All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4-5
It was overwhelming enough to endure all the heartache and pain that I felt because of Stephanie’s death. But it was an even worse pain to consider how my son and daughter would be forever impacted by it, and for many years to come; probably, even, their entire lives. No parents want their children to go through pain, but there was no way to avoid this. So I knew I needed to figure out a way to walk with my children through the pain.
Thankfully, the Bible provides us with great wisdom about what to do in such times. In 2 Corinthians, we are told that God the Father comforts us so much so that we are equipped to comfort others in the same way. We need to depend on the Father to walk with us through our own grief, trusting that He will comfort us in ways we can’t even fathom. And then, just as the Father comforts us, we are able to comfort our children. It’s important that we work through our own grief in order to most help our children. But, we need to also be careful not to wait until we are completely “healed” before helping them because we might never come around to giving them the comfort they need. We need to sincerely pursue healing through our grief so that we can teach our children to do the same and to walk with them through the process. But how?
Start with God. For me, the greatest comfort I found in God was the fact that I knew I could tell Him anything, whether I was happy, sad, confused, or angry. We see King David do the same thing countless times throughout the Psalms. Even if I was angry at God, I knew that He could handle it. I simply always kept talking to Him about how I was feeling.
And that’s what I believe our kids need, as well. They need to know that we will be there to listen to them through it all, no matter what they are feeling. This, of course, applies in many situations outside of grief. But it is especially important during such a trying time. I made it my goal for my kids to feel comfortable telling me anything. I strove to my attention up whenever it seemed they wanted to talk. We won’t always have words that can comfort them, but just holding them and being there with them and sympathizing with them will show them we are with them no matter what the pain. It can be easy during those times to run away, especially when we don’t have the words to say. But those are the times we really need to press in.
I never knew when a night would descend into tears and pain from one of my children. It most often happened during Bible reading or prayer time, though any random thought could do it. Something would spark a memory, and that would well up a pain in one of my children. Often times, that would spread to the other one, and soon enough, I would be sobbing, too. But, despite the tears, those were some of the best times we had together as a family. Our bond grew deeper, and we all felt validated in how we were dealing with our loss.
Possibly the hardest and most important thing is to have persistence. With every new milestone – and in between – there will be a new reminder of the absence in their lives. It’s one of the things that makes grief so difficult. It is unrelenting. We have to be even more unrelenting in being there for our children.
We Want To Hear From You:
What signs have you noticed that your child(ren) may be struggling with expressing their grief? How can you create an atmosphere that welcomes them to share their feeling with you? How was this blog helpful?
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