Recently, a friend and fellow warrior mom lost her second son to the insidious disease of addiction. Oh, how my heart broke for her. It is hard enough to lose one child, but two is unfathomable.
Another longtime friend has been grieving the loss of her son for two long years. My heart breaks for her as well.
There is one big difference between these two friends. My fellow warrior mom’s sons now lives in heaven. My longtime friend’s son lives two hours away.
Two mothers, whose hearts are shattered. Both grieving the loss of their boys.
Did you know there are many parents today who are suffering and grieving the loss of a child, many of whom still live and breathe?
We don’t talk about it very often, but you can grieve for a person who is still alive.
When Melanie was still here with us there was a period of time when I grieved my girl, even though she was still on this side of heaven.
Although her heart was still beating, Melanie was different. She was not the same person before addiction stole her from me, and for a period of time our relationship changed. I grieved the girl she once was, along with all the hopes and dreams I had for her and for our lives together.
Immediately after a loved one dies, we are surrounded by family and friends who run to give us comfort. People are eager to bring food, send flowers and lend support. We are encouraged to talk about the person we love and celebrate their life.
But when you grieve a loved one who is still alive, your pain is real, but it is minimized.
More than likely, you are also hiding your pain because you don’t want everyone to know about the breakdown of the relationship. You begin wearing a mask, so no one sees the real you and the hurt you’re carrying becomes like a cement backpack attached to your shoulders.
Unfortunately, if you continue wearing your mask and don’t grieve your loss, the healthy emotions will turn toxic and can then turn into resentment.
No matter what the reason, no one should ever lose a child. Child loss is an out of order death, and is a loss like no other.
What do we do when one of our own is suffering? We band together. We link arms. We stand side-by-side, and form a circle around the one who is hurting. We become like soldiers on a mission to protect and defend. As Christians, we can pray.
“Pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power] James 5:16 AMP
While the days have slowly gone by, my fellow warrior mom continues to remain on the forefront of my heart and in my prayers. She is a strong Christian and is confident her beautiful boys are in heaven. Although knowing this helps, let’s not be mistaken, she will still tremendously grieve for her children.
The good news is, if you are a Christ follower, you can grieve with hope.
It doesn’t mean we will not be sad or cry buckets of tears. We will grieve with the hope we will see our children again one day and we will walk in His strength and let Him carry us through the valley of the shadow of death.
For my longtime friend, whose son is still on this side of heaven, she can also grieve with hope. She will hope that the relationship will one day be what she prays for. For with God, all things are possible.