Permission to grieve

I don’t know if I will post this. I don’t even know HOW to express what is in my heart. I don’t want it to be misconstrued, but I want to try to ‘let it out’ because I find that writing helps me to work though my thoughts.

This is a strange journey, and it is not a simple one. There are no pat answers or easy ‘fix-it’ solutions.

There has only been one time in this entire journey that I have truly ‘lost it’. It was when we found Jenna in the pool and a series of anguished screams escaped my lips, without me even thinking. I remember the crazy rush to the hospital (which was only a block away, thank God) and me pacing outside the waiting room alone after I dropped Jenna off in the ER. My family was parking the car outside at the time, I presume. I remember staring unseeingly into the window of the hospital gift store, and telling Jesus: “Whatever happens, I will praise you.”

There was such an incredible peace that enveloped me, and I was aware as we all huddled later, praying in a ‘family room’ and waiting for news of Jenna, that I was the one that was holding my family together. It was not me, I realised though, but it was the peace and grace of God that was so overwhelmingly strong in me. He truly carried me. The christian grief counsellor that the hospital had called expressed amazement to my sister that in all my praying I had not once attempted to bargain with God. He was a wonderful blessing to my family when the doctors gave up hope and I was called to go and hold my little girl. I was in a strange place though, it was just me and God, and the ministry I received was from the Lord and not from a man.

Since that day I have had a series of instances where I have had to give Jenna to Jesus afresh. I had to release her to him at her funeral, as the little coffin was lowered into the ground. Once again there was such a merciful peace that surrounded me. I have had many times when I would tell Jesus in my prayers: “She is yours,  Jesus.” I have tried to rejoice in the fact that she is so gloriously happy there with him, and I have found much comfort in knowing the character of my God as I walk this journey. I would have been a mess if I didn’t know his faithfulness, mercy, his kindness, and his generosity like I do. I can trust him because I know just how good he is.

Since that day too, there has been very sincere, precious and well-meaning friends who have tried to encourage me to do what I think I am already doing (or am I missing something?) and give Jenna to Jesus. These people believe that if I simply surrender Jenna to Jesus fully everything will be fine and I will find complete healing. Perhaps they are right! I am trying, Jesus.  

I do think they are missing something though, and Lord, if I am the one that is missing it, please show me. I just think that it is not that simple.

I can release Jenna to Jesus until I am blue in the face but that does not fill the gap she has left. There is a void in my heart every time I lie down in my bed and there is no girly-girl to read a story to, every time I wake up and there is no sleeping muffin stretched out inches from my face.  Every shopping cart that doesn’t contain her toddler frame, every pink dress that I have no reason to buy anymore.

When people try to convince me to give Jenna to Jesus and simply move on I have such an inner struggle with it.  First of all, I think I am already doing that as much as I can (I hope). Secondly, these people do not realise it, but they are not giving me permission to grieve. This is a great loss, folks. It is going to take time to deal with every aspect of it.

When the Israelites took possession of the promised land, God said he would drive out the inhabitants before them little by little, lest he drove them all out and the beasts took over the land before the Israelites could. I am going to need to take this territory step by step, in order to really possess it.  

I am NOT building a shrine to Jenna simply because I am not ready to sell this house with its scribbled walls and the Jenna footprint on my painted concrete floor. There are memories of Jenna everywhere here. Yet the day will come, and I know it, when I will be ready to move away from this place. And like he has done before, Jesus will have prepared my heart for that moment.

I am not getting bogged down in my grief and losing my direction in God. At least I don’t think so. But I miss Jenna, and want to talk about her, and reminisce about her. I want to sing her a happy birthday song on the 27th of July. I want to honor her memory. I can’t simply cut her off from my heart as if she were never there. She is my girly girl, always will be.

There is this great paradox with me right now. On the one hand I don’t want  people to look at me simply through the lense of my grief. My grief does not define me, though it is a big part of me right now. It is not all there is to me by a loooooong shot. On the other hand, I want to be allowed to grieve, I want others to acknowledge my loss and I want to feel free to talk about Jenna and to celebrate the gift she was to us.

As I wrote in my journal this morning I thought about the words ‘give’ and ‘grieve’. I think it should be possible to do both.  Giving Jenna to Jesus doesn’t cancel out the grief, but walking closely to Jesus makes it that much easier to handle.

