The Beacon: 2023 10/15

Coping with the deep sorrow experienced by a grieving parent is a challenging and unexplored emotional path that doesn't easily conform to the prevalent American notion of self-reliance. This sadness is not a game you can win, like a football game, nor is it something you can get rid of, like the ten extra pounds you gained during the holidays. It doesn't fade away like a teenage romance, soon to be replaced by a more enduring love. Instead, it's a lifelong challenge that requires delicate handling and specialized care.

Bidding farewell to my daughter left a deep void in my heart. I recognize that, over time, it will gradually heal – I sense the beginning of that healing now – but it will always carry the scars as long as I live on this earth, demanding a unique approach.

So, if I decline an invitation, please understand that it's not a rejection of you but rather a safeguarding of my fragile heart. Feel free to ask again because tomorrow might offer a more favorable day, and being somewhere or with someone could be precisely what I need.

If you call and I don't respond, I'm possibly in tears or on the verge of them, and I choose not to impose my grief on you. Try reaching out again in a day or two or the following week, and please keep trying.

Moreover, please don't anticipate a moment, day, or year when I'll miraculously revert to "my old self." My former self resides with my child. I am still "me," but in a different form, not of my choosing.

I recognize this situation is as uncomfortable for you as it is for me. Nevertheless, my faith in the work of Christ provides me with hope that my heart will eventually find complete healing. Despite my pain, I hold onto that hope, aware that this agony will be transformed into something beautiful, like scars that tell a distinctive, enduring story.

In the words of 2 Corinthians 1:5, "For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

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