I write this post tonight with a heavy heart.
I write on behalf of a grieving mama friend.
Grieving loss of a child.
No one can imagine without having been in this place what it would be like.
There are many ways to loose a child.
Each with its own story. ALL SAD.
When does a mother become a mother? When does she have the rights, privileges, duties, and sorrows of motherhood fully bestowed upon her?
This unfolds differently in the life of every mother. But once a mother is a mother, there is one thing ALL mothers would rather NEVER face. The loss of that precious one...
There are many ways to loose a child.
Each with its own story. ALL devastating in their own ways.
Mothers who miscarry. AT ANY STAGE OF PREGNANCY. We truly grieve. we ARE mothers.
Mothers who carry a baby to term and then that precious little one dies at birth or shortly after.
we grieve. we are MOTHERS.
Mothers who choose to abort a baby.
Only to find grieve and despair afterwards. For some this grief never heals. We grieve. we too are mothers.
Mothers who with fierce love and bravery begin the process of adoption.
Fully loving that child EXACTLY as we would love any child born of our womb.... but for various reasons the adoption is disrupted. We grieve. yes, even we are mothers.
Mothers who begin the process of raising a child, and for many, many different that child is taken to heaven WAY before that mother had ever imagined they would. We grieve. WE ARE MOTHERS.
Mothers who loose a child for a season or forever due to choices the child or the mother makes that sever the relationship. We grieve. All true mothers grieve.
All these mothers suffering unimaginable losses. All unique. All painful. Some the fault of no one. Some the fault of another, some even the mother herself is to blame.
I ask this question of all of us who have ever been in a situation where we were comforting a mother in any of these places:
When its NOT our own loss are we too quick to diminish, ignore, excuse, dismiss,
or simply not acknowledge another's ?
'You were only a few weeks along. Don't worry, you will get pregnant again soon.'
( Though this seems logical, this is not a kind response for a mama experiencing this type of loss. trust me. been there.)
'You know, she is the reason that teenager of hers is rebelling.... she was too_____.'
(fill in the blank with the appropriate smug reason here)
'Cancer, SIDS, etc... (fill in the blank here) is caused by ______.'
(fill in this blank with something we all do like: drink tap water, eat food grown in poisonous environments, lack of exercise, you name it... BTW: death is caused by sin, people. Sin entered the world and with it came death.)
I get that we all talk like we know the cause of things at times, but what if you were in the presence of the mother of a child who died of this very thing.
'That baby was never really yours anyway. The Lord obviously has OTHER plans for that child.'
or another one:
'You should have waited to attach to your adopted child till that little one was in your arms. Oh well, you will be wiser next time.'
~Oh Lord, help me to never be too "wise" to love fully.
Notice, all these things are more or less 'true'. But Just because something is 'true' does that make it kind?
Is it Godly counsel for a grieving person?
When we are grieving, the things people say or don't say seem to have added sticking power in our hearts. People can profoundly affect the grieving process with words that hurt or words that bring life.
" A person's words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook." Proverbs 18:4
Before we speak we should ask ourselves:
~Is this true and in line with Gods Word?
~Is this kind?
~Is this from a heart of love, the way Christ loves this person?
~Am I doing my best to put myself in the shoes of my friend and imagine what she may be feeling right now?
~Is my friend READY for these words now? Or should this piece of advice wait until my friend is in a place where she can HEAR my wise counsel?
I by no means have written an exhaustive list of ways mothers can grieve.
If I left your specific grief out of my list I am truly sorry.
I only write tonight because I know from experience that grieving hearts need love.
I have an adoptive mom friend who is grieving today.
Pray for her, for her family, for her healing. For her child who is now not to be.... she needs our prayers.
Pray for the other mama's in your life who are grieving now.
Or who suffered a loss in the past you may have overlooked as a non-loss.
Pray for mama's you may have judged.
For mamas you admire.
With your mama heart, pray with fervent love.
The fervent prayers of a righteous women will avail much.... (Christa paraphrase of James 5:16.)