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42 responses to “Permission to grieve

  1. Dearest Sumi,
    I have so many thoughts but hesitate to share them for them not coming out the way they should. But know that I’m so relieved(?) to see you grieving for your precious daughter. I and anyone who reads your blog knows that you are not ‘stuck’ within the grieving over Jenna. There are many signs that your are dealing with this incredible sadness amazingly well. Probably better than many of us would. Only if you have lost a child/pregnancy or like I have through divorce can one possibly relate just how difficult it truly is. You posts have made me grieve again for the loss of custody of my older children, no they were not dead but there are so many parallel’s to the things you have so bravely shared and what I have gone through. I have said so many of the same things, that I’ve read here it is incredible. Perhaps one day I will blog about it and perhaps like your blog it will help someone else going through the same ordeal.

    I will remind you again~ grief has it’s own timetable and it has been such a short time for you. Please, don’t take to heart those well meaning people who tell you to give it to Jesus and move on. Many times they are just uncomfortable with grief and say the things that they think are right. Sadly, they are wrong, and those well meaning things are at times can be hurtful. *if you are still in the same place grieving in a few years I will borrow CC’s pink noodle and see if that helps you* (hoping to make you smile) Until then, please keep writing and celebrating Jenna’s life with you. You are doing great and one day Jesus will have healed your heart so fully you will think of Jenna without the overwhelming sadness but with unending joy.

    My Cami and I picked up Jenna’s birthday card today and when I showed it to her, she said “it is the perfect card for her!!! I was thinking about that card Mommy”. It will be in the mail no later than Monday………

    Much love and hugs.

  2. Sumi, I’m glad that you decided to publish this post. We all need to be reminded that you have given Jenna to Jesus but He hasn’t removed her memory from your heart and mind, I don’t think that He ever will. He is enjoying having her with Him but He still understands that you miss her greatly.

    I too believe that when it is time for you to leave your current home that He will have prepared for you to do so. He’ll make it clear when that time is right. Take care and know that He understands as no one else can and He’ll not leave you ever.

  3. Could you send me your address and I’ll send out a card for Jenna.

  4. Dearest Sumi,
    I have finally got my act together to go and have a look at your page. Me and technology are not a good fit.

    Sumi you write so beautifully!
    How many lives you’ve touched by your pain, honesty and love for your God!

    I sit here thinking, ‘do i even have a relationship with God!’.

    Reading your words, i am blown away by how well you knew your little girl. Not many people can admit to knowing their children as well.

    I think you should take as much time as you need. As long as you’re not neglecting your family, and you are close to Jesus, you carry on walking on the road that’s in front of you. Only Jesus knows how many twists and turns are up ahead.

    You do have the right to grieve, and even sob before God, i don’t believe that is an indication that you have’nt released Jenna to God. . . . I believe that is the humanity God created, I would be more worried if you had already stopped grieving.

    love Vas

  5. Sumi,
    Thank you for this post. I couldn’t agree more. Where there is great love in life, there is great sorrow in death. This is not dependent on the amount of faith you hold. Even Jesus himself wept over the death of Lazarus before he raised him from the dead. Grieving is an essential part of giving someone you love to Jesus. It is evidence of the magnitude of the sacrifice we are willing to give to the Lord.

    I was just talking to my husband last night about how long the tears would come so easily. (It has been 4 weeks since I found our Camille drowned in our spa.) I told him I didn’t think there would come a day when they didn’t come easily. I still getting weepy talking about a grandmother I loved very very much who died 20 years ago. “When someone you love that much is in heaven, part of you will always be homesick here,” I told him.

    Grief is good and will last as long as we need it to. As long as we don’t give in to the discouragement and depression of the adversary, I think it is healthy and essential.

    Sending love your way through prayers and cyberhugs.
    Stephanie

  6. Oh Sweetie… you are doing what you need to do… this is the same feelings my sister went through when she lost her husband at 46 two years ago.. and people would tell her it was time to move on.. she is just now two years later able to cope better… but that was the big thing she told me.. she loved to call me because I never told her it was time to move on.. and she loved that she could always talk to me about him.. it gave her great joy to be able to talk about him. We know where he is and he is not in pain any longer.. but we miss him… she longs for him.

