Sunday, February 16, 2014

Graceful and Compassionate.

Someone I respect has told me he stopped reading my blog quite awhile ago because he didn't agree with many things I wrote. 

Okay. Okay?

I wish I didn't respect him. It's easier to take criticism from those you don't respect to start with...

He also told me it would be nice if I offered the same amount of grace and compassion to those who haven't lost a child as I do to those who have.

Thing is...Losing Eva has shaped every single aspect of who I am now and I am able to offer bereaved parents grace and compassion BECAUSE of my journey of losing Eva, not in spite of it. 

Truth is, I have to admit that I, too,  sometimes wonder where my compassion has gone...

But the other truth is that there were so few people who came alongside Mike and I in our lonely black early days of grieving Eva and offered us grace and compassion. So few people who could empathize because the reality is that very few people experience the death of a child in our culture today. So few people...and now, if I am able to be that person who can offer grace and true compassion for another bereaved parent then that is where my priority is. 

If you've just had a baby, have a backache, a broken leg, relationship problems....there are likely many people who have walked that road before you and can bring you a meal, offer you a shoulder to cry on or clean your house. 

I am sorry I am not that person and that I am, perhaps, not graceful and compassionate enough. 



  1. Thank you. This is something I am struggling with.

  2. I have only known you after Eva, and I think you're pretty wonderful!

    I think that usually bereaved parents use blogs as an outlet, a place to express themselves in grief and missing, however "ugly" that may be. I applaud you for your honesty in your writing, for not being afraid to be real.

    You, as you are right now, are graceful and compassionate enough. If anyone is expecting you to be the same in any way as you were during Eva's life, or before, that really speaks to the ignorance surrounding the loss of a child.

  3. Although I have not been through your own particular deep loss, I have lost my son Caleb over five years ago. I do understand what you are saying about being able to show compassion to those who have experienced a similar loss to our own. I have always loved this verse, especially after losing Caleb: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    We are called to have compassionate hearts (Colossians 3:12-13)

    I think that for me, over time after Caleb died, the Lord has allowed other trials in my life that have also given me compassion for others, that doesn't have anything to do with losing a child....trials with children, health trials in our family, etc. The Lord has shown me that although these trials don't include necessarily losing a child, they all involve a grieving of sorts...loss of a life that we thought that we would have (ie: new health diagnosis), loss of a relationship with a child (who we thought would always be close to us as parents), etc. The Lord is constantly molding me and changing me and I am thankful for the lessons learned, even though I would have never chosen them for myself.

    I think that compassion is a wonderful thing. There is never too much compassion around. We know that fully after losing a child.

    Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:15

    Although this verse does not specify "do these things with people who have only experienced the same loss that you have", we find it easier to do these things with people with a similar loss as us. It doesn't excuse us though from being compassionate to everyone and showing God's love to them.

    Blessings to you, my friend,

  4. I understand your friend was telling it like it is for him, but I don't agree. I love reading blogs and hope I have enough compassion for people who have suffered whatever the awful thing, I have also been recently diagnosed with cancer and I connect enormously with others who have helped and encouraged me BECAUSE we are living the same life. It makes the compassion higher because it comes from one who knows, one who gets it. Its this compassion i need. Dont take this criticism to heart because it isnt valid. It isnt.