One thing I know is that people grieve differently. When we lost Kyle, I looked at Holt and said, “I can’t lose you too.” Before that, I’d probably taken him way too much for granted, but at that moment realization hit. Life is fragile. People matter and he mattered to me. In those broken and absolutely dark moments, I wasn’t sure I knew how to take care of myself, much less someone else, whether it was Holt or my son Matthew, but I knew we had to go through it together. I knew we had to respect the way each one of us grieved.
I had to read everything. I had to see somebody else who was living after loss. I was the typical “I want to talk more about it”; there were times that I just needed to hear Kyle’s name; Holt, not so much. Holt didn’t talk about it for years. Each one of us was unique and different, because no two people ever grieve exactly alike.
Don’t tell me how you know exactly how I feel, because I don’t know exactly how you feel. None of us do. The only time I got mad was when a woman told me, “I know exactly how you feel,” yet she doesn’t even have children. She said, “My dogs, I would be a blithering idiot if I lost a dog,” and I got mad. That’s the one time I got mad.
26 thoughts on “Life is Fragile – People Matter!”
That was something I learned when we lost my Mom. Us 3 kids, who grew up in the same house, were completely different. My brother was in high school and spent a lot of time in his room. All of our feelings are valid if they lead to healing.
I can’t imagine losing a child. I won’t try to compare. I just hope the days are getting easier as you find your new normal.
Thank you Sarah–and so sorry for missing your post. Your words are beautiful. I can’t imagine your loss and how that impacted you and the rest of your family. Heartbreaking, yet part of His story. Thank you, I pray you too have found a grace filled spot in the journey. Susan
So good to meet you, Susan! I’m visiting from #livefreeThursday. Great post, honest and heartfelt words! Grief is so unique for all of us. I’ve lost two babies through miscarriage. Very traumatic. Now I’m facilitating GriefShare courses in my church and I learn each time with each new group how different we all grieve. Thank you for sharing these words. I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing. Many blessings to you!
Meggie, Welcome to the Dance! I am so sorry to hear about your losses–breaks my heart for you. Thank you for the work you are doing with others. Making a difference. HUGS! Come join the dance each week–I pray it blesses you. Susan
We have to choose to respect how other people grieve… So helpful for me. I grieve and need to talk.. I need reminders and conversations to work through the grief, but the others involved are more quiet, more audibly silent in their grief. It feels near crushing at times but I am learning that one way I cal love and respect someone’s grief is by waiting for them. It’s hard. So so hard and I stink at it right now. Thanks for adding some perspective and pieces for me to think and learn through
Syndal, I can’t imagine what you are dealing with, yet God has HIS ear to your words. SHARE AWAY! He wants to be there for and with you. Hugs. Susan
Yep, you are so right. I’m are going through a difficult time with my 91 yr old mother. I’m preparing for the loss and I’m already grieving. I look to others who have felt loss and I draw comfort in knowing they survived. You touch a common nerve in us all. Thank you Susan.
Christy, that strikes home for me as my mom is also 91…and Dad is 89. They are still very spry, yet very gray now. Hugs. And you are most welcome.
I had never thought about the fact that everyone grieves differently but can see that knowing that could help many people get through their own process of grieving.
It sure made a huge difference here Brenda. If that helps anyone to hear, there’s the blessing, right?
Susan, thanks for sharing your words with us all – especially on the #livefree linkup, and for always encouraging us all to share our stories!
Kim, thank you! Stories matter. I keep hearing, “by the word of our testimony…” And that compels me to continue!
How wonderful Gayl!
Susan, I just read your about me page. Wow, I know it must have been so hard to lose your sister that way, but then to lose your son, too. I have lost children through miscarriages, and that is hard enough, but to lose a son you have nurtured and loved for so long – I can’t imagine what that is like. All I know is that I would be devastated, but I also know that God would be with me. What a gift to be able to share your story with others! May God bless you and continue to give you comfort. I lost my father over 20 years ago. I still miss him, but I am comforted knowing that He is with God. I’m visiting from #RaRaLinkup.
Gayl, thank you. God has been with me in ways that are INCREDIBLE. Thus the book. He wants people to KNOW how much He love us, each one of us. If He loved me like He did, He can and will love others in INCREDIBLE ways too. Simply telling His love story…
Thank God we know where they are! That got this momma up and outta bed each day…
I still have my Dad–he’s now 89 and healthy as can be. And Mom at 91–going strong!
Blessed to “meet” you, Gayl!
My dad would have turned 89 this year. I still have my mom who will be 92 next month! She lives alone, which I don’t like very much, but she is doing fine. I check on her and her church friends near by help her a lot, too. We almost lost her a couple years ago, and I’m so thankful she is still here. I’m glad to “meet” you, too, Susan. 🙂
Kristine, I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully these words will make a difference for you in the future as we simply LEARN new things along the way. Renew…Thank God He helps us renew our minds, thoughts, actions!
Kelly, thank you. You have encouraged me from the first day we met. And I thank God we met! He has a purpose for the pain in each one of us to be used for His glory-we simply have to get to that understanding and start doing what He wants us to do. Love others well.
Susan, how true this is! After recently losing a loved one, I was aggravated (at first) with other loved ones who seemed to be handling it differently than I was. What I didn’t realize was just what you stated above. Everyone grieves differently, and I needed to respect that. I learned this the hard way, so I am thankful you’ve written a book on this topic. It will be a blessing and help to many!
Susan, thank you for sharing your journey. The feelings you had must have been off the charts. That is so hard. I am so glad you can share your story now and use it to help others know how to be there for people in grief. Much love to you. Cheering on your soul and your work.
Thank you so much for pointing out that we don’t need to pretend we “know” how it feels for anyone. And we don’t need anyone to expect to know exactly what to say or do for us through loss. Blessing to you Susan, thank you for sharing your heart <3
Rachel, thank you! When we pretend to understand, we may inadvertently offend.
A warm, genuine, “I can’t imagine…” Are some of the kindest words to share with a hurting person. It honors them, their feelings and you. Thank you so much for sharing here. You encourage me!
The point you make about no one really knowing how we feel going through something is so spot on! Thank you for turning your pain into such a beautiful, powerful story of healing and moving forward. God bless you, dear Susan. I recently shared your site with a friend from church who lost her husband a couple of years ago. I pray she will find the peace that you have found. xxoo
May God comfort her as He has me. Hugs to her from me–please do share them with her Sheila.
I can’t imagine the grief of losing a child! So blessed to have your words of wisdom to walk those grieving through God’s love and grace. Thank you for reminding us that everyone feels and processes loss differently. Thank you for obeying God’s call to write on such a difficult subject. God bless, Tina
Tina, bless you. Whether we have lost a person, a body part, a pet, a relationship or even a job, we all experience grief at some point in our lives. Helping others move past the PAIN of the loss so they can live again–that LIGHTS me up! Cuz that’s how Jesus works. He holds our little chubby baby hands as we attempt to crawl or pull up and out of any new situation to help us stand…and then to STAND FIRM! Thank you for your words–they encourage me!
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