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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The grieving process - can you really finish it?

I have been asked occasionally, "Have you finished going through the grieving process for Lilly yet?"  For some reason, several people have asked this lately.

I don't know how to respond.  Do we ever finish grieving someone we loved deeply?  And what is "the process?" 

All photos in this post credit to: Steve Rubin Photography
I have a stack of books on grief that people have kindly sent me and they stay untouched.  I am afraid to open them.  Does this mean I've barely grieved at all?

I don't cry every day - or even most days - anymore.  Does this mean I have "completed the grieving process?"

Maybe it's been this question, or maybe it's just time, but Lilly has been EXTRA heavy on my heart and in my mind lately. 


 For some reason, that brought to my mind some things that the great reformer, Martin Luther, said when his daughter Magdalena died at the age of 13.  (All quotes below are from Queen of the Reformation by Charles Ludwig (p. 160).)

When the carpenter was fastening the lid of Magdalena's coffin shut, Luther, through his tears, said, "Hammer away! On Resurrection Day she'll rise again." 

Later, Luther addressed Magdalena in her coffin:  "You will rise and shine like a star, yea, like the sun. . . . I am happy in the spirit, but the flesh is sorrowful and will not be content; the parting grieves me beyond measure. . . . I have sent a saint to heaven." 

"Happy in the spirit, but the flesh is sorrowful."  That sums it up perfectly.


12 comments:

  1. Tears...that was such a beautiful quote. I don't know the process either but I know I think of every loved one I have lost everyday and miss them deeply. My papaw(dad) my father-in-love and Jonathan. It reminds me that we were never ment to face death and makes me worship Jesus because he gives us such a wonderful hope of Heaven. I love the pictures in the post the are so precious!

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    1. I don't know how people, who do not have the hope of heaven, cope!

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  2. I think the people asking you this are terribly rude, and must not have ever had anyone close pass away.

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    1. Some people really do say the darndest things!

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  3. In the book A Grace Disguised, about grief, Jerry Sittser compares catastrophic loss to limb amputation. The wound may heal, but the fundamental loss doesn't.

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    1. That is the perfect illustration!

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  4. I don't think we will ever get over grieving - and so many people say time heals - for me I say ... it doesn't you only learn to live with it. It has only been 8 months for me and I don't feel like I will ever deal with it

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    1. Perfectly said, Lior. And I am sorry for your loss.

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  5. I think maybe you get totally past the grief when the part of your life that you hoped you would spend with that person is past. In the case of the loss of a child, that's when you die...and are reunited with your child in heaven. The physical pain of my miscarriage is gone. My body has healed. But the fact that I thought I'd still be pregnant and would be finding out next month what we were having, I'm still dealing with. We didn't just lose our children in that single moment of their passing. We continue to lose them each birthday, each major milestone, each event we thought they would be a part of. That's why grieving a child takes so long, even up to a lifetime. You've been in my thoughts a lot the past few months, and especially since my miscarriage when I joined the world of mothers who grieve the loss of their child. I hope as many people as you having telling you that you should be over it, you have many, many more showing you love and compassion and remembering both your children in Heaven with you.

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    1. That was so well said, MelanieBeth, thank you for writing that. You really summed it up well. We will find out in heaven one day, if our wee ones were boys or girls. I can't wait to see my little one - what they look like and to hug and kiss them! I'm sure you feel the same. Thank God for HOPE.

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  6. I love you family

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