Monday, October 1, 2012

Community

I think of community and wonder if it’s really necessary for so many to suffer together. I mean, Tim, Margaret and I have to suffer because Jack was ours. Grieving is the price we pay for loving him so very much. But the sadness that slammed a tiny school, descended on a town, and spread throughout this country and beyond through friends and social media? Is that sadness too much to put on others?

Is it right to want others to share our grief with us? To walk this path by our sides? Or is that asking too much?
I really hate to use a drowning analogy because my oh my how I’ve been struck over the past year with how many hymns, praise songs, and even references to grief refer to drowning. Ick. That’s a lot for me to take. Last week Margaret and I counted 5 songs in a row on our Christian radio station dealing with storms, waves, being pulled under, drowning and floods.

Ugh.
However, there is an image that keeps coming to me when I think of community. It is of our little family huddled together out in the middle of a pond on very thin ice. It’s lonely out there. And the weight of our grief and longing for Jack are so heavy, bearing down on us, the pond starts to crack.

Then I see us getting down on our bellies, and spreading our arms and legs out, almost as if we are embracing the ice. Friends, those we have met and those we may not meet for a long time spread out too, grabbing onto our hands or our feet, until we’ve redistributed the weight, making a web or a snowflake pattern that reaches to the far edges of the pond and keeps us safe. Tim’s and Margaret’s and my weight remains the same, but we don’t go crashing through.

I’m not sure if that’s really how ice works. Or grief works. But there is a real feeling of blessing and relief that comes from being connected to others in grief and pain.

Thank you for that today and always.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

If grieving with you, praying for you, and supporting your family causes others a little pain, it is a price well worth it. May God surround you with a community that uplifts you and loves you beyond all imagination.

Loukia said...

We are human and so many of us are mothers, and the pain you feel, we feel it. Not exactly in the same way, but we can imagine. What you're going through, no mother should ever have to go through, but your strength and belief is amazing and inspiring, and your son lives on in your lives, and in ours, too. Believe me, I think about you guys and about Jack every day. And this tragedy has put so much into persective in my life. xoxo

Anonymous said...

"Friends, those we have met and those we may not meet for a long time spread out too, grabbing onto our hands or our feet, until we’ve redistributed the weight, making a web or a snowflake pattern that reaches to the far edges of the pond and keeps us safe."

What you're describing sounds like a design, and goodness knows, Jack loved designs....God bless you and your family.

Mandy said...

Of course it is right....we were created to be in relationships, to love, care and support one another. Personally, I only wish I could do more, and have had my faith increased by the outpouring of Love I have seen surround you all. Xx

Anonymous said...

PS I have been thinking about a recent post from Stimeyland. Although the topic of this heartfelt essay is parenting autistic children, it's also about how community makes people feel less alone, which ties back to Anna's snowflake idea. She begins with a quotation that will probably be familiar to many:

“Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle.”


http://www.stimeyland.com/2012/09/parenting-autistic-kids-is-hard/

Auntie Mip said...

Grief is intended to be shared. No one an bear that burden alone. Through grief we learn about ourselves and others. I have shared here before,and please forgive me for sharing again, that I AMA pediatric and adult oncology nurse. I have always considered it a priviledge to be invited into what is undoubtedly the most sacred of places, the grieving heart. It is a gift. One that I do not take lightly.

God Bless you and your family. I am so sorry your Jack is gone. I amso sorry it hurts so damn much. I am so sorry.

Lisa said...

I ache for your loss...and cannot fully comprehend what it must be like to lose my son. The mere thought crushes me. Let us help lift you...it is ok to share the grief...it's what helps us survive the roughest days.

I cannot help but remember the Beatitudes--Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted. So, there it is in the Bible...we should help comfort those who mourn, so please do not feel badly about sharing the grief. We are here for you.

Debbie said...

There is "unity" in CommUNITY.

Love,
DD

Anonymous said...

