Healing After Child Loss

Canoe on the Kenai

I still get those moments where I just can’t comprehend that Hans is gone from us. But the difference now is the intensity. Those first weeks and months, and into the second year, it would just immobilize me – the pain saturated me through and through – I didn’t know such pain existed. Back then, I was fighting to keep my head above water and to just breathe during those grief waves.

But now, it’s like the main part of the storm has passed and the weather is still squally, but I am afloat and beginning to look around for a place to beach my life raft. I still hurt from the beating I got in the water and I am sad because Hans is not on the raft with me.

BUT – I know that Hans is on the shore to which I am paddling. He is waiting for me. He is alive and safe and happy. I will see him again. Thinking about that helps me to keep paddling.

I get tired sometimes and wish things were different but that kind of thinking just makes things worse for me. I still hurt, to be sure, and it would be very easy for me to spend much of my time looking at old photos and mourning what was. But too much time spent in grieving brings me back down into the deeper parts of that ocean of pain. I don’t want to be this sad for the rest of my life.

Child loss is just so huge. SO huge. The only thing bigger than pain like this is my Father God in Heaven. He has carried me through this. He is the wind in my tattered makeshift sail. And when His Son, Jesus, returns, THAT is the day I will see my Hans again (unless I die before then). That is what helps me to look forward.

Because looking backward all the time just hurts – I miss our old life. I miss our Hans. It HURTS and it always will but there must be more to life than hurting. I don’t want to waste this pain by letting it destroy me or my relationships. I want to use it to help and encourage others if that is possible because there’s a lot of hurting people out there.

What does “healing” look like and how long does it take? I don’t know the answer to either question. I don’t even know if “healing” is the right word.

Maybe the right word is living.

Give yourself the time you need. Everyone’s situation is different and “healing” looks different for each of us. I truly believe the closer we follow the Lord and believe His Truth, the less painful this road becomes.

I pray our Heavenly Father would grant you peace and healing as you follow His dear son Jesus into the lovely future found only in Him.

For our conversation is in heaven;
from whence also we look for the Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ:
Philippians 3:20

14 thoughts on “Healing After Child Loss

  1. Pingback: Survival is the Starting Point – You Can Trust Him

  2. karanoel

    I am so sorry for your loss but so grateful for the love, honesty and hope with which you share your journey. Light in the darkness that so many need. Much love to you as you continue to heal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. parentsofautismconnect

    I love how you are providing the gift of perspective for parents who have just lost a child. I have a friend who lost her 16 year old son in July. She has told me she never anticipated the pain would cut so deep. (He had a condition with a shortened life prognosis). I just started a blog about parenting children on the spectrum and its evolving similarly to your post- a retrospective. I’m a decade in with 3 sons, 2 with Autism, but have so much more to learn. My inspiration for writing is to offer is hope for those just starting out and start conversations about the truth of parenting special needs. I know I needed something like this when I started out in the world of Autism, but now I can offer it.

    I will share you incredibly beautiful post with my friend.
    Thank you, and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My deepest condolences go out to your friend. I am glad she has someone like you looking out for her. The autism road is a hard one. I know that writing about your journey will be an encouragement to others as well as a strengthening experience for yourself. I am looking forward to reading your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. parentsofautismconnect

        Thank you Kim! I finally got a funny entry out today about Bugs. My youngest is terrified of them. I had been doing a lot of heavy writing, and I wanted to put my humor out there! I am happy to have connected with you and look forward to your posts! Sarah

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Great truth here, Kim. I agree with you that “healing” looks different to different people. Reading your accounts, how I would love to be there to witness that unimaginable day when you and Hans celebrate your glorious reunion!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for this. You have described so beautifully and succinctly the painful, yet still hopeful path that follows child loss. Your writings display a knowledge, wisdom and understanding that comes only from seeking hard after our Lord, even through the pain. Thank you for sharing your faith and your journey through this valley. It always blesses and encourages me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is so beautiful, ‘Thinking about that helps me keep paddling.’ Nobody can know how your heart feels and I do not know what you are going through, but I am pleased that you have hope, as hope in God’s promises are everything. Yes, child loss is huge. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. rogerholmack

    I’ve had difficulty explaining this myself. I call it management. There is some healing that takes place, but now the problem is chronic. The pain comes and goes and you just learn to manage it. My arthritis, sinuses and peripheral neuropathy are like this. Managing is all can hope to do. I must endure the pain, but learn to work with it. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

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