I believe Joni Eareckson Tada concluded that she was actually thankful for the accident that left her paralyzed because it helped to develop her close relationship to God! That doesn’t mean that I need to struggle to come to a place of being thankful for the death of our daughter, Crystal. God says IN everything give thanks – but He doesn’t tell us we need to be thankful FOR everything.
God HAS brought some good out of Crystal’s death. He promises to bring good out of the worst of circumstances. However, for me and my family, I would have a difficult time saying that it has been a good thing for our daughter to die at age 36.
We each process and handle grief differently. I have come to the conclusion that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. With that said, I think we can learn from each other in our grief journey just as I have been inspired by Joni’s remarkable story and ministry.
Bereaved parents do experience similar emotions and pain so, as bereaved parents, we can find that it helps in our grief journey when we connect with other grieving parents. Circumstances may be different but a definite bond exists among us. It is certainly not the group we would have chosen for ourselves; but, since we now are part of that group, we can find ourselves blessed when other grieving parents reach out to us. We also are blessed when we reach out to others.
This is not a mutual “pity party” but the sharing with others who are going through similar experiences.
Again, I am reminded of the Scripture: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” II Corinthians 1:3-4.
I pray that sorrow and pain in your journey of grief may be eased by walking with other grieving parents in their journey. Through God’s love and strength we can be a blessing to each other, even in the darkest times of our lives.