    You talk about her as much as you want to. It is not like she is gone and you never talk about her.. I think some people really cant handle it so they want you to hurry and get through it. I am not saying they are mean.. they just don’t know what to do.

    Hugs… Joy

  7. Dear Sumi,

    Sweet Sweet Sumi,

    You grieve the way you know how to grieve. Not the way that everyone else needs you to grieve. Jenna was not theirs she was yours.

    Jesus understands, he understands that you are a mother that had to give her child back to him. But, even though you celebrate the fact that she is dancing with Jesus, he understands that you are a mother. A mother that has lost her child. A mother that even though He is right there walking beside you or carrying you. Your heart has been shattered. He wants you to mourn.

    You are allowed to grieve the way you feel you need to. Don’t hold it in. Don’t let someone take away the gift of Jenna that God gave you.

    I still have days of overwhelming grief. Days that I can hardly function. It is ok, to feel and exspress the grief. Don’t hold it in. Let it out. Let it consume you for a moment if you have to. It doesn’t make you any less of a christian if you do. God understands. He made us after all. He know your heart. He knows the love you have for Jenna. And that love will not diminish.

    So, grieve. Let it all out. And if you have to do this 4, 7, 25, 75 or 100 times, then so be it. This is your journey.

  8. Sumi,

    I’ll post my response to your beautiful post later, but for now I want to ask if you’ve ever read the blog of Jody Ferlaak? She lost her four year old daughter Teagan in 2001 in a tragic accident. Her blog is AMAZING – her ways of dealing with her grief, her acceptance of her situation, and her newfound joy. Please Please check it out…. jodyferlaak.blogspot.com…you won’t be disappointed!

  9. Sumi, Thanks for your comments, your thoughts and words there and here. As you said so perfectly in your words to me, each pain is different, so I don’t dare compare what I’ve been through to your loss. That being said, one thing (of many) I’ve learned over the past months is that when everyone else is finished grieving and has “moved on” it is hard for them to relate to the one is still in grief; it’s uncomfortable for them, there are no words to say, or ways to identify with where you are. I think the well-meaning advice of “move on” and “give it to Jesus” is their way of trying to get you to the place where they can relate to you again.
    I’m not sure any of that makes sense, but I hear what you have said and hope and pray that those around you will surround you and your family with love and prayers when there are no words.
    Grace and peace,
    Ashley

  10. Once again, I am moved by your honesty! I am continually praying for you and your family. You, by all means, grieve, remember Jenna, talk about Jenna! To not do so wouldn’t be fair to you. I am so glad that you will still talk about Jenna-she is your daughter and the love you have for her cannot be measured-so then how can others (or yourself) measure the length of your grief?

    Praying!!

    Cynthia Y.

  11. Sending a little love your way.
    Sumi you are precious. I love the way you worded this post. (((hugs)))

  12. Sumi,

    I’ve sent you an email because there is so much I want to say on this subject. Please know I am here to listen and support you however I can. Grief hurts, no matter how many times you’ve given Jenna to Christ. It just hurts.

    HUGS!
    Rachael :o)

  13. Sumi,

    I’m not quite sure about the trail that led me to your blog…

    But I just want you to know that I lost my daughter, Ellie (9) to cancer just about 7 months ago. Grieving is such a complicated process, and very individual. Everything I’ve read and experienced myself says that losing a child is something that you never “get over”. We can handle it in the godliest way possible and yet still feel as if our very arm has been cut off. Time has a way of softening some of the harshness of the grief, but I don’t think that it’s a pain that ever fully goes away. That being said, we can still have very real moments of joy along the way…

    Since I just stumbled upon your blog, I’m not sure how long ago you lost your daughter. But if it helps, feel free to visit my blog at: ellieskees.blogspot.com I know that much of our experiences are different because you lost your daughter so suddenly and mine was a long and drawn out process. But if you start back at the posts from December 19, 2007 and read to current, you will see some of our grieving played out. I hope it helps.

