Broken hearts often bind us together in unimaginable ways that bring comfort. Not too long ago I was at a cemetery in California and met a woman who was grieving over her lost girl. She has visited the grave of her daughter every day for the last 8 years. Every day she brings a pillow and sits next to a headstone that marks the part of her life that is no longer on earth.
Every day she adjusts the beautiful decorations that she so lovingly spreads over that plot of ground. Every day she grieves. I approached her to introduce myself and to tell her that I too, had lost my girl. I explained that our daughters shared the same birthday, May 22. Despite the language barrier that was obvious to both of us, we instantly bonded. Our grief was our bond.
No one escapes grief in this life and all grief bonds us together in a way. There is no measuring grief, there is no greater or lesser pain when mourning. All grief has the potential to take us from our ordinary, routine lives and spit us out in another dimension. It is a place that you would never want to be, but because of loss you are thrust there.
After our daughter Nicole went to Heaven, I realized that I was in a club that I never wanted to be in, but was so incredibly grateful for. It was the Grieving Parents Club. I was drawn to people who had lost children, bonding the instant we met. As I looked into their eyes, I was amazed that they were still walking around and functioning. I am reminded of the courageous daddy who came to the cemetery, the night before Nicole’s memorial service. We had never met him before, but he had heard about us. His daughter had been hit by a car and killed while crossing the road in front of her high school. He said he felt compelled to come and offer us comfort.
We asked him the same questions that the woman at the cemetery asked me. How long have they been gone? As if to say will this pain ever ease? How do you survive?
A tragically, beautiful thing happens in this new dimension. You realize that you are not traveling this journey alone. You take courage that there are others walking this road, they don’t want to walk, but always will.
That day in the midst of the bustle of a busy cemetery, time stood still. The noises of the nearby construction site faded away as I shared tears with this dedicated, loving mama. We held on to one another and wept for our daughters that shared a birthday. Through a bond that defied distance, culture or language barriers, our hearts were knitted together.
As I walked away from her, I couldn’t help but feel closer to Heaven and couldn’t deny that our meeting was divinely appointed. Who knows if our girls weren’t up in Heaven together bonding themselves? I was also reminded of those sweet souls that I’ve met who are in this club. Their faces and stories are fresh in my mind. They are courageous warriors who have walked victoriously in the broken places. Knowing them gives me courage and brings me comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4
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 receive from God.