NATIONAL GRIEF AWARENESS DAY

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https://youtu.be/bx8RwhIWk6Y

Yes – this video is dated 2014 – I added this later because I wanted you to meet Angie.  😉

When my husband and I lost our mothers within just a few months of each other in 2004, I thought I could earn a black belt in grief! We found ourselves puzzled and a bit overwhelmed for the rest of 2004 and most of 2005. The worst part of losing the last member of your family is facing Thanksgiving and Christmas. Those traditions are gone and the loss is nearly unbearable.

Everyone grieves differently and at their own pace. Grief is not something that anyone else should try to rush.

The tears come quite unexpectedly, usually at the most inopportune times. I lost my daddy in November of 1988. On February 21, 1989, which would have been his 64th birthday, my husband and I were having dinner with friends. I looked across the restaurant and saw a father and daughter dining together. Out of the blue I just burst into tears and embarrassed my husband. I felt bad about making a scene in front of his friends. Such is this beast, grief. It messes with your emotions when you least expect it.

About the time you think you’ve got it together, you fall apart again. It’s difficult to describe grief unless you’ve experienced it personally. It’s not exactly a club I was anxious to join, but here I am!

Sorrow comes in great waves… but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us.  And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.  – Henry James

Grief is the most personal burden we as human beings carry, and not all grief is the same. There is no good or bad way to grieve. The way I grieve over my miscarriages is not the same as your grief over the loss of your grandmother. Sometimes I tear up when I see a young mother with a newborn baby. You may not pay much attention to them, or maybe you rejoice at the sight. It’s not that I’m not happy to see a mother and her newborn, but I grieve the loss of my own little ones – I grieve the dream I had of being a mom. I grieve because I never got the chance to say hello or hold them and love them. I thought I would grieve less once I got older. Wrong! Now I grieve because I’ll never have grandchildren.

Shortly after I suffered my fifth miscarriage, my pastor asked me to sing “Jesus Loves Me” at a funeral. Of course I was glad to help, however, my pastor failed to mention one minor detail about the funeral. He forgot to tell me that the one who died was a newborn baby. I had already agreed to sing and could not back out. I had to keep it together and I had to focus. I prayed – oh I really prayed. I could not look over at the small white casket. No way could I let myself “go there”.

When I left the chapel there were many pent-up feelings inside. By the time I got to my car the tears had started and I hoped no one would catch me in the parking lot to talk with me. I got in my car and drove up North toward some old country dirt back roads. The car windows were down, the sunroof was wide open and my radio was blasting! All that noise and dust flying could not mask the pain I felt – it had to come out – I literally screamed, cried, and I had raccoon eyes because my eye make-up was ruined. As I raced down those old dirt roads I released a load of anxiety and hurt and pain. I was running. That’s what I do when I hurt so badly – I run!

Grief is intensely personal. Don’t let anyone tell you how it’s done. Sometimes you just have to speed down some old dirt back roads with the windows down, the sunroof open and the radio blasting!

There is a comforting assurance in the midst of all the pain. My babies, my parents, aunts, uncles and a few pets are safe in heaven. Yes, I think my pets are there too. Don’t debate me about it – just call me crazy and be done with it. The way I figure it, if God can do anything, is it too much for Him to make heaven even better by reuniting us with our favorite 4-legged friends? I think not. Well, the one thing I do know, heaven is a wonderful place and I am at times jealous that my family is there and I’m not. But God’s got more work for me here, I guess.

WITH HIM

On this day, NATIONAL GRIEF AWARENESS DAY, let’s be sensitive to one another and respect each other because we all grieve differently. ❤

Amendment – In 2015, a website was created.  Please stop by and take a look.

www.nationalgriefawarenessday.com