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Geri said...

really interesting post anna. i have been thinking about this alot, as I am filled with grief lately about losing our son, yet it's been over 3 years. i don't want to burden my family and friends with tears and anguish now. so it feels very lonely. sometimes even with my husband or daughter, if they are having a good day, i don't want to bring them down with my tears. so, i don't know. of course in your case, it has only been a year, so i think it is absolutely still necessary to share your grief with others. i know at the one year mark if i hadn't shared it, it would have swallowed me up.

Anonymous said...

Anna,

I enjoyed being part of your blog community before Jack's accident. And of course my first wish is that the accident hadn't occurred. But going through this with you, even though I am geographically far from you, makes me realize how blessed and lucky I am to still be a part of your community. Sharing in your grief has helped me grow and learn (and I needed to), and I am proud to be a part of the loving network of people, both in person and afar, who help keep you and your family afloat.

love,
jbhat

Kim said...

What a beautiful image of community. God created us to 'Bear one another's burdens in love." and I am glad to do so.

The Empress said...

I can't think of any greater, higher honor, than being allowed to share in someone's burden, to left their grief as a testament to why God gave us one another.

"Therefore, I leave you with one another, encourage each other and strengthen one another as you are doing."

That is one commandment I try hard to obey.

Kimberley Poncin said...

That is what a community is there for. To rejoice in the good times and hold each other up in the bad times. Grieving with you over the loss of your precious Jack has taught me so much, so amidst all of the grief, lessons are learned and blessings abound. Let us as a community of moms, friends, and prayer warriors be there for you in any way shape or form we can be. Sending you a huge hug from Purcellville!

Theresa O said...

I wish each of us who have shared this painful journey with you in one way or another, could just take a little of your pain away as there are SO many of us that do share it with you, we grieve with you, and we would give the world to take the pain away and make things normal for you again. Praying for you always.

Anonymous said...

@Geri. I'm very sorry for the loss of your beloved son, only three short years ago. (If I'm not mistaken, Anna's bereavement support group told her that the second year is actually harder than the first year, sometimes; it's very understandable that only three years later, you're in such pain.) I'm so sorry! Since you believe that your feelings are a "burden" to others, I imagine it wasn't easy for you to write about your grief; that was a brave thing you did.

God bless you.

Megan said...

Beautiful analogy. We would all want our child to be remembered and celebrated and we would all want to be supported in our grief.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Anna, you never cease to amaze me with your beautiful words. As deep as our hearts can ache for you it can never compare to the depth of your grief so let us help you along the way. ((HUGS))

Rach said...

Ellie just looked at the screen and said, (in her precious two year old voice), "Dat's Jack!"

We're all here. Even my baby knows of your precious boy. We're more than happy to help you bear the weight of your grief. A burden shared is a burdened lightened just a bit.

Hugs,
Rach

Kara said...

Earlier today I was talking to a friend about you and and your family, and telling her how strangely attached I feel to you. I can't even remember how I stumbled onto your blog the day you posted a picture, the post titled 'Our Beloved Son'. I was completely overwhelmed by grief for you, but later overwhelmed by little things that seemed incidental. For instance, I love birds. I have 4 bird books, and will pull the car over to get a better look at one that I haven't seen. I imagine that it was your Rare Bird that caused me to pull the proverbial car over and listen to your pain, and pray, and cry. I don't regret one shed tear or prayer. It truly is a privilege.

janzi said...

WE are all here to help you unload all that grieving... and it does mean true sharing.. although I have not lost a child like you, my heart still feels your sorrow when I read your blog.. we are blessed to have the opportunity to tell you that we are all thinking of you and trying to help a little by being here for you.. unknown as we are, we are still part of the human community and know how hard life can get.. God Bless you all, Hugs from across the pond.. janzi

Salvimom said...

Anna,

Helping you bear your grief is the very LEAST I can do for you so don't ever feel like this community who you reach out is burdened by it. Any one of us if it was within our power to do so would bring your Jack back in an instant. Because we can't, we are left wringing our hands in worry that the only thing we CAN do is be there for you all. As for my little family, we are honored to pray for you, and I constantly hope that it just adds another little flicker to the great fire of prayer that envelops you daily from your community. As always, love, hugs, and prayer from Seattle, WA.

