Friday, June 8, 2007

What do I say?

My sister talked to a friend of hers who has lost a baby. Here was her advice...

The advice I have is to let them totally grieve. Let them be angry and don't say things like well at least you have 3 other kids or God only gives you what you can handle. I think those were the worst things I heard when I was going through it all. Tell them this all just sucks and it is awful because it is. I know I didn't want to hear the "oh time will heal" and all that supportive stuff for awhile. All I can say is it is the WORST of the worst. It is the most painful grief of all. I know you grieve when your grandparents die but you know that is the cycle of life and you can kind of make sense of it but it just doesn't make sense when a baby dies. It took me probably a good 18 to 24 months before I felt like I could go on with my life. That first year I seriously cried everytime I had to drive on the route we took to the hospital. It is just going to take a lot of time to get through this. And as I am typing this memories are coming to me and I remember how horrible it was going to the funeral parlor and making those arrangements and then walking into that room to see the tiny little casket. That killed me. So just be sensitive to all that when the time comes and give her lots of support even just being physically with her but maybe not saying anything. She just needs to get it all out. My heart totally aches for them and I can physically feel their pain for them. I will pray for peace for them. This will never make sense to them but I pray they will be able to get it to a place where they can manage it. I am so so sorry for them. I wish no parent ever had to go through the death of their child.

I totally agree with her dislike for comments like
“God won’t give you more than you can handle” or
“God knows you are strong enough” or
“Because you are strong, God knows you can handle this” etc.

I’ve had a few of those comments, I don’t really think that it’s a Biblical comment. I think people confuse that idea with what the Bible says about temptation:

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13

I do know that God’s grace is here for us to help us in times of trouble, but I don’t think he allows tragedy to come on someone just because they are ‘stronger’ than others. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. It’s like the song about the house on the sand or on the rock. It rains on all of us, but depending on where you build your house dictates if or how you live through it.

Knowing that Isabel won’t have to live through this life with all it’s hardships and she will be assured eternity in Heaven is not really a comfort to me at this point. Of course, I want her to be in Heaven someday, but I want her with me now.

I think through this I realize how many times I have said the wrong things in the past to others. When something bad happens to someone, you want to comfort them, and give them a reason. I know I did. I would make some attempt to make sense out of it. But now I realize, that’s not what people want to hear. Because we are all just human, we can’t possibly know or understand the mind of God. How could I possibly know why this happened? The grieving person doesn’t really care what my thoughts are on it. The bottom line is it doesn’t make sense to us now and it probably never will this side of eternity. It's just awful. Period.

I appreciate those who let me say things without correcting whether they are rational or not. To try to make it make sense doesn’t help, because it just doesn’t. It’s just hard and something we wish we didn’t have to go through. In the end, I think the best thing to say is "I'm sorry. I'm praying for you." and a hug. What else can anyone say? Nothing.

If the Lord does take her, I do ask the Lord to let her know how much we loved and wanted her and how much we so desperately wanted to keep her.

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