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On February 27, 2004, our son went home and back into the arms of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He was two months old. We were devastated. The passing of our son took our marriage to a new level of testing. How were we going to handle this…together?
Grief affects people differently. When it is a child’s death, the wife might feel her grief is worse but in reality the husband is suffering just as much. I learned this lesson after our son died. My husband was grieving as deeply as I was. His tears were just as often and his heartache just as deep. Our pain was really no different. How could I be a wife that would be there for him in the midst of my own grief?
As we began to work through our grief, I realized I needed to be in prayer for my husband. Being the leader of our home, I believe he carried the burden of trying to maintain being the strong one for me and our family while he was dealing with the loss. I knew he needed to be covered in powerful prayer so that his grief would not be a hindrance to his responsibilities to his family or to his own healing. Grief can become a prison we keep ourselves in if we do not allow ourselves to heal and what better way to bring about healing than placing our broken hearts in the hands of God. So, I prayed for him daily.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)
There were moments where he needed me to be the one he could lean on. Sometimes, I needed to put aside what I was feeling so that he could work through what he was feeling. We both lost a son, not just me, and he was hurting too. It was very important that we talk through our feelings. I needed to be a good listener as much as I wanted to be heard. I am a firm believer that grief is better dealt with when verbalized so we shared many conversations during that season of life. I listened to his heart as he poured it out. He listened to mine. There was no fear that the other would be hurt by what was said. It was very important to be open to what was being shared. Together we would come to understand how we felt about what we were going through as individuals and as a couple. Most importantly, we learned much about trusting the Lord through all this keeping in mind that the Lord does not change so we are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)
Something else we avoided at all costs was blaming one another. It was not his fault and it was not my fault. We knew all efforts were made to save our son’s life so blaming one another would only produce strife and hurt feelings. Instead we chose to trust the Lord with all that had happened knowing that “from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.“ (Romans 11:36) We encouraged each other to get up and go to church and to read our Bibles. If he was having a rough day…we had many of those days while on the path of healing…I would encourage him to pray. When I encouraged him, I felt encouraged. I know it worked that way for both of us. James 5, verse 16 says “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Amen to that!
Encouragement we found from Paul, the apostle, was his words,
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
The passing of a child is not an easy time in a marriage. We have seen some marriages break up because they don’t know how to deal with the grief…together. It is not an easy process but it takes being intentional in effort, being aware that the loss affected both of you, and not letting your faith wane. It is during this time, you both need the Lord more than ever as well as each other. For me, the Lord reminded me in my heart that my husband grieved as deeply as me and then he showed me how to love and be there for him. The Word promises that the God of all comfort comforts us in our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) He did that for me and I was able to live with and love my husband through our grief.
Naomi, a daughter of the King, is married to a wonderful man and they have four children with one they wait to be reunited with in Heaven. They have homeschooled going on 20 years now. She enjoys being a wife and mother as well as photography, scrapbooking, reading, and quilting. She blogs at What Joy Is Mine where she encourages others to seek joy in their everyday lives. You can receive her blog posts via email by subscribing and connect with her on Facebook as well as Twitter.