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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Grief Can Be a Gift...Honest..

After the kids are in bed, I sit comfortably in my overly fluffy recliner when I get my chance to relax from the long day. As I sit here, I am surrounded by different memorial items that remind me of my precious daughter, Dakota. Images of her lifeless body beautifully positioned line my walls. Angel figurines line my shelves. A butterfly wind chime hangs from the floor lamp that's surrounded with a rainbow scarf. All of these bring me to tears when I actually sit and look at them. The corner shelf that sits behind me holds the plaster molds of the only thing that makes me feel close to her...her hands and feet. I pick them up, gently hold them and caress them while wishing it was really her that I was touching. Oh, to feel her skin against mine again. My heart breaks many times over during a single day for my daughter who was taken too soon from me. At times when I am in a slump and overloaded with grief, I'll grab my phone, put my ear buds in, and play the songs I have saved under a playlist just for her. There in that comfy chair, I cry for the daughter I only have spiritually. 

Day after day, for the past year and eight months, I've mourned the loss of my daughter. I sit and wonder when will this pain end? When will I be over the grieving and the pain of her absence? 

I've lost loved ones before. However, it's completely different losing your daughter compared to an Uncle or Grandparent. Grief lingers on for years after the loss of a child. I'm well aware of this because I know other angel parents who have been on this path for sixteen or more years. Guess what, they still feel the same way they did on the day they learned of their loss. 

In society, it seems as if one is expected to feel grief and mourn for several months after the loss. After a few months, it seems as if grieving for longer periods of time is unacceptable. It's like by then the person should be over it by then. Beyond the few month mark, a lot of people go back to life the way they lived it before the loss and assume those closest to the passed, has moved on too. 

I am here to tell you that way of thinking couldn't be more wrong. The loss of a child leaves a void in your life and in your heart for years to come. I believe it'll remain there until you're reunited with the child you never had the chance to know. 

Now that a year has passed and we're slowly making our way to the two-year mark, grieving for me has went from doing it openly to doing it in the privacy of my own home. (Normally in the shower because for some reason it's embarrassing to cry for my daughter.) There are only a select few that I choose to discuss my pain and grief with now. A year ago, I was shouting it to anyone that would listen. 

Is it okay to admit that I still feel the same way today as I did on the day I found out she didn't have her precious heartbeat?

I've been praying for the Lord to ease this pain and to make the grief manageable. I ask him to make it manageable and not take it fully away because I believe with the grief, I have been brought closer to him. I believe the grief that has been given to me is....a gift. 

The shattered heart, endless tears, the endless yanking at the strings of your heart, and the screams of overwhelming pain would be something that would make anyone want to run away from. It'd make anyone want to turn away and run in the opposite direction. But if we're willing, if we are open to accepting this gift from the Lord, this gift of grief, we will discover the blessings which are hidden within the creases of grief. 

When we (human beings) were created, we were created to live in the beautiful Garden of Eden without the feelings of loss let alone any grief. We weren't designed to experience the hardship we face today. Grief tends to focus on the eternal values in life by making us remember the lessons were taught in the moments of the loss of our child. It helps us see exactly what matters and want doesn't. It tends to help us value our time here on earth and guides us to use every second with purpose. Before the experience of grief, God and Heaven seem to be in the back of our minds, buried beneath a to-do list, as well as our hopes and dreams list. Grief pushes God and Heaven to the front of our minds and we tend to focus more on Him once we have experienced loss. Loss reminds us that in our time, we will be united with our loved ones in Heaven one day. Thus, giving us hope. 

To experience grief like I have, to the extent that I have has taught me a valuable lesson and made me think of things that had never crossed my mind before. I find myself dreaming of the day I get to pass from this life into the waiting arms of Jesus Christ. I find myself dreaming of what a day that will be. I imagine how the warmth of the sun will warm me as I experience true happiness for the first time. Once again, grief is a gift.

Death tends to remind us of our time here on earth and it reminds us that life isn't promised. Tomorrow isn't promised. Therefore, in our midst of grief we long to live a full life that's pleasing to our Lord and Savior. It makes us take a look at our priorities we have for ourselves and adjust them accordingly. It motivates us to be more disciplined in Christ and live a life full of faith. Grief's gift is a reality check. 

The loss of my child took me to the end of my strength which made me rely fully on God's strength to get by. I can't stop grieving for my daughter. I feel powerless against the overwhelming feelings that I have. It's only through God's strength that I have made it this far. It's His strength that helps me face a new day and with that all the new challenges that I come across. 

I have found grief as a gift through relationships. When we experience a deep loss, like the one I did, we tend to feel needier than what we once were. Therefore, not only do we find strong relationships with those who the Lord placed in our lives, but we also build a stronger relationship with Him. Grief leads us to pray more, thus building the relationship that matters the most. My relationship with Christ. Prayer always brings us closer to Christ. It inspires us to communicate with Him, because He's the ONLY one who can comfort us the way we need. The voids we feel are filled only by Him. Although the Lord won't remove those voids from our lives, he will fill them and embrace us with his love, strength, and compassion. Grief helps us to value our loved ones who are still here with us more. It shows us that they are meant to be here with you to give you a physical sense of being and comfort. It helps us to value these people because the grief made it easy to see their value in our life. Aren't we supposed to look at others as the Lord would? Grief helps us to do that. It gives us a glimpse into how we are supposed to live life ALL THE TIME, not just in the time of hardships. 

By viewing grief as a gift, we open ourselves for the Lord and for the blessings He has in store for us!
I truly can't wait to experience the blessing of Life with the grief I will carry on until I am resting in the arms of my Savior. 


  1. Awesome read and very true words

  2. You have an amazing way with words. that's truly a gift from God. I don't know how anyone could ever endure such pain, without God. Philippians 4;13 does state, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". You my child are living proof of that. I praise God that you turned to God and not against him. for that I believe there is great rewards that await you. I Love you Raebeth, and I thank God that he chose me to be your Momma. ..

  3. Yes, grief is a gift. I've been down that road with a nasty boss who told me I should get over it and not talk about my dead son and not have his picture at my cubicle because it made people sad. That's not a fair thing to say to a grieving parent. I hold my Nicholas close to my heart and fiercely protect his memory.


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