This past weekend I attended the West Coast conference of Umbrella Ministries. What a blessing! I was asked to share a little bit of our story and I got to hear the stories of so many other moms. I made some new friends as we shared our hearts, our tears, our laughter but especially we shared our children! I got to hear from Kelly, Kim, Bernadette and Marigy as well as so many more. They shared how they our dealing with the death of their dear children. They shared their struggles and their triumphs. Their stories have become a part of mine.
I was also asked to lead a discussion group on Marriage & Grief. Wow! I knew that the statistics of divorce were high but seeing it first hand was like being slapped in the face. So many of the women were already divorced and remarried. They were struggling how to grieve with a spouse who wasn’t the father to their child and in some cases never even knew the child that died. So many of the moms were trying to figure out how to communicate their pain with their husband. They were trying to learn how to share what they are feeling with their husbands and learn how to understand him.
Marriage is hard work. After the death of a child it becomes even harder. There needs to be a stake driven into the ground stating that they are committed to their marriage and to each other. In order to get to this point someone has to say. “Stop, we need to get off of this roller coaster and think about what is happening now!”
During a crisis of any kind it is difficult to see the Hope of the future. But I know from my own experience that the future although different can still be beautiful! During the weekend Rick and I celebrated our 28th anniversary. Despite our differences, despite our pasts and despite Tonia’s death, today we are holding onto God and onto each other.
Don’t give up! Commit to each other. Hold fast to God. Think about your spouse before yourself. Love each other. Forgive each other.
I can’t wait for the next 2o years. The roller coaster continues….