Friday, September 9, 2016

The Very Personal Task of Grieving



It's been a year since our littlest grandson Tyler went home to be with Jesus.  

My heart's cry as his grandma is to honor his much too brief life, to remember him out loud, to tell his story.  But profound words are simply unavailable to me.  You'd have to be a much better writer than I'll ever be to even begin to capture the incredibly deep wholehearted love of a family, the unspeakable impact of the death of a child on those who adore him, and the stunning, very individual, private grief journey that follows for each one who gathers 'round.

And I'm not sure I want to try or even should.  Some things in life are too very personal and should be honored as such.

But I do want the world to know that he was a real cutie, a significant little guy, oh so brave and trusting.  He had quite a personality and was cherished like crazy by all who had the joy of knowing him.  He will always hold a very special place in our hearts and yes, we still talk about him.  Not a day goes by that we don't recall him, miss him.

I can tell you that we are forever altered as a family.  And as individuals, we will never be the same.

So instead of digging around for words that just aren't capable of emerging, I simply offer you what I shared a year ago.  A Journey Through Grief ... and A Prayer for Those Who Grieve.  I'm also placing Jenn and Barry's Adopting Tyler story in your tender hands. 

I know that many of you have suffered loss as well.  I hear your souls' cry and I want you to know that you are not alone.  

Please don't let anyone tell you that there's some kind of magical three step formula to grieving well.  They're just kidding themselves and giving you false hope.  Yes, life goes on.  But grief is a very personal journey, a daunting, sometimes overwhelming task filled with winding bends, deep valleys, and yes, some mountaintop vistas.  And the whole process goes on much longer than you'd ever dreamed.  

But move forward?  Yes, you will.  Not easily, but yes, by God's never ending gracious mercy.  He will never leave you, He won't forsake you.  And He'll carry you as long as you need to be carried.

Oh yes, He most certainly will ... 






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46 comments:

  1. Praying for you as we remember that sorrowful day. Grief is one emotion I am glad will end as we enter our Lord's presence.

    May you continue to rest in God's comforting arms and know that Tyler had more love in one year than some people have in a lifetime.

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    1. It was so calming to have you here with us then, Carol ... talk about God's gracious timing. Your presence continues to be a deep soothing blessing in my life.

      Can't wait to see you again ...

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  2. Tyler is beautiful and you're right- there are some things that can't be put into words. Praying for you and your family to know God's comfort and peace in the midst of your grief as you mark this anniversary.

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    1. Anniversaries are hard, aren't they ... but remembering is a needed step in moving ahead. For we never forget those we love.

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  3. May the God of all comfort minister to you and your family.

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    1. Oh He is! Aren't we blessed to have One who has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows ...

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  4. You're so right - grieving is private and so personal. It's such a lifelong experience, really. May you find comfort surrounded by the love of family, friends, and your faith.

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    1. Lifelong. Yes, you said this well and yet so simply, friend.

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  5. So touched my heart, Linda. May God continue to walk with you all through the grief you still feel so strongly.

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    1. Thank you for sharing just a bit of this afternoon with me, Martha ...

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  6. My heart aches for you, Linda. I imagine it's even harder to bear when a child goes. I love the pic of you with him. He was blessed to have a grandma like you in his short time here. And to have a family who loved him so dearly. Praying God will give special strength and comfort to all of you! Big hugs!

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    1. {sigh}

      We just didn't have enough time together ...

      I appreciate the hugs today, friend.

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  7. Wonderful post Linda. What an impact Tyler had on all of us - a life God placed on earth for such a short time - but knowing him and his story changed lives forever. I am thankful for that.

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    1. I'm guessing we'll never know 'til heaven how wide Tyler's story has traveled and how many people were praying for him.

      'Til then, I think of him and Daddy hanging out together in heaven ... often.

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  8. Praying for you, friend, in a special way today.

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  9. Your last sentence speaks volumes Linda. As I did back then, I pray for God's extra special presence for you and the family right now.

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  10. Precious friend, thank you for sharing a glimpse of this very special relationship between you and Tyler (as well as so many others). Love, hugs, and prayers to you during this anniversary season.

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    1. No one ever said that all milestones would be happy ones. But joy remains, doesn't it ...

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  11. I'm so sorry that you are upon painful one-year threshold, Linda. Those firsts are all so hard for the grieving and loving. And I'm convinced that the Lord does "indeed" carry us in certain seasons. I like to imagine Him carrying me now as my youngest (just 20 and not very "worldly- or relationally-wise") son moves to LA. I had many conversations with him, trying to hold his feet to the fire. I know God's got him in the palm of His hand, but this mama's heart is breaking right alongside your grandma heart today, dear friend. Consider yourself cyber-hugged.