Ury

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna...

It's not a one way street. So very unfortunately, you and Tim and Margaret may be on the thinnest of ice, and we may be holding your hands. But you are holding ours, too - for losses some of us may have shared, and some some of us have never told anyone about.

I agree with what someone else said in these comments- grief is meant to be shared. It's cool you named this post "Community" - I think of relationships with that word and the "community" of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are connected and so are we.

Love, hugs, and prayers,
Lisa G. in CT

Ellen aka Ellie said...

I heard a song on Christian radio on the way home tonight that fits this--the lyric, "You are not alone..."

Gigi said...

As others have already said, that's what a community does - support each other in hard times and embrace each other with joy in good times. I truly believe that (for the most part) blogging is a community. Social media has created communities far beyond our usual reach - but they are communities nonetheless. We feel your pain and we want to help; because that's what friends are for - in real life or in cyberspace.

Jamie said...

I can't tell you how much the babyloss/childloss community has helped me this past year. There is a certain comfort in knowing that you're not alone, that others 'get it'. It has also helped me to be able to help others who are starting this journey. I say take whatever support and help you can get because this is a long road

Cait said...

You don't need to ask others to share your grief, it's simply done. I thank you for having the courage to share your story and give me the chance to share in your grief. I never had a chance to meet Jack and yet he's had such an impact on my life. I mourn his passing. Each time I see the birds hopping around outside I think of Jack and offer up a little prayer for your family. Although you must carry the burden of your grief, you are not alone. You are loved, cared about, thought of and prayed for every day by so very many people, and Jack, though no longer with you, is still touching so many lives.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

Your words stop me in my tracks. I feel like you will do great things with this voice, I think you've been called and when all the fog lifts I pray that you have the answer to what that is! Down on the ice with you!Do you mind if I share this on my page?

Shannon said...

We as Christians are supposed to bear one another's burdens. But I can understand where you are coming from. I've pondered the same as well, and have at times, hid my grief from most folks over the past few months.

Yes, it amazed me how many songs and hymns have the lyric "drowning" in them and it really bothers me at times because, like you, I'm hyper-sensitive to that word. It's an ugly, hideous word in my world. I wished the word didn't exist.

Keep on keepin' on in the path that the Lord has placed you on...if that may be talking about your grief, then so be it! ALL FOR HIS GLORY, not ours! Hugs!

Brooke said...

I am glad to be a part of your "snowflake" Anna! I continue to pray for you and your family, and often have liitle reminders of you and Jack, a bird outside my window, a blue ribbon tied to a car antenna, the name Donaldson ona mailbox I drive by all the time, but never noticed before. You are not alone, and sharing your grief is not a burden.
Brooke in Massachusetts

mamamarable said...

Anna, I just had this conversation with my husband last night. His uncle was 4 years old when he opened a bottom drawer of a dresser to stand and reach to the top. The dresser fell upon him and pinned him between the bed and dresser. He broke his neck and died. When his happened 50 plus years ago, nobody spoke of it after the funeral. In fact his grandfather never spoke his sons name again. They loved their son so much and never had given themselves permission to talk about their grief. I can't imagine the pain they suffered alone was like. My husband said that they moved from that house in a way to escape the painful memory. I have to belive that greiving the way they did, made for horrible conversations in their head when you they were alone with their thoughts. I wish she had an Anna to write to, or at the very least, an Anna to read.

As a mother that has not lost a child, I have been blessed to be part of your story/community. For the mothers that have lost a child, I can only begin to imagine the blessing your are to their/your community. We are here because you allow us to feel like our prayers, thoughts and responses connect us. In the end, we are all taking time to read or write in this relationship. You write about Jack so he will not be forgotten, and we read/write to you so that you know that YOU, Tim and Margret, with all of your heartbreak, will not be forgotten.

Sending prayers each day to you and yours. Colleen

agent99 said...

