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Sierra 4 Ever

Tree Planted in Sierra's Memory

Tree Planted in Sierra's Memory
Thank you Mrs. Ray, Sierra's classmates & Valrico Elementary

Sierra's Video Montage Played At Her Service - Sierra Through The Years

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What I Have Learned As A Bereaved Parent?



It is hard to believe but it will soon be 6 months that Sierra has passed away. I have been a bereaved mom for 6 months.




I have learned a lot...you can't go through something without learning something...so here is what I have learned.




Bereaved parents are not aliens...it can happen to anyone. My old pastor lost his son at the age of 40. An adult to us but in his parents eyes he is their baby boy. A devastating loss can happen to anyone at anytime. It is what it is. Life doesn't promise us that we will all live to be 100...just the promise that once we are born...we will one day pass away. It is what you do between life and death that matters. How you live your life and I pray that the in between also includes Jesus.




When people say..."I cannot imagine losing a child," I definitely understand but realize that is something I still find hard to imagine. We don't want to go there even when we are there. This may change as the months continue to go by...and as the months turn into years...but for now...it is still hard to imagine. I also realize that it is hard to imagine anything that is hard to go through. I remember when my grandmother died...I thought to myself "how are we going to get through this?" and "how are we going to get on with life without her?." My family is very close and we lost the core of our existence...the woman who loved her grandchildren (all 36 of us) with all her heart and soul. She stayed up with us when we were sick and made sure we were warm on cold days and cool on hot days, she was more than a grandma...she was like our mom. Somehow we got through that devastation and managed to live life again. Though forever missed...we still feel her love inside us and will forever.




I thought I was going to die when Sierra passed away. It was so hard to breath, it was like my body went into shock...I could not breath. Somehow I got my breath back and I slowly went back into living life. I am looking forward to that reunion with her but in the meantime I have to live life and do what I can to bring forth awareness for pediatric cancer. I now have to do that in her memory...I do a lot in her memory. She lives in me forever...and I will always let that show in all I do. If there is any advice I can give to anyone facing the loss of someone important in their life is that you will get through...never over...just through. Some days are harder than others but in all things...let God in.




We live in an imperfect world...and God allows it to rain on the good and the bad. Though the storms in life may come in...rely on God to get you through. You may feel angry at God for not answering your prayer and get stuck on the "if onlys" but know that he is sad when we are sad. He sees the bigger picture in everything and we have to realize that. God could have healed Sierra here on earth but there was a reason why she found her healing in Heaven. God doesn't promise us that life is going to be perfect and that as soon as we pray for something he is going to make it happen...there is a reason...he is all knowing. God doesn't want us to worry about tomorrow or live in the past...he wants us to live in the present and make the most of today...especially with the ones we love. We all want the perfect life...long life...full of happiness and laughter...to see our kids grow...see our grandchildren. In a perfect world...children don't get cancer...they don't die...parents don't abandon or kill their children...people don't divorce...everything would be how we would all consider perfect. Sin came into the world and made our world imperfect but despite all the imperfections...there are blessings in everything. Yes, even in the bad things. What kind of blessings have I found in Sierra's passing? She didn't suffer, she knew how much we love her and always will, she had a short life but it was filled with the people most important to her, she is now dancing on the streets of gold with her friends and family right by her. I miss her...and it hurts...badly but I am happy for her and I know I will see her again. Hope springs eternal...and I am so happy my heart is filled with hope.




So, know that you will be okay...no matter what you go through...somehow things will be okay. I will not say better but I will say different. You will smile again...though there will always be a sadness...it will not be all consuming. Surround yourself with family and friends but most of all surround yourself with God. He will carry you through.




This poem brings me a lot of hope and I pray it will for you to:




Footprints in the sand




One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky. In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.Sometimes there were two sets of footprints. Other times there were one set of footprints.This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my lifewhen I was suffering from anguish, sorrow, or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints,so I said to the Lord,"You promised me, Lord, that if I followed You, You would walk with me always. But I noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of prints in the sand. Why, When I have needed You most, You have not been there for me?"The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you."


by Mary Stevenson(11/8/1922 -- 1/6/1999)www.footprints-inthe-sand.com


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