    Sarah

  14. Sumi,

    It’s me again – I just commented. Since leaving the comment, I have looked over much more of your blog. I love it! There are so many things that you say that I can identify with – I think that we are quite alike in many ways. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful Jenna was! She looks adorable and delightful in every way. I am so very sorry that she died. Nothing makes that o.k. From the little I have read already of your blog, I am so impressed with your ability to fully grieve, yet fully believe God’s Word and His promises. Thank you for being such an example to me in that. I had hoped to somehow bring you some comfort, but instead I find that I am humbled and blessed!

  15. I’m so happy to see Sarah here visiting my dear friend Sumi. I don’t know Sarah personally but I’m friends with Kim and my daughter is friends with Alex. We prayed long and hard for Ellie and it broke my heart when she died. I kept praying for a miracle. I know Ellie was so special to Alex and I read the blog and grew to care so much for your sweet little girl.
    With little Jenna I never got a chance she was just taken from us so suddenly. I held her as baby and rejoiced as I watched through pictures that she was growing into such a special and beautiful little girl. Then she was gone. I agree that you don’t get over it. I wouldn’t want to get over it because I always want to remember the precious gift these girls were to there mothers, their families and all the people whose lives they touched.

    Sumi, I’m always afraid of saying the wrong thing so I don’t say much. With the stroke sometimes things come out wrong when I’m tired. You are very dear to me and in my prayers and thoughts. I love the way Sarah words things. She seems like such a sweet soul and so strong in the Lord. Just like you sweet Sumi. I love your honesty and the strength you have to lay your feeling open. I know you have helped many greiving mothers who feel like no one understands just by being honest.
    Love Your FL DYrefugee sister,
    Lisa

  16. I’m so sorry people don’t understand. The following is some excerpts from a book (Tear Soup) that has helped me and my family with our grief….the only grief-book I have ever read (except the Bible) 🙂
    “..On some afternoons people would ask questions like, ‘Is it soup yet?’ or, ‘How long is it going to take? You have been at this for over a month now. It’s time to get out of the kitchen.’
    Grandy fumed at the caller’s advice…..
    …When she was alone and needed to think she found it helpful to keep notes on her soup making.

    ‘So what else have you learned by making tear soup, Grandy?’
    ‘I’ve learned that grief, like a pot of soup, changes the longer it simmers and the more things you put into it. I’ve learned that sometimes people say unkind things, but they really don’t mean to hurt you.’ ‘And most importantly, I’ve learned that there is something down deep within all of us ready to help us survive the things we think we can’t survive.’…”
    You’re doing a beautiful job grieving, Sumi, and I love to read about your faith and your love for Jesus and how He is at the center of everything…even your love and grief for your precious daughter. He will continue to sustain you as you continue to focus on the Truth and Hope of our future reunion with the ones we love and miss.
    Thanks for sharing so much, as it helps me in my own grief process, to feel more normal and to still focus on the one thing that matters most….Jesus and what He has done for us.
    Sincerely,
    Kaylee W.
    (found you from our mutual friend, Greg from ‘The View from the Juniper Tree’)

  17. every time i read your blog i cry. You write so beautiful about your loss of your sweet wee girl and you hope and faith in Jesus. Thank you again for being so open with us. You do help others with your story.

  18. Once again you bless others in all of your writings! Thank you! NO one not even those who have lost a child know exactly how someone else feels–it is so very healthy for you to grieve—-listen to the Holy Spirit and no one else to guide you through it. I will continue to lift you before our Father’s throne and ask that He give you peace. May the Lord wrap His arms around you today and give you His strength to face the future. May His presence, comfort, and love be very real to you this very moment.
    Blessings!!!!

  19. Sumi,
    I am so sorry others feel the need to tell you how to think, feel, act, grieve, laugh/not laugh etc. I have read your blog for quite awhile now and I see Jesus shine through you brightly. God understands, after all he lost a child also.
    Love to you,
    Valerie

  20. It kinda boils down to the boundary violation of telling someone else how they should feel, doesn’t it? One of my favorite verses is in Proverbs 25, where the wise advice is given about not singing happy songs to a depressed person. Even Solomon knew that you shouldn’t be telling someone else how to feel, but just to walk alongside them in their journey. Now that I know this truth in my own experience, I cringe at every remembrance of “helpful advice” I’ve ever given anyone. Thank God for His grace!

