When Nothing Touches Your Soul, You’re Not Alone.

When nothing touches your soul, You are not alone,

“I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer… Where I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven — there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives & hurt my very soul. — Love — the word — it brings nothing. — I am told God loves me — and yet the reality of darkness & coldness & emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.”

These are the words of Mother Teresa.

Her words have mirrored my thoughts. How can that be? She is Mother Theresa, the embodiment of faith, sacrifice and endurance of goodness. How did she feel the emptiness of a non communicative God? Yet, she has. Enough so that she wrote about it.  She too felt her thoughts and prayers come back to her, piercing her heart with their void.

Imagine this faithful, selfless woman writing with such desperation and emptiness? Feeling like nothing, not even God’s love could touch her soul. It makes me feel like I’m in good company some days. Does it not validate your pain on those days when the ache and loneliness of this endless loss makes you feel a stranger in this world and even to your own self?

“Who have I become that I cannot find solace even in my Lord? I don’t know this person who has only fleeting moments of peace and comfort. Where is she? Where am I?” I’ve thought this so often.

I am among those like Mother Theresa, at least in that wondering. Even with this, I feel as though I can still be counted among the faithful, the endure-ers, the hold-outs for hope.

We are not alone in our search for answers, for a voice from heaven. We are not alone in our search for understanding. We are not alone in our search for something-anything-to touch our soul for more than a moments relief.

Those living with great or traumatic loss wonder about their “normalcy” through it.  Are we suffering needlessly? Are we doing this? How do we even measure that when the enormity and distance of the pain is so unnatural, so fully un-Godly? Is this what child loss is? I can tell you assuredly, yes. It shakes us loose from careers, families, marriages, friendships and trust in the very existence of GOD,  and to the deepest part of our being.

It is the upheaval of everything we knew to be true and safe and right in our life. Our foundation, crumbled.

Worse, it feels like the most merciless of betrayals from The One who is supposed to love us so much He “has counted every hair on our head.” Tragic betrayal of The One we’ve cried out to with the deepest longings of our heart. We only wish the betrayal would’ve been for our own life instead. Not our child’s.

Child loss is this.

Have we though, completely lost our faith, our salvation, because of our constant questioning of our God? I feel so un-hinged sometimes  to have had such blind and unwavering faith- until I didn’t any more. Until I questioned His very existence. But I am not alone in that. Read Mother Theresa’s words again. “There is no one to answer.” She felt abandoned and alone. Sound familiar? It is what people of faith who are victims of great sorrow and injustice feel. We are not alone in this. Most importantly, we are not alone from Him either. That I do hold onto.

You have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. — Lamentations 3:44

What would be worse than the doubting, however, would be to envelope so deep into this cloud that we miss what blessings and comfort can come our way. The words of that scripture conjure such a perfect picture. Wrapped with a cloud. Soft, insulated, protected, no chance of scraping along the sharp edges of this world as we do. Insulation from more pain. But that is not a place to reside, as we will miss out. A place to visit maybe, on some days when there is no other choice or strength? But not forever.

He knows our pain, our distrust and our insatiable longing for our child. Jesus himself cried out to His Father from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Certainly in our frail humanness, we are allowed that cry?

Don’t submerge so deeply that “no prayer can pass through.” I assess daily and choose carefully how, where and with whom to step forward. It’s a survival tactic that is second nature now.

Yet, still I step,

still I move,

still I hope.

May the prayers not stop, but “pass through” to us and for us. I see, I feel how threatening and inhospitable this life can be for people like us and yet there can still be expectancy, richness, beauty and hope here as well. I do believe this- against the grain of this loss.

The Year In Grief Pt. 2

Grief, loss of child, The Year In Grief, Until I Hold You Again, Surviving the loss of a child,

The Year In Grief Pt. 2 Another year can be a relief- another year survived, another year closer to reunion with our child. Another year can also feel like the tiniest step in an infinite trial. Here is part 2 of some observations from 2018. My Living Children Are “OK” Right Now. After a recent conversation in our parents group, I have decided to edit this section a bit. I want to be optimistic about the well-being of my surviving boys however I cannot let my desire for them to be ok blind me from their reality.  Originally this section … Continue reading

The Year In Grief- Observations From 2018

Coexistence of Joy and Pain, Contradictions in living with the loss of a child, bereaved parents, another year without your child

The Year In Grief (Part I); You would think a couple of years into living with the chronic pain of child loss that not much would change, that the learning curve would be waning down. That’s not the case. I am constantly observing new things about this life, about others and about continuing to live while grieving the loss of my son. Here are some thoughts from myself and others who walk this path with me; God gives me the strength for this day.  There are days where I wander about directionless, lost in foggy disorientation. There are days when the … Continue reading

