Losing someone you love can make you feel stuck in a spiral of grief. It can be so hard to move forward. I’ve been there. When we lose a child, spouse, sibling or parent, our grief can be particularly intense. We all react and cope with grief differently.
There was a time when I would notice others smiling and enjoying life with their children and I felt angry and asked God ….”Why did it have to be me?”; “Why did I have to be the one to lose my baby.”
I lost my 4 month old baby Ethan in 2015 from a disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa that causes blisters all over the body and internally.
From the day he was born, things just seemed to be going from bad to worse. When Ethan took his last breath I grew even more confused and the pain was unbearable. I would open my mouth to talk but I felt empty at my core and there was no where for words to flow from. I blamed myself for his loss and I could only think of things I would have done differently if I had another chance to fix his health issues. I had all these unhealthy thoughts running through my head: Maybe, I didn’t pray hard enough, maybe if I had enough faith he would still be here. I had no hope of getting any better. I couldn’t see the bright side of anything and living with agonizing pain in my heart seemed to be my lasting reality. I was struggling to be what my daughter needed from a mother. I was completely shattered and I wanted to be alone. She was only 1 and half years old. My husband was also grieving the loss of our son and I was confused enough with my own feelings to try to unravel his tangled thoughts. Having a conversation about our son was the last thing I wanted to talk about. Just talking about Ethan was a painful reminder that he was no longer with me.
How did I moved forward? What helped me cope with his loss?
Time was necessary for my healing with faith that someday I would wake up and not spend the greater part of the day crying. I do believe there is a time of mourning. A time of allowing your self to grieve and cry. There is also a time to be joyful everyday, even on the worst days I had at least a few laughs. After a few months had past even on my best days I still felt the loss bring out tears from deep inside me. Then one day about 6 months after I had lost Ethan I became excited again for things I could look forward too. I began to have feelings that at one point I could not imagine being possible for me.
We grieve with hope. Bring your grief to Jesus. A few days after we lost Ethan I brought my brokenness to church and I laid it down at the feet of Jesus while my husband and I got prayed for. It takes time, prayer and a everyday decision to make the choice of letting God work in you. I just knew I no longer wanted to carry that pain everyday. I made a choice of letting God heal me and everyday I gave him all the pain I could manage to transfer. So, I looked for him everyday with a burning desire. I started joining bible studies with Godly women who prayed over me and encourage me. Going to church is so important in the healing process. Listening to the pastors preaching has helped so much. I can use all the revelation God gives them and it brings true clarity to me. They remind me of God’s promises to me and what I look like from God’s eyes, my identity in Christ. I live to fulfill a purpose and you have a purpose too. God wants us to fulfill the purpose he has given us. The enemy doesn’t want us to fulfill our purpose so he lies to us and wants to sink us even deeper into grief, anxiety and depression. God knows our pain and he will never leave us or for sake us. He will comfort us, heal us and replace our mourning with joy. I feel like when you get to know how much God loves you and you allow him to move. That’s when you will start feeling his peace, healing, and joy.
“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31Tweet
Talk about it
Talking about your loss is part of healing. It might be your spouse, mom or a friend. Just know you are not alone and those who love you also lost something precious, comfort each other in thoughtful unity. I remember the days where my husband and I started talking about Ethan. We were in our car outside our driveway, tears roll down our cheeks as we talked and open up about how we were feeling. There were other conversations that followed that were uplifting. Remembering the good memories we had of him was essential in building the hurts with gratefulness. My daughter and I got so close by me just sharing the cares of my heart with her. I was able to home-school her and get to know her passions and even what was in her heart about her little brother. The healing started happening when I started talking and sharing my story with others out loud. I remember talking about my son in my ministry class, I cried. But at the end it felt so much better to speak these things out loud.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15Tweet
Find a hobby
Find a new hobby. God has brought joy and healing through my passions. It can be anything you love to do. Maybe try something totally different. Art, publishing a book, exercising, baking, reading books, writing or even starting a blog. I’ve personally felt healing and peace when I paint and write. Having something to look forward to everyday is fun, fulfilling and helps you get out of bed and eager to get ready.
“He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers.” Exodus 35:35Tweet
Remembering our love ones
I found comfort and joy in framing pictures of my son and hanging them up all over my house. This is why: I felt like just having his sweet little face around my house, would remind me of the good memories I had of him. And even though there were times it reminded me of his loss it brought more joy to see his face and know he will always be remembered. Lily and Josiah love keeping Ethan fresh in their memory. My daughter has mentioned to me that having those pictures up has made her feel that he is always with us and that she can always remember his face. Also, that it reminds her that there is a heaven and hope in God. Not only do my kids get to know they have a brother in heaven but that heaven is real. We feel comfort to know we will get to see his face again one day.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33Tweet
We tend to look back and focus on things that disappoint us but it is so powerful to think about all the privileges we’ve had in our journey. No matter how rough it’s been in your last season see the great opportunities and privileges that mixed into your situation. You can not lose something of value with out having felt something of value in your hand and in your heart. This focus on giving thanks and being grateful is a big step forward in your inner healing.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that you heal my broken heart and fill me with hope and a peace of mind. I pray that you give me strength and replace my sorrow with Joy in the name of Jesus. I choose to trust in you. Show me your love for me more, let me remember the promises you have for me. Amen
2 thoughts on “Coping With A Loss Of A Child | My Story”
Excellent blog Norma i love your blog and pictures
I got tears in my eyes reading this…but at the same time it was powerful to read about your healing process, and what Jesus is able to do when we decide to give it all to Him… the good and the bad.
I’m thinking about starting my own blog and you were the first person that came to my mind, because I follow you on Instagram… so I decided to come read your blog. I’m glad I did, your story is definitely inspiring and I’m sure will help many out there.