    I think there are well-meaning Christians who believe that if they do all the right things – read the Word, pray, seek God, that they will be free of pain and trouble. I know, because I used to be one of those. Now I know God’s grace instead.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog recently – I’m assuming this is the post you mentioned… Blessings and grace on you and your family as you prepare for Jenna’s birthday.

  21. This is a great post, Sumi.

    I think we all struggle with how to effectively support our friends/loved ones who are grieving.

    I don’t think there is one simple answer but perhaps there is a very basic one: You are, among other things, both Christian and mortal. The fact that you are a Christian allows you to give your Jenna over to Jesus’s tender care. The fact that you are mortal makes you grieve that giving.

    Your faith inspires me.

  22. Sumi, I do not know you but stumbled across your website awhile back through a mutual friend. I’ve commented a couple of times but just want to express how much your faith and story of Jenna have touched me.
    Your honesty and faith have taught me so much in how to ‘grieve with Jesus’ rather than trying to grieve on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jesus, but have never understood what it looks like to really give it all to him while grieving. Your words are so powerful and gives glory to Him throughout. I’ve learned so much from you and your little sweet girl.
    So, when I miscarried about a month ago, being two months pregnant (I had already been reading your blog for awhile), I was able to really give it to the lord and start the healing journey. (as opposed to how I’ve grieved in the past) Your blog has been such an encouragement to me throughout my grieving. I know our pain is very different, but still, I wanted you to know what a light you have been to me and probably many others.
    I think of you and Jenna often, and pray for you every time we are worshiping at church. I cry each time (for you) as I try to imagine the pain you are going through. Jenna’s memory reminds me everyday to appreciate the little things and the little moments with my kids (even the not so fun ones 🙂 )
    As far as the “well-meaning statements from well meaning people”, yes, they can be hurtful. It’s a little hurtful when one person says it, but after about the third time, it get’s annoying 🙂 The thing about pain, is that people can’t fix it, but they want to cause they are hurting for you and they don’t like to see you hurt. The best thing they can do is give you a hug and let you know how sad they are for you. And then be quiet. 🙂
    When someone will “weep with those who weep” (Rm 12:15), that is when we feel less alone with our pain, and experience the true compassion from someone that God has created us with. He didn’t say “give advice to those who weep” 🙂 He just asks us to help others feel less alone with their pain by entering their world to understand and care for their pain.
    I think the reason those comments are hurtful (even from well meaning people) is that they leave us feeling misunderstood, or that people aren’t understanding us in our pain. I pray that as you continue this journey, that you are surrounded by loving people who know you and care for you the way you need. (and give you the freedom to grieve the way you need to)
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us…

  23. My heart just aches for you Sumi. I love reading your posts each time you write. There is a song I was thinking of as I read this post. It’s got the words in it that say Heal the Wound but leave the scar. And I think that’s what you are getting at through your greif.

    I love the idea of the slip n slide party!! =) I know that whatever you do is going to be incredible! I can’t wait to see what it is!

    Love and prayers!

  24. Sumi,

    If anyone ever is able to tell you how to stop grieving, please pass the info along to me. On second thought, I think I will wait until I meet my Healer and allow Him to wipe the tears away. Until then, they are mine to keep as long as I can. My grief does not define me but it is a part of who I am and though it hurts, it refines me and keeps my view Heavenward. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My treasure is in Heaven now and so is my heart.

  25. Dear Sumi-

    I haven’t read the other responses so I may repeat what others have said. NO ONE knows what your heart is feeling but you! I often wonder exactly how we are suppose to move on from our children’s death. Please talk about your little girl, write about her, love her, remember her….of course you hurt, you have lost a piece of your heart. SENDING YOU HUGE HUGS!!!!

  26. Continuing to lift you up in prayer!!!

    Love you!
    Cynthia Y.

  27. Dear Sumi,
    We each grieve in our own way. Many people do alot of their grieving before their loved one dies if they are sick for a long time. When your loved one dies suddenly the entire grieving process happends after their death. My dad died suddenly after a fall exactly one year ago and was burried on July 3rd last year. My sister and our youngest daughters spent his last day with him struggling to breath and watching him die. Oh how painful it was to watch him die, but I am so thankful I was there with him in the end. My dad was 83 and had live a wonderful life. Memories of him pop into my head at such strange times. He was a very loving man with a huge heart. He would have been in a coma had he lived, and we knew he wouldn’t want to live that way.

