Immediately after tragedy struck, I couldn’t hear it. It wasn’t time. But even hard things, through healing, bring blessing. The leaves take on brighter varied hues as they die than they ever did in life… and it may take a valley to see the beauty.
Grieving with children is a complicated thing. I want to be genuine with my young boys about sadness and the freedom to feel and express emotion, but I also want to keep unnecessary burdens off of their shoulders. I want to help them grieve in their own ways and in their own timing, but I also want them to be able to be just happy sometimes. My strategy for how to grieve with children is as young as those children and it grows and develops with them.
In February 2016, the lives of Lindsey Atkins and Lizzie Lindberg went through epic changes that culminated to a profound juxtaposition on Saturday, February 20th. These circumstances compelled us to write our stories together.
At that time and even right now I wonder, was it worth it? Was it truly better to have passionately loved Eric and to have felt the tearing anguish of his absence than to never have loved him at all? Most of the time my answer to those questions is a resounding “YES.” Other times, when breathing becomes like rocket science and surviving is my only goal… I wonder if love is worth the pain of loss.
As a mom, I sometimes feel like I should be an excellent question answerer. I like to have the answers, and I like to talk, so one would think that I’d be good at taking on the quandaries of my kids. But sometimes I don’t know the answers and I’m well aware that I can’t protect my kids from the world or ensure their understanding. I can rely on God’s faithfulness in knowing the heads and hearts of my children and sending the Holy Spirit to direct the words that come from my mouth to their ears.
Grief has given me an acute awareness of the brevity of earthly life. Because of that knowledge, I try to treasure each moment and each relationship just a little more. The dark side of this reality is that I also face daily this feeling of dread, that the ones I love are not safe from death.