Monday, February 13, 2012

6 months, now what?

I am posting part of my reply to a sweet blogger from yesterday and wanted to share a few more thoughts with you all today...

After experiencing our loss, and speaking with many families, I believe there is a great shift of something in your heart when the '6 month' marker comes. I really believe it is after that 6 month time period, it is the hardest. Seems like shock and survival are the first six months, and reality, coping and life follow after that. And for people who have never lost a child, it seems they may have the assumption that after 6 months, we should be doing better... It's not a fair assumption at all. No disrespect to them, by any means.

Yesterday as I wrote those words, many conversations with personal friends of  mine went through  my head as well as conversations with some readers of Facets of Life, who have all been at this monumental 6 months marker of time.  Not to mention, our own personal experience.  

6 months perhaps is enough time to get over a boyfriend, get adjusted to a move somewhere, or whatever the situation, it may be long enough to be settled in a new routine or atmosphere.  BUT something is different at 6 months when you lose a child... Life (for others) has gone on... seasons have changed... perhaps snow is falling or flowers or blooming, school may be starting, but whatever the season, it has changed.  And within every seasonal change, there are memories full of the last spring, fall, winter or summer that you had before you lost your precious child.  Or your hopes and dreams of your baby's very 'first Christmas' have left you with empty arms and "In Memory Of" ornaments adorn your tree instead of "My First Christmas" ornaments.  Seems so cruel and not fair, I know.  I have those ornaments. 

Walking into a room, gym, church or wherever your destination, takes every ounce of courage you can muster up. Your mind wanders what they are thinking and if they are going to pity you.  Or if they are going to label you as a 'bad parent' because you should have kept your child safe and protected.  The list is daunting and goes on and on.  It is hard, just plain hard to learn to live again... It is possible and it does happen... eventually.

I find friends and some family may be trying to encourage you to get 'back into life,' at this point.  Of course, they want you to be back 'to normal,' but as we all know, there is no normal anymore. We don't fit our old lives, somewhere in our routine now, we have to visit our children's grave site, that's not normal!. And I know it is their love for us that drives them to try to help us 'get back out there.'  For me, no one else could drive me... I had to be ready and drive back out there in my own time.  Fear was my friend, grief my companion and heartache, my best friend with every step I took in trying to live again.  However, my God was still MY GOD!  And we will experience the grief that is so natural, but we are not alone in it!  And when we are ready, we can give God the front seat, and move fear, grief and heartache to the backseat and let Him drive us around.  I remember when I came to that place and it was such a relief.  I still hurt, badly and would continue to have some really down  moments but some really good ones were creeping in!  It is amazing the joy that one can have when at the midst of the most tragic of circumstances.  Happiness is circumstantial friends, but joy is God given!

6 months, yes friends, it may be a half of a year, but it is a half of a year without our children, and there is another half of a year we are going to have to face without them too... not to mention a lifetime here on earth without them.  

As I mentioned above, the beginning seems to be shock and survival, and around 6 months, reality sets in and we have to learn to cope with our new life, then we learn to live, again.  I think sometimes we may feel pressure to "be okay" after 6 months, and we may tend to throw the "I'm okay face on."  Does anyone have one of those?  I do!

We eventually learn to live, differently.  We learn to love without abandon and we learn to never, ever take one moment for granted.  

If you are a parent who has experienced this loss, I am so very sorry.  If you are a friend to someone who is facing loss of such, please understand the seasons of life after death and that there is no timetable.  Give love and encouragement, support and hope!  Chances are, that is just what they need!  

I am reminded of Ecc. 3 and would like to share that with you in closing today...

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Whatever season you are in just remember God will certainly make everything beautiful in "HIS TIME!" 

Much love to you all,



  1. Thank you for writing. I just passed the 1 year mark, and yes I do think the 1st 6 months are just surviving. Numb almost. I thought, incorrectly, that I would suddenly be "better" after the year was up. Wrong! But, I can not imagine being on this journey without the hope I have in Jesus Christ that I WILL see my son again. Thanks

  2. Hi Jamie... Thank you for stopping by. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. There isn't a timetable in grief or on our journey for sure. I couldn't agree with you more, I cannot imagine this journey without the hope in Christ that we will see our boys again! What joy that brings to my heart! Much love & prayers for you today and always! Lori

  3. This is perfect, Lori. Thanks for sharing this with me. Today (6 months out from Eve's death) is really emotional, and the monumental-ness of the 6 month mark is rather terrifying. I'm not even sure why it's terrifying. But it is a balm to my soul to read your words today. It helps to hear from the mamas that have walked this sad, scary, seemingly never-ending path before me. Thank you, and biggest hugs. I'm so grateful for this, and you.

  4. wow...I hadn't seen this post till now!
    coming up on 11 months tomorrow.
    feeling kinda bitter - ish.
    so glad to see you had a wonderful trip, lovely!