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Here are a few things that I’ve learned through almost seven years after the loss of Ellie, and six years of ministry through Ellie’s Way and GriefShare. “Comparison is the death of joy.” – Mark Twain When grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s so easy to feel like no one understands. No one knows how we feel or can comprehend the depths of our pain and suffering. It can be a lonely place. Here’s my truth – no one will ever really understand! Some people can acknowledge and listen when they have the time and compassion. It’s nice to have our pain recognized, but that is not why we are here. I believe that Jesus lived how we are supposed to live, and his guidance is worth following. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ – Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) God has planned a path for you. You will travel the path on your own, with God to help if you choose. Don’t compare your path with someone else. Other people’s paths may cross or run nearby, but only you can take steps on your path. Only you can choose to see the beauty around your current location and enjoy your journey. There may be amazing drops to deep valleys, but keep looking forward and take it […]

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I was at a grief support meeting with about sixty parents that lost their child in so many different ways. We had spent hours sharing and caring about each other. It was one of those evenings when each story would grab your soul and not let go. There were stories shared by the parent that could not be there with their child and then the parents that were there for the last breath! These were gut wrenching, heart stopping, and unforgettable stories. In the meeting, we could see the body language and facial expressions, and each voice told a story in itself! Then, some incredibly wise words rang out: “Let’s pretend that you could put your grief into a bag and place it in the middle of the room. Once everyone put their bag in this mountain of grief, what bag would you trade your grief with?” Parents sat there stunned, thinking about each story. Some parents had lost multiple children, four of five, and at different times! They thought about this and some even packed an imaginary bag and placed it in the middle of the room,sat back down, and waited for the next step. We had time to think about each story and looked at the faces around the room. Each face held the very story they shared that evening. Everyone had blank looks as they thought about who they would trade their story with. That evening, sixty parents walked out of that room with their own bag […]

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