Since losing our son, friends and readers have come to me, sharing that their friend or family member has also experienced such a loss. They have the burning desire to reach out, but don’t know exactly how to go about doing so without scraping an already open wound. “How can I help? What is the best thing for me to do without causing additional sadness? I really want to check in, but I don’t want to make them cry, so I have just been giving them some space. I have been praying, but I’m hesitant to ask because I am worried I will awaken their pain.”
I understand this way of thinking. I used to think this same way before holding Chance in my arms, studying his face so intently because the moments with him were few. I used to keep grieving mommas and wives and families at a distance because, goodness, I don’t want to be the cause of any more grief. I surely do not want to be responsible for more heartache.
But, dear friend of a friend who just experienced a traumatic loss, let me be clear, as one walking on the other side. Please don’t hesitate to ask. Please don’t hesitate when you feel the urge to call or text or seek out that loss mom or dad in person. Please don’t hesitate to say their child’s name out loud. Hearing their child’s name is music to their ears. Beautiful heavenly music. It is refreshing and reassuring knowing that, while our children aren’t living on this earth, they are living on in the minds and hearts of those around us. And while I understand that you are concerned your words might cause tears to swell, please don’t worry ...
You won’t remind me of my loss. My loss is a part of my every day, just as my living husband and children are a part of my every day. Loss becomes a puzzle piece of our new, everyday normal. There has not been one day since April 4, 2015 where my thoughts have not turned to my little guy. He is on my mind all the time. When I think of my girls, I think of my son. That is just how it works now.
You won’t remind me of my loss. Because I never forget. So while you might think twice about stopping that hurting momma at the grocery store or seeking her out after Sunday school or sending her that Facebook message when she crosses your mind, let these words give you permission to stop and seek out. Your words won’t bring more tears or more hurt or more grief. I promise you they won’t. In fact, your words bring the opposite.
Your words bring hope. Your words bring life. Your words bring peace. Your words bring joy, even if accompanied by a few tears.
Because we never forget.