By: Amanda Crews
When I was in labor with our son, Carson, at 37 weeks, I had a dear friend visit me. She, too, had experienced the loss of a child. She stood alongside my bed, as my body prepared for a long labor, and she apologized. She said, “I am so sorry, Amanda. This is a club that no one should ever have to join.”
Her analogy has echoed throughout my body, along with the words of many others who have also tragically and unexpectedly lost a child but have chosen to show up for us. Though all of our stories differ, we just get each other.
Now, six years into our grief journey, I feel personally charged and responsible to connect with other mamas who are walking on similar paths. Not to swoop in to help solve their problems or to offer great advice, because I can’t do either of those things, but I can sit, listen, and connect.
Because the reality is that I don’t have the best advice for navigating loss, but I do know what it’s like to have dreams and plans shatter from beneath you.
I don’t know each person’s triggers, thoughts, and needs, but I do know coming alongside of people and offering presence, even through silence, is sometimes the best gift. It’s a gift that says: I see you, I feel you, and I am here.
I don’t have the right words, but I do know there is NOTHING that I can say or do to take away or even lessen someone’s pain.
To my fellow loss mamas, there’s a whole group of women who are starting their loss journey today. I want to encourage you to bring purpose from your pain and come alongside of them. Offer the things that we needed that came unexpectedly or maybe not at all. Let’s let them talk, and let’s link arms to face the unimaginable aftermath that grief ushers in.
To families and friends of those who have lost, please know that presence and listening are two of the best gifts. There is nothing you can do or say to take away someone’s pain, but healthy presence is a gift that can’t be described. Though you may be sad, it is not about you and to expect comfort from a grieving parent is unrealistic. Be patient, be understanding, and be graceful. Most importantly, please remember that there is no right or wrong way to navigating the loss of a child.
I am holding all my fellow loss mamas and their families and friends close to my heart. I see you. I feel you. I’m here.
About Amanda Crews
Amanda is a follower of Jesus, wife to Chris, and mama to Carson (5) and Lucy in Heaven, and Mia (4), Arie (2), and Mateo (9 months) here on Earth. She offers Christian encouragement on her website http://www.sanctifiedbylove.com and enjoys reading, writing, cooking/baking, traveling, and investing in relationships. Amanda can also be found on Instagram at Amanda’s (@as.crews) profile on Instagram