I think that's exactly how it should be, Anna. Each of us taking a little bit of the burden from your family's shoulders.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you need to go through what has to be the deepest pain imaginable. Please continue to lean on your community and receive the support you need. You are teaching me so much about how to relate to and support someone who is grieving. I pray for you often.

Michelle said...

I'm certain that each of the many people who have chosen to share your grief with you...to help distribute it across many hearts...has done so gladly (even if, with sadness, as well). Each of us has benefitted too, from having the chance to learn more about an amazing boy, an amazing family. Seeing how you have managed to navigate through this past year has been an inspiration to so many. Yes, it's been heart-wrenching, too... but why on Earth should anyone go through that alone? And, Jack deserves to be thought of and remembered by those who knew him, as well as those who wish we knew him. Did you see Glennon's post the other day about the woman who was so sad about the loss of her dog...she felt overwhelmed, and went outside and saw hummingbirds and an Owl. Instantly, I thought, Jack! Rare birds! Snowflakes are a beautiful analogy. They are made up of many crystals...thanks for allowing us all to be those crystals.

Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful analogy. I am honored to hold your feet, comfy shoes and all. :) Think of you all daily.

middle child said...

I can visualize this and I feel calm. Hope you do as well.

Michele W. said...

That's so beautiful, Anna. It's not a burden at all to help in the tiniest way to redistribute the weight.
Much love,
Michele

Melissa L. said...

Please let me be part of the snowflake.

Thank you.

Wish I could do more.

Beth said...

"Tim, Margaret, and I have to suffer because Jack was ours."
Why should you HAVE to suffer? It doesn't make any more sense than the rest of the world suffering. Innocents suffering. Suffering is the universe's biggest mystery, but God did not intend for us to endure it alone.
I love your snowflake analogy. That is exactly how ice works, you are correct! Water is one of the few molecules whose solid state is less dense than its liquid state, and the only reason for this is the bonds that form when the polar (charged) molecules slow down enough to orient and form that lattice-like pattern. Slowing down! Bonding!

You are amazing. Please write a book.
<3

Arnebya said...

I think that though many of us do not know the weight of your grief personally, the gravity and severity of your loss of Jack, it is a universal understanding -- lift them up. I am glad we are there, others are there, community is there, to redistribute the weight.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I am on call to meet you on the frozen pond of your choice. Any time. Just let me know.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I feel very privileged to be part of your snowflake and gladly, in whatever small or big way, will continue to support your weight until such time that you, Tim and Margaret can grasp the shore again. Keep paddling, however so slowly, even with just a finger, towards the shore. Know that it is ok to keep heading towards the shore while the strength of this snowflake holds you up. This wonderful snowflake needs to make sure we keep moving you towards the shore and not keep you completely frozen in the middle of the pond. It is ok to have good days - I worry about you feeling such a responsibility to your readers, that you may not feel comfortable stretching for the shore. I have no doubt that every intricate particle of your snowflake will be there to support you, you do not need to support us - take care of you.

Anonymous said...

Nobody should have to endure what you are enduring alone. Coming to your blog helps me keep what's truly important in the front of my mind. Everytime I am upset about some usually stupid, trivial thing or upset with my own boys for something minor I am reminded to cherish every moment and to be grateful every day. Also-when I see Jack's picture or read a story about him it somehow makes me smile (even if it is through tears).

Just remember: it really isn't just about us helping your family--your family is helping each and everyone of as well. Thinking of you always, NoVa Jen

Meredith Self said...

That's a beautiful image, Anna!

Aren't we are interconnected in ways beyond what it seems on the surface? Call it holy spirit, call it unity, whatever...what if we are all part of the same body, or all waves in the same ocean. We belong to each other. I don't even think of it as a matter of choice. You've helped bring that interrelatedness up to the conscious, you've made it transparent.

I think we are meant to bear one another's burdens, to love one another. It's a joy participating and sharing in what you are going through, even the suffering. It is a blessing in my life to share in yours.

It isn't a burden, it is a blessing. An incredible blessing.

Princess Kate said...

