child or not. He said that the worst times were when people would ignore the fact that their child had just died. It was like an elephant in the room, but it was ALL he could think about. He said it helped tremendously to talk about it. I know what it’s like when you don’t know what to say. But what you say doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t be afraid to bring it up – most likely they WANT to talk about him!
So, if you feel a nudge in your heart to do something for Todd and Kate, by all means, TAKE ACTION! J
Additionally, this is a beautiful song by Natalie Grant about God’s promise to us when “the sacred is torn from your life, but you survive.” This is the song HELD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-hJ87ApWtw&feature=related