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.

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, 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 a … Continue reading

Stop The Clock

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 guess I’m captured by the curves of the slender glass, the hypnotizing flow of the sands, but especially their fragility. Like 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. The passage of time for us is so littered with contradictions, it’s maddening. … 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 topped off with 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 them. October (Aiden’s birthday) through January are months we sort of wish away. They are so heavy and so hard. I feel like I pull myself back up from his … Continue reading

After Bad Things Happen To Good People

Bad things happen to good people, Hope is what tethers us to faith. hope of reunion with Christ and our child, child loss, grief

After Bad Things Happen To Good People By most standards we would be considered “good people”. We are also the good people who a horribly bad thing happened to. Walking, breathing proof that bad things do happen to good people. I’ve heard, “When I’m having a bad day, I think of you and what you must have to go through everyday and I don’t feel so bad.”  As much as I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t want to be the poster-Mom for how bad your life could be. (Look at her and count your blessings!) I will never understand this and we … Continue reading

Like When…

Like When...random thoughts only a bereaved parent would understand

They are gone, yet we see them everywhere. They don’t stand before us, but they consume our thoughts and dreams. We cannot touch or smell them but we imagine every circumstance with them in it. Excruciatingly absent. Ever-present.   LIKE WHEN… …random moments only parents of loss would know. Like when you are on the treadmill at the gym and 2 young boys, exactly your sons should-be-age get on the treadmill in front of you. They are the same build as your son, they are wearing the EXACT clothes your son wore and one of them even resembles your son. … Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Since The Loss of My Child Pt. 2

Finding joy after child loss, loss is a continuous experience,

  The sun was high and radiant, the lake gleaming and alive.  Flickering prisms of light danced across the surface of the afternoon water. This is our ‘good’ time of year-summer. The humming motor is such a comforting sound as are everyone’s voices. Friends and family. I have Noah near me today so my soul is happy. We’re all smiling and laughing- I’m content even. He is surfing on the wake behind the boat and I’m thinking of how beautiful he is and how grateful I am for him. I’m so happy in that moment as words trickle through my … Continue reading

The Other Side of Mother’s Day

The Other Side of Mothers Day

Mother’s Day was always my most treasured holiday, ever since I was pregnant with my first and our Pastor announced our big news from the pulpit for the first time on Mothers Day, 1994. I was in a red dress and heels and beaming. A child. Mine. I had never known such pure and thorough joy as I did then. Yet I never once contemplated what it may be like for others. I would dress my boys all up in their little shirts and ties for church on Mother’s Day. I was never more grateful for my life than on that day. All … Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Since the Loss of my Child Pt. I

What I've Learned Since The Loss of my Child

I was laying down the other night in his spot, which is also my spot. That side of the couch where he liked to lay down when we watched our shows, The Voice, Face Off and Fringe. We so looked forward to those nights-homework, shower, a snack and one of our shows. I loved that we had this routine and quiet time together. I can see him now like it was yesterday. It hurts so much to even watch a commercial for one of those shows. Yes, still. I’m staring blankly at the ceiling fan circling around and around, entranced somewhat by it’s motion as I think of … Continue reading