I come here EVERY day to pray, remember and be a part of the commUNITY that supports you. You’ve never asked me to come here or reminded me to pray for you and your family. I know it comes from God’s love. The love that we should all share with one another. I will gladly hold your hands and/or feet (comfy shoes and all). Whatever it takes. Still here and still praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

I think we all feel for you because we read your blog and have heavy hearts for you and the family. If we did not care in some way or feel connected, we would not keep coming to the blog. Hold on tight right now, the second year is not yet magic. I'm going through this with a good friend. Take care, Mary in NY

Lizzie Ann Designs said...

Thank you for this today! Community is so very important in everything we do. God placed people in our lives for that very reason. He knows we can't go through anything by ourselves. With his love shown in others he provides not only his love and comfort but the love and comfort of others to get through the happy and tough times we face. I hope everyone has a community of people that surrounds them, without we will struggle and fight to no end. Praying for your family today and the continuous support for those around you!

Jennifer said...

Very well said. I also lost a child, my baby girl, Miranda. I feel this same way. Our God, family, friends and community have been so wonderful to help us carry some of our grief. I am so grateful - as it is just to hard to carry alone. Thank YOU for this blog - you take the words right out of my mouth/mind so many times! What a wonderful boy Jack was and IS! Sending love and prayers!

Lesley said...

What an amazingly beautiful image that is. And while we spread our arms to grab on to one another on that ice each of our hearts opens a little wider. And that only happens when you give us the chance to reach. Keep on sharing, spreading, burdening, whatever you want to call it, it is what makes us human.k

Melissa Jimenez said...

I'd have to say it is right. I can't claim Jack was ever mine, but I can support you. As for the communities you've referred to...jack was theirs. He was a part of all those communities, no matter how big or small. they will inevitably grieve too. Not in the same way as your family. They do have to face the loss of Jack too. I'd have to say it's better to grieve with you, than alone.

mgh said...

beautiful imagery. beautiful.
Even in your pain you have the heart and empathy to care about whether you plight puts those around you in danger.
Surely you've had moments when you just want to scream and thrash and yell, "save me now!!"
We've talked about the drowning analogy at counseling. How do we know when to swim? How do we know when to float?
Difficult questions to answer when we are tempted to keep asking how in the world we ended in the deep end.
I love you. I'm so glad that what you are can see the community creating a web to keep you safe. You could have zoomed in on the image in such a way that you only noticed yourself.
If you look at your life through heaven's eyes, the picture will be zoomed out like that, I think, to that you can see all those connections. Keep zooming out and you will surely see that you are supporting others in a different part of the web.

Lady Jennie said...

I've been thinking of you a lot lately. And I have a beautiful picture of Jack and a magnet on my fridge in plain view (thank you).

It seems right that we should help share the load of sadness - so right. I'm guessing that's why it's not up to the grieving to make that decision. What seems crazy and possibly guilt-inducing to you seems like the most natural course of action to everyone else.

I don't know if I make sense. But here I am - here are some gloves.

Leslie said...

I haven't read the other comments just yet (I'm already crying), but I have a feeling I'm not the first on this thread to say I wouldn't trade the pain of knowing your family and grieving and begging God for peace and understanding on your behalf, for anything.

For some reason, I'm so thankful that I've been reading your blog since 2008 and thankful that I "know" you and your awesome son and daughter and husband - for some reason I'd rather know all of this than NOT be one more person praying for each of you. Does this make sense?

If I didn't know about this, I wouldn't be feeling a modicum of your pain, but that seems worse to me. I'm thankful that I know you and have been able to pray for each of you. I'm thankful my family knows you and has been praying. I'm thankful my kids ask if they ever met Jack and I tell them no, but they will someday.

I hate that day, I hate HATE that this happened with every part of my soul and it pains me when I serve a family at the restaurant that looks like yours, when I encounter any number of things in my day and am reminded of you, but still I would not NOT want to know.

Thank you for always sharing with us. I love your Jack and your family.

Momma Holmes said...

"Lean on me, when you're not strong, I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on..."

