Wednesday, March 07, 2007

After the Funeral

It seems everything has been leading up to the big day. The funeral. Once you've made it this far, you think - you hope - the gaping hole in your heart, in your life will begin to heal. Maybe the pain will stop. The pain can stop, but there are a few pit stops along the way. Most of you have heard about the one year anniversary, baby's first birth date and the due date blues, but here are a few not-so-obvious road blocks.

The follow-up appointment ~ Every bereaved mom's nightmare. You have to go back to the same place you once frequented with a swollen belly and high hopes. Now you must see everyone else's swollen bellies and possibly hear their murmurings and complaints. Will the nurses remember me? Does everyone know what happened? Why is everyone oblivious to my pain? These are a few questions that may run through your mind.

To get past this pit stop, pray for strength in the days leading up to the appointment and consider taking a friend or your spouse. Consider waiting in the hall rather than the crowded reception area, bring a purse full of tissues in the event of a sudden crying spell, carry and read a book for a much-needed distraction.

The pregnant friend ~ A possible source of contention. You want to be happy for her. You really do. But your wounds are fresh so it's hard to muster the enthusiasm. Your friend might avoid you (for fear of saying the wrong thing) or she might want to share every juicy detail of her pregnancy (including the complaints). Either one can be hurtful to a newly bereaved parent. Understand that most people just don't know how to behave or what to say. (Remember the last time you heard so-and-so had breast cancer, or when your neighbor's mother died ...? It is really hard to say and do the right thing in these situations.)

To overcome, be open and honest about your feelings. If she's a friend, she'll at least try to understand. Expect some pregnant friends (and they'll seem to be everywhere!) to act oblivious to your inner turmoil ... this is to be expected. For your own peace of mind and healing, exercise lots of grace and stay in a forgiving spirit. It is okay to decline invitations to baby showers and dedications ... again, be open and honest about how you feel.

The midnight hour ~ when the sun can't shine. This is that valley of depression that can happen at any time or location. A dark cloud gathers overhead and sucks away all traces of joy, positive thoughts, energy and even your desire to seek the Lord. This is a time when you feel as though no one understands, no one cares and no one can say the right thing. If you stay here too long, depression can set in and all but halt the healing process.

This is where good friends come in handy. Everyone needs a friend who will drag you out the house, tell you the hard truth and pray with you when you can't utter the words. This is why it is crucial to seek out a group of people who understand grief and can help you through this time of darkness. A spouse, family member, pastor or caring friend can all serve as a life preserver when this phase hits.

Traversing the path to wholeness is extremely difficult, but with God all things are possible.

6 comments:

Jennie said...

Sharee,
I thank you for the kind message you left on my blog. Gosh, I wish I had found you (or you found me) so much sooner. But nevertheless, I'll continue reading, and continue my journey through grief in a positive direction. I've spent the last couple of hrs. reading every blog entry you have on Stolen Angels, and I can see you have a God-given gift so much bigger than one can explain. Its sad that through such tragic life-changing experiences that I (and I'm sure many others) feel such a connection. Please continue the entries, they are so helpful, healing and validating.

From my heart, my deepest sympathies goes out to you and your family for the losses of your 3 precious children.
And I will be praying this new little miracle you have growing inside sheds great light on your lives.

In Prayer,
Jennie

Anonymous said...

What an encouraging comment Jennie! I'm glad God can use little ole me even if only to lift just one heavy heart.

Here's to our healing (and our miracles)!!

Blessings,
Sharee

Anonymous said...

It seems often that God has abandon us but that is not so... He will never leave us nor will he forsaken us. We must keep the faith even in our darkest hour. He has a perfect plan for us and our lives if we will submit to his will and allow God to make us over. It will give us the ability to endure the lost of our most precious love ones. I agree with the previous readers that this is a wonderful and inspirational blog site.
Someday I too will have the courage to place my hurts and misgiving in a public journal also to help other heal.


May God Bless each reader

Anonymous said...

It seems often that God has abandoned us but that is not so... He will never leave us nor will he forsake us. We must keep the faith even in our darkest hour. He has a perfect plan for us and our lives if we will submit to his will and allow God to make us over. It will give us the ability to endure the lost of our most precious love ones. I agree with the previous readers that this is a wonderful and inspirational blog site.
Someday I too will have the courage to place my hurts and misgiving in a public journal also to help other heal.


May God Bless each reader

Anonymous said...

It seems often that God has abandoned us but that is not so... He will never leave us nor will he forsake us. We must keep the faith even in our darkest hour. He has a perfect plan for us and our lives if we will submit to his will and allow God to make us over. It will give us the ability to endure the lost of our most precious love ones. I agree with the previous readers that this is a wonderful and inspirational blog site.
Someday I too will have the courage to place my hurts and misgiving in a public journal also to help other heal.


May God Bless each reader

Anonymous said...

Sorry, for all the extra entries I'm a new blogger........