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Permission to Pause

Yesterday, I shared some often solicited advice for loving the grieving well.

I don't have any advice today.

Today is the day on the calendar I dread most of all. Today is June 28. When I sit and create a pretty little family calendar for the grandparents in December, this is the month I struggle most to find pictures to adequately illustrate. You know those months when there's just one too many big events and you don't know how to vacillate between them all?  That's June. We have birthdays, an anniversary, Father's Day, and a little girl's Heaven Day all on one page.

That Heaven Day is today. Today, June 28, is the day my daughter died. No matter where I choose to spend it each year, a part of me will forever be in that little room with the blue windows holding my diapered baby tight, with her soft dark hair tickling my chin, as I am watching the brand new intern with tear-filled eyes look up at the clock on the wall and breathe out, "Time of death: 9:36…
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Simple Solicited Advice from the Bereaved Mother

In the years since we buried our baby girl, many people have reached out to us to ask how to love someone else well in their time of loss. While it is an unspeakable honor to be trusted to impart such sacred advice, I'm always taken aback a bit. The reality is there is no perfect answer to that question. No two losses are the same. Trying to compare two wounds will only ever lead to more agony. What worked for me may not work for your neighbor. And what worked for your cousin just might push me right over the edge.

So, it's tricky.

My safe, go-to solutions are in no particular order: prayers day and night (and oh my gosh, first thing in the morning PLEASE), wind chimes, Willow Tree figurines, Lisa Leonard jewelry with the child's name for Mama, brownies {always brownies - the hotter & more unexpected, the better} and all the comfort foods, and simply quietly following suit of however the grieving person chooses to grieve. Skip the beige sympathy cards and books on dyi…

A Worthy Pursuit

People thrive when they know they are safe and loved.

ALL people.

Church makes people nervous.

ALL people.

The good "church people" are often either nervous they are going to offend those who wouldn't step foot in a church or they're nervous those people are going to mess up something. The people who cringe at the mere word "church" are nervous they're going to be judged or hurt or shut out. And then, there are those middle people who respect the church, but aren't "that involved" and just know to be reverent. To speak of it makes them nervous because what if you get it wrong???

On some level, we all know God is so much bigger, His ways so much higher, His wisdom so unattainable that we are right to be reverent (to use a church word) and to yield in holy fear. He's God Almighty. That's owed Him. If ever for a moment I thought I was going to spit in the face of that with my questions, I'd shut up yesterday.

The God I know in the…