When I was told that my daughter died, it took my heart a moment to catch up with the words my ears heard. The first thing I felt was shock, followed by numbness. I’m convinced this is the body’s way of protecting itself. Looking back on those early hours, I’m in awe that I could function, let alone drive and get on a plane within an hour of receiving the news.
How does the body even manage when the worst thing that could happen to you does? As the hours passed and I began to absorb the enormity of the situation, I was sure my heart wouldn’t survive. But I discovered that somehow, a broken heart still beats.
Child loss is more brutal than anything I’ve ever encountered. I’ve been through the death of a marriage, both parents, close friends, and other loved ones. But the death of a child is a loss like no other. I honestly thought my world was shattered beyond repair. However, every day the sun rose in the morning, and the moon appeared in the night sky when the day was over. Other people’s lives went on when my own had just driven entirely off course.
When our loved one dies, no matter how many tears we shed or if we cry so hard that we’re left gasping for air, our broken hearts still beat.
Some think we are strong because we managed through the loss of our loved one. But really, what choice did we have? We must keep going – one step, one moment at a time.
Others ask, how do you do it? I attribute every step I’ve been able to take along this grief journey to my faith in God. If it weren’t for my relationship with Jesus, I would not be able to function, let alone live. Placing our brokenness into the hands of The One who made us is our only hope.
He is the healer of all broken things (Isaiah 41:10). He is our Comforter (Psalm 23:4). The Healer of every shattered heart is also the Promise Keeper (Joshua 21:45). He promises to heal the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18) and He promises never to leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8).
There is no specific time frame for grief. Just don’t give up. Hold on if you’re deep in the valley right now, my friend. Help is on the way. Reach out to The One who longs to hold on to you, and He will carry your broken heart that still beats in His gentle, loving hands.