Living In The Gap

Beyond The Veil, Waiting For Heaven, Missing your Child

  LIVING IN THE GAP- Insight on the disconnect grieving parents feel interpersonally and spiritually in the unrecognizable world they live in.  I remember scuba diving years ago and being very deep. We were in the Caymens and exploring farther out and deeper down. It was glorious and exhilarating! A stunning new world we were discovering together. We were exploring down the side of an underwater cliff when the sea floor seemed to disappear beneath us. We had reached a fissure so deep and so wide the bottom was undetectable-miles and miles down. My earth-dwelling instincts made my heart start, feeling … Continue reading

The Last First-Day-Of-School

Child Loss, The Last firs-day-of-school, child loss and the start of school, losing a school age child, Until I Hold you again, child loss awareness

I stood on our deck in the perfect evening air and stared up at what was a magnificent sky. A full moon, jet black sky with stars everywhere. The moon was so bright I could see the colors of all the flowers and trees around me. The sharp blueish-white cast from the moon decorated the yard and porch in an eerie but beautiful glow. Our favorite kind of night, peaceful and artistic. The kind of night he and I would sit out here together, looking at the sky and chatting about whatever. In the moonlight I saw him running in … Continue reading

Where God Is

Though none of us have spoken of it, it’s significant and I know we are all aware in individual degrees. It’s our first family vacation since he has been gone. I am sitting here alone on the deck of our rental in Wyoming. The boys are hiking without me today and I’m wishing I had gone. My companion, loneliness is sitting on my chest. I’m struggling being here without Aiden and being alone has nudged me to that emotional line. He is everywhere, but nowhere. There isn’t a place in the world he would love more than right here. With … Continue reading

Aiden’s Light Memorial Fund Update

Aiden's Light memorial Fund, Soccer charity, Child loss memorial fund,

The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.   -John 1:5 There is little comfort to be had in the weeks surrounding the death of your child. It is marked for many with heightened anxiety, deeply difficult feelings of loss and pain, and of course, the wondering of “What would they be like now? What would they look like? What would they be doing?” We don’t just lose our child, we lose everything they would become, everything they would do, every wondrous step along the life-long path from childhood to adulthood. One comfort that has shone … Continue reading

Spring Keeps On Singing

His absence is a dissonant reverberation in the very heart of my soul. Always there, always droning. I realize it’s song is one with me now. Not in me, but part of me. The thick wires of the instrument vibrating continuously. Sometimes a low hum, other times a pounding orchestration of missing, anger, confusion, pain, shame, fear and longing that thrashes and shreds from within. How terribly awful the proof of one’s unconditional love can be. Ceaseless crazy love. Something like that woke me this morning. It was not the usual beeping of the bus at the corner. It was … Continue reading

Stop The Clock

The sands of time, new years with loss of a child, missing your child

The last of the tiny sands of time from 2017 are silently slipping through the hour glass as I write this. I have always loved hour glasses, admiring them in a pensive sort of way.  I’m captured by the curves of the slender glass, the hypnotizing flow of the sands, but especially their fragility. Knowing the glass could crack and shatter at the slightest disturbance, the sands of time set adrift to an arbitrary future after such simple predictability.  I can relate to an hour-glass. That has been my experience. The passage of time for us is so littered with … Continue reading

So, how was your Thanksgiving…really?

Thanksgiving, holidays after child loss, grief during holidays, holiday grieving, life without your child,

If you are one that needs the silver lining, or the big positive spin at the end, this post is not for you. Really. If you’re offended by a little  profanity, click the “X” and skip this one.   “So, how was your Thanksgiving…really?” Year #1 Thanksgiving. As most could only imagine, it was unimaginable. Like nothing I ever thought I could survive. The waves of drowning grief were riding in like a raging storm- punishing and relentless. We were still coping hour to hour. Simply existing was agony. I hosted Thanksgiving. We cooked, we ate, we drank, we did. I ducked … Continue reading

Grieving The Holidays

Grieving The Holidays, Surviving The Holidays After The Loss of a Child, Grief,

Somewhat by my own doing, life has spun out of control lately. Over-committed, over-worked, over-stressed and under-rested and carrying an extraordinarily heavy emotional burden. I didn’t plan well. I didn’t say ‘no’ when I should have, I had no form of self-care and it was the perfect storm for a grief break-down. Grieving the holidays begins long before the holidays and this was not a good way to enter this most difficult time of the year. October (HIs birthday) through January are months we sort of wish away. They are so heavy and hard. I feel like I pull myself … Continue reading