Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grief Revisited

The MEND Newsletter topic this time is Grief Revisited...I guess you can say there are times I wish grief could go away so I could have time to miss it and have it come for a 're-visit'. It is always lurking in the shadows of my heart...waiting for the most inconvenient time to pop out and send my world crashing. I am thankful for our grief...this is the article I wrote for the newsletter.

"Thankful for Grief"

I never imagined I could be thankful for something like grief. Until our son‘s death on March 30, 2007, our family had been relatively spared by the tragedy of death. Death is an expected part of life, but it is NOT an expected part of birth.

Our grief journey has been full of ups, downs, twists, turns, and at times—all-out crashes! Times of joy, sadness, sorrow, hope, praise, anger, denial, trust and peace. To this day, any number of these feelings can resurface, and back onto the roller coaster we go. The rides are sometimes short with less intensity but always purposeful and sweet in the end as we trust that each moment is part of God‘s plan. With reflection comes appreciation for the lessons learned, friends made, personal growth, and faith strengthened.

Three years later, I find myself healing, but not healed. In fact, I don‘t antici-pate that pain this deep is ever healed; it just becomes part of life, and our cop-ing abilities get better along the way. It is a good part of life. We appreciate things that we might have taken for granted before: a butterfly flittering around at the perfect moment, the birds singing on a gloomy day, rainbows peaking from the clouds, and the delicate snowflakes sent like little messengers of hope. All of this reminding us to ―Be still and know…‖

As we watch our two living sons play on the floor, our hearts ache with the should-have-beens, the wish-it-weres, and the desperate desire to understand the plan. Grief knocks us down time and time again, but we somehow find the strength to get back up and live for the living—while we long for the lost. We are richer because we are the parents of three boys, not two. We are blessed be-cause God chose us to endure the death of our son. To us, every day of our life is a reflection of AJ‘s legacy that brings us one day closer to God‘s promise. Indeed, through it all, we are thankful for grief!

♥ Amber Zuckerman, mommy to Adrian Joseph "A.J.", M.E.N.D.—Dallas