Holidays

Jesus the Grief Counselor

Jesus – The Counselor

An Exposition of Luke 24:13-32

By: Martie Spurgeon

 

Having lost our daughter to SIDS several years ago I have had countless opportunities to talk with other families who have also experienced the same loss. God has allowed my heartache to be a springboard that has allowed me to counsel other Mother’s who are walking through the deep grief that follows loosing a child.  After our daughter died from SIDS in 1997 I felt like my life had shattered right before my very eyes.  I lost my way.  I needed someone to come alongside and share with me truth – a counselor.   As the years have passed and God has healed my heart; He has placed within me a burden to be a counselor to those who are grieving and hurting. 

What Would God Have Me to Do?

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

 

We talked about the benefits of planning and looking ahead in the New Year that lies before us.  The benefits are there for everyone; but the grieving parent can find that taking time to plan for the days and months that lay ahead is actually a huge step in the grieving process. 

Planning for the New Year Ahead

Written By:  Martie Spurgeon

 God is a God of order and routine.  One of the greatest ways to see God delight of order is to view the changing seasons.  Everything follows a pattern.  We have spring, then summer, followed by fall and the winter.  The cycle continues - month after month, year after year.  Sure, we can have season that are mild or extremely hard – but overall we know that after one season follows the next and there is an anticipated pattern in the weather for each season.

God delights in order.  He has designed our bodies to function best in a consistency of order.  Can you imagine if there were no season changes?  How boring that would be!  Isn’t it nice to know that Tuesday follows Monday and that Friday comes at the end of the week?  Imagine if everyday was a Monday. Now that is a scary thought! 

Finding Hope When the Holidays are Hard

Holidays can be so difficult for grieving families. Festive cheer surrounds us, yet for those grieving such devastating loss, it can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Grieving families may not feel like celebrating, and others may or may not understand. The absence of our babies looms heavily over us, and we can hardly find reason to be joyful at a time that causes such deep pain. 

Handling the Holidays While Grieving

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

At Christmas time our thoughts turn to family.  The festivities and the nostalgia of Christmas causes us to remember memories of the past.  If your family life has been affected by SIDS, undoubtedly some of your memories this Christmas will be sad; and you may find this holiday season incredibly hard.Handling the holidays while grieving can be a challenge especially if your baby has died within the past three years.  So, how does a grieving parent cope with the added stress of the holidays while they are still grieving the loss of their baby?  Here are a few tips that may help you during this time of year.

    For the Dads

    Today I write to the dads who have suffered the death of a child to SIDS. I was inspired to write this by the love and concern of a very close friend of ours. Separate from her constant checking in on me, she would consistently check on Bill and ask him specifically how he was doing for over a year after Billy died. That meant so much to my husband, and it had a significant impact on his healing. Thank you, dear, dear friend. :)

     

    Much attention, empathy, and sympathy is poured out to mothers upon the loss of a child. 

    But what about the dads? 

    Weeks after our son died, my husband commented, "There seems to be lots of support available for mothers, but I kind of feel lost as a grieving dad." 

     

    Mother's Day- A Mommy Chosen....For This??

    For all mothers who have suffered the death of a child to SIDS....

    While many moms blissfully relish in the joys of motherhood today, there are also many mothers who face this day feeling empty, surrounded by empty.....empty arms, empty carseat, empty nursery, empty heart. How, you may be wondering, does a grieving mother possibly "celebrate" Mother's Day?

    To answer that, it helps to look at a significant truth about becoming a mother.

    God says in the following passages:

    Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart...

    Easter Brings Grieving Parents Hope

    In general, most holidays can be pretty difficult to face when grieving the loss of a child. But Easter is different.

    While it does not completely erase our pain, Easter brings the miraculous Truth that allows our hearts to heal and find hope in the midst of our trauma and tragedy. The Resurrection is a miracle for each one of us, and it assures grieving parents the hope of reuniting with their children again one day. I know the devastation of losing my son to SIDS. I cannot imagine the devastation I would feel if Christ had not taken my sins upon Himself and died so that I could live- in eternity- with Him and with my loved ones. 

    The children's choir at our church this Easter morning sang a song that dates back 139 years. Even with a new melody/arrangement, the hymn's words are powerful and timeless. I've copied the lyrics to the song below, and you can listen to Aaron Shust perform it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvBG-FVbGFs.

    Giving Thanks in the Midst of Suffering

    For those grieving the loss of a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), holidays can be really tough. Sometimes we simply go through the motions with the least exertion of effort, just trying to "make it through." And that's okay.

    But it's also okay to enjoy the holidays. It's okay to find joy in other things while also deeply grieving the loss of your child. In fact, it is those sources of joy that will spark glimmers of hope and help bring healing to your heart over time.

    How to Handle the Holidays

    The following list might be helpful for parents grieving through the holidays.