A Mom’s View: How to Deal with the Death of a Child
The ordeal actually began unfolding on Hannah’s first birthday in September 2001 and went wrongfully diagnosed until her autopsy report after Thanksgiving 2001. It’s difficult to believe that as of today’s date she has been gone 17 years! I actually have to look at the calendar and remind my heart that this is in fact because most days my brain and heart to do not agree. *wink*
Weekly doctor visits happened for three months prior to her passing, all visits resulted in a wrong diagnosis, that ultimately led to her death. You can read more about Hannah’s illness here.
How to Deal?
Dealing with your child’s passing is a personal choice and there is not one person who can tell you how to deal with your loss, however, I can share my story with you and how I deal with my daughters’ unexpected death. Notice I didn’t say “dealt” as if in the past because every day she is part of my thoughts and I deal with this reality daily.
Yes, you’ve got it! My faith in the Lord is the one sure thing that continues to bring me through the grieving and healing process. I am a born-again Christian and you can learn more about salvation by clicking on the title “God’s Plan of Salvation”.
I’ll tell you when Hannah died I was shaken to the core and I went through some scary emotions and had so many thoughts. I vividly remember coming home after spending the day at Salt Fork Lake (in Ohio) and my four daughters and I were so exhausted! We had a great day and for the first time in several years, I can remember laughing without pretending! Then, it hit me like a big punch in the gut! You know, those sneaky thoughts of ‘false guilt’ (satan’s tricky tactic!) and it went like this, “Wow! How can you enjoy your life knowing that your daughter is buried right up the street and she is missing out on all this fun.”
I CRUMBLED! I can not explain to you what that moment did to me and my sunny day went BLACK! I fought a type of depression for a year after that episode and I am here to tell you…I won the battle because I ran to the Lord. I did not try to win this battle of my mind and emotions on my own. It was the worse wrestling match I have ever been involved in, and in the end, I came out victorious. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was not a battle I won on my own or of my own will and power…it was of the Lord and completely out of this world!
The wrestling match ended with this final truth, and that truth was this:
- Hannah’s life was planned before I knew her.
For You formed my inward parts;
You [f]covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for [g]I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My [h]frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
2. Hannah was created for the Lord and I, as her mother, was the recipient of His gift. Meaning, our children, my child, is a gift from God and she was only loaned to me for a specific period of time. I will not pretend the pain of holding my deceased daughter does not sting, because death does sting no matter how much time has gone.
James 1:17 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
It’s been 17 years since I said my final goodbye this side of heaven, standing over my daughters’ coffin in the cemetery that snowy, cold, drizzly, grey day and I said goodbye with hope. My grieving has been one based on God’s promise to all who believe and have accepted His gift of salvation. Grace through Faith from Jesus Christ. Over these 17 years, I have seen parents grieve without hope, and that is the ultimate sorrow.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:13
But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others who have no hope.
I find peace and comfort reading my King James Bible and spending time with the Lord daily. I’m not “super Christian”, in fact, I am a sinner saved by Grace through Jesus Christ and not of any works that I do. I do nice things for others out of a grateful heart from what Jesus has done for me.
There are no shortcuts to God, there are no magic or spiritual things to bring our dead child back to us and there are no quick paths to healing from the loss of your child. Give yourself time, seeking medical help if you are dealing with depression, and seek the Lord for the real healing that only He can give.
Stephanie Grams, Christian Blogger Mom on topics of lifestyle, bereavement, child loss and healing, and how to give gifts of encouragement during life’s storms. Stephanie is available for podcast and video interviews, public speaking, and guest blogging. Did you get your free pdf journal? It’s free when you join my newsletter! #mysewingneedle