    You are so lucky to have the beautiful picture of Jenna along with the hand prints and little she things you continue to find that belonged to her or that she made. I myself started a scrapbook of pictures of my dad and our family. I want my children to always be able to look back at the pictures and have them to pass down. I think a scrapbook of the things you have found would help you preserve Jenna’s things that can be saved. I bet her brothers would like to look back at them at times in the future and fondly remember their little sister.

    Sumi, Jenna will always be a part of you just as my dad will always be a part of me. I will never forget him and I’m sure Jenna will be a special part of your life always. I cherish the memories of my dad, and just from your blog I can see that Jenna was a special, beautiful little girl that brought smiles to every life she touched.

    We each grieve differently. The loss of a child has to leave a tremendously deep void in your life. They say time heals all wounds. I believe it may make the pain somewhat less, but the wound will always be there. I have been so touched by the things you write, and your memories of your beautiful Jenna.
    Sincerely,
    JoAnne Tucker
    Waco, Texas

  28. Thinking of you, Sumi. I finally ‘found’ you again and will add you to my blog roll so that I might keep up on your Walk glorifying Jesus.

  29. HI, Sumi. I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you. You have such a sweet Spirit and I am always touched by your writings. Grief is so personal. I don’t think there is a set pattern to follow. You just have to lean on the Lord and Trust His ways. (((Sumi)))

    PS…I will put a card in the mail for Jenna this afternoon.

  30. Sumi,

    The combination of your willingness to be transparent, a thoughtful introspection, and a beautiful gift of writing is so potent. Your testimony is so powerful and pure and honest and just beautiful!

    I subscribe to all the encouraging posts left before me but just wanted to add one thought. If the act of God sending His son to die was the ultimate gesture of love and sacrifice that we believe it to have been, then we must presume a grand hardship was associated with that choice. Or how then would it have been sacrificial? (Of course Jesus sacrificed but almost unimaginable that His own Father loved us enough to send the Son he loved in the same way that you loved Jenna). To assume that somehow, after losing a child that one would be restored quickly and completely diminishes more than your loss, but also the scope of God’s gift to us in Christ!

    Conversely, the artful expression and the depth of your grief inspires within me a greater awe of God’s love for me…knowing that He would choose to embark on the same painful journey that you now endure, for my sake…it moves from the academic to the heart for me.

    Thank you for that.

    Amy

  31. I love what Amy just wrote! I felt that same weight of how much God sacrificed for me, just after Ellie died. It was a combination of my own heartache, and watching my husband’s inconsolable grief that drove the point home! I haven’t thought about it as much since, though. I love the Amy’s beautifully written description of it! It makes such perfect sense.

  32. Sumi,

    Thank you for sharing your heart. I’ve been praying and continue to pray for you and your family. We have to live life one day at time giving everything to Him one moment at a time. And I agree with you God has to do the surgery healing the broken heart. And He is, even though it seems that pain is the same as it was as if it happened yesterday.

    As I’m writing this How Great it Our God came on the radio. In the end that it is our only truth despite everything in life.

    I love you and wish I could seen you guys whenI came up in May maybe next time.

  33. Sumi,

    I’ve thought for a few days what I wanted to say and I guess what it boils down to is that you need to do what you need to do however you see fit. You are the only one who knows how you feel. There is no “fix-it” for you. If some people don’t get that than I guess in the words of Ben they suck! Plain and simple. You should be allowed to grieve and deal with things in your own way in your own time.

    You really have been a great testimony for everyone. You have shown great faith when some people would have faltered. I’m sure that there has been times that it hasn’t been easy but you really are a testimony for those who need to to see that.

    One thing that you said really spoke volumes to me you said it’s not that simple and it’s not. It will never be that simple again for you and that just breaks my heart.

    I know I am one of many who love to hear you when you honor Jenna. It’s one of those things that brings a smile to our faces or tears to our eyes when we read about Jenna through you.

    But anyway thank you so much for sharing Jenna w/all of us.

