Our hearts have been heavy this week. We had been praying for a baby boy named Hezekiah and he didn’t make it. I don’t honestly know much of his story and it isn’t mine to share, but his Dad went to school with my husband, both high school and college. He is also a youth pastor in our former city. My husband called to ask me to be praying because Hezekiah was in the NICU (at the same hospital all my kiddos were born). I don’t even know the number of people praying and interceding on his behalf. In faith, his parents called special prayer vigils and Hezekiah did surpass some of the odds against him. Yet in spite of these things, he is now in the presence of Jesus in Heaven.
Even as I write this I am drawn to tears for this family, whom I have never met. My heart aches so deeply for them. I grieve for them as someone who has experienced loss. As I have gone to bed at night, I surround them in prayer because I know that night time is the worst. During the day you can busy yourself with so many things, but at night, when the darkness surrounds you, all you can see is your baby and memories haunt you.
I want to share something with you that maybe no one has shared before or maybe you haven’t really given it much thought. I want to share with you a few things to do and not to do if you encounter someone who is grieving.
- Be there for your friend if she wants you around. Some women want to be alone and some women want company.
- Be a listening and sympathetic ear. You don’t have to speak. You don’t have to have the answers.
- Don’t rush her to get back to normal or get rid of things if she isn’t ready.
- Ask her how you can help-maybe give her specific examples like a meal, cleaning, etc.
- Make something or donate something in honor of her loved one.
- Don’t use clichés. Most often they will end up in hurt.
- Understand that she may be unpredictable (especially in the first few weeks).
- Allow her to grieve however she sees fit; there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I have “met” some beautiful women, thanks to Callie Grace. We probably will never meet on earth, but I know that one day we will stand together with our children. I am thankful for their lives and their stories. I hurt for them and ache for their children too. Yet I am honored to walk alongside them through their grief journey. I want to allow you the opportunity to pass along my information to anyone who you feel would benefit. You never need to ask for my permission or anything of that nature. I love talking about Callie and I am blessed to be able to come alongside women who have suffered loss. If you have any additional advice, please post it as a comment! Blessings to you, my friends.