Cherish your loved ones

by Greg Lincoln

Foremost, we thank you for your friendship and comfort to our family. Quyana to our Bethel family and others near and far for your care and kindness and for not forgetting our bitter tears.

In our continuing search to understand how others have moved forward with the loss of a beloved child, we found some things that may help others understand. Of course, it is not the same for everyone since we each grieve in our own ways.

First, grieving parents do not ever stop thinking about their child. They are always on their minds 24/7. Even if we may be multitasking or doing something that requires our concentration, reading a book or having a conversation, or listening to a speaker or sermon, they are filling our innermost deepest thoughts. They are always there occupying every secret place in our hearts. When we close our eyes we see them, when we go to bed at night they are the last thing we think about and the first thing when we awake – and this will be for the rest of our lifetime. We sometimes find ourselves thinking, what would she have done if she saw this or that, or I wonder if she would have liked this? And then we think some more.

And then there is the whole alteration of our previously hoped-for future that has now been cut, stopped, ceased. We find ourselves wondering how we would have all looked like 10 years from now, or even 5 or 20. What adventures would we have gone on? How can we bear to take family photos again? But we must, we have to, they would have wanted us to, of course they would – for those who remain and need our love.

Bereaved parents do not wish for this to happen to any other parent ever. No one wants to be a part of something like this. To all the other bereaved parents that we know – you are survivors! You have come this far and you inspire us. You got up from rock bottom, picked yourself up, cast off those chains of despair and rose up and made things happen. You are amazing, incredible, strong, beautiful, awesome, resilient, the list goes on and on. And you have love, the greatest of all. Thank you, quyana cakneq for not giving up.

Friends, life is a beautiful, costly, fragile thing. We must cherish our fellow man with loving kindness and care. And for the upcoming holidays, please consider strengthening a bereaved parent with your supportive presence, it means so much. Let us not forget them because they have suffered unspeakable anguish and pain. Please continue to pray for and love those who are grieving, never let up, always keep your guard raised, do not let the power of your prayers diminish. Quyana so much.

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