Before Ellie died, I was afraid of death, pain, suffering. I didn’t want to experience any of those things for myself and it was scary to see in other people. I didn’t know what to say, how to feel, what to do, and the easiest thing was to avoid thinking about it. Sadly, I had never been to a funeral before Ellie’s. Now I always go to the funeral. I have been to probably 15 funerals/visitations in the past two years, and volunteered to help out as needed. It is so important to support the grieving families by just being there for them. Suffering can be a great teacher — and this is but one of the many lessons I’ve learned — always go to the funeral! Here’s a couple articles that you might find helpful on this topic: Always Go to the Funeral by Deirdre Sullivan Don’t Know What to Say when Someone Dies?
Awhile ago we asked the following question to some bereaved parents – “What has been helpful on your grief journey?” For example, after Ellie passed away a fellow grieving father called Todd out of the blue and expressed his desire to walk with him and support him. He’s become a good friend and been very helpful. We received several personal letters that touched us. Anytime anyone remembers Ellie and shares a story, it is such a blessing. Many people supported Ellie’s 1st Angelversary and remembered her on her birthday. Feel free to add ideas in the comments that we can do for those that follow us down this path. Thanks in advance for sharing. Here’s a few responses we received… Remembering special dates. Not avoiding the topic of our dead kids. Letters telling us things about our kids that we wouldn’t know. Being mindful of words used. I have been trying to get my son’s friends to write down their memories so I can put together a memory book for his children. Sometimes when I least expect it and think everyone has forgotten, God sends me a lifeline. Love to hear stories about my son. It would be so great if people would write them down in their handwriting or type and sign it, to make a scrapbook or something. That would be really nice. The greatest gift I was given after my son died, was something a friend said to me. He always said, “Be gentle with yourself, be […]