Because when you lean on others, we all shoulder the weight of grief... we call carry a little bit with us for you. And in return, you carry us, somehow, someway. It takes a village...

Anonymous said...

Sharing in your pain, from near or far, is the least anyone can do, for someone facing a loss such as yours....

With all my heart I wish peace for you and every other parent in this situation.

With love
K x

IrishRN07 said...

It sort of reminds me of something you attributed to Jack's philosophy: Happiness shared is multiplied (share others' joy). Grief shared is divided. Dear God, I hope so.
xoxo

OSMA said...

Being part of your snowflake is a gift you give to all of us here. I wish daily to shoulder some of your pain so that you, Tim, and Margaret may have relief but I know you are always weighed down by immense loss. That you feel supported by us "frozen tendrils" is an answered prayer and one of the blessings that can come of this. I never questioned whether it's right to want to share your sadness because I've always felt the need to as much as humanly possible. xoxo

Claire Plante said...

It is not asking too much - not at all. I think it was on your blog that I read, "love is a verb." To love and be loved on this earth - it is a privilege and a gift.

Your snowflake imagery is just beautiful and says it so well.

Sending you and your family lots of love and prayers, as always!

Love,
Claire

Nomads By Nature said...

I love the snowflake imagery. When we decorate our windows this Christmas with cutout snowflakes, it will now take on a more beautiful meaning than it ever had: a reminder of community, the honor of helping to bear the burden of your loss and to know Jack through you and your blog. He continues to be an inspiration to many, although his life was way too short. And also, the patterns of the snowflakes, it just sounds very Jack with his eye and love of design. Big hugs to you, Margaret and Tim all the way from Ankara, Turkey.

One crazed mommy said...

I look at it this way - everyone, in some form or another, has suffered a loss. Whether it is a parent, child, sibling or best friend. Sorrow and grieving are universal - and even though we all suffer, we feel as if we are alone in our grief. Please know, that even though we don't feel YOUR grief, we can relate on our own terms - and that is when the community comes together. Because noone is immune to grief, and because we all know the horrible feeling of grief, we reach out to wrap our arms (sometimes virutally) around those we see grieving...because when we grieve, that loving arm, or word, or whatever it may be helps so much.

Anonymous said...

You made the comment that grief is the price you pay for loving Jack so much. I think that your community - both near and far - are grieving for you, Tim and Margaret because they (we) love and care for the four of you so much. Please accept this form of love and caring and take as much support as you need for as long as you need it.

Anonymous said...

Anna, I haven't ever commented but I have been following your blog for the last year. I recently lost my unborn baby, and while that is clearly a different kind of loss, I have identified with many of your grief-related posts. I just had to tell you that I had a Jack encounter yesterday. My husband and I are hoping to buy a house sometime soon, so I have been looking all over renovation ideas. (I'm taking distraction where I can get it these days!) When I was looking at google images after searching for mustard yellow subway tiles, I saw a picture of two little cuties and thought that they really looked like Jack and Margaret...and it was them! I just wanted to let you know that a twenty-something grad student from Rhode Island recognized and was thinking about your sweet boy :)

Julie said...

What is the burden? Should we not all see into the hearts of everyone we encounter and offer them the love, support and grace that our hearts are also so hungry for? Thank you Anna. Thank you for sharing. The essence of grief is the feeling of aloneness. The power of grief is its ability to connect the entire world into one. Thank you for offering your connection.

Recovering Church Lady said...

We are here for you and you are here for us, two way street my friend.

jess said...

The song "Rare Bird" by Glen Hansard just played on my Spotify radio, and I couldn't help but think of your sweet son. I have never met you and just recently heard of your story through Glennon Melton's blog, but am blown away by your heart and courage. Keep shining. Praying for you and your family today and everyday. May God's grace overwhelm you and his love cover you as you trek through life day after day.

Patricia said...

No one should bear this burden alone....we are all one together, carrying the load. If only you could feel how much one wants to help a fellow human going through such unimaginable pain and grief - it helps our grief to help bear a small part of the pain with you...no Mother should ever go through this alone - let us all hold you up....

