Thursday, October 31, 2013

Preparing the Way ~ Or Not: A Holiday Retreat for Bereaved Parents

Nothing elaborate.  No charge.  No counseling. Not a substitute for mental health care.  No private site. Not even an extra site.  If you'd like to comment or discuss, go for it.  If you prefer to maintain your own counsel, no one will know.

All I'm offering is a weekly or so very brief meditation and/or quote and suggestion for prayer or contemplation or meditation or pondering, whether in your designated quiet time or in a small group or as you go about your daily life.  I will post the links in the tab above, so that you may catch up at any time, visit or not as you please, or simply have a sort of table of contents.

The general point of view will be a Christian one, but you shouldn't be surprised to find material and reflections occasioned by other religious traditions.

If you are interested, please stop by.  The focus will be on bereaved parents, but you may find a nugget or two worth your while even if you are facing a different sort of loss. 

Why?  Truthfully, I find the pathway through the end-of-year holidays to be a winding, often rocky, root-strewn trail, one over which unsteady boulders loom at every bend.  This will be our sixth holiday season without our son, and I still frequently think that if I had only myself to consider, I would pull the front door closed and retreat into the comfortable darkness of my library until mid-January. 
Nonetheless, the sixth year is different from the first.  Although I write about it here and post material on FB, I seldom discuss my own loss during my daily interactions.  I care for a lot of people who have their own troubles, and my task is to help them, not to douse them in my own sorrow.  And I do, on a daily basis, find much for which to be grateful, in my son's short life, in the lives of my other children, and in most of the other experiences into which I stumble.  It's possible that I'm at a point at which I might be able to concoct something worthwhile for others.
But don't look for sappy sweet here.  Don't look for platitudes.  Don't look for pretend.
Look for the real. 
If you are thinking about smashing all the ornaments against the brick fireplace wall as you are simultaneously considering the perfect location on the tree for each one, this might be the place for you.



  1. Love what you said about the ornaments…I refused to decorate the tree the first few years (I’m in year 6 too) and then I bought another small tree that is just mine to decorate with certain ornaments…Baby’s first Christmas and other hard ones. Luckily the husband and the kids have let me have this quirk. Who knows what it will be like this year?

    1. Susan, last night I read through chunks of your blog from the time of your son's death. Such a loss. And indeed, who knows?