Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday's Trust - Who Do You Trust?

my soul, originally uploaded by Amydeanne.

"My soul clings to You:Your right hand upholds me." ~Psalm 63:8

Tuesday's Trust

Who Do You Trust?

by Tommy and Angie Prince

A game-show from the late '50's, early '60's had the great title "Who Do You Trust?" (I know, improper grammar...!) We thought how apt for us child-loss grievers to ask ourselves this same question in regard to

How are we to go about walking through our Child-Loss Grief?

So when it comes to your Child-Loss Grief,

Who Do You Trust?

First of all, thank you so much to the people who reach out to communicate to us. Whether it is by E-mail, Blog comments, Twitter, Facebook, or even our going to your Blog to read your story, our hearts are deeply touched with your feedback to us and by the story of your terrible loss. Sometimes we respond. Sometimes we are "dumbstruck" by the depth of your pain that we are literally rendered speechless. But we are touched. We are deeply touched by your pain and your life dilemmas due to your deep grief.

We thought we would address a few of the questions and comments that have been posed to us here on this blog post.

One of my good friends who also grieves the loss-of-a-child shared her dilemma this way:

"The Loss of My Baby + My Broken Brain from the Trauma = My Trauma Drama!"

And what a drama it is.

If I were not living it, I would never believe the far reaching effects of the "tsunami" set off by my baby's death...

...A devastating tsunami that washes over my brain, my mind, my heart, my soul, my spirit, my body, my spiritual relationship with God, my relationship to my other children, my relationship to my family, my relationship to other people, my relationship to my career, etc., etc., etc.

It is mind-boggling the effects of this ground-swell of grief surging down into and through my being. It defies logic.

You will find you will get lots of advice from the "man on the street," the "on-looker," the "observer."

Though they have never experienced Child-Loss Grief, they seem to know just what you need to do to "get through" it!

We are here to tell you ~ They don't!

YOU are the one living this pain. YOU are the one feeling your pain. YOU are the one grappling with this spiritual angst. YOU are the one living in your grieving body. YOU are the one whose brain has been traumatized with grief.


Questions and comments we've heard are myriad. Here are just a few of these:

  • You got to have your child around for these x number of years; why can't you just be happy that you got to have them that long? (The person posing this question has children who are in their 50's ~Easy for them to say, huh?)

  • I cannot seem to go to my child's gravesite. I know "she" is not there, but it is her body's resting place. Still I cannot seem to make myself go. Do you feel it is healthy or helpful to visit her resting place on a regular basis?

  • There are several weddings in the community to which I have been invited, but I don't feel up to attending any of them. Is this wrong?

  • People tell me I should get back in church, and that it will make me feel better. Is it bad that I cannot seem to do so just yet?

  • What do you say when people say, "How are you?" If I am honest, I would say, "I am in pain and I am not doing well."

  • I am a physical wreck.

  • I am tired all of the time.

  • I cannot seem to get motivated to get anything done.

  • I feel I am regressing in my grief. I am missing her more and more and the tears never stop.

I have been advised by people that I don't need to write about sad things all the time. One even said, "You don't need to be writing that blog!"

I think these are people who genuinely love me but just don't want me to hurt. What they don't realize is that I AM SAD AT SOME LEVEL ALL OF THE TIME ANYWAY (thankfully with some reprieves), so writing about SAD is just writing about WHERE I LIVE!

I am dealing with a deep grief that defies all logic, yet it MUST be processed out.

To write to other child-loss parents gives me the opportunity to process through my own grief while reaching out to others, hoping that some of my processing through, and some of the things I am learning about grief, might just be helpful to some of them along the way as well!

What we are finding in working through our Child-Loss Grief is that

  • You can't trust the feedback from people who have never lost a child. Even from professionals~most of them don't "get it" either. (Even some child-loss parents themselves have tried to tell me to "stay busy" to avoid my feelings! I had to share with this person that her advice would not work for me. I am a Counselor who works with other people to help them deal with their emotions. If I didn't deal with my own, I would not be able to function in such a setting, and I would be "bleeding all over" my poor clients with my pain!)

  • So, really, each of us must decide what is healthiest for us as we walk through this Valley of the Shadow of Death.

  • Raising our children did not come with a manual, and neither did losing them! It is really On-the-Job training, figuring it out as we go.

  • But no one who has never been there should try to tell us how it should be done!

(I actually heard that a 30-year-old young father wanted to know if he should give me some advice...! Since when did he become an expert on child-loss grief when thank-the-Lord he has never had to walk that road? Seriously?)

  • From what we are learning about trauma and its effects physically on the brain, we are realizing the monumental tasks ahead of us to process through this very tedious grief and trauma. If you think about it when you find you cannot attend a worship service, or a family get-together, or a wedding, it certainly makes sense that our systems are already overwhelmed from the inside so that any additional stimuli coming our way could send us right into Over-Stimulation which could lead us into further trauma.

  • Just because we are not "getting out" in public much does not mean that a great deal of work is not getting accomplished on the inside of us!

  • Think of Child-Loss Grief as being in an "Emotional" Intensive Care Unit. We have enough traumatic toxins to work through and heal from without adding any other trauma, toxins, or excessive stimulation to our already-traumatized systems!

  • It is like Walking Around With No Skin On. We are as vulnerable as a young child with no shields around us for self-protection. So sometimes just retreating from life a bit is the added protection we need.

  • People get nervous when we don't go to church? My God is right here with me, and promises me,

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

~Psalm 34:18

It is like a client of mine going through deep trauma told me the other day, that after she had prayed a sweet prayer in her Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a woman in her sixties came up to her and said,

"Honey, I know preachers who would covet the tender spiritual relationship you have with God!"

And I say, "Amen, and Amen."


Please feel free to share any of the effects that Child-Loss Grief has had upon you. Sharing with one another can hopefully help us not feel so alone in this already lonely process!


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