PeachPrenni said...

I will ALWAYS be a part of your snowflake, hanging on tightly and never letting go. Love you!
Annie XO

Heidi said...

Oh, what a lovely picture.

I can totally relate to the songs. I couldn't believe how many worship songs were about fire. Refiner's fire. God as a consuming fire. I think there was even a song about burning for Jesus. Um, yeah, no thanks.

ella said...

I'm all in, Anna. Whatever you need, now or in the future. Your family is a part of my family - regardless of the fact we've never met.

kate said...

We are sharing this with you. Xoxo

tracy@sellabitmum said...

We are meant to be a community for this - this ick and that ugh and this love that surrounds us. By everyone. xoxo

Marissa said...

Community is not about just sharing suffering--it is about celebrating the good times (which included Margaret meeting Justin) to supporting each other through the worst of times.

That's how you weed out the good friends from the others--the ones who are happy for you through the best of times while supporting you through the roughest ones.

We are here to keep you safe--lean whenever you need to.

Anonymous said...

In a small town in mid Wales at the moment, a community is rallying around the parents of a little girl who is missing. Hundreds of search volunteers, people taking food and hot drinks to the police search teams, a town covered with pink ribbons. We all wish from the bottom of hearts that these tragedies wouldn't happen, but I'm heartened by the overwhelming humanity and compassion in response. The community you have here and beyond helps us all. Proof that love wins. Thank you for sharing your story.

carolyn said...

That is a beautiful image Anna. I hope you find a way to keep that in your mind as you so generously let us share in your grief. Even though I haven't met you I do believe that we a part of one body because we share one bread and one cup that calls us not only to communion with Christ but with each other in every way. Far from feeling your grief as a burden, your so open sharing of it has evolved my own understanding of my griefs and losses (which have never been near to anything as precious as a child.) Even Christ did not insist on carrying his own cross all by himself, and I believe he calls us to do the same. Blessings to you and yours Anna.

pjmccoy said...
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PJ said...

My friend who lost her only child (son) his senior year shared a story with me. Not only was it one of the kindest things someone as ever said to me. But it encouraged and strengthened me to continue walking alongside her through the unchartered waters of this new "new". The story goes like this: A little girl comes home late. The mom asks where she was. She says that her friend Susie lost her doll. The mom asks "did you stay late to help her look?" She says "no, I stayed to help her cry." My grieving friend then told me that the natural human reaction is to try to "fix" things, but it's not always what is really needed. And there are some things that just cannot be "fixed" this side of Heaven. I hope this story helps encourage your friends and family to remember to try and be there and let the grieving be as personal and unique as the loss is. We're not expected to fix the unfixable.

Jennifer said...

I'm glad that if we far-flung people who have never met you can feel a tiny bit of your sadness, that together we can make it just a bit lighter for your family. It is worth the sadness of knowing your story if the sharing of it helps you in some small way.

Brynn said...

Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

We are all here to help each other carry our burdens. And, in doing so, we assure each other that we are not alone.

Alison said...

It is our main job on this earth to support each other, through grief especially. I wouldn't have it any other way. Please keep sharing your burden. You do it beautifully, although I'm so sorry you have to do it at all. Love and hugs to you.

Jessica Watson said...

Oh my. Wow. Whenever I read of how supported you are by your community I always feel a bit of relief that you are so loved and taken care of. This piece and the picture it creates is gorgeous.

Kim said...

I stumbled across your blog in the first days after the accident. I remember the feeling of breath taking helplessness while I read your posts and my heart broke for you. Now I check on you like I would an old friend and yet we really don't know each other .. your grief and the grace with which you shared it with all of us really touched me deeply. I find myself thinking of you and Jack and Margaret and say a little prayer for you often.

stacy said...

This is beautiful. I am so so sorry for your loss. I sat with my friend today while her young daughter had a CT scan of the cancer that has metastisized to her lungs. The outlook is pour. But as I read this the tears poured down my cheeks, because I know this is the same for her. Thank you.