There have been many blessings along my road of grief, few more meaningful to me than the companions God has given me for the journey. In some of my darkest moments, the proof to me that God was still there were the friends He so graciously placed in my life at the time that I needed them most. Women who were complete strangers to me at the time that I lost my first son. But women I can now no longer imagine my life without. Women who understand me like few others ever will, because they are also mommies with aching arms. Fellow mommies with children in heaven.
There is something so healing about being in the presence of those who understand, something so freeing about sharing your heart without fearing you will shock the listener. The other day, I was chatting over coffee with a couple of my dearest angel mom friends. We were talking about our most awkward moments – the moments in which strangers asked if we had children – and the varying but almost always uncomfortable results of those interactions. And as we shared stories, the three of us laughed. Not sadly or awkwardly, but boisterously and wholeheartedly, as any good friends would do.
I thought nothing of that laughter in the moment. But driving home, I was struck by the poignancy of that scene. Three former strangers, united by unfathomable grief, able to laugh together about experiences no others in our lives could share. My heart aches to know that these now precious people in my life have shared in life’s worst pain. But how comforting to share such a depth of understanding. How healing to walk our paths together.
If you or someone you know has lost a child, I hope you will reach out, when you are ready, and connect with other grieving parents. No one else can understand as they can what it is that you are going through. And while every loss is different and every parent grieves in their own way, it can be such a comfort to know that others have walked a similar path, and want to help you on your journey.
If you would like the opportunity to meet with other parents who have lost a child, contact your local hospice society, grief counseling centre, or church and ask them to help you in your search. If you live in the Vancouver area, follow the links for these upcoming events…
Thinking of you, angel mommies.