Sunday, September 18, 2016

what you can do

After a loss, there's so often the question of "what can we do?"

Honestly, not much.  

We've appreciated the cards, notes, and meals.  The sweet gifts and generosity.

We've loved the words and stories about Winnie (and Clive) and how they've impacted you or someone.  

We've appreciated the people who have wrestled to find the right words.  No words are perfect, but we know how much you care.  It means a lot.

What can you continue to do for us (or other grieving parents) after the first few weeks?

-Continue to pray.  Really, really pray.  For our hearts, our future, our marriage.  The shock and numbness is just beginning to wear off, and we have so such healing to go through.  Marriage is so hard during this time.  As we struggle to have enough energy for our own sadness and emotions, it's hard to have energy, grace, love, and patience for each other.  We're being really intentional and using what we learned last year, but it's still hard.  

-Continue to reach out.  The notes and cards putter out after a couple weeks, but our hearts continue to hurt for so, so long.  For us, reaching out might mean a note or even a text to invite us to something.  Don't worry, we don't feel guilty saying no.  We try to know our limits.  We'll probably say no 90% of the time.  Being around people is really hard and exhausting right now.  

-Give us space, and time.  Things will never be 'back to normal,' but some of the really raw grieving in the first 6 months or so needs extra measures of grace and space.  Last year, a lot of the deep sadness set in at about the 3-4 month after Clive died.

-Be understanding that we'll have much less energy and be much more forgetful for many months to come.  

-Don't forget about dad.  It seems like the moms often get the majority of support, but our babies were very much equally Sam's.  

-Talk about our kids.  Ask us how we are actually doing.  Not that every conversation has to be serious, but it's hard when these things are never mentioned.

Most importantly, you can do these things: 

-Turn to God.  In prayer, in worship, in relationship.  You need Him just as much as we do.  

-Look around you. We're not the only ones who need support. There are so many people suffering alone.  

-Get involved in a church community if you're not yet.  Or if you don't love yours, find one you love.  Come to ours.  Find one that loves you, encourages you, challenges you, and draws you closer to Him.  Find one where you can serve (not just be served) and fellowship with others.  We could not get through this without our loving church community supporting us, and we want that for everyone else.  These relationships take time, effort, and energy, but they are oh so beautiful.    

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