Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Thoughts on Life and Death.....

So I'm feeling a bit philansophical (did I spell that right?) today after spending some time last night with my friend Karen who lost her son two years ago, and after hearing that Stephen Curtis Chapman's 5 year old daughter died after being run over by her brother. I started thinking about what it meant to me to lose a child and what God taught me in the process. There are many, many things I have learned, but I will list three big lessons here:

1. Having faith does not mean that if you pray hard enough or believe hard enough, God will heal or spare you loss. It does mean that you trust completely that He is able to do anything we can ask or imagine, but He doesn't always. Having faith means that even when He doesn't, you still know without a doubt that He loves you.

2. Well intentioned people will say and do stupid things that add to your pain and you must learn to extend grace for their ignorance. They didn't mean to hurt you, they are merely stupid. They will never understand how stupid they are until they go through great loss. In the meantime, it doesn't help anyone, including you, to get angry or resentful or unforgiving.

3. Loss is loss. You can't compare it, or quantify it, or measure it. Someone may be completely devastated to lose a 90 year old parent or to suffer a miscarriage or to have their house burn down or to lose their favorite pet. It may not seem to you to be as difficult as what you have gone through, but it doesn't matter. Life is often painful and we can relate to each other's suffering just as Christ did in the garden. We're all in this broken world together and we need to not compare losses great or small, but embrace the commonality.

I am grateful for these lessons, though I don't think I will ever be able to say I am grateful for the experience of losing a child. Karen and I both agree that it still hurts and as long as we are where we are and our kids are where they are, it will always hurt. But someday...... and I can be overwhelmingly grateful for that!


At May 23, 2008 at 6:28 AM , Blogger Chaffin Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing and being so honest. I had no idea you had lost a child and I could not even begin to wrap my head or heart around what you went through. I have lost a few friends who have left behind children and trying to find the words for them is hard. It has been better to just be there for them and keep my mouth closed at times. You are so correct in saying that life is often painful, this is a broken world thankfully we have a God who carries our burdens with us and we can help to hold each other through our hard times. thank you again for your honesty. Kim

At May 23, 2008 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Cathey said...

Thanks for your kind words, Kim. God can use what we have learned to help others, but if we don't share (even if it's in cyberspace), how's that supposed to happen? I know you've been through some tough times lately, too. How do people cope without a loving Father and the support of great relationships....?! Life is HARD!!!


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