Today I found out that my brother and wife's friends lost their one year old over the weekend. I have been heartsick for them all day. I do not know them well, although I have met them on two occasions. I cannot imagine the pain, anger, guilt, and all the emotions that are flooding them. I cannot imagine the grief. I have yet to experience grief like that.
I long to be able to reach these folks with some words of hope, but my mind and heart struggle for just the right words because there are not really any right words at this moment for them I'm sure.
I have had my own grieving experiences recently and in the past over different circumstances, things that that have left me feeling hopeless for a time. We all carry pain over past circumstances, while some of us may be sitting ducks in the valley of the shadow of death waiting to be pulled, or wondering if we'll ever be pulled, from the pit of despair. Illness, death, sudden tragedy, divorce, abuse, difficult financial, marital, family circumstances...whatever it may be, we've all got something, and we need to feel hope in order to carry on in life.
Last spring a woman came to my church to speak about her greatest grief and how she has dealt with what she phrased as her "new normal" in life. A gifted professional speaker, Carol Kent, shared candidly about her pain after she learned her son had killed someone. She has written many books, two that speak directly about her situation, about how she is living life after this tragedy. For anyone needing some hope, I urge you to find and read Carol Kent's story, As I Lay My Isaac Down and A New Kind of Normal. She is real, she understands deep pain, and she offers choices we can make and the truths we can rely on to help deal with our own tragedies.