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    1. Beth ... the emptying nest can be traumatic, can't it ... sometimes even more so for the parent left behind, wondering, concerned. I'm going to be praying you through this, you, who've been such a faithful prayer warrior for me.

      Let's see what God will do in his life ... and in yours.

      He is able.

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  12. Hugs and tears, dear Linda. (And that picture of you and precious little Tyler is worth far more than a thousand words.)

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    1. It's one of the few of just the 2 of us. There was usually too much excitement, good and not so much, when we were together. It's a cherished moment for me ...

      Thanks for hearing my heart, dear friend ...

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  13. Beautiful, My Friend. And no there is no formula to recovering from grief. I pray God comforts you as those waves of loss sweep over you--today and all the days to come.
    Blessings-

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    1. Thanks, Lulu. There's no comfort like His comfort is there ...

      {And welcome home again after your journey.}

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  14. Remembering Tyler with you. :( I know his loss was immense, and he is and always will be missed here in your memories and hearts. Blessings to you, Linda.

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    1. You've been such a comforter along the way, Lisa. Thank you from the bottom of my heart ...

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  15. I love how your grief has intersected with mine. Not that we both are grieving but that we have each other to walk through this new normal. I am continuing in prayer for you and your family and knowing that God has this all figured out for us. Love you friend!

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    1. Without warm companionship and some sense of community, grieving can be overwhelming.

      You and I continue to connect at those milestone crossroads, friend. I am grateful to walk together with you. You are a blessing indeed ...

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  16. Linda,
    Your words on an earlier post: "Sorrow is a nebulous and elusive companion, seeping into every crack, nook, and cranny of body and soul. It stubbornly refuses to be neatly labeled into steps 1-2-3 or quickly placed inside a storage box for examination at a later, more convenient time." ((hugs)) I pray God continues to hold you and your family close. I am so sorry.

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  17. oh Linda, you are honouring your Grandson's life. his life had meaning however brief. it must be so hard for you and your family- proof of what an impact his life had on earth. <3

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    1. Thanks for hearing my heart, Jandi. Just because a life may be short, doesn't mean it's of any less value in God's sight ... and ours.

      Even more so ... I see the need to honor, to remember, to share the beauty of this little soul with those who take the time to sit with the heartbreak and the glory of his story.

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  18. I'm so sorry, I couldn't get through the whole post. I couldn't even imagine what you and your family must have gone through and still have to go through every moment of every day.
    To put those into words and impossible task you managed to do beautifully.
    God bless you and your family.

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    1. Hena ... you've ministered grace to me this evening. Your sensitive heart has touched me deeply. Thank you so much for being here ...

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  19. No words are ever available to meet the sorrow of grief. I'm thankful for the groaning of the Holy Spirit who prays on our behalf, knowing our deepest heartaches and the merciful love of our Savior. Thank you for sharing your tender memories.

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    1. Yes, thanking God with you right now for the powerful sensitivity of His Spirit. Because sometimes there are no words, are there ...

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  20. Beautiful words. And you're so right. Grieving takes sooo much longer than we think it will. It cannot be rushed through. So sorry you have to walk through this

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    1. You're so right. This is one thing in life that can not be rushed along. We each have our own timetable ... and even that's a surprise.

      You heard my heart, Summer ...

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  21. Linda,
    Telling your grandson's story shares him with all of us in ways that are impactful and honoring. Commemorating a grief anniversary might not get easier but sharing your memories connects all of us to you and your family and hopefully brings healing. Thinking of you . . .

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    1. Yes, Valerie. I want to honor his little life, his strong spirit. Yet I want to be very sensitive to my daughter and her family in the process. They are the primary tellers of his story, as it should be.

      Your warm comment was like a big hug. And I'm grateful ...

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  22. What a sweet face! I know you miss him and a year doesn't seem to do much to erase the overwhelming sadness. I so agree that there is no one way to grieve. That is such an individual process, even among family members.
    I am so glad you had baby Tyler in your life, even if for only a short time!

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    1. Me, too, Sarah! Maybe we'll never fully grasp all he gave us in his very short life. Heaven will tell ...

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  23. I am so sorry for your loss. Grief can only be grasped by the invited and none of us wants an invitation. A journey taken that brings us to the of ourselves to remind us we're not alone, never alone - in our distress, He is distressed - in our sorrow, He is our comfort - and in our heartache, He carries our heart in His hand so it doesn't break or blow away. You're a treasure and I thank you.

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    1. I guess some invitations don't let us RSVP 'no way.' And yes, yes, you are so right, Christine ... He shares our distress, our sorrow, our heartache.

      Jesus wept.

      Now we know why ...

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda