The Death of a Child is like Losing Your Hand

The loss of a child or of someone with whom you are deeply bonded can be a painful experience and over time very isolating. As others close to you “move on” with their lives and go back to their normal routine, we struggle daily just to carry on! To add insult to injury many folks seem to be impatient and place an unspoken time-limit on our mourning!

Others actions seem to shout “Time to move on!” and “When are you going to be like your old self again?” Sometimes these are even the phrases we scream to ourselves! We lack patience and understanding not just from others but from ourselves as well! Without the much needed empathy we are left feeling even more lost and alone.

Perhaps we can attempt to in some way communicate the loss of our child or loved one in a way that will be more understandable to those who cannot or are unable to imagine what suffering such a loss might be like. Some of us have a hard time “going there” due to our own fears, anxieties or issues… and yet for some of us it is hard to truly BE THERE for those who suffer such pain because we simply cannot wrap our mind around such loss to understand what it might be like… and how to most lovingly respond.

For those who wish to understand… or if you are struggling with loss and cannot understand why it is so horribly difficult, I offer an analogy:

The death of a child is like losing your hand.

If you cut off your hand could you continue to live? Yes. Yet, you would be forever changed. Your “old ways” of doing things and interacting with your environment would no longer be possible. Your daily activities would never be accomplished the same ways again. Not because you don’t WANT to go back and do those things again, but because you CAN’T. Your hand is gone. You are not the same. A piece of you is missing. You are forever changed.

Your value as a person, a wife, a mother, a worker, a friend has NOT changed. No, you cannot produce or perform at the same level as before, at least not for awhile, until you learn new ways… but you are still you. You are still human. You continue to live, and function and feel… despite the pain.

Speaking of pain: it does not go away simply because a few weeks, months or even years have past. Where your hand once was attached there are nerves that have been severed. The nerves are raw and angry. The injury is real. You feel the pain caused by the loss of your appendage and the damage to those nerves. The hand is gone, but the pain left by it’s loss remains. Time will lessen the pain, but it will likely never go completely away.

Your hand was a part of you. You were attached. When you visualize yourself, your hand was a part of your self-image. It was a part of who you were. You shared memories and a history of doing meaningful things together! It was a part of how you interacted in this world and lived your life. It is how you did those things that make you… you.

Now your hand is gone. You will carry on in time, but you are forever changed. No one will tell you to “Get over it” as once lost, a hand does not simply “grow back”. It is understandable you would not behave or function in the same way as you did before your loss. It is obvious to all who see you that your loss is significant, life-altering and real.

Others applaud you for all you DO now accomplish despite this obvious loss. You should be proud of all you are able to do as well with the loss of your hand.

Now replace the loss of a hand in this story to the loss of a child. May all who read this begin to understand that those who lose a child have lost a part of themselves. The loss is not a physical part of them but a spiritual part… and completely REAL. Those who experience such loss will never function the same, nor should we ever expect such!

If someone you know and love survives the loss of a child (or if that person is you) encourage them for all their new accomplishments no matter how small, because for them it is like learning how to live again. Their pain is real. Their loss is real. And they will never be the same again… because their love is real as well.

How does it feels to lose a child? Cut off your hand and you may begin to understand.

❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’

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Dedication:

This post is dedicated to all mothers who have experienced the agony of child loss. This essay was specifically inspired by the passing of my dear Aunt Donna’s son Alex and the passing of my soul nieces Annemarie and Vivian. Although I have not experienced child loss directly I am grateful and honored that I have been allowed on the journey of mourning with their mothers who I love so very very much!

Fear is a Cage

Many of us are trapped in cages created by our fears. We fear many things including: death, other people, the future, even ourselves!

Fear is a liar and a thief! It tells us we will be hurt! It steals our time and our peace-of-mind! Fear’s purpose is distraction and destruction. Fear distracts us from our true inheritance and destroys our peace. We can set ourselves free by realizing fear is not real.

Fear cannot hurt us. We are safe in the arms of a loving God. By appearing like a friend we mistakenly listen yet fear keeps us in the darkness of anxiety, worry, stress under the guise of protecting us! Fear is an illusion that keeps us from fully experiencing God’s presence in every facet of our lives.

Fear is an earthy signal and should be regarded as such. Fear tells us we may be crossing a boundary or that we are going outside our comfort zone, but we should never let fear lock us in.

Fear should not enslave us. We must always remember we are free and release ourselves from fear’s grasp! We cannot follow the path God has set for us if we are locked into a cage. Jesus came to free us from fear to experience a life filled with love.

❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’

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Let Go of Fear to Embrace Love

You gotta let go of Fear to embrace Love. If you are not feeling the love… start looking at your fears and ask God to help you overcome them. Fear is something each of us experiences. It can be a valuable teacher that show us where we need to grow, where we need to let go or where we need to go!

Fear should not control us! Fear is only a messenger that lets us know we are not on the path God has intended for us. We should not try to avoid this feeling, but take notice of it and use it to help steer our path towards Love.

God has a plan for us. We aren’t meant to live a life ruled by fear, but a life filled with LOVE!

❤️Ann

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Reach Up!

When life is difficult and nothing seems to be going your way, just turn it over to the One who can handle anything and everything.

God has a plan for your life and wants the best for you at all times. When you feel down or at the end of your rope, let go and let God take control. God will never let you down… and you have nothing to lose but the problems and fears you are clinging to!

He has created us to be dependent on Him. We were never intended to do it all on our own! Guiding our path and helping us when we are down is how God shows us His love. It is not a failure to be unable to be self-sufficient but a reminder of our need to reconnect with the Divine!

How do you do this? Stop trying to do it on your own. Pray. Let go. Wait and watch the miracles. This reinforces our faith and reassures us of His eternal Love for us and for all of His Creation!

Reach up and let God show you how dearly and desperately you are loved!

❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’

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Solitude Is A Gift to the Soul

I was reminded recently of how important time alone is for our spiritual health. Working, managing a household and raising three young boys leaves very little free time in my day. However, I intentionally carve time out to be alone, even if just for a handful of minutes.

Sometimes I steal a moment in the middle of the night, waking up to get a drink and staying up for 30 minutes or so while the house is asleep and silent. Other times, I wake up just a little bit earlier to get that time alone in peace. I’ve also taken time during my work day to run errands, and instead of rushing back I take 10 minutes to be alone before returning inside to finish my day.

Yes, I’ve had to get creative. No, I’m not always able to do it every single day. Some days it it is just too difficult and I cannot do it, but it is something I understand has great significance and value in my spiritual life… and I believe in yours as well!

The time spent in solitude is precious. It is there that I connect with the Divine. Often it is at the conclusion of these times that I do my best writing.

After clearing my mind, breathing and opening myself up, the words often flow effortlessly to the screen. In this way I am affirmed that something truly special is occurring when I take the time to be alone and away from the hustle and bustle of my daily life.

Even Jesus took time away to be alone and to be present with God. I believe in these moments we can be recharged, reconnected and refreshed spiritually. Solitude is a gift to the soul. Make it a priority in your life and you can experience this beautiful gift as well.

❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’

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You Can’t Solve Inside Problems With Outside Solutions

We each lead lives filled with problems. Many of the most painful ones are internal. We live our lives suffering from all kinds of these inner hurts including: insecurity, loneliness, anger, bitterness, resentment, fear, and sadness.

We do some crazy things to try and solve these inner problems! We drink, we shop, we eat, we work, we hide… all in an attempt to solve the pain of our problems. If we are anxious we may have a drink, if we are stressed we may grab some m&m’s, if we are lonely we may log on to Facebook, if we are feeling unattractive we may buy a new pair of shoes. These “solutions” however only offer us temporary relief!

We must stop looking for a solution to our inner turmoil and unhappiness outside ourselves but instead look within. These external solutions will never truly solve our problems or satisfy us. They distract us from the true source of a solution that lies within ourselves.

Sure, we can distract ourselves from our inner problems, but they are still there in the morning… and we are then stuck with the hangover, the debt, the extra weight, the inevitable disappointment that an external solution offers. Often our attempt to solve our problems in this way just perpetuates our problems and creates more pain.

Nothing and no one on Earth can truly make us happy. No amount of money, attractiveness, success, or even the “perfect” relationship can heal our pain.

We solve our inner problems by looking instead inside ourselves. We look within our souls for the solution. We are present with the problem. We feel the pain. We recognize it and then release it to God.

We quiet our minds from anger and blame. Then we pray. We heal our inner problems by listening to His Voice as He lovingly directs our path and heals our hearts.

You cannot solve inside problems with outside solutions… as God heals us from the inside.

❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’

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Inspiration for this post from “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer.

I Am More

I see with my eyes, but I am not my eyes.

I hear with my ears, but I am not my ears.

I walk with my feet, but I am not my feet.

I think with my mind, but I am not my thoughts.

I feel with my emotions, but I am not how I feel.

I am not my body, I am a spirit seeking truth.

I am a Spirit, an eternal soul.

I am the observer of my thoughts and experiences in life.

I am often deceived into thinking I am less, but I am truly so much more.

I am a child of God.

❤️Ann ‘Not Just A Blonde’

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