There is nothing that prepares you for the loss of a child, short of a fortification of one's faith and certainly sobriety. Next to it is losing a spouse, sibling, parent and other close relative or even a best friend. Frankly with all the talk of mental health issues going on in the Olympics and other aspects of life, this one may be the most devastating.
Grieving this kind of loss is a process that tests the very nature of one's core character, challenges your faith and requires letting yourself just feel what you feel when you feel it and not try to avoid it. When I lost my mom, I remember standing in line to pay for a car at an auction and bursting into tears. Everyone looked at me like "that must have hurt" but had no clue of my deep pain.
When I got the call that my youngest son had died in a motorcycle accident my face and body went cold, and a few weeks later when I went back to work I remember staring into nowhere wondering why I was even there. To this day, almost six years later it affects me and the pain requires me to speak of it. Yet, I have found something that turns that pain into joy, and as the Bible says, you have turned my mourning into dancing!
By using the pain from the loss into fuel for remembering what we are missing, they remain with us as if they were here. May not make sense to some, but to me that fuel has been poured into ATB and look at how many people including me are dancing because of it. This all came about as a direct result of Paul's death when God spoke to my heart. That's why a relative fossil like me can relate to 20-30 year old's so well.
So too does having a scholarship** to remember the one we lost pour into the life of another who experienced that same loss bring about a certain amount of healing. By offering hope to another kindred spirit the healing multiplies and soon we dance with joy that the one we lost is now found in another's life. Instead of an organ transplant it is a spirit transplant.
Come to think of it, isn't that what Jesus did when he left us?
** Read details of the Catherine "Cat" Howard Scholarship on our News drop down on the ATB website (acrossthebridgeinc.com) and in our other social media platforms such as Facebook.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.