  34. ““The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.””
    (-Dr. Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy)

    found this on a friend’s site one time and i appreciated it.

    i am so sorry that you struggle with this part of the grief, although i do as well- the permisson from others and dealing with others part. i have to say, that anyone who tells you the things you have been told has probably most honestly not ever laid their child to rest beneath the earth or filled an urn with their ashes…grief is really most understood by those who carry it, others try and mean well…most likely they want you to move forward so that THEY feel comfortable…bc let’s face it, us “grief lepers” are downright depressing sometimes aren’t we? ha….i lost sydney before i even was given the chance to make memories with her…still, your sweet girl was taken home after years with you, making memories and traditions..it is like losing an arm, you have to learn to function like new, that is not easy and takes a lot of time to “perfect”…the memories of time with her, that does not go away with death…we are separated from our loved one physically but not from their memory…and that is how it is. i cannot even imagine how you get by like you do. you are amazing and so resilient and i admire your faith and honesty. please don’t ever apologize for wanting to talk about, remember, honor or even grieve over your sweet angel. those who also painfully walk in your shoes know all too well that to keep going, to keep breathing and getting up each day, that connection is all we have most days…it is God’s gracious gift to us to keep close to our angels. thanks for being honest. it encourages me like you have no idea….praying for you.

  35. I’m so glad you share with us on your blog.  I agree with everything you wrote.  What impresses me most, is the way you have centered your grief in Jesus.  Happy Birthday Jenna.

  36. Thank you so much for your candidness. I guarantee you that you will make someone more sensitive and compassionate and be able to minister to others better by your willingness to be so transparent. I am a social worker, so I would like to think that by giftedness and by training that I am pretty sensitive to grief issues already, but reading blogs like yours and Rachel’s have really helped me. When I became prengnant with my daughter, my cousin was expecteing a baby just 4 days after us, but had a miscarrigae. It was a horrible time and I felt so helpless. There were people willing to teach me how to minister to her and walk along side her in her grief. I was so grateful. As I am for you. One never knows what tomorrow holds for us or for our loved ones, but I feel like your willingness to share will help those who read your blogs to be better equipped to minister to those who are grieving and hurting, and not even just from the loss of a child. Thank you again and may God give you and all those who love Jenna peace that surpasses understanding as her birthday approaches.

  37. Oh this all hurts more then I could have possibly imagined. Even during the time we new we would have to let Larson go…the letting go has been so much more difficult. I continue to pray for you and your journey. However long and whichever way you walk on this path the Lord has given is ok. How I learn as I go and yet it still just hurts. Praying for you. Thank you for all of your encouraging comments on my blog. It always nice to “hear” from others who understand.

  38. “As I wrote in my journal this morning I thought about the words ‘give’ and ‘grieve’. I think it should be possible to do both.”

    Oh sweetheart…that is the battle right there. I don’t think it is possible to give, at least in the manner you were once accustmed, when your grief is so heavy. I battled so much with the same thoughts. I felt for so long, all I did was give, but looking back, I wasn’t giving or receiving…but merely standing still hoping the tides of grief didn’t take me under.

    I have the 27th circled on my calendar, I want to remember with you and for you the day God first gave Jenna to you.

  39. I know that this is an old post and that you may not see this. But I have had many of the same things hit me after the loss of our baby boy before birth. Please, greive Jenna, remember her and talk about her. You have given her to Jesus and she is dancing with Him. You have expresses the emptiness all of us mom’s feel who have lost a child so beautifully. Take as long as you need and don’t feel like you are rushing. We all heal in different ways and God works in our lives to make his glory known in different ways. God bless you and may he continue to heal your broken heart and bless your family in ways you may never know.

  40. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this.

  41. Sumi, Everybody has said it, but they are right; you are allowed to grieve and be sad and probably forever and it’s ok. I think people say these things b/c they feel uncomfortable being unable to console you…especially with such a significant loss. You’ve come to my blog, and even though my baby is a live and i’m thankful to God for that, I still grieve for all the broken dreams not just for me, but more for her future. It’s getting better now and Giuli is a year old! I totally empathise with the before and afters. Going to a place i frequented when I was happy and pregnant with a healthy baby..and then with our new lives. I just worry that next time I got to these places i’ll be childless. God bless you Sumi, your daughter is such a beautiful angel, your openness is a blessing to so many who can’t verbalize their grief. 🙂

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