Our sweetie pies

Our sweetie pies

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A grief filled cry...

I finally cried today. At the end of our church service, our pastor invited people to come up front and request prayer. several people went up and knelt at the steps. Various elders in our church went over and prayed with them.

Then we looked over and saw the mother of the boy who had just tragically died two days ago. She stepped from side to side, edging her way out of her pew. She slowly made her way down the aisle. She stood up front, at first by herself, and then raised her hand up to God, as if trying to reach to heaven itself, and prayed. A prayer full of agony.

Her husband then slowly walked down the aisle and fell to his knees, head in his hands. People began to come out of their seats and walk down the aisle to join them. A group began to surround them as they prayed only prayers that the heartbroken can understand.

Our music leader was playing his guitar and singing. The song was ending but he just kept singing. prayer was so desperately needed at that moment that no one wanted to move.

There was a box of kleenex set on the stage right next to the mom. As needed she reached over and clutched her face in one. You could see the agony on her. It was as if she had dragged herself out of her bedroom to take time to come to church. we had a glimpse of her pain for an hour and then for her to return to her mourning ground. never letting up. never letting that pain go. still desperately clinging to her son.

when she spoke with others, she mentioned items of her sons that triggered more memories and fresh sadness and raw pain.

When the pastor gently prayed for the family and the church, he then officially concluded the service. the group that was surrounding the family, began to take turns hugging the parents and slowly exiting, quietly, respectfully. faces full of pain and tears too.

My husband and I made our way over to them. A new line had formed. my husband went over to the dad and gave him a big hug. Our children were waiting for us in their classroom, but we wanted to let these parents know that we have been praying too and share in their pain.

It was finally my turn. I gave her a hug and held tight. I began to try to form words, but just began to cry. I cried for her pain and her family. For her son, for her remaining sons. for the pain they had to carry.

I have been carrying my own pain for our daughter for almost six weeks now and needed someone to share in our pain too. I cried for all of us moms that carry such pain for our children. Pain that the childless just don't know. Pain that mothers of healthy children just don't know. Pain, we shouldn't have to know.

In the midst of our tears, I hear her say, "your family is such a blessing to us. always a blessing." I couldn't believe it. I felt so inadequate to even give her a hug. I felt like I could never be enough for what she needed right now and yet, she tells ME, that I am a blessing. God bless her.

moments before, as I had edged my way from my seat into the aisle to make my way over to the grieving mother, another woman had edged down the aisle from her seat to come talk to me.

I was caught off guard. my whole focus had been on making my way over to my friend to try to take some of her grief off of her shoulders, and another woman had come to talk to me.

This woman is the grandmother of another little girl who has survived cancer three times. This grandmother has been reading my blog and wanted to take a moment to encourage me. I suddenly had felt so humbled and unworthy of our struggles compared to my friend's. yet this grandmother also knew my pain and wanted to share some of my own grief. God took a moment to remind me that my grief and what we are going through is still important too.

one death, one new diagnosis and one who has beat the odds, three times. All of us have joined a club that is referred to as "the club you don't want to be part of ". We are mothers who know the pain of grieving for your children and grandchildren. we see innocence taken and know that they shouldn't have to deal with such things. Yet what do these children know? Her son is in heaven, my daughter is a happy 3 year old and the granddaughter is an amazing light to whomever she encounters. I actually had the privilege of working with my friend's middle son and this other woman's granddaughter when I was teaching. They both used to come by my classroom and say "Hi".

Most of these kids, don't know any other way. They are resilient because they are young and naive. They haven't seen all the choices that we have already and they don't know many alternatives. These children can be an example to us grieving parents as to what really is important in life. If they are joyful and still thankful, then we should be too. After all, what is life really all about? whether they have 3 years, 19 years, or 42 years to live, it is our job to live everyday for the Lord, not to mourn what we cannot do.

Even my friend that just lost her son. One day she will begin to see good come from this unexpected tragedy. Lives will be touched by his life, their loss; who knows what amazing things God can do from this experience. Another friend that lost her baby to cancer, many years ago now, continues to share her testimony as to how God provided for them in the darkest hour.

we cried today and soon we will rejoice. we mourn for the loss of a child and loss of health for my daughter but we all cling to each other and lift each other up to our maker.

the one again, who knows his plans for us:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

and if you can count on anything; it is God. For he is the ever unchanging.


  1. This was beautiful.

    I had my own encounter with unimaginable grief this weekend...silence and prayers seem to be a theme right now.

    God IS unchanging.

    Even in the darkness.

  2. Jennifer, this is a beautiful post, Thank you for sharing, your word touched me deeply. Jesus caries us all, Todd

  3. What a beautiful, pain-filled post. There is beauty in brokenness, in complete surrender to God, in the ashes that we lay at His feet.

  4. Jennifer indeed your family has been a blessing to us. I had the privilege of working in the nursery when your twins were there. Oh how I loved seeing them each weak, they were always my highlight. I praise God for the 20 years I had my boy Zachary, he enriched and blessed our lives in so many ways. Though we grieve, we praise and glorify God in the midst of our pain.
    Bless you and your family. Hug those